2/14 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey vs. The Wyatt Family to crown the 1st NXT Tag Team Champions, Paige vs. Summer Rae, Alex Riley vs. Corey Graves
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 2/1 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, a narrated video package recapped the NXT Tag Team Title Tournament so far, leading to tonight’s final...
After titles, Mike Dalton made his entrance. He looks more like Dolph Ziggler than Dolph’s brother, Briley Pierce, does. As Axl Keegan made his was out to the ring, Paige ran down the ramp, and slid into the ring trying to get to Summer Rae, who was on ring announcing duties. Summer slid out and ran to the back, and Paige grabbed the mic.
She said she wasn’t leaving until Summer Rae came back out. As Axl tried to make her leave, she slapped him and told him to leave her ring. Keegan and Dalton obliged. Manly. Dusty Rhodes came out and said NXT doesn’t revolve around her, before telling Paige to leave. Summer Rae walked onto the stage and said NXT was about her now. Paige ran up the ramp, and Dusty had to get between the two ladies before they were pulled apart by refs. The crowd chanted ‘Let them fight’ before we cut to a tease for the NXT Tag Team Titles Tournament Finals... [C]
Gutt Check: I knew something was up when NXT’s JOB Squad walked out. And they were right to run from the 100lbs Diva that was yelling at them, it didn’t emasculate them at all. Good fire from Paige, and as the crowd reaction showed, it is the right time to go with a spotlighted Divas feud. I would just like to see Summer do something in-ring first while avoiding Paige for as long as possible.
[Q2] Backstage, a doctor was shown massaging Paige’s left shoulder. Tony Dawson questioned if she would be ready to compete against Summer Rae tonight...
Back in the arena, Alex Riley made his entrance to a decent pop. It really shows how far he has fallen down the ladder that his opponent, Corey Graves, is by far the favourite here, despite being an NXT “rookie”...
1. Alex Riley vs. Corey Graves. The ring canvas is black tonight. Are we getting a wrestling funeral? Riley was very aggressive out of the gate, leading Graves to feign begging for mercy. Graves caught a break when he kicked Riley in the face while Riley was trying for a backdrop, and Graves started to ground and pound. Riley seemed to be nearly out after a half nelson chin lock, but he rallied by reversing a vertical suplex into one of his own.
Riley hit a spinebuster, and sent Graves into the corner, Riley charged, but Graves caught him with a kick, and followed it up with a low chop block. Graves had to have several attempts to apply the 13th Step, but he eventually set it in, and Riley tapped quickly...
Corey Graves defeated Alex Riley in 5:10.
Backstage, Paige was shown having her shoulder tapped, and Dawson said her match with Summer Rae will go ahead...
Gutt Check: While not exactly thrilling, the match told a good story. Riley was out for revenge, so hit the gas early, but Graves essentially outsmarted him, focussing on Riley’s knees before applying the 13th Step. A solid start to the in-ring action.
The Elimination Chamber hype video, focussing on the Chamber itself and the rules that go with the match, aired...
Summer Rae came out for her NXT debut. She is very reminiscent of Maryse, which ought to please a large percentage of Dot Net readers. Paige walked down, favouring her shoulder...
2. Paige vs. Summer Rae. Paige flew out of the gate with a Thez Press. Rae kicked her taped shoulder, and then began to target the injury. Paige escaped an arm scissors, and landed a kick to Rae’s midsection. After Paige threw her across the ring by her hair, Rae slid to the outside. When Paige grabbed her, Rae pulled her arm against the rope, before sliding back in and landing a roundhouse kick. This lead to the upset victory...
Summer Rae defeated Paige in 2:01.
Rae flaunted around the ring before we cut backstage to Sasha Banks. A lady handed her another love letter. The message inside boiled down to “you’ll have to wait until next week”. Sasha said she couldn’t wait. OH THE TENSION! . . [C]
Gutt Check: So much for the Public Display of Affection (thanks to Zim for the translation from last week) we got promised. I’ll get over it. I don’t know what it was, but there was a spark of “something” about Summer Rae. I can’t begin to tell you her level of in-ring skill, but hopefully this feud rolls on so these two can work together more.
[Q3] Dawson teased Big E Langston vs. Conor O’Brian for the NXT Title next week (O’Brian was described as “the last remaining member of the Ascension”), as well as an exclusive post-op interview from Tyson Kidd. Good hooks...
Dusty Rhodes stood in the ring with one of the two Tag Team Title belts, before Byron Saxton introduced Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey. After they got in the ring, the Wyatt family entered, with Bray Wyatt on the mic. He called Grey and Neville “the underdogs”, and called his family “monsters” and “unbeatable”. He said the world wants to see Rowan and Harper destroy them, and “the world will get what the world wants”...
3. Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in the NXT Tag Team Titles Tournament. Harper ended up on the outside after less than a minute, and Grey hit him with a crossbody through the ropes. We cut to a tour commercial...
Grey and Neville had Rowan isolated in their corner when we returned, working on his left arm. Even when the heels caught a break, Grey and Neville soon regained control. Harper finally managed to stop the dominance when he placed Grey on the apron, and while he distracted the ref, Wyatt swept Grey’s legs and made him land face first on the apron. Dusty saw this, and sent Wyatt to the back as we cut to commercial... [C]
[Q4] Grey was lying on the heels turnbuckle, being clubbed by both Rowan and Harper when we came back. The Wyatt family slowed the pace, applying a series of holds, culminating in a swinging bearhug from Rowan. Grey escaped, but Rowan threw him to Harper’s corner. Harper tagged in, but Grey managed to dodge a series of elbow drops to tag Neville.
As usual, Neville picked the pace up, hitting a series of clotheslines and dropkicks, before dropping Harper with a tilt-a-whirl DDT. After Harper kicked out at two, Neville landed a kick from the apron, and went for a springboard move, but Harper met him with a big boot. Grey was forced to break up the subsequent pin, and Rowan threw him out of the ring. Harper looked to finish Neville off with the discus clothesline, but Neville ducked and Harper hit Rowan instead. Neville took advantage by hitting an Enziguri, followed by the corkscrew Shooting Star Press for the 1-2-3...
Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey defeated Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in 13:10 to become the first NXT Tag Team Champions.
Grey and Neville went crazy in the ring as Regal said he had ‘never been prouder to be British”. We held the Olympics last year, England beat Brazil in a football match last week, but apparently this is the pinnacle. Tony Dawson got in the ring to ask how they felt.
Grey shouted “Yo Adrian, we did it!”. Neville shouted ‘First time ever champions!” before hugging Grey. Grey thanked the crowd, and Neville once again said they were the first ever champions. Regal talked over the ending of the match, and he and Dawson praised both men as they left up the ramp to close the show...
Gutt Check: While not the barn burner I hoped for, this was an entertaining main event. Grey and Neville got in more offense than I expected, and Rowan and Harper looked dominant in their stints on offence. And in the end, the right team won. Although only a new team, I like the dynamic between my fellow Brits. A high flyer teamed with a grounded guy has always worked well. Hopefully the coming weeks will see Grey given more time to show off his in-ring ability, as he has so far been the guy to take all the punishment before Neville tags in to win with his flashy moves.
A much better NXT than last week’s effort. All three matches brought something to the show, and they advertised a lot for next week too. Things are starting to show the signs of progression that were present a few months ago on the show, before it went off the rails slightly over the New Year period.
Thanks for reading this article, written by a newly graduated Journalist. It hasn’t gone to my head, I assure you. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this review, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg
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