Zim’s 3/27 WWE NXT Review: NXT goes WWE main roster, Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow, Brodus Clay vs. El Local, Kaitlyn vs. Natalya for the WWE Divas Championship, Kassius Ohno and William Regal continuation
By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT television show
Aired March 27, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped February 21 at Full Sail University
The show kicked off with the WrestleMania 29 countdown at 11 days… The opening video played… Steam shot up from the stage as Tom Phillips introduced Jim Ross, William Regal, and himself on commentary for this ‘Road To WrestleMania’ edition of NXT. Howard Finkle stood mid-ring as the special ring announcer for the show.
Natalya made her entrance, followed by WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn. After entrances, The Fink gave both participants a full championship introduction.
1. Kaitlyn vs. Natalya for the WWE Divas Championship. Both ladies opened up trading some shoot-style technical offense. They both showed good athleticism, but there were several awkward looking moments as well. Kaitlyn went for a sunset flip off the second rope, but Natalya rolled through. She looked to set up the Sharpshooter, which Kaitlyn reversed. Natalya missed a discus clothesline and Kaitlyn went for her inverted DDT, but Natalya broke free and hit a short-arm clothesline for a two-count. Natalya got another two-count coming off a snap suplex before settling into an abdominal stretch. [C]
Back from break, the roles had reversed as Kaitlyn had Natalya locked in the abdominal stretch. Natalya broke free with a hip toss, but missed a leg drop. She charged at Kaitlyn, but Kaitlyn took her down with a clothesline. Kaitlyn hit a fireman’s carry gutbuster that earned a two-count. She set up the spear, but missed, allowing Natalya to lock in the Sharpshooter. Kaitlyn rolled through and sent Natalya into the turnbuckles. Kaitlyn took advantage of the separation and hit a quick the spear for the win...
Kaitlyn defeated Natalya to retain the Divas Champuonship in 7:00.
Post match, Kaitlyn extended her hand and Natalya reciprocated. They shared a hug and raised each other’s hand in a sign of mutual respect…
Backstage, Tony Dawson introduced Alberto Del Rio. Phillips asked what Alberto’s mindset is going into WrestleMania facing Jack Swagger. Alberto ran through everything that’s happened between he and Swagger and said that at WrestleMania, he’s going to break Swagger’s spirit, his pride, and his arm. He said that if Coulter sneaks into the match, he’ll do the same thing to Coulter. He fumbled over his words, but closed by saying that what Swagger gets would all be courtesy of Alberto Del Rio... Scott Stamford hyped the main event of Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Good showing from the Divas here. It went longer than most do, but certainly didn’t drag or feel too long. Both ladies worked hard and showed that they can put on a competitive and athletic match; something people have come to doubt about the Divas in recent years. And as for Del Rio, meh.
Back from break, El Local made his ring entrance. Brodus Clay and the Funkadactyls danced their way to the ring for the next matchup.
2. El Local vs. Brodus Clay (w/ The Funkadactyls). Brodus overpowered Local and hit a falling headbutt. He followed up with an unexpected yet impressive jackknife pin attempt, but Local kicked out and landed an enziguri. He hit the ropes and went low with a chop block to take Clay off his feet. Local connected on a springboard dropkick for a quick two-count, but got caught with a Clay headbutt when he springboarded a second time. Clay fired up with clotheslines and hit his Sheeplex. He charged into the corner with a splash and then took Local down with a running battering ram. Clay followed up with the Splat! and scored the pinfall…
Brodus Clay beat El Local in 2:00.
Scott Stamford hyped the main event of Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Not much more than a squash match, but a pretty good one at that. Clay used more offence in this one than he typically does, and he broke out a surprising jackknife pin that I wouldn’t ever imagine seeing. Local continues to show good athleticism and is more than serviceable in his role as enhancement talent.
