Zim's WWE NXT Review: Antonio Cesaro vs. Big E Langston, Bray Wyatt vs. Bo Dallas, Emma vs. Summer Rae, Kassius Ohno in action, Alberto Del Rio appears, and Paige returns
By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT - Aired March 13, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped February 21 at Full Sail University
A brief video package hyped Alberto Del Rio’s appearance on the show… The opening video played… Kassius Ohno made his entrance. Regal said of his exchanges with Ohno: "I hope all that silliness is over with." Derrick Bateman was out next.
1. Kassius Ohno vs. Derrick Bateman. Both men traded arm wringers and chops in the opening minutes. Bateman hit a suplex and then whipped Ohno into the corner. Ohno did a headstand on the top turnbuckle and landed on the apron. A short time later, he hung Bateman up on the top rope and went to work with boots and forearms before settling into a cravate. Bateman eventually escaped and fired up with dropkicks and a clothesline. He hit several shoulder blocks and set up for a headlock driver, but Ohno sent him off into the ropes and caught him with a stiff big boot. Ohno made the cover and got the pinfall
Kassius Ohno defeated Derrick Bateman in 4:30.
After the match, Ohno locked Bateman in the Regal Stretch until Regal left the commentary table to break it up. Ohno turned Regal around, but Regal dropped him with a big left hook. Ohno looked shocked and left the ring. Regal appeared conflicted as the crowd chanted his name…
Zim’s Zag: Basic match, and that’s disappointing when taking into consideration Ohno’s abilities compared to the current NXT "main event" picture. His program with Regal continues its frustratingly slow build, but is intriguing nonetheless and has all the potential in the world.
Backstage, Renee Young was standing by with Bo Dallas, who finally lost the smile and looked the appropriately angry. He said Bray Wyatt wanted his attention and got it. He said after costing him the Tag and NXT titles, words can’t describe how much he loathes Wyatt. "What I do to him tonight, he’ll never forget."… Scott Stamford hyped Dallas vs. Wyatt and Alberto Del Rio’s appearance for later in the show…[C]
Back from break, William Regal humbly apologized for being what he described as "very unprofessional". Emma made her entrance, doing her dance. Once again, she botched skinning-the-cat. Summer Rae came to the ring next, radiating confidence as usual.
2. Emma vs. Summer Rae. Emma used an O’Conner roll right as the match opened and got a near fall. She kicked Summer and whipped her into the corner by her hair. Emma danced a bit and then charged in with a great looking crossbody to Summer seated in the corner. Emma made the cover but Summer kicked out at one and then begged off. Summer was able to take out Emma’s knee and took control with snapmares that drove Emma’s leg into the ropes. Summer continued to work the leg and got a two count, before locking in an Indian deathlock. Emma was able to work it into a rollup, but Summer kept control and stomped away at Emma in the corner. Summer mocked Paige’s shriek, allowing Emma to come back with a clothesline and a sunset flip. As they stood up, Summer hit a back spinning heel kick and got the pinfall.
Summer Rae defeated Emma in 4:00.
After the bell rang, Paige’s music hit rather than Summer’s. Paige charged the ring and went after Summer, who manages to escape to ringside. "The Summer session is over!" Paige yelled, before doing her signature shriek. Summer took off towards the hard cam and Paige made her way to the back…
Zim’s Zag: Decent match from the Divas here. Summer looked good and worked the leg well, but it didn’t play into the finish as I had hoped. Emma’s character is weak and unfortunately silly. Good to see Paige back. Even though the injury appeared fluky and unconvincing, the storyline is progressing nicely. I’d be interested how Paige vs. Summer could do as a main event with a little more time than usual. After all, what better time to try than following the success of the UFC women’s division?
A video recap showed The Wyatt Family dragging Oliver Grey onto the stage last week. Backstage, Renee Young was standing by with Adrian Neville. Neville said that Oliver would be just fine, but Wyatt and the Family won’t be. He said that the Family trying to put Oliver out doesn’t work for him. So, he offered a challenge for next week to take on the Family. He promised that what they did to Oliver will pale in comparison to what he does to them… Scott Stamford hyped Alberto Del Rio’s appearance for later, and Bo Dallas vs. Bray Wyatt up next…[C]
In the locker room, Matt Striker asked Big E Langston his thoughts on Conor O’Brian’s victory to become number one contender. Langston said this will be his first title defense and he’s going to make it dominant, destructive, and delicious. "I’m sorry?" Striker asked "Delicious." Langston confirmed…
Bray Wyatt’s theme played and he came to the stage cutting his entrance promo. He said in his world, there is no time, there are no distractions, and there are no communications. He said that they’re not afraid to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect what is theirs. He questioned how far Dallas was willing to go, "If you’re not willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, you’ve already lost." Wyatt closed. Eve’s theme played…Or maybe it was Bo Dallas’ theme, because he made his entrance.
