6/6 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: The Wyatt Family vs. Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno for the NXT Tag Titles, Big E Langston and Bo Dallas contract signing, NXT Women's Title Tournament begins with Tamina vs. Paige
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped May 23rd in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Jim Ross made his entrance to preside over the contract signing between Bo Dallas and Big E Langston. Ross introduced Dallas first, followed by Big E. Tom Phillips, who is on commentary with Brad Maddox, pointed out that Big E has been champion since January.
JR asked Big E to sign first, which he did with no fuss. When he asked Bo, the crowd booed him. As Dallas started to talk, a big “No more Bo” chant started. Bo said since winning the title, Big E has competed at Wrestlemania, and becoming a mainstay on Raw. He said it was all down to the title, so he needs to be champion. He promised to become champion next week.
Big E said he knew Bo was no joke, but he is the baddest man NXT has ever seen. He called Dallas a geek, and said he probably lives at home with his mom and wears feetie pyjamas. Big E said although Bo wants to accomplish his dreams in 3 seconds, Big E will crush them in five. Dallas signed the contract and left up the ramp, as Big E posed with the title and JR said the match was on for next week...
Backstage, Renee Young introduced Corey Graves, and said tonight he has a chance to win the NXT Tag Titles. Graves said he wasn’t just going to win the titles tonight, he will also make the Wyatt Family fall. He promised to put the Wyatt Family down. Renee asked if he could put his differences with Kassius Ohno aside to win the titles. Graves said he dislikes Ohno, but the titles mean more than that. He said he would tear down the Wyatt house brick by brick while Ohno stands on the apron... [C]
Gutt Reaction: I detest contract signings, and that may have been the most sedate one ever. Dallas didn’t try to be a heel in his rather vanilla promo, but he got a lot of heat. Big E tried a little comedy, which didn’t really feel based on anything the Dallas character has shown, but he at least sounded natural. At least it didn’t go on last like most contract signings do. For that I am thankful.
[Q2] A graphic for the NXT Women’s Title was shown, and as Tamina Snuka made her entrance, ring announcer Byron Saxton explained the match was a first round match in the Title Tournament. After Maddox and Phillips showed off the title at commentary, Paige made her way out...
1. Paige vs. Tamina Snuka in a NXT Women’s Title Tournament Quarter Final match. Tamina dominated the early going by overpowering Paige. It all built up to a big kick that sent Paige down. Tamina went top rope, and tried for the Superfly Splash, but Paige got her knees up. Paige immediately rolled Tamina up for the 1-2-3...
Paige defeated Tamina Snuka in 4:23 to advance to the Semi Finals of the NXT Women’s Title Tournament.
After the match, a graphic showed the other three quarter final matches. They are Bayley vs. Alicia Fox, Sasha Banks vs. Summer Rae, and Emma vs. Aksana. Paige will face the winner of Bayley and Alicia Fox...
Backstage, Renee Young introduced Kassius Ohno. She asked Ohno what his plan of attack was. Ohno channelled Tony Stark by saying his plan of attack is “attack”. He promised destruction, terror and mayhem for the Family tonight. Renee asked about how he plans to get on with Graves. Ohno said Graves is a lone wolf, but it doesn’t matter, as it’s all about taking what the Family holds most deal. He promised a war before leaving...
Gutt Reaction: That match was all Tamina until the last move. It made Paige look resilient, but it didn’t make a whole lot of logical sense for Tamina to dish out so much punishment only to get beat after taking two knees. I will say this though – Paige is more over than any Diva in the company right now. She surely has to be coming to the main roster this summer, right?
Colin Cassady, who I believe is making his NXT debut, was introduced in the ring, before Masterpiece 2.0 Mason Ryan made his entrance...
2. Mason Ryan vs. Colin Cassady. Cassady got a few punches in before Ryan levelled him with a big boot. Ryan threw Cassady around the corners a few times before putting Cassady down with a neckbreaker spun out of an Argentine backbreaker rack...
Mason Ryan defeated Colin Cassady in 1:58.
Backstage, Renee Young introduced Sami Zayn. Renee recapped Zayn’s debut night where he beat Curt Hawkins and Antonio Cesaro. Zayn said both were great former champions, but he was better on the night. Cesaro walked in clapping, and said Zayn got a cheap win. Zayn said the only thing that happened that was “cheap” was Cesaro attacking him from behind after the match.
