12/13 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: The Shield's Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal for the NXT Title, World Hvt. Champion Big Show appears, Rowan vs. Oliver Grey, Paige vs. Sasha Banks
By Darren Gutteridge
NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 11/15 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, a video package highlighting the Seth Rollins / Jinder Mahal feud aired, centred on the Michael Cole interview from a few weeks ago...
After titles, Todd Phillips welcomed us to the show and teased the main event of Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal for the NXT Title. Paige entered for the first match, followed by Sasha Banks, who came down to the music they usually play for Divas walking backstage on Raw or Smackdown. It saddens me greatly that I recognised it instantly...
1. Paige vs. Sasha Banks. Regal said Paige has a perfect record on NXT. I'm pretty sure she lost her first match. Paige utilised a few rest holds to wear down Banks, including a nice head scissors, only for Banks to get a few close counts with rolls up. Banks charged, but got kicked by Paige, who hit the Paige Turner for the pin...
Paige defeated Sasha Banks in 4:06.
Phillips played up Paige's impressive win streak, before sending us backstage to Tony Dawson, who was interviewing Roman Reigns. Dawson said this interview was weeks in the making after Reigns ''Reign checked'' the last one. Reigns then said he doesn't work around other people’s time, everyone works to his. He told Dawson to tell him the time, and then said it was 'Roman Reigns time'. Reigns' phone rang, and he walked off before answering one question...
Phillips then led us into a replay of the end of last week’s episode, with Regal saving Tyson Kidd from a beat down from Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger. We cut to Ohno and Kruger cutting a promo to camera, with Ohno saying Richie Steamboat, Trent Baretta and Tyson Kidd had all had the audacity to cross the pair of them, and now all three had been injured. Kruger called them 'trophies', and promised there would be more. Ohno concluded by saying he was disappointed with ’old rouge' Regal, and warned him that he would put him in intensive care if he interfered again... [C]
Gutt Check: The Divas match was good, although it suffered from an anticlimactic finish. While Reigns was very generic in his role (and again, at least we don't have to endure it for long), Ohno and Kruger were good. While I feel that becoming a tag team may be detrimental to both guys in the long term (especially on the main roster), it certainly works here in the small pond of NXT. The only negative is that NXT has now got in the habit of not having immediate follow up on most angles. It’s down to the pre-taped format and hour long formula, I know, but it means that if you liked something they did last week, there won’t necessarily be any concrete or important follow up the week after, as seen here.
[Q2] Oliver Grey was being introduced when we returned, but the ring announcer girl was being completely drown out by his entrance music. Bray Wyatt walked on to the stage, saying love makes him rich, and war makes him powerful. He explained that when someone loved you, they would do anything for you. He wanted Grey to experience this sensation, and introduced his 'son', a big bald guy with a huge ginger beard...
2. Oliver Grey vs. Rowan. Wyatt went and sat on his rocking chair on the stage as the big guy started throwing Grey around the ring. Grey tried to fight back, but was immediately dropped back to the mat. The big guy applied a bear hug, where he swung a completely suspended Grey from one side of his body to the other, before hitting a few shoulder charges in the corner and a big side slam to end the match...
Rowan defeated Oliver Grey in 1:56.
Wyatt introduced us to the 'second son of the Wyatt family', Rowan. He left with Rowan, telling everyone to 'follow the buzzards'...
A shot of Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal warming up aired. Mahal is in his 3MB gear...
Gutt Check: I think the biggest problem facing Wyatt is that he is such heavily gimmicked that it may impede who he can work with. The best and most enduring gimmicks are those that can work in any situation. I think Wyatt may be tricky to prolong. Having said that, it was another good (but not great) week on the mic, and Rowan looks like another good addition to the stable.
Dusty Rhodes came out to a decent pop. The dancing has been turned down a little, which disappoints me. He said he was here for a 'state of the union' address. He hyped the main event, before moving on to Vickie Guerrero. He said she was welcome on NXT, but she can't put bounties on peoples head, including Big E Langston. I think a part got cut, as the crowd seem to react to something, and then Dusty apologised for a little bit of his old ‘cowboy spirit’ coming out. Confusing.