3. Bray Wyatt vs. Bo Dallas. Dallas paced anxiously as Wyatt casually leaned in the corner. Dallas got Wyatt backed in the corner, but Wyatt sat down and simply laughed. Wyatt worked a minute-long headlock before shooting Dallas into the ropes and crushing him with a stiff crossbody on the rebound. Wyatt settled into a rear chinlock and kept control with a back elbow when Dallas tried to fire up and mount a comeback…[C]
Back from break, Wyatt was still firmly in control and settled into another chinlock, this time singing peacefully while it was applied. Dallas fought out with punches, but Wyatt sent him face first into the turnbuckle and then hit a sliding dropkick. Wyatt bodyslammed Dallas and got a two count. A short time later, Wyatt missed a seated senton and Dallas made his comeback. However, Wyatt got a near fall after hitting a big standing uranage. He hit a running splash in the corner and danced around the ring with Dallas. As he set up his finisher, Dallas caught him with a punch and landed the belly-to-belly for the victory.
Bo Dallas defeated Bray Wyatt in 7:30.
As Dallas stood on the ramp, The Family ambushed him from behind and threw him into the ring where the beating continued. Dallas fired up and sent both members of the Family to the outside, however he was distracted long enough for Wyatt to take advantage and hit his finisher. The Family looked on from the ramp as Wyatt appeared satisfied…
Zim’s Zag: Good match with the absolutely, inarguably, unequivocally wrong finish. The Wyatt family had a feeling of momentum and strength coming into this show and this match took it away almost in an instant. The payoff to a storyline is a babyface taking out the heel, I just had much higher hopes for the potential of this program before Dallas picked up the win. Then he disposes of both Family members like nothing? I don’t get it, they should be monsters!
Backstage, Renee Young asked Justin Gabriel to elaborate on is feud with Leo Kruger. Gabriel said he used to read about Kruger in the newspapers in South Africa. Gabriel claimed that Kruger’s time in the militia messed with his head. Gabriel challenged Kruger for next week and said that the military will be nothing compared to what Gabriel does to him… Scott Stamford hyped Del Rio’s appearance up next…[C]
Byron Saxton introduced Ricardo Rodriguez, who got a nice reaction and proceeded to introduce Alberto Del Rio. He took time to greet fans all around the ringside area and gave his scarf to a little girl. He soaked up some "Si!" chants and milked his entrance for everything he could get. He finally took a mic and introduced himself and proclaimed himself the new World Heavyweight Championship. He called the crowd fantastic and praised the NXT talent. He said that the new WWE or World Heavyweight Champion was backstage tonight.
Antonio Cesaro’s music interrupted and he made his way to the ring. He said that there may be the next World Champion, but for sure there is the greatest US Champion in history. He challenged Del Rio to a champion vs. champion match to see who was "the top champion in the WWE Universe." Ugh. Dusty Rhodes’ theme hit and he came to the stage. He said that if Cesaro wants a champion vs. champion match, he’s got it, however it would be against the NXT Champion Big E Langston instead.
Zim’s Zag: Wait, so why was Alberto on this show…?
4. US Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. NXT Champion Big E Langston in a non-title match. Cesaro cocked off, and Langston shoved him backwards onto his butt and got the crowd to start a "Five!" chant as the show went to the final commercial…[C]
Back from break, Langston overpowered Cesaro and kept control with one arm. Cesaro fought back and hit a European uppercut, which didn’t faze Langston. Cesaro persisted and hit several more uppercuts and a running knee to the face that took Langston down. Cesaro covered for a one count and settled into a cobra clutch. Big E tried to fight out and did briefly, but Cesaro regained control with a knee-facebreaker off the second turnbuckle. Cesaro hit a standing double stomp, but Langston kicked out at one.
Cesaro lifted Langston off the mat and tossed him with his delayed gutwrench. Very impressive. Cesaro got a near fall and then locked in a sleeper hold. The crowd began chanting "Five!" and Langston worked back to his feet. He deflected a Cesaro clothesline and hit two of his own. He drove his knee five times into the sternum and ran Cesaro over with the E Train attack. Just then, Corey Graves entered the ring and hit Langston, causing the ref to call for the bell, though no official announcement was made.
Big E Langston defeated Antonio Cesaro by (presumed) DQ in 5:00.
Langston no-sold Graves’ attack and ran him over with the E Train. He was preparing to hit his finisher, but Conor O’Brian jumped him from behind. O’Brian and Graves beat Langston down with boots and fists, working independently but together. The show closed with them both standing over Langston, looking to the crowd, neither man acknowledging the other.
Zim’s Zag: Another decent match. I love how Cesaro hangs believably with bigger guys because of his strength and work style. Langston continues to show nothing more than he already has, and the NXT Title picture just doesn’t have me intrigued.
Overall, this was a decent edition of NXT, and I feel like I’m saying that way too much. It’s been too long since an episode has been mentionably better than another and I blame the stagnant title picture. Some of the most talent workers on the show are either in a slow-motion, seemingly irrelevant feud (Ohno), stuck in the tag decision (Neville), or losing to their charismatically inferior brother in matches much less significant than should be (Wyatt). Again, I enjoy some of the Divas stuff, and I like that there are long-term feuds in play; I just have waning faith that the payoff will feel sufficient. Maybe it’s the taping schedule, maybe it’s the champion, maybe it’s the contenders; whatever it is, I’m losing enthusiasm for NXT lately.
Throw any comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @zzimm22; always happy to discuss. Thanks for reading!
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