Zim’s WWE NXT Review: Bo Dallas vs. Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian to determine No.1 Contender, Leo Kruger vs. Yoshi Tatsu, Six-Diva tag, Adrian Neville in action, and Kassius Ohno reveals what’s ailing him
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired March 6, 2013 NXT on Hulu Plus
Taped February 21 at Full Sail University
Dusty Rhodes’ theme played and he walked out onto the stage. He welcomed fans and said that he booked a main event for tonight’s show: Bo Dallas vs. Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian for the number one contendership, no disqualifications. He also said that he’s bulked up security in the NXT arena to keep the Shield out. “Let’s get this party started” Dusty closed.… The opening theme played…
Adrian Neville came to the ring solo, looking bothered as Byron Saxton introduced the NXT Tag Team Champions. In the ring already were the tag team of Judas Devlin and Scott Dawson. Judas wore half-tights/half-trunks and has a full body tattoo. Very interesting look. Neville took a mic and said “Okay, this is a little bit weird. I don’t know where Oliver Grey is…” He explained that they arrived to the arena and warmed up together, but then Grey uncharacteristically disappeared. He said that he realizes they’re scheduled to have a match, so he’s going to go at it alone.
1. NXT Tag Team Champion Adrian Neville vs. Judas Devlin and Scott Dawson in a handicap match. Neville reversed an arm wrench with some fancy footwork, then hit his up-and-over handspring spot and took Dawson down with an armdrag. Dawson pushed back to his corner and tagged in Judas, who quickly ate a high jumping heel kick from Neville. Dawson tagged back in and the heels used their numbers advantage to take control. The commentators mentioned that Judas has over 500 hours of tattoo work on his body, as he settled into a chinlock on Neville.
Bray Wyatt walked onto the stage with the other NXT Tag Team Title in his hand. Behind him, Harper and Rowan dragged a limp Oliver Grey to the top of the ramp. Wyatt calmly laid the belt over Grey and strolled to the back. In the ring, Neville began to panic and fought back. He slid out of the ring toward the ramp but Dawson cut him off and threw him back into the ring. Dawson tagged himself in and lifted Neville onto the top rope. Neville knocked Dawson down to the mat and kicked Judas off the apron. He landed the corkscrew Shooting Star and got the pinfall.
Adrian Neville defeated Scott Dawson and Judas Devlin in 3:15.
Neville immediately left the ring to aid Grey. He knelt over him and called for more refs to come help. As the camera zoomed in, one of Grey’s eyes appeared swollen shut and his lip was cut...
Zim’s Zag: Standard fare match with Neville hitting all of his usual spots and nothing new. I like the twist with the Wyatt Family taking out Grey because it gives heat to a feud that would otherwise only be over the titles. It was very convincingly done as well; everyone continues to play their part nicely.
Backstage, Kassius Ohno (with a much shorter beard) was looking at William Regal’s profile on the WWE App. Renee Young approached him and started “Kass-i-us,”. He quickly cut her off, “Kash-us,” he corrected, “don’t ever make that mistake again.” She asked why he’s looking at William Regal on his phone. He explained that his subconscious is infected with thoughts of William Regal. He said that every time he’s in the ring, he sees Regal sitting and watching in a cloud of judgment. “I’ve watched the man I admired, a great villain, try to become a hero.” He said that he took out the last guy who tried to be a hero, Richie Steamboat, to send Regal a message. He said that next week, he’s scheduled to face Derrick Bateman. He promised to crush Bateman and tear him apart, with the hope that William Regal will get the message…
Zim’s Zag: Great stuff from Ohno here. He’s been absent from the show the last few weeks and the story with Regal appeared to take a back seat. I hope they pick up the pace here because this was a great promo in what could be a fantastic program.
Somewhere backstage, Conor O’Brian’s lighting was in effect and he stood by some metal trussing. He told Dallas and Graves that they got lucky last week, and there would be no Shield this week to protect them. “The two of you, the heroes-to-be, will fall. And I will rise.”…[C]
Corey Graves stood in a littered backstage area and said that he had the number one contendership in his fingers before the Shield attacked. He said that he didn’t have an issue with O’Brian until O’Brian jumped in front of him for an NXT Title shot. He said that Bo was lucky that the Shield got to him before Graves could. He promised them both that unlike the Shield, when he puts them down; they’ll “Stay Down.”…
Back at ringside, Regal was perturbed at what Ohno had said and got quiet as Yoshi Tatsu made his entrance. Leo Kruger’s theme played and he appeared crouched at the top of the ramp, before heading to the ring.
2. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Leo Kruger. Kruger backed Tatsu into the corner and commended him on not flinching when he feigned a punch. Tatsu quickly reversed Kruger into the corner and Kruger ducked and covered. Funny. Tatsu hit a series of atomic drops, but Kruger begged off and took control with a thrust to the throat. Kruger repeatedly drove Tatsu’s shoulder into the turnbuckle and took him down with a hammerlock snapmare into a grounded submission. Great looking series of moves to work the arm. Kruger continued with a unique standing armbreaker and followed up with his cricket bowler lariat. He locked in a mounted top wristlock (Nigel McGuinness’s London Dungeon) and Tatsu tapped out.
Leo Kruger beat Yoshi Tatsu in 3:00.
Zim’s Zag: Kruger looked awesome in this one. He focused on a body part and used innovative offense to wear it down. Short, sweet, entertaining, and to the point.
A replay aired of the lariat and the submission. When it ended, Kruger locked the hold back on until Justin Gabriel made the save. He cleared Kruger from the ring and Regal continued to play up that the two have had a life-long rivalry…[C]
Back from break, Sasha Banks made her entrance for a 6-Diva tag match. She was followed by the Funkadactyls who handed out pompoms did a full dance routine. The heel trio of Alicia Fox, Aksana, and Audrey Marie came out together.
3. Cameron, Naomi, and Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox, Aksana, and Audrey Marie. Sasha and Alicia started out and Sasha hit a good headscissors and a dropkick. Alicia quickly tagged Aksana who took another dropkick from Banks. Cameron tagged in and hit a wheelbarrow armdrag, but stopped to dance, allowing Aksana to take control. Tony Dawson asked what kind of competitor stops fighting to dance.
Zim’s Zag: The same competitor who’s favorite wrestling match was Melina vs. Alicia Fox?
Aksana whipped Cameron into the corner and did the seductive crawl. Cameron kicked her in the face and dove off the second rope with a crossbody, but couldn’t get the pinfall nor make the tag. Aksana dragged her across the ring and tagged in Alicia Fox. Regal credited Fox with having the best bridge in wrestling and just then, she hit a perfect Northern Lights suplex for a two-count. Audrey Marie tagged in and applied a bodyscissors which Regal dryly quipped was one of the most dreaded submission moves of the 1900’s. Funny.
Cameron was able to reach her corner after an O’Connor Roll and tagged in Naomi. Naomi sent Audrey into the ropes and jumped up with a high hip attack. Naomi hit the ropes and took Audrey down with a front-flip clothesline. She took out both heels on the apron with a single dropkick and hit a back leg lariat on Audrey, but Aksana broke up the pinfall attempt. Naomi got Aksana out of the ring and hit another back leg lariat and pinned Audrey for the win.
The Funkadactyls and Sasha Banks defeated Audrey Marie, Aksana, and Alicia Fox in 4:00.
Zim’s Zag: Surprisingly good action from the Divas here, aside from the repetitive finish. Naomi and Sasha really shined and continue to give hope for a solid female division at some point.
Backstage, Tom Phillips introduced Bo Dallas who walked in with his stuck-on smile, despite the fact that he was jumped from behind and laid out last week. Phillips asked what he thought about having another opportunity tonight. Dallas smiled more and mentioned being in the rumble, eliminating Barrett, and beating Barrett the next night. He said that Graves and O’Brian may think its luck. Just then, Bray Wyatt walked onto the set. Wyatt said luck was exactly what it was. He reminded Dallas that he knocked Dallas out for refusing to join The Family. He said that they could’ve protected Dallas from the Shield with no luck needed. “Stay away from me.” Dallas ordered, while Wyatt just laughed. “What a foolish young man, wouldn’t you say? Hm.” Wyatt said after Dallas left…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Dallas should really consider joining the Wyatt Family at this point. His semi-existent character is floundering and that smile could drive anyone to insanity. The smile might actually work as a heel member of The Family though, and with Wyatt being his legit brother, why not?
Backstage, Renee Young introduced Summer Rae. Rae ordered Young re-introduce her as the “The First Lady of NXT”, but went off on a rant before Young could. She claimed that Paige was gone and not coming back. She said the only reason the lonely fans cheered her was because “she’s merely attainable, and clearly, I’m not.” She said that anytime she ever chooses to speak to Renee again, she will be referred to as the “First Lady of NXT”, or she’ll do to her what she did to Paige. She said she’ll show Emma next week, and closed with “Kisses.”…
Static cut out away from the interview set and onto The Shield’s handheld camera. Cool transition. They cut the usual good glitch video promo, except Rollins got to address NXT. He said that Dallas, Graves, and O’Brian were just a victim of Justice. He said that The Shield’s focus has been elsewhere lately, but he would be back to take back his NXT Title when everyone least expects it. “Believe in The Shield!” They closed...
