2/21 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Big E Langston vs. Conor O'Brian, Bray Wyatt vs. Yoshi Tatsu, El Local vs. Xavier Woods, Tyson Kidd interview, Audrey Marie vs. Sasha Banks
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 2/1 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, a highlight package of last week’s NXT Tag Team Titles Tournament final aired...
After titles, Yoshi Tatsu’s music hit to little response as Tom Phillips checked in on commentary alongside William Regal. Just as I had got used to Tony Dawson, they replace him as they did Byron Saxton. Bray Wyatt entered with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan...
1. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Bray Wyatt. Tatsu tried to wear down Wyatt with chops, but Bray threw him into the ropes and hit a giant one armed side slam on the rebound. Bray stalked around the ring shouting things at the crowd before taking Tatsu to the corner and hitting him with wild punches. Wyatt hit a big splash in the corner, and followed it up with the swinging reverse STO for the 1-2-3...
Bray Wyatt defeated Yoshi Tatsu in 1:37.
After the match, Wyatt threw Tatsu out of the ring and told Rowan and Harper to climb in. He asked for a replay of the end of last week’s Tag Team Tournament Final to be played.
When it finished, Wyatt said “you really let me down boys. How could you after all I did for you”. Wyatt told Rowan that Harper was his brother, but he was the reason that they lost last week. He told Rowan to hit Harper, which he did by slapping him across the face.
Wyatt stopped Harper from retaliating, and then said Harper’s back must be sore from carrying Rowan all these years, and hold Luke to hit him. Harper hit Rowan in a similar fashion to the first slap, and the two began to brawl. Wyatt let them fight for a while before telling them to split. He said he hoped they didn’t like the taste of defeat, and said they would never taste it again. Wyatt smiled and led Harper and Rowan to the back as the fans chanted “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!”...
Renee Young was stood backstage with Sasha Banks. Renee asked how Banks felt about getting to learn the identity of her secret admirer tonight. She said she couldn’t wait, and then got handed another note. It said “here comes the big surprise”, and she was attacked from behind by another woman.
The mystery woman turned out to be Audrey Marie, and she said she had been out injured, and was disgusted that Banks had replaced her. She told Banks to get out of NXT, “with love from your secret admirer”... [C]
Gutt Check: Dull payoff to a dull storyline, go figure. The opening match was three moves in all, so there is nothing to analyse, but this was another solid segment from Wyatt. Their response to last weeks defeat felt natural, and continues the “cult” mentality, with Wyatt firmly in charge of his “family”. Hopefully Wyatt’s return to in-ring condition will allow for more storylines with him involved directly instead of from the sidelines.
[Q2] After a Wrestlemania advert, El Local came out. Finally, after two years, I get to see Ricardo Rodriguez wrestle a legit match. Guess we will get to see the El Local vs. Xavier Woods match promised two weeks ago after all...
2. Xavier Woods vs. El Local. Phillips called El Local “portly”, and said he didn’t expect him to fly around like normal Lucha stars. Has he not seen Elgin vs. Steen? They jumped all over the place and neither are what I would call “slim”. Local dominated the early going by keeping Woods down with a combination of quick kicks and headlocks.
Woods eventually caught a break with a head scissors, and scored a two count off a dropkick. He went to the top rope, and after fighting off El Local, he hit a tornado DDT to score the pinfall...
Xavier Woods defeated El Local in 4:39.
Woods posed in the ring for a while before we once again went backstage to Renee Young. She was interviewing Paige’s doctor. The doctor said they had run some tests on Paige’s shoulder, and she should be back soon...
Gutt Check And thus ends the single dullest backstage interview ever. That could have been done by the commentators. Anyway, El Local hit a few nice kicks, but on this evidence it seems Ricardo Rodriguez didn’t get hired for his in-ring prowess. Don’t worry RicRod, you make up for it in many ways. Woods wasn’t his usual exciting best either, which is a shame as I was looking forward to this match. An off night for both.
Audrey Marie came out, and the crowd didn’t seem to know how to react. Sasha stormed to the ring...
3. Sasha Banks vs. Audrey Marie. Marie took control of the match early on with a double arm stretch, but Banks came back with a head scissors. After hitting a couple of clotheslines and a dropkick, Banks ran into a wheelbarrow position, but Marie out-powered her, turning the move into a wheelbarrow slam, which Phillips dubbed the Photo Finish. This led to the pin...