Camacho came out to the stage. He said he needed the bounty money as Hunico is stuck in Mexico and he needs the money to get him back. I’m not making that up. He threatened to open the bounty back up on Rhodes if he cancelled the bounty on Big E. Big E came out to defend Dusty, and Dusty booked a handicap for next week, with Camacho and a partner vs. Big E. Both men agreed, and the crowd started chanting 'five'...
A video aired of Big Show accepting Bo Dallas's challenge, reminding us that he has knocked out Cena, Orton and Sheamus, and promised to do the same to Dallas... [C]
Gutt Check: It's weird that the baby face GM books a handicap match stacked against a baby face, but to be honest it seems only fair at this point. Big E has been so dominant that a one on one fight with almost anybody on the NXT roster would look like a landslide. You can also now add 'wrestles handicap matches and is still the favourite' to the list of similarities between Big E and Ryback.
[Q3] Phillips said that the Big Show vs. Bo Dallas match will be next week. That’s two matches already. Finally some advertising! JR joined commentary as Jinder Mahal came out in full 3MB mode, minus McIntyre and Slater. It's seems odd that they would include footage of serious Mahal before showing 'comedy' Mahal. Rollins came out in full head bang mode before the in ring introductions...
3. Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal for the NXT Title. I can only imagine the confusion if your tuning in for the first time this week and you see one third of the heel group at the moment as the top baby face, facing one third of the comedy lower card act in a title match main event. We cut to a tour plug whilst Rollins was enjoying a long period of control, only for Mahal to be in charge when we came back, apparently brought about by a spot that got cut. Bad editing.
Mahal slowed the pace in the middle of the match, utilising power moves like backbreakers and running knees in-between rest holds to weaken Rollins. A brief Rollins come back was stopped quickly, as he was dropped onto the ropes crotch first after charging Mahal in the corner. Mahal worked a headlock as we went to the final commercial... [C]
Mahal still had the headlock applied when we returned, but Rollins got up, and rolled out of a back suplex to nail Mahal with a roundhouse kick. Both men exchanged punches, which ended in Rollins clotheslining Mahal to the outside, before taking him out with a suicide dive. A flying knee from the top rope back in the ring led to a two count. The action went to the top rope, where Rollins attempted a Frankensteiner, only for Mahal to counter it with a pin. A few close counts ended with them back in the corner, where Mahal tried for the 10 punches, but ended up getting powerbombed into the opposite turnbuckle.
A string of counters lead to Mahal landing a running knee, and attempting the camel clutch, but Rollins grabbed the ropes to force the break. Mahal tried for a roll up when Rollins got to his feet, but Rollins rolled through it and hit a superkick. Rollins then hit a Sliced Bread #2, which JR dubbed the Skywalker, to retain his title...
Seth Rollins defeated Jinder Mahal in 19:56 to retain the NXT Title.
JR praised both men’s effort in the match as Rollins began to walk around ringside shaking hands. He stopped when Corey Graves was shown clapping him from a ringside seat. Rollins raised the title as the two eyeballed each other, bringing NXT to a close ...
Gutt Check: A great main event. It was a little too baseline before the commercial, but it picked up immediately after it and didn't let up. And nothing gets you over more in this humble journalist’s opinion than naming your finishing move after Star Wars. If Khali debuted the 'Death Star Slam', he'd rocket up my rankings.
I liked a lot of what NXT had to offer tonight. While the first two matches were inconsequential, the first was a good Divas match, and the second added to the growing Wyatt stable, which will hopefully become a big focus of the show soon. The main event, although dragged down slightly by a less than hot crowd, built nicely to a hot finish. And they even found time to add a little to the Big E and Ohno/Kruger storylines, and book two matches for next week. I wish it was this well constructed every week.
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this review, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg
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