Static cut back and Corey Graves was making his entrance. He was followed by Conor O’Brian, and then Bo Dallas. Dallas had new music and it sounds just like Eve’s theme song. Certainly not an improvement.
4. Corey Graves vs. Conor O’Brian vs. Bo Dallas in a number one contender Triple Threat match. Dallas tried to fight both heels, but O’Brian took him down quickly and Graves stomped Dallas. Graves cocked off to O’Brian, who caught his punch and fired away with fists of his own. Dallas recovered and sent O’Brian over the top with a clothesline, but turned into a boot from Graves. Graves settled into a chinlock and the show went to break…[C]
Dallas sent Graves out of the ring, and then back in, but O’Brian took Dallas out with a clothesline on the outside. O’Brian lumbered and wasted time before finally hitting a clothesline from the second rope on Graves. Dallas broke up the pinfall and O’Brian whipped him hard into the corner, and then did the same to Graves. He set up Graves like a powerbomb or piledriver, but twisted and dropped to his knees, driving Graves into the mat. He hit the same maneuver on Dallas and then threw Dallas like a spear into Graves in the corner. O’Brian tried multiple pin attempts, but only got two-counts. The match began to drag and a small segment of fans began singing “Ole”.
Dallas and Graves began working together and hit a double suplex on the much larger O’Brian, but then went back to work against each other. Dallas hit a back suplex on Graves and ten punches on O’Brian in the corner. He attempted the same on Graves, but got distracted when Bray Wyatt walked onto the stage. Graves threw him down to the mat and the show went to its final break…[C]
Back from break, Corey Graves was stomping away at O’Brian in the corner. Graves hit a gourdbuster on Dallas, but Dallas kicked out at two. Graves locked Dallas in a single-leg crab as Wyatt looked on from the stage, but O’Brian broke it up. Dallas climbed to the top, but Graves crotched him and went for a superplex. O’Brian caught Graves in an electric chair and threw him forward with a sitout facebuster. Dallas hit a missile dropkick on O’Brian for a near-fall and Wyatt began to stroll towards the ring. Dallas sent O’Brian face first into the turnbuckle and then springboarded off his back with a bulldog on Graves. Dallas made the cover and had the pinfall because O’Brian was late to break it up. The referee had to pause awkwardly and Regal deferred the heat to the ref by claiming it was a slow count.
Dallas hit a swinging neckbreaker, but O’Brian kicked out. Graves cleared O’Brian from the ring and locked Dallas in the 13th Step. Before Dallas could tap, O’Brian re-entered the ring and locked Graves in a modified crucifix submission. Dallas broke it up and Wyatt had worked his way close at ringside. Dallas fired up with his punching combo on Graves and he knocked O’Brian off the apron with a dropkick. Dallas hit the belly-to-belly powerslam and made the cover. Wyatt pulled Graves out of the ring, but the announcers reminded us that the match was no-DQ. O’Brian quickly hit a full nelson slam and got the pinfall victory as Wyatt yelled to Dallas “I did it all for you!”
Conor O’Brian defeated Bo Dallas and Corey Graves in 13:00 to become number one contender to the NXT Championship.
A replay of the finish aired and the announcers argued that Dallas virtually had the match won, if not for Wyatt. “Big E Langston has never lost, bbut Conor O’Brian made a statement here tonight.” Dawson closed…
Zim’s Zag: Decent main event. O’Brian showed more this week than previous weeks, but not near enough to get me excited about seeing him face Big E nor the potential for him to be the next NXT Champion. Graves continues to impress and Dallas is in no-man’s-land and I really hope he finds himself with this Wyatt program.
Overall, this was a decent to fair show. None of the matches were particularly good, but none particularly bad. I’m seeing things from Bray Wyatt and Leo Kruger that have me really optimistic and excited to see where their careers are headed. I liked Ohno’s segment and I hope he’s featured more prominently going forward. I’m entertained by the shows, but until they have a champion who can work and a main event scene that feels legitimate, competitive, and exciting, NXT won't be as good or enjoyable as it could be.
Throw any Comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @zzimm22; always happy to discuss. Thanks for reading along!
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