Zim’s WWE NXT Review: The Wyatt Family vs. Ohno and Graves for the NXT Tag Titles, NXT Championship contract signing, Conor O’Brian gets a new partner, Paige vs. Tamina kicks off the Women’s Championship tournament
By Zack Zimmerman
June 5, 2013 NXT on Hulu Plus
Taped May 23 at Full Sail University
The opening theme played with some updated and upgraded video inserts… Jim Ross made his entrance to preside over the contract signing for next week’s NXT Championship match between Big E Langston and Bo Dallas. Dallas made his entrance first and received unanimous boos in response. NXT Champion Big E Langston made his entrance next, wearing a collared shirt that may or may not have been Zubaz.
J.R. had Langston sign the contract first. He then handed the contract to Dallas, but Dallas decided to pick up a mic before signing. He said that he didn’t appreciate the way Langston confronted him after the battle royal last week. The crowd picked up the “no more Bo” chant, which Bo smirked off. He said that he’s watched Langston’s advancement since winning the NXT Championship; debuting on Raw, pairing with Dolph Ziggler, and working Wrestlemania. “You’re doing all the things that I should be doing. Know why I’m not? Because I don’t have that: the NXT Championship.” He said that he doesn’t want to be champion, he needs to be champion.
Langston said that he gained respect for Bo for stepping up and facing Big Show, before Bo got knocked out. Langston said he was the biggest, baddest guy in NXT and called Dallas a geek who lives with his mom and wears footie pajamas to sleep. “You wake up smiling, you go to sleep smiling, you eat lunch smiling, you go to the park smiling, you go fishing smiling.” Amen. “Bo, I will crush your dreams.” Langston said. Dallas signed the contract, before shoving it into Langston’s chest, and leaving the ring. Ross announced that the match was official for next week, and Langston raised his title while Bo took off backstage…
Elsewhere backstage, Renee Young was standing by with Corey Graves. She mentioned that Graves has a shot at the NXT Tag Team Titles tonight against The Wyatt Family after they attacked him several weeks ago and again last week. Graves said it’s not just about the titles; it’s about seeing The Wyatt Family fall. He said Wyatt is a mad man who likes to play mind games, but there aren’t games in Graves’ mind. He said they took the first shot at a one man army. Renee mentioned that he would be teaming with Kassius Ohno, and Graves appeared perturbed. He admitted that he’s never really liked Kassius Ohno and he’s not asking for his help, but he wants the titles enough to deal with it. He said that tonight, The Wyatt Family’s house gets torn down brick by brick…
Scott Stamford hyped the main event of Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno vs. The Wyatt Family for the NXT Tag Team Championships… A vignette for “the Anti-Diva” Paige aired…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Decent enough opening segment. Dallas is still unbearable and has more heat every week, but he looks to be headed directly for his much-needed heel turn. Langston has an enjoyable goofball charisma that meshes uniquely with his intimidating powerhouse appearance. He still needs some seasoning, but the guy has charisma. Corey Graves cuts really smooth and deliberate promos that are true to his character when he gets the chance to do so. I don’t see him taking WWE by storm, but I think he is unique and capable enough to deserve a shot at the big show down the road.
Back in the arena, a graphic aired that this was a first round match in the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament. Tamina Snuka made her entrance as Brad Maddox and Tom Phillips checked in on commentary and displayed the new championship belt. Paige was out next.
1. Tamina Snuka vs. Paige in an NXT Women’s Championship Tournament 1stround match. Tamina overpowered Paige and took control, working some basic offense in the opening few minutes. A little over three minutes in, Paige tried to fight out of a hold with some stiff back elbow strikes, but Tamina caught her with a superkick and went to the top rope. She leapt off with the Superfly Splash, but Paige got her knees up and rolled Tamina up for the win.
Paige pinned Tamina Snuka in about 4:15to advance in the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament.
