1/16 Zim's WWE NXT Review: Adrian Neville (a/k/a PAC) debuts, Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd, Leo Kruger vs. Trent Barreta, Big E Langston defends the NXT Title
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired January 16 on Hulu Plus
Taped December 6, 2012 at Full Sail University
The show opened with a video package recapping Big E Langston's NXT Title victory over Seth Rolling and the Shield last week… The opening music video played… Tony Dawson welcomed viewers as the camera panned the crowd chanting "N-X-T!"
Sakamoto was already in the ring as Adrian Neville (f/k/a PAC) made his entrance to a very generic rock theme. William Regal spoke up about how eager he was for the debut of the "Jumping Geordie"…
Zim's Zag: Thanks to everyone who took the time and let me know that a Geordie is not a Cockney, as I mistakenly wrote last week. Good ol’ 'merican cultural ignorance.
1. Adrian Neville vs. Sakamoto. Neville hit a shoulder block and summersault over Sakamoto before using a nice running headscissors. As Neville went to follow up in the corner, Sakamoto channeled Great Muta and caught him with a throat thrust and forearms to the back. Neville worked his way up from a rear chinlock and fired back with two running elbow strikes. Sakamoto reversed a whip into the corner, but Neville went up and over Sakamoto and added a little extra handspring at the end. He followed up with a big enzuigiri and ascended the top rope. Neville nailed a picture-perfect corkscrew Shooting Star Press (formerly British Airways) for the win… [C]
Adrian Neville defeated Sakamoto in 3:30.
Zim's Zag: Good debut here for Neville. He got the chance to show off his look, let the crowd see his ring style briefly, and hit his finisher. That's a successful debut, IMO. I'm really glad they let him keep British Airways too, it's an astounding move that's never been seen in WWE before.
A camera panned the crowd going into Full Sail Studios as Scott Stamford threw back to the commentators…
Leo Kruger made his entrance and Kassius Ohno had joined on commentary for his tag team partners match. "I just wanted to come out here and sit next to my best mate William Regal... We go way back" he said. Trent Barreta came out next for what I assume will be one of his final televised matches.
Zim's Zag: ...Until he's revealed as the VP of Aces and Eights...
2. Leo Kruger vs. Trent Barreta. In a moment of strange editing, the announcers threw to a video package right as the bell sounded and the men locked up. It showed Kruger targeting the ribs of Barreta several weeks ago. When the clip ended, both men circled the ring and locked up again. Bizarre sequence.
Barreta was on offense early and hit a bridging Northern Lights suplex for a two before slowing things down with a side headlock. Kruger fought back by lunging his head into the mid-section and a running kitchen sink confirmed that Kruger was targeting Barreta’s ribs again. Ohno suggestively asked Regal if his ribs had ever been broken and Regal saw that as a threat. Back in the ring, Kruger dropped Barreta’s stomach across the top rope and then pulled Barreta down face first. Barreta kicked out of the pin attempt as the show went to break... [C]
Back from break, Kruger was laying in shoulder thrusts in the corner. He held Barreta over his shoulder and dropped down with a gutbuster, then applied a single-leg Liontamer. Barreta rolled it into a small package but Kruger kicked out at two and hit a clothesline and another gutbuster. Krueger went for an unsuccessful cover as the tension between Ohno and Regal continued to build on commentary.
Kruger went for a corner splash but Barreta got both boots up and stomped down across Kruger's chest. Barreta sprung off the middle rope with a big back elbow in the corner then climbed the turnbuckle and hit a missile dropkick for two. Barreta looked to finish it with the Dudebuster DDT but Kruger held the ropes and sent Barreta crashing down. He reapplied the single-leg Liontamer but Barreta made the rope break.
Kruger picked him up but Barreta hit a quick enzuigiri and sent Kruger tumbling through the ropes to the floor. Barreta went airborne with a big flip over the ropes to the outside and the announcers noted that Ohno had left the commentary table. Barreta threw Kruger back in the ring, which distracted the ref just long enough for Ohno to land the O.B.E. elbow and roll Barreta back in the ring. Kruger picked up the limp Barreta and finished him off with the Kruger End.
Leo Kruger defeated Trent Barreta in 9:00.
Regal left the commentary table and dragged Barreta out of the ring before further damage could be done. There appeared to be some discussion at ringside between two referees and ring announcer Byron Saxton. Saxton announced that the winner by reversed decision as a result of a DQ was Trent Barretta. Kruger threw a fit in the ring and Ohno stared menacingly at Regal... [C]
Trent Barreta defeated Leo Kruger by DQ via reversed decision.
Zim's Zag: Great match. A good story was told and the pacing was nice. Kruger showed an edge in the ring and his character is really impressing me. I was skeptical of the Ohno/Kruger pairing at first but they are a great menacing heel act together and I'm intrigued as to what will happen with William Regal. Not that it matters at this point, but Barreta was silk smooth as always in the ring. Here’s hoping he’ll be appearing with some big name indies sooner than later.
