2/7 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Semifinals of the NXT Tag Title Tournament, Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey vs. Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger, Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty vs. The Wyatt Family
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 1/10 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, Tony Dawson narrated a video package highlighting the four remaining teams in the NXT Tag Team Tournament, announcing the semi finals will happen tonight...
After titles, Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger entered the arena for their semi final match against Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey...
1. Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey vs. Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger in the Semi Finals of the NXT Tag Team Title Tournament. No team really gained a position of power until Grey and Neville began to isolate Ohno, working on his left arm. After a few minutes, Ohno managed to tag Kruger, who stomped on a grounded Grey and started hitting him with double axe handles before we cut to commercial... [C]
[Q2] Ohno had Grey on the mat in a headlock when we returned. The heels targeted Grey’s back, with both Ohno and Kruger locking him in abdominal stretches. Grey made several attempts to tag in Neville, but was stopped by Ohno each time. Kruger kept Grey isolated when he tagged in, but was caught out when Grey dodged a clothesline in the corner. This allowed Grey to tag out.
Neville immediately picked the pace up against Ohno with running clotheslines and forearms. He took Kruger off of the apron, and tried to charge at Ohno again, but Ohno hit him with a big boot to send him to the outside.
Kruger followed Neville, and started shouting at Regal. He grabbed Neville’s mouth guard, and threw it at Regal, saying ‘this is your fault’. The distraction allowed Neville to regroup, get back in the ring, and hit Ohno with a splash over the ropes. He threw Ohno back inside, and after Grey took Kruger off the apron, he hit Ohno with the corkscrew Shooting Star Press for the pinfall...
Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey defeated Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger in 17:10 to advance to the NXT Tag Team Titles Tournament Final.
They showed several replays of Neville’s finisher, before Dawson introduced a replay of last week’s altercation between Paige and Summer Rae...
Backstage, Renee Young introduced Summer Rae as her guest. She asked Rae why she attacked Paige. Summer bemoaned her job of introducing matches, claiming she was the prettiest diva, and Paige was ‘ghastly’, yet she’s the only Diva people talk about. So she took matters in her own hands, and it felt good. She said ‘Summer’s school is always in session’...
Gutt Check: I’m very impressed with how long they afforded the opening match. All of the four guys were given time to work their styles, and it made for a solid to good match. Obviously, the excitement lulled when the heels dominated in the middle, but Ohno and Kruger played their part well, and Grey’s constant attempts to tag Neville kept things from really bogging down. And every move in Neville’s arsenal is like an updated version of the original.
Mike Dalton, looking like an unwashed and unshaved Dolph Ziggler, stood in the ring, awaiting his opponent. And joy of joys, its Conor O’Brian, now called ‘The Ascension’...
2. Conor O’Brian vs. Mike Dalton. Dalton tried to hit O’Brian with quick kicks, but O’Brian shrugged with off and sent Dalton loopy with a few punches. After hitting a big flapjack, O’Brian but Dalton away with a leg drop to the back of the head, dubbed ‘The Fall of Man’...
Conor O’Brian defeated Mike Dalton in 1:06.
O’Brian called for the ref to give him a five count, eventually doing it himself before beating his chest like Big E Langston. Big E’s music soon hit, and he got in the ring with O’Brian. After a quick stare down, Big E picked up Dalton and dropped him with the Big End, before exiting the ring and leaving...
Paige and Dusty were shown backstage arguing, with Paige demanding a match with Summer Rae for next week. She promised to rip Rae’s lips off, and said there would be no NXT next week if she didn’t get her way. Dusty agreed, and as Paige left, she bumped into Sasha, shouting at her before leaving.
Dusty congratulated Sasha on her win, and then gave her another secret admirer letter. She read it aloud, and the admirer said there would be a PDA about her for Valentine’s Day next week... [C]
Gutt Check: Can someone remind me what a PDA is? Anyway, O’Brian worked a quicker pace than I am used to, and he looked crisp and clean in his squash match, but I don’t hold out hope for his match with Big E, who he can’t throw around as he did Dalton. And I thought Dolph bringing back the sleeper hold has far too old school, little did I know that O’Brian would bring back the running leg drop as well.
[Q3] Dawson introduced a video package highlighting the NXT tournament held prior to the Royal Rumble, which allowed Bo Dallas to enter the Rumble. It was more extensive than previous highlights, not only showing footage from all the matches, but also featuring quick interviews with some of the wrestlers...
Backstage, Dallas was shown preparing for his match, when Bray Wyatt walked up to him. He congratulated Bo, but said his 15 minutes of fame were up. Dallas said it was really cool that he got to beat Luke Harper on his way to winning the tournament, and he looked forward to doing the same tonight. He said this wasn’t the end of his 15 minutes, but the end of the Wyatt family. Bo left, and Wyatt laughed him off... [C]
Gutt Check: A really nice video package, but one I can’t help feel would have been better off being played last week when the Rumble was fresh in the memory. This show was taped before the Rumble, so slotting it in last week wouldn’t have been hard (if given enough time to edit it together). The interaction between Wyatt and Dallas was good, as both brought intensity to what they said. I could also finally see the family connection when both of them smiled at the same time. I guess one isn’t adopted after all.
[Q4] Dallas and Michael McGillicutty entered first, followed quickly by the Wyatt family...
3. Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The heels began to isolate Dallas when we cut to an Elimination Chamber advert...
Rowan stalled too long while he had Dallas down, which allowed Bo to recover, slip out of a powerslam, and tag McGillicutty. McGillicutty came in hot with clotheslines, which the crowd met with enthusiastic ‘Sha!’ chants, before dropping Rowan with a Saito suplex. He tried to run the ropes again, but Wyatt tripped him. The ref spotted Wyatt, and slid out of the ring to send him to the back. Wyatt stalled, distracting the ref when McGillicutty had Rowan rolled up for a pin, which allowed Harper to run in and hit McGillicutty with a discus clothesline. The ref slid back in to count the 1-2-3...
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty in 4:07 to advance to the NXT Tag Team Titles Tournament Finals.
After the match, Wyatt rolled in the ring, and offered Dallas a handshake. He said ‘join us’, and Dallas slapped his hand away, returning to check on McGillicutty. Wyatt rolled out, and told Rowan and Harper to attack. They went to either side of the ring, and distracted Dallas long enough for Wyatt to get back in the ring and hit him with a body check from behind.
Wyatt began to dance with Dallas, before dropping him with a swinging reverse STO. Wyatt shouted ‘this is only the beginning!’, and Regal questioned what Wyatt meant by that as NXT went off the air...
Gutt Check: I think a lot of that match may have been cut to accommodate the Royal Rumble video package (which I guess is why we also didn’t see the Xavier Woods vs. El Local match they announced last week), so the quality was severely down on the opening match, but the after match shenanigans made up for it slightly. I’d like to see a feud between the two brothers, building to match between the returning Wyatt and a departing for the main roster Dallas. I’m just happy to see Wyatt back in wrestling shape following his surgery, as he was giving Lanny Poffo a run for the coveted distinction of ‘longest time spent under a contract without wrestling’.
Two of the three matches disappointed, and the build for Big E’s title defence against O’Brian next week continued to be weak, but the opening match lived up to it’s long running time, and they set the stage nicely for the finals of the NXT tournament. Some mic time for Neville, Grey and Wyatt hopefully comes next week for the final push. The only other real highlight was the extended video package on the Royal Rumble tournament. Check out the opening match, but feel free to skip the rest.
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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