Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Road to Wrestlemania special, Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow, Brodus Clay vs. El Local, Kaitlyn vs. Natalya for the WWE Divas title, appearances from John Cena and Alberto Del Rio
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped on 2/21 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Howard Finkel (!) was shown stood in the ring as Natalya made her way out. As Kaitlyn followed her, William Regal, Todd Phillips and JR checked in on commentary. Finkel did the introductions in the ring, and announced that the match will be for the Divas title...
1. Natalya vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Title. JR plugged Orton vs. Sandow for later on, implying this is a Wrestlemania special as opposed to a run of the mill episode. After some OK chain wrestling, Natalya took control with a clothesline and a snap suplex. She locked in an abdominal stretch before we cut to the first commercial... [C]
[Q2] The positions had switched when we returned, but Natalya escaped with an arm drag. She went for a leg drop, but Kaitlyn rolled out of the way. Kaitlyn capitalised with a running forearm, before dropping Natalya with a gutbuster. Kaitlyn got a two count, and motioned for the spear when she got up, but Natalya leaped over her when she charged, swept her legs and locked in the sharpshooter. Kaitlyn slowly crawled to the ropes, and used her legs to launch Natalya into the turnbuckle. When both ladies got back up, Kaitlyn hit the spear for the 1-2-3...
Kaitlyn defeated Natalya in 7:58 to retain the Divas title
Kaitlyn picked up her title while some girl in the audience was screaming her lungs out. She’s DAMN excited for this Kaitlyn win! Both girls shook hands and hugged at the end of the match...
Gutt Reaction: Kaitlyn still was some work to do, but this match showed that there is hope for her turning into a good in-ring Diva. While most bemoan the fact that Natalya is the most talented yet most underutilised Diva, and should be champion, I think the division as a whole is damaged almost beyond repair at this point, so the championship will mean nothing around anybodies waist until creative gives people a reason to care.
Backstage, Tony Dawson introduced his guest, Alberto Del Rio. They stood in front of a logo that said ‘Road to Wrestlemania NXT’, so I’ve made one good call tonight at least. Dawson asked what Del Rio’s mindset is a week out from Mania. He said after everything Jack Swagger has said and done, including breaking Ricardo Rodriguez’s ankle, he intends to break his body, spirit and heart at Mania. Del Rio then said he will do the same to Zeb Coulter if he tries to interfere. He said his ‘Born in Mexico, made in America’ line before leaving...
Back in the arena, El Local made his entrance. But wait, when they reveal he is Ricardo Rodriguez, won’t people realise he hadn’t really broke his ankle?!?! OK, only I’ll remember this match at that time, but WWE has had much bigger plot holes before. Brodus Clay came out to a good pop, and the camera showed a lot of kids dancing in the crowd...
2. Brodus Clay vs. El Local. Brodus caught a crossbody from Local and body slammed him. After taking a headbutt on the floor, Local backed into the corner and managed to hit an enziguri, before picking up the pace and chop blocking Clay’s legs to take him down. Clay kicked out of a pin, and ate a springboard kick, but when Local tried to follow up with another springboard move, Clay headbutted him out of the air. Clay started hitting clotheslines before delivering the Sheee-plex. A corner splash, a running headbutt and a big splash later, it was all over...
Brodus Clay defeated El Local in 2:02.
Clay danced in the ring after the match...
A World Tour Report aired... [C]
Gutt Reaction: Not much to it. These were originally non-televised matches, so I don’t blame the talent for coasting to be fair, but I’d have liked to see the dynamic of Clay taking on a Lucha guy. Del Rio was flat, but you guessed that already didn’t you?
[Q3] A Raw Rebound focussing on CM Punk and Undertaker aired...
The Shield appeared on their handheld camera backstage. They talked about April 7 being the day that they are taking over in the name of justice. Ambrose said that although Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton think they are untouchable, they are only sacrifices. Reigns promised no mercy, and Rollins claimed that the revolution will be born from their opponent’s demise. Reigns closed with ‘Believe in the Shield’ line...
Tony Dawson introduced John Cena in a locker room. Dawson asked if Cena was ready. He started spouting lines along the lines of ‘Wrestlemania is important’, before claiming that this year, the pressure is all on The Rock. He claimed that Rock has been successful in everything he has tried, but at Mania he will humanise The Rock by beating him. He claimed he will show the WWE universe that it’s time to believe in him again, because The Rock’s time is up, and his time is now. .
Back at ringside, the commentators looked to be setting up the main event before Kassius Ohno ran out and started beating up Regal. JR and Phillips moved out of the way as Ohno hit Regal on the floor before refs ran out and separated them...
Gutt Reaction: Good attack by Ohno, as he was screaming and acting deranged, which will only help the intensity of this feud. Cena had a few good lines, but he was in happy-go-lucky mode here, something I would have avoided at all costs considering the tone they have set in his promos with The Rock. The Shield video was good, and I really dig the style as it sets them apart, but they really need to embellish their reasons for doing what they do if they want to carry the act past Mania.
JR and Phillips said Regal had been helped to the back as Sandow walked onto the stage. Sandow told the audience they shouldn’t cheer for a man called “The Viper”, as snakes have long been the symbol of evil. He claimed he will act as the avenging sword of taste, decency, and all that is right with the world. Orton entered to a big pop, and the main event started...
3. Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow. After Orton hit a Thesz press, Sandow rolled out of the ring. Orton chased, and after returning to the ring, teased a clothesline. Sandow rolled back out, but Orton again followed and hit him with a clothesline before the final commercial... [C]
[Q4] Back in the ring, Orton was in the middle of his stomping fest when we returned. Sandow rolled out of the way of a knee drop, and looked to get back into the match with a suplex, but Orton countered with a suplex of his own. Both men ended up on the outside again, but this time Sandow gained the upper hand by whipping Orton into the steps. Sandow kept Orton on the mat back in the ring with knees and a headlock, building up to his Russian leg sweep and elbow drop combo for a two count.
Sandow took it to the corner, and climbed the turnbuckle before Orton caught him with a few punches. Orton set up and landed a superplex and got a two count of his own. When both men got up, Orton began his five moves of doom, but cut it short with 10 corner punches. He tried to follow this up with a corner clothesline, but Sandow kicked him away and hit a jumping neckbreaker for a close two. Sandow picked Orton up, only for Orton to hit his backbreaker, and resume the five moves of the doom, culminating in the RKO for the pinfall...
Randy Orton defeated Damien Sandow in 9:20.
JR said that Orton is now ready for Mania, and Phillips thanked us for watching...
Gutt Reaction: I take it back, Orton and Sandow didn’t exactly coast here. That was a solid TV match, all though it did feature Orton on offense for most of it.
Looks like NXT isn’t free of the ‘build Mania at all costs’ thing that goes around at this time of year, but it makes perfect business sense. Tonight was a necessary evil, but I’d skip this show, as it was ultimately inconsequential, and both 5+ minute matches, although OK, weren’t worth going out of your way to see.
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this review, feel free to add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg
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