The new NXT Champion Big E Langston made his entrance to a reduced reaction this week. The steam X that shot up at the end of last week is apparently Big E's new 'pyro'. He took a mic but seemed blown up and delivered a promo with breaths in all the wrong places "As your... New... NXT Champion... You're about to see... A reign here... That you've never seen before... So I'd like to welcome you all... To the era... Of the five... Five... Five.." He continued, attempting to garner the usual "Five!" chant from the crowd. A handful reciprocated before Camacho's music interrupted.
Camacho said that Big E was too quick to forget that they had a beef to settle. At first, he said, it was just about the money. But now he wants what's around Big E's waste. A ref hit the ring, the bell sounded, and we had an impromptu title match.
Zim’s Zag: 1. Where’s the logic in Camacho making his own title shot? That’s why Dusty Rhodes is there and 2. They showed Langston squash Camacho in two minutes two weeks ago, so why does he deserve a rematch for the title?
3. Big E Langston vs. Camacho for the NXT Championship. Camacho got Langston backed in the corner and went to work with fists, kicks, and backhand chops which only angered the big man. Big E hit two clotheslines and called to the crowd before delivering five vicious knees to the gut of Camacho. He followed up with his running train attack, lowered the straps, and delivered the Big Ending for the win.
Big E Langston defeated Camacho in 2:00 to retain the NXT Championship.
After the bell rang, the champion's eyes lit up as the fans chanted "one more time!" Langston obliged by delivering his finisher again, and then self-counted the five count. The fans, quite contrary to his entrance, grew rabid with yet another "one more time!" chant. Big E grinned, and delivered the Big Ending one final time as the crowd counted along in unison "One! Two! Three! Four! Five!" Langston made his way back up the stage and his pyro shot again... [C]
Zim's Zag: I'm assuming that this was late in the tapings, as the fans just refused to get up for the entrance. Boy did they come to life for Big E's offense though, especially that 'five' gimmick. Camacho leaves something to be desired as the Tongan playing the stereotypical Mexican wrestler.
Damien Sandow made his entrance, microphone in hand, “I neither require or desire your admiration" he said.
Zim's Zag: "...Neither require nor desire." Does he have to be near-perfect to make the gimmick work or does it add heat to the character if he's not actually as smart as he thinks he is? I think the former.
He continued on with his usual Savior and Martyr shtick, concluding with "You're welcome." Antonio Cesaro came out next and Jim Ross introduced himself and William Regal for the main event. Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel made their entrance to the audible delight of several ladies in the crowd.
4. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel. Kidd out-maneuvered Sandow early and tagged in Gabriel, but Sandow scurried back to his corner and tagged in the US champ. Cesaro hit a rough forearm to take control before slamming Gabriel backwards into the mat. Gabriel came back with hurricanrana that sent Cesaro face first into the turnbuckle and a kick that sent him to the outside. Kidd hit a running kick from the apron and the show went to break as Cesaro regrouped with Sandow... [C]
Back from the break, Kidd held Sandow in position for Gabriel to hit a slingshot sunset flip for a two count. Sandow fought back with a forearm that rocked Gabriel back into the hostile corner. Cesaro tagged in and went to work until Gabriel reversed a hip toss by landing on his feet and went to the backslide for a one count. Cesaro regained control when Sandow distracted Gabriel from the apron. "You should pay attention" Sandow quipped.
He tagged in and hit the Russian leg sweep into the Elbow of Disdain for two. Cesaro tagged back in and hit a standing double stomp. He took out Kidd on the apron and hit his deadlift gutwrench suplex on Gabriel. Kidd broke up the pinfall, much to the dismay of Sandow who yelled "we have rules!" Gabriel dropped down with the jawbreaker, opening the door for both men to tag their partners.
The fresh Kidd hung onto the rope and hit a high kick on Sandow followed by a big springboard missile dropkick. He continued with kicks on Sandow, finishing with a running dropkick. He looked to apply the Dungeon Lock but Cesaro entered the ring. Kidd tossed him out but Sandow used an O'Conner roll only to have Kidd roll through. Kidd hit an enzuigiri and made the tag before taking out Cesaro with a dive to the outside. Gabriel hit an STO and quickly tagged Kidd back in. Gabriel hit a high springboard moonsault and Kidd followed closely with a springboard elbow drop for the win.
Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel defeated Damien Sandow and Antonio Cesaro in 8:00.
Zim's Zag: Fun tag team match to end the show with a bit of a surprise victory. I like the teamwork of Kidd and Gabriel, it's just unfortunate that this is one of that last Tyson Kidd matches we'll get for a while. The heels worked slow, but Cesaro looked strong and Sandow was entertaining as usual.
Overall, this week’s was a very entertaining show. Last week was newsworthy for the title change but featured weaker matches. This week was heavy on solid in-ring action with stories being told. Adrian Neville has a great look and was impressive, the NXT Champion showed his dominance, and two very good matches went close to ten minutes each. It seemed strange that we saw Tyson Kidd and Trent Barreta the week that they both made headlines for unfortunate reasons, but that's hardly a complaint about this show. Worth watching this week if you have access to the show.
Throw any comments, criticisms, questions, or corrections @zzimm22
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