1/3 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Seth Rollins vs. Corey Graves for the NXT Title, The Shield appears, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger and Kassius Ohno, Epico vs. Bo Dallas
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 12/6 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] The titles were interrupted by The Shield attacking two wrestlers in the ring. After a few moments, Dusty Rhodes walked onto the stage and told them to listen. Dean Ambrose cut him off and said Dusty had just seen a small taste of what they can do. He said they had broken through more glass ceilings quicker than anybody ever has.
Seth said The Shield had taken over Raw, Smackdown, and now NXT, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Dusty said he can do something about it, and said Rollins will face Corey Graves for the title later tonight. He said Rollins was meant to lead the show 'to the promise land' as it's champion, but he has gone off the rails.
Ambrose said nobody tells them what to do anymore. Dusty said when they are in his house, they do as he tells them, and threatened to strip Rollins if he doesn't compete tonight. Rollins said Graves was a 'wrong' they can right, and he will wrestle tonight, but Dusty should be careful what he wishes for. Reigns finally grabbed the mic and said 'This is your house old man? It looks to me like your just paying the Shield's rent'. We cut to a UK tour promo...
Gutt Check: A good opening, but it wasn't without fault. Rollins has shown much more of a spark working as a heel, and he managed to turn a crowd on him who had previously cheered him. Ambrose was good as well, but Reigns felt like a third wheel, repeating the line he had in last weeks Shield vignette. And Dusty ordering the Shield about seems odd, as they are a renegade group who have shown no respect for authority, but it made sense as he has something over Rollins. As far as NXT goes, that was a hot start.
Back from the tour ad, Tony Dawson and William Regal were shown on commentary. They talked over a replay of the beat down, and hyped the main event of Rollins vs. Graves. They made out that Dusty booked it on the fly, but they hyped it on last weeks show. Odd. Bo Dallas made his entrance when they finished. Primo accompanied Epico down to the ring for his singles match... [C]
[Q2] 1. Bo Dallas vs. Epico. After a few false starts, Epico took control with a running knee, and capitalised with a suplex and a springboard elbow drop. Epico dictated a slow pace, using a few holds to wear down Bo.
Epico started to punch Dallas, but Dallas started 'Hulking Up', taking the punches and screaming for more while smiling. Dallas started to build momentum with a clothesline and a belly to belly throw. He retreated to the corner and came charging out to hit Epico with the Spear to get the win...
Bo Dallas defeated Epico in 5:07.
Primo slid in the ring, and helped up Epico. They cornered Bo, but before they could attack, Michael McGillicutty ran down and chased them off. McGillicutty raised Bo's hand and they left the ring...
Gutt Check: The match was a little dull, as Epico decided to work a slow pace for his stretch on offense in the middle. It was sound heel psychology, but it didn't excite. And McGillicutty's a face?! And you thought Alberto Del Rio's turn was weak...
Sasha Banks skipped her way to the ring as Regal touted her potential. Tamina is her opponent...
2. Tamina vs. Sasha Banks. Tamina immediately took it to Banks with strikes. She delivered a body slam and covered her with one foot for a two count. Tamina locked in an abdominal stretch, but Banks fought her way free. Sasha dodged a charge in the corner and started to land kicks on Tamina.
Sasha hit a nice springboard arm drag and got a two count of her own from a victory roll pin. She ran at Tamina when they returned to their feet, but Tamina caught her on her shoulders and delivered a Samoan drop. Tamina finished Banks off with a Superfly Splash for the 1-2-3...
Tamina defeated Sasha Banks in 2:59.
Regal complimented Tamina's mean streak, and Dawson called her one of the meanest Divas on Earth. They hyped the main event again before commercial... [C]
Gutt Check: Sasha showed off two nice athletic moves. I have nothing else to go on in that match. The division can certainly do with more athletic women, but they need stronger characters and storylines first a foremost. A dominant Tamina does nothing for me, but it can be the start of something for another Diva, but they seem to have halted her heel push already on the main roster. Easy come, easy go.