Audrey Marie defeated Sasha Banks in 2:07.
Immediately after the match, we went backstage to Renee Young, who this time was interviewing Summer Rae. Renee said Paige’s shoulder was badly damaged. Summer cut her off and said Paige asked for the match last week, and got what she deserved. She said now Paige is gone, she can focus on being the top Diva on NXT, and told Renee to refer to her only as “The First Lady of NXT”... [C]
Gutt Check: Another short, boring match. I wouldn’t mind if they were using the excess time to build interesting storylines, but outside of the Wyatt stuff, it’s been dull Diva filler. I appreciate the effort put forward for the ladies, but they are essentially doing two “I want to be the top dog” storylines at the same time.
[Q3] A “WWE World Tour Report” aired. Renee Young pimped the upcoming UK tour in April. Smackdown is rolling through Birmingham this year after we got the two TV tapings in November. I want to go merely to keep my attendance streak alive (haven’t missed a show since my first in 2004), but it being a Smackdown show has dampened my enthusiasm. I wonder what they cut from the American version of NXT to show us this? . .
Tony Dawson stood in the ring and introduced Tyson Kidd. Kidd came out on crutches, with his right leg heavily strapped up. Dawson asked how he injured himself. He said he performed a dive and tore all the ligaments in his knee. He begged to wrestle the next night, and may have injured the knee further in doing so. He said regardless of how long he is out, he will be back.
Dawson asked how he felt about CM Punk’s “workhorse” comment from Raw a few months ago. Kidd said he really appreciated the compliment, and said since he began he has gone out of his way to be the best he could be every night.
Leo Kruger’s music played, and he said he will end Tyson’s career. He called Kidd a “wounded animal” as he slid in the ring and pushed Dawson aside. Kruger pushed Kidd into the corner, but as he grabbed a crutch, Justin Gabriel ran down to make the save. Kruger slid out of the ring and Gabriel shouted at him before attending to Kidd...
Conor O’Brian and Big E Langston were shown walking to the ring backstage...
Gutt Check: Although this should have been from the heart, Kidd sounded scripted, but that may just be the way he sounds naturally. He’s never been a natural on the mic, but I hope he comes back as strong in the ring as he was before the injury, as his in-ring work had started to pick up again after a long slump where he always seemed to be going through the motions. I was expecting Regal to get involved on Kidd’s behalf, but Gabriel’s run in may indicate that Kruger’s time as Kassius Ohno’s partner is over and the two will now go back to their singles career feuds.
Conor O’Brian’s entrance is now not just reminiscent of Undertaker’s entrance, it’s a cheap knock off of it. Big E came out to a babyface pop, which is strange as he had appeared on Raw as a heel by the time this was taped...
4. Big E Langston vs. Conor O’Brian. Phillips dubbed this a “special challenge” match, not an NXT title match. The two squared up several times early on, and seemed evenly matched before Big E clotheslined O’Brian over the top rope before the break... [C]
[Q4] O’Brian took control by shoving Big E into the ring post when we returned. O’Brian started throwing bombs, and after wearing Big E down with a one arm crossface, he hit a full nelson slam for a two count. Big E escaped a second one arm crossface, and hit a running body check. The two traded punches, and after momentum shifted a few times, they got in a collar-and-elbow tie up with the ref stuck between them. When the ref escaped, he called for the bell...
Big E Langston vs. Conor O’Brian ended in a Double DQ in 7:59.
Big E threw O’Brian out of the ring, and posed with the title before he was attacked from behind by Corey Graves. Graves grabbed the title and ran to the backstage as Big E gave chase and NXT came to a close...
Gutt Check: To top it all off this episode, we get a no contest in the main event. The match was actually OK until the finish, as they played it up as two big guys trying to out muscle each other, but the ending was awful. A DQ because they wouldn’t break the collar-and-elbow? Ridiculously weak.
Quite a bad episode of NXT this week. It peaked with Wyatt’s opening segment, and was all downhill from there. None of the matches will live long in the memory, and neither will the backstage stuff. The show seems to be quite keen to highlight their Divas, but they haven’t thought of a good storyline for any of them yet. And unlike last week, they haven’t advertised anything for next week. Feel free to skip this episode.
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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