Static cut into a Shield video. All three took turns talking about how the grandest justice of all would be seen on April 7th. They promised that there would be no mercy at WrestleMania, because mercy is for the week. They promised that a new revolution of justice would be born in their opponents’ demise. “Believe in the Shield” Reigns closed coolly…
Backstage, Tony Dawson welcomed John Cena and asked about his thoughts going into his title match with Rock at Mania. Cena fixed did one of the buttons on Dawson’s jacket and told him that someday, he’d teach Dawson how to properly do his tie. He said that April 7th was more than a PPV, more than a spectacle, and more than an event that will change the face of WWE. Its Cena’s shot at redemption. He said that this year, all the pressure is on The Rock. Cena made Dawson give him the People’s Eyebrow and said it still needed some work. Cena closed by saying that April 7th is where he will humanize the Rock, make the Universe Believe, and the champ will be here. “Get a better tie next time.” Cena said as he walked off camera…
Back in the arena, the camera settled onto the commentators. As Tom Phillips began to reflect on Cena’s promo, Kassius Ohno jumped down from the stage and assaulted William Regal. The attack continued until enough referees were able to separate the two. “Who do you think you are!?” Ohno screamed repeatedly, as more referees tended to the injured Regal…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Typical stuff from Cena where it almost seemed like two segments put together: a money promo on the Rock, and a Fruity Pebbles joking promo with Dawson. The attack on Regal was well done; it wasn’t telegraphed and it looked convincing. I’m very high on this program and am looking forward to what’s to come.
Back from break, Phillips solemnly informed viewers that Regal was no longer on commentary after the attack. Jim Ross was fired up and called it a cowardly attack by Ohno. “I saw the look on Regal’s face when he got up, there’s going to be hell to pay before this is all said and done. I guarantee you.” Ross said.
Damian Sandow made his entrance for the main event. He cut a promo and told the crowd they should be ashamed of cheering a man called the viper, because snakes are a symbol of evil. He said that tonight he serves as more than the avenging sword of taste and decency; he serves as the avenging sword of all that is right with the world. “You’re Welcome.” He closed. Randy Orton’s music hit and he made a seemingly-slow-motion entrance to a good ovation.
3. Damian Sandow vs. Randy Orton. Orton worked his slow methodical offense early and took Sandow down with a Thesz press. Sandow rolled to the floor to regain composure, and managed to evade Orton for a time before Orton finally connected with a clothesline at ringside…[C]
Scott Stamford hyped next week’s main event: Big E Langston defending the NXT Championship against Conor O’Brian…
Back from break, a replay showed Orton suplexing Sandow on the outside. Meanwhile, Orton worked his way around Sandow with the Orton Stomp. Orton went for a jumping knee drop, but Sandow rolled away and Orton sold his knee. Sandow set up for a suplex, however Orton reversed with one of his own. He went for his rope DDT, but Sandow sent him to the outside and then whipped him into the ring steps.
Sandow got Orton back in the ring and fired away with fists and a knee drop, which got him a two-count. Orton fought out of a chinlock with headbutts, but Sandow stayed in control with a Russian legsweep followed by the Elbow of Disdain. He made the cover, but Orton kicked out at two.
A short time later, Sandow found himself on the second turnbuckle where Orton was able to take advantage and connect with a superplex. He hit his signature sequence and then fired away with punches in the corner. Sandow was able to counter an Orton telegraph with a flipping neckbreaker, which earned him another two-count. Orton reversed a whip with the inverted backbreaker and then dropped Sandow with his rope DDT. Orton fired the crowd up and set up for the RKO. He connected on it and made the cover for the pinfall victory.
Randy Orton defeated Damian Sandow in 10:00.
Orton posed on the turnbuckle while Tom Phillips thanked the viewers and gave the signoff…
Zim’s Zag: Paint by numbers match where Orton never seemed in real jeopardy or danger of losing. It didn’t go long enough to be at all memorable, but it wasn’t a bad match by any means. That said, this show was flat-out bizarre. I cover NXT because I enjoy seeing the developmental talent and I enjoy the format of the show. If I wanted to cover a show like this, I’d offer my services for weekly Smackdown coverage.
Where was the NXT talent? The only talent exclusive to NXT that appeared on the show were Kassius Ohno and El Local (ignoring the fact that Ricardo Rodriguez appears on WWE TV). This is a major turnoff. I can’t say it was a bad show or featured bad matches, but it was absolutely my least favorite edition of NXT in recent memory. I’m glad I know what’s going to happen in coming weeks, because if I didn’t I would be legitimately concerned that NXT was headed in the direction of Superstars or Main Event. Quite frankly, there’s no reason to watch this week’s episode.
Throw any comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @zzimm22; always happy to discuss. Thanks for reading!
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