[Q3] Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger came out together to Ohno's music. Dawson recapped the events of a few weeks ago where Regal saved Tyson Kidd from the pair, and Regal said he doesn't like seeing people being taking advantage of. As Kidd and Justin Gabriel came out, Regal alluded to a previous history between Gabriel and Kruger in their native South Africa...
3. Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel vs. Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger. Dawson called this the infantry vs. the air force. A really good analogy. Kidd and Gabriel used a lot of double team moves to gain control early on, right up until an ad for Wrestlemania aired, before which they took out their opponents on the outside of the ring...
They were still on offence when we returned, but Kruger eventually stemmed the tide with a big spinebuster on Kidd. The heels isolated Kidd in their half of the ring, and racked up a lot of pin attempts while wearing him down with power moves. They tried for a double team move, but Kidd grabbed the ropes to halt his momentum and kicked both men in the head. He threw Kruger out of the ring, and tagged Gabriel.
After a quick flurry of offense from Gabriel, Kruger tagged Ohno blind, but Gabriel was smart to it and hit Kruger with a powerbomb. Ohno broke up the pin, and got taken out of the ring by Kidd. Gabriel tried for a roll up, but Kruger escaped and suddenly hit the Kruger's End for the pin...
Leo Kruger and Kassius Ohno defeated Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel in 9:02.
Kruger and Ohno posed in the ropes towards the camera, as Kidd and Gabriel exited and the commentators told us that the main event is next... [C]
Gutt Check: That was more like it. After the endless and boring Uso/Ascension feud (which was not The Usos fault), this is a tag feud I could get behind. Kruger and Ohno are very well suited to each other, and while they still appear to be two singles guys, I'd like to see the team have a few months run together. And I am so amazed that no one on the main roster sees the value of Kidd and Gabriel as a team. They are SO exciting to watch (more so than Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio in my opinion), and neither of their singles careers are hot right now, so why not have them in the hunt for tag team gold?
[Q4] JR joined commentary in Dawson's place as Corey Graves walked down the ramp. Rollins entered to no music, and without Ambrose and Reigns. The crowd met him with silence, seeming not to know how to react. Maybe he hasn't turned them all on him after all. Byron Saxton did the in ring introductions and the match got underway...
4. Seth Rollins vs. Corey Graves for the NXT Title.JR asked if Rollins’ agenda with The Shield has taken precedence over his title reign. Regal said The Shield should have Rollins title on their agenda, as they shouldn't want to lose a championship. JR countered by saying Rollins may not be entirely focussed on the match regardless, and that could lead to him losing. Graves tried for quick pins early on, but after starting to work over Rollins’ leg, Rollins took control with a running dropkick
After a few rest holds, both men started throwing punches, and Graves won. He went to work back on the leg, only for Rollins hit an enziguri. Rollins backed to the corner, and came charging out, but Graves countered with a low chop block. He looked to lock in the 13th Step, but as he set it in, Ambrose and Reigns stormed the ring to cause the disqualification...
Corey Graves defeated Seth Rollins via DQ in 4:42.
The Shield began to beat down Graves as Dusty walked onto the stage and motioned for help. NXT rookies started to flood the ring, but The Shield threw most of them out quickly. Kidd, Gabriel and Dallas held in a little longer, but soon got taken out, with Dallas receiving the triple powerbomb.
Dusty looked downbeat until Big E Langston's music hit to a big pop. He walked down to the ring, and as he entered, The Shield exited it. Dusty booked an NXT title match for next week, with Rollins taking on Big E. The crowd started the five chant as Regal said seven days couldn't pass quickly enough, and JR signed off for the show...
Gutt Check: A big, big week for NXT, and that may have been the best episode yet. While light on quality in-ring action (with the exception of the good tag match), the opening and closing segments felt important, and not just in the isolated world of NXT, but in WWE as a whole. That was a main event segment featuring two big storyline elements from Raw coming head to head, and promising more for next week.
NXT has never felt more relevant, and although I know the outcome (as well as being acutely aware that nothing on NXT will effect main roster storylines), I can't wait to see next week’s main event. Go out of your way to see this NXT, if only for the bizarre fact that arguably two of the hottest things on WWE TV are colliding on the fourth biggest show.
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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