Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Bo Dallas vs. Conor O'Brian vs. Corey Graves to become No. 1 Contender to the NXT Title, Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger, Aksana vs. Emma
By Darren Gutteridge
Aired Feb. 28 WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on Feb. 1 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, Bo Dallas was talking to Dusty Rhodes, and Rhodes was complimenting Dallas on getting into the Royal Rumble. Corey Graves walked in and asked why Bo was there. Dusty asked him if he had bought the NXT title he had stole last week. Graves had, and Dusty took it from him and said tonight, there will be a triple threat between Graves, Dallas and Conor O’Brian to determine the next #1 contender. Graves said the will teach both men the meaning of ‘stay down’ tonight, before leaving...
After titles, Justin Gabriel walked out with Tyson Kidd. Tony Dawson and William Regal talked about last weeks attack on Kidd by Leo Kruger as Kruger walked to the ring...
1. Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger. Gabriel actually slowed the action early on with several headlocks. He built up to a head scissors out of the corner after a quick Kruger come back, before dropkicking Kruger to the outside before commercial... [C]
[Q2] Kruger managed to gain control with a big spinebuster shortly after the break. He threw Gabriel into the ring post and began to work on Gabriel’s left arm. Gabriel quickly escaped and started to land kicks to a kneeling Kruger, but Leo regained control by attacking Gabriel’s left arm again. After a long period of punishment, Gabriel managed to throw Kruger off with a headlock takeover, and started throwing kicks again. He hit a springboard crossbody for a close two count, and went top rope to attempt the 450 splash.
Kruger cut him off, and dragged his arm across the top rope. Kruger then hit a big clothesline for another close two count. Leo put Gabriel on the top rope, but Gabriel punched him to cause a break and then took him down with a sunset flip. He returned to the top rope, and hit the 450 splash for the 1-2-3...
Justin Gabriel defeated Leo Kruger in 11.40.
After the match, Gabriel started to celebrate, but got distracted when Kruger picked up a crutch. He used it to hit Gabriel through the ropes, and then stared at Kidd as he left...
Gutt Check: The match was a headlock-a-thon before the break, but it really picked up in quality in the second half. The crowd brought into all of the close falls, and the post match attack indicates this isn’t the end. A really good start to the show.
Renee Young once again introduced the ‘WWE World Tour Report’, where they advertised some matches for the upcoming UK tour in April. The Raw side is getting Punk vs. Cena, and Ryback & Team Hell No vs. The Shield, while Smackdown gets Sheamus vs. Mark Henry and Del Rio vs. Swagger. Such out there choices! . .
Aksana was already on the ramp when we cut back, ahead of her match with Emma, the bizarre dancing girl from Australia. Just when you thought you couldn’t get any more dancing gimmicks...
2. Aksana vs. Emma. Emma got thrown to the corner, and then climbed to the apron. She kind of fell off on purpose. When Aksana came to get her, she dropped Aksana head first across the top rope to take advantage. Aksana came back by dropping Emma face first into the bottom turnbuckle, and hit a series of powerslams for a two count.
After the two ladies stood up, Emma hit a few punches and took the action to the mat with headlocks. She got back up and looked to be going for a DDT, but as she danced, Aksana through her into the corner and hit a spinebuster when Emma came charging out for the win...
Aksana defeated Emma in 4.35.
The commentators threw it to Renee Young backstage, and she was stood in front of an unconscious Bo Dallas, who had refs and medical people checking on him. Renee said he was found like this, and she is unsure if he’ll be in the triple threat main event... [C]
Gutt Check: I’m guessing Emma’s trainer, Lance Storm, didn’t teach her the awful dancing gimmick. The match was just awkward. I know that’s intentional, but it wasn’t funny or interesting, it was just weird. Can I just say at this point also how funny I thought Storm’s “If I could be serious for a moment” line was back in the day.
[Q3] Only Corey Graves and Conor O’Brian came down for the match, making this a singles match...
3. Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian for the #1 Contendership for the NXT Title. O’Brian took early advantage with running shoulder blocks, followed by his rolling headlocks. After a quick “Don’t Try This at Home” video, Graves ended up on the outside, and O’Brian used the ring and apron as a weapon before throwing Graves back in the ring. Graves managed to slide back out, and gave O’Brian the run around before dropkicking O’Brian’s leg when he was in the ropes. Graves targeted the left leg with shots to the ring post and a series of leg locks... [C]
[Q4] Graves continued to target the leg, but O’Brian managed to get a foothold by throwing a few punches, and landing a big flapjack. Suddenly, the lights went out, and when they came back on, The Shield were attacking both men. The ref rang the bell...
Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian ended in a No Contest in 9.54.
The Shield hit both men with the triple powerbomb before throwing them out of the ring. Ambrose grabbed a mic and said this was a reminder that everyone should keep their guard up, because they can’t escape justice.
Rollins said this was just the beginning, as they are going to continue to right wrongs. He promised things would get better, but first they had to get worse. He told everyone to ask Cena, Sheamus and Ryback how bad things can get. Roman Reigns said they were always watching, and no one can escape their reach. He screamed “Believe in the Shield!” before the three men left, and NXT came to a close...
Gutt Check: See, my problem with submission orientated wrestlers these days is their apparent reliance on holds to wear down a body part. Instead of using moves that injure the body part and then throwing in a few holds, it seems to be all chop blocks and leg locks. That’s all the first part of the match was. I’m a big Jericho fan and I can’t remember him ever utilising a large amount of leg locks to wear someone down for the Walls of Jericho. So I can’t say the main event did anything for me, and I think the NXT crowd was with me, as they remained quiet throughout until the Shield attack.
The Shield attacking heels is interesting, and maybe this sets up a Rollins vs. Big E rematch for the NXT title. But that and the hot opening match couldn’t make up for a very mediocre show. A dull and pointless Divas match preceded a dull and pointless main event.
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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