5/16 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow for the NXT Title, Conor O'Brian vs. Sakamoto and Briley Pierce, Sami Zayn promo
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped May 2 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, a video package recapped Damien Sandow’s challenge to Big E Langston last week, and hyped tonight’s NXT Title match between the two...
After titles, Natalya made her way out as new announce team Tom Phillips and Brad Maddox introduced themselves. Summer Rae came out to start us off...
1. Natalya vs. Summer Rae. A series of holds and chain wrestling built up to a sharpshooter attempt from Natalya. Summer Rae got to the ropes, but got caught with a discus clothesline shortly after. Summer caused another break by hugging the ropes, before suckering Natalya into a hand shake and then throwing her out of the ring. Summer caught Natalya with a kick to the head when Natalya tried to get back in the ring before a quick ‘Don’t Try This At Home’ promo aired.
Summer kept up the pressure after the video, hitting a weak looking DDT and an even weaker looking series of mat slams. Summer went to work on Natalya’s left arm as Paige walked onto the stage and down the ramp. As she got on the apron, Summer kicked Natalya into her, and snuck a win with a roll up pin...
Summer Rae defeated Natalya in 5:44.
After the match, Paige chased Summer Rae to the back...
Backstage, Renee Young introduced Sami Zayn. She asked how he felt about making his debut next week against Curt Hawkins. After complimenting Renee on her clothes, he said this wasn’t his first rodeo, and next week can’t come soon enough...
A great video package on Bray Wyatt aired... [C]
Gutt Reaction: That was Summer’s weakest outing so far, which is strange considering she was facing arguably the best female worker in the company. An off night. And that Sami Zayn promo told me nothing about his character going forward, and was awfully cookie cutter. I’m disappointed because I know he was a riot in his El Generico days, and hopefully he can rediscover that form in his WWE career.
[Q2] Bray Wyatt came out, with The Family, wearing a white face mask, similar to Cody Rhodes’ old mask, and a brown leather apron. He said Chris Jericho shook him a little last week, and he’s decided to go back to his roots. He said this was the new face of fear, the face of a monster and the eater of worlds. He wanted everyone to realise that he can’t be hurt, because he’s already dead.
Danny Burch, from London, England, made his entrance...
2. Bray Wyatt vs. Danny Burch. Burch tried to take Wyatt down with punches, but Wyatt headbutted his fist and built up to a running crossbody. Wyatt put Burch in the corner, and hit a running splash, before putting Burch away with the Sister Abigail...
Bray Wyatt defeated Danny Burch in 1:48.
Bray’s mask ended up on his forehead, and he didn’t bother to pull it back down as he and the Family stalked around the ring after the match...
Backstage, Bo Dallas walked up to Adrian Neville and asked where he had been. Neville said he had heard from Oliver Grey, but before he could explain how he was, Bo cut him off by saying “who cares?”. Bo said Neville should never give up, just like John Cena, and then announced that he had entered the number one contender Battle Royal in two weeks to determine the next in line for an NXT Title shot. Neville said he too had entered, and said let the best man win... [C]
Gutt Reaction: I have no idea why the mask was introduced to the act. It seems so random that my only guess is Bray sustained a nose injury and needed protecting. The backstage segment seems to be angling towards a Bo Dallas heel turn, and to do this he’s kicking his OTT face mannerisms into overdrive. Hey, it made the NXT audience turn on him already, so why not just keep it going and build more and more heat, but this time on purpose?
[Q3] Conor O’Brian made his entrance ahead of his handicap match with Sakamoto and Briley Pierce, who were already in the ring...
3. Conor O’Brian vs. Sakamoto and Briley Pierce in a 2 on 1 Handicap Match O’Brian dominated both his opponents, allowing them to tag in and out just so he could beat up both. Both faces tried to double team him, but O’Brian threw them off and stacked them in the corner. Following a body splash, he hit a double flapjack, and pinned both men...
Conor O’Brian defeated Sakamoto and Briley Pierce in 2:32.
Lots of guttural screaming followed the end of the match, until O’Brian saw someone stood on the stage. The man looked like a skinny Kevin Thorn, and the two stared at each other as the announcers wondered who the mystery man was...
Backstage, Tony Dawson introduced Corey Graves, and said the past few months had been a lot of ups and downs for him. Graves said his whole life was ups and downs. He said his Dad taught him life is a series of failures, you just have to hope one day you break through and never look back.
Gutt Reaction: What a brilliant lesson to teach kids.
Graves said his latest attempt to break through will be entering the No. 1 Contender Battle Royal.
Bray Wyatt entered the room (without the mask) and said NXT belonged to his Family. He promised Graves his time will come, and told him to ask Kassius Ohno if he didn’t believe him. Graves said the Wyatt family creeped him out, and if they continued to antagonize him, they would all be put down. Bray said “we’ll see” and left...
Gutt Reaction: A quick scan of the FCW roster page didn’t show an obvious candidate for the mystery man on the stage. I think its Rick Victor, but I could be wrong. The match was filler. The backstage confrontation was interesting, if only because it pitted a heel against Wyatt for the second straight week. Are they trying to make him seem so “out there” that he even attacks heels, without them turning? That could be something new.
Damien Sandow came out, with no ramp-way promo, before Big E followed him. They handled the introductions in the ring...
4. Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow for the NXT Title. Big E tried for the Big Ending twice in the early going, with Sandow escaping to the outside after the second attempt. This led us into the final commercial... [C]
[Q4] Sandow sidestepped a corner splash shortly after we returned, and looked to ground Big E. Even when Big E threw him off following a head scissors on the floor, Sandow climbed the top rope and dropped Langston with a double axe handle. Sandow dropped a couple of knees and went back to working on Big E’s neck. It was a while before Big E caused a break with a belly to belly slam.
Big E fired up with clotheslines, and hit his five knee lift sequence, followed by the running body check. Big E took his straps down, and looked for the Big Ending, but Sandow countered with a slam of his own. Sandow hit the Russian Leg Sweep, and the Elbow of Disdain at the second attempt after Big E dodged the first attempt. After Big E kicked out of the pin at two, Sandow tried for the Terminus, but Big E threw him off and hit the Big Ending on the rebound to retain his title...
Big E Langston defeated Damien Sandow in 10:42 to retain the NXT Title.
Big E stood in the ring with the title, as steam shot down from the rafters, as NXT went off the air...
Gutt Reaction: A solid piece of story telling here. Sandow looked to ground and pound, as an intelligent man would do, only to be out powered by Langston. This was nothing more than a credibility building win for Big E, and I suspect we’ll see nothing from him now until the Battle Royal to determine his next challenger is over. But for what it was, it was fine.
Well this wasn’t the momentum builder I was hoping for after last week planted so many seeds for feuds over the next month. While they did take steps with Dallas and Wyatt, they didn’t seem very impactful, and elsewhere we had two squash matches, a poor Divas match, and an average main event. Feel free to overlook this episode.
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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