Cesaro said all Zayn did was tick him off, and said he wants a rematch. Zayn said he would accept as long as Cesaro promised to tell him where he got his sweet man purse from. Cesaro got annoyed and slapped Zayn, and as they started brawling, the trainers ran in and split them up... [C]
Gutt Reaction: Mason Ryan has such a good luck, but he couldn’t draw any reaction out of the fans. I think it’s because he has never had a real character established for him. I liked this Sami Zayn promo more than his first, which was very cookie cutter. This one showed a bit more personality, finding a nice blend of likeability, humour and intensity when needed. I am very glad this feud is continuing.
[Q3] Alex Riley got a fairly big pop as he made his entrance. He hugged a big bald guy at ringside. The lights dimmed as he got in the ring, and Conor O’Brian made his way out...
3. Alex Riley vs. Conor O’Brian. O’Brian froze in a running man pose for some reason, only moving when Riley attacked him. O’Brian shrugged off all the offence Riley threw at him until he hit a running elbow. Riley hit a flying clothesline and got a two count. Riley got tossed to the corner, and tried to leap over O’Brian, but got caught and dumped on the ropes. Following a splash in the corner and a flapjack, O’Brian applied an arm submission that Phillips dubbed the Stockade. Riley quickly tapped...
Conor O’Brian defeated Alex Riley in 2:12.
O’Brian roared as we cut to a Payback teaser...
Gutt Reaction: I would much rather see Alex Riley get a second chance on NXT, but they seem intent on constantly pushing and then deflating O’Brian. There wasn’t even the strange guy who appeared at the end of O’Brian’s match a few weeks ago to add any intrigue. Dull.
Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves came out separately, before Wyatt came out with the mic. He said he wasn’t afraid of snakes, fire, disease or pain. The only thing that does scare him is himself. He said Ohno and Graves showing up shows they don’t value their ability to breathe. He introduced himself as the Eater of Worlds, and then said the other members of his family will now reintroduce themselves...
4. Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for the NXT Tag Team Titles. Wyatt sat in his rocking chair on the stage. After some back and forth, Ohno and Graves began to work on Harper’s left arm before Harper levelled Ohno with a forearm going into the last commercial...[C]
[Q4] The Family had isolated Ohno when we came back. Ohno caught a break and tagged Graves. Graves targeted Rowan’s leg, and looked to be going for the Lucky 13 submission, but Harper distracted him long enough for the Family to regain control. Rowan targeted Graves’ back, and Harper looked to continue the trend, but Graves, following a few pin attempts and a back body drop, managed to tag Ohno.
Ohno hit the ring hot, taking Rowan off the apron and hitting Harper with clotheslines. Following a running senton and a rolling headbutt, Ohno went for the pin. Rowan broke it up, but got taken out by Graves. Wyatt took advantage of the ref distraction to hit Ohno with the wrist support he had on, only to be taken out by a spinning crossbody over the ropes from Graves. Back in the ring, Harper hit Ohno with the discus clothesline, and got the pin...
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves to retain the NXT Tag Team Titles in 9:23.
Harper and Rowan walked like zombies towards Wyatt at ringside, and he held up both of their arms in victory as NXT went off the air...
Gutt Reaction: Good match to end the show. Although everything before the commercial was boring, the action hit the ground running when we came back. Rowan and Harper have their acts down perfectly at this point, as they have entertaining matches by not bogging down with rest holds like other big man teams do, and stuff like their mindless walking towards Wyatt show good character grasp. This stable goes to show the benefit of NXT – they have been given TV time to hone the gimmick to perfection before their big TV debut.
With all the buzz the Wyatt family is getting, it is worth watching the last match just to see what’s coming in the next few weeks on Raw and Smackdown (or, if you have yet to see the act, maybe it would be better to hold off so you can experience it fresh on the main roster). Apart from that, the first episode from this taping didn’t exactly take flight. The boring contract signing set a president for two, by-the-numbers squash matches and a strangely booked Divas match. The upside was consistently solid promo work throughout the night from the likes of Ohno, Graves, Wyatt, Zayn and Cesaro, so if you’re a talking fan, give NXT a go.
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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