Paige got to the ramp and did her shriek. A bracket showed the full tournament and it was revealed that Paige would face the winner of Bayley vs. Alicia Fox. The other first round matchups are Sasha Banks vs. Summer Rae and Emma vs. Aksana…
Backstage, Renee White introduced Kassius Ohno who was wearing a Mitsuharu Misawa shirt. Rad. Renee recapped that Ohno apologized to William Regal several weeks ago, and then found himself (brilliantly) confronted with The Wyatt Family who beat him down. Renee asked what his plan of attack was and Ohno answered that his plan was attack. He admitted that Wyatt surrounds himself with a fortress and has “amassed a savage and impressive army.” He said that tonight, he dives head-first into that fortress. Renee asked Ohno’s thoughts on his partner Corey Graves. Ohno called him a lone-wolf, but said it’s not about Kassius and Corey, it’s about taking what Bray Wyatt and Family hold. “Tonight, it’s not a match, it’s a war.” Ohno closed…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Unimpressive Divas match. We’ve seen much better in recent weeks. Interesting that Paige worked the entire match and won without landing a single offensive maneuver, though. Ohno’s promo wasn’t quite as fluid as Graves’ was. That’s not to say it was bad, it just seemed like he hadn’t given very much thought before delivering it.
A very good Leo Kruger vignette aired. A line that stood out was “My hands have done what they’ve done. My eyes have seen what they’ve seen.” It closed with him saying “Ta-ta” in his heavy South African accent…
Back from break, Colin Cassidy was introduced and was already waiting in the ring. Mason Ryan made his overly-muscular entrance next for singles action.
2. Colin Cassidy vs. Mason Ryan. Ryan took control early and quelled Cassidy’s attempt at a comeback with a big boot. Ryan continued to wear Cassidy down in the corner and dropped him with a clothesline. He hoisted Cassidy up in the Argentine Rack and swung it into a neckbreaker for the win.
Mason Ryan beat Colin Cassidy in about 2:00.
Backstage, Renee Young introduced Sami Zayn and mentioned his two wins in his NXT debut. He said it was a heck of a night, beating a former tag team champion and a former US champion. He admitted that Cesaro was a great wrestler, but said on that day, and maybe other days, he was better. Cesaro approached him with a slow-clap and called it a cheap win. Zayn said the only thing cheap was when Cesaro decked him from behind. Cesaro said all Zayn did was tick him off, and challenged Zayn to another match. Zayn said he had no problem with a rematch as long as Cesaro can tell him where he got his “sweet, sweet man-purse.” Cesaro slapped him hard, and Zayn fought right back and appeared to get the better of Cesaro until they were pulled apart…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Standard squash match from “the Red Flag” Mason Ryan. Colin Cassidy actually has really good size, standing several inches taller than Ryan. He may be something down the road. Zayn continues to show his super-friendly laid-back persona, but showed a glimpse of good intensity when confronted by Cesaro. I’m really looking forward to what this program has in store in coming weeks.
Back in the arena, Alex Riley made his entrance and got a nice ovation. Conor O’Brian made his elaborate entrance to the old Ascension music. Much better than what they gave him when he first went to singles.
3. Alex Riley vs. Conor O’Brian. O’Brian stood completely stoic until Riley got close, at which point O’Brian broke out with some intense offense. Hit hit multiple running shoulder blocks and repeating headlock takeovers. Riley eventually broke free and hit several chops, forearms, and a running back elbow. Riley went up top and dove at O’Brian with a clothesline, but it was only good for a one-count. A short time later, O’Brian hit snake eyes on Riley and charged in with a clothesline in the corner. O’Brian hit his flapjack and followed up by locking Riley in his new stretch submission, The Stockade, for the tap-out win.
Conor O’Brian beat Alex Riley in about 2:30.
O’Brian’s lighting took effect and he posed over Riley before making his way up the ramp. As he walked backwards, the mystery man from several weeks ago (Rick Victor) was crouched down on the stage. When O’Brian stood side by side with Victor, Victor rose. O'Brian briefly looked over, gave a nod, and the two men let out a guttural yell in unison…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Better stuff than we’ve been seeing from O’Brian. I like his intendity from the get-go, and I'm really happy that they’re putting him back into an Ascension-like tag team. It remains to be seen where this is headed, but I’m high on the idea of the O’Brian and Victor pairing.
A video recapped Bo Dallas last eliminating Adrian Neville to win last week’s battle royal and earning a shot at NXT Champion Big E Langston next week…
Kassius Ohno made his entrance for the main event as a video recapped the recent history between Ohno and The Wyatt Family. Corey Graves was out next, and a video recapped The Family beating down both Graves and Ohno once again. Bray Wyatt led his Family onto the stage. He re-introduced himself as Bray Wyatt, eater of worlds. He said that the men standing behind him wanted to give an introduction of their own. They set up Wyatt’s rocker and headed to the ring at Wyatt’s command.
4. NXT Champions The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erik Rowan) vs. Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Ohno worked a cravat in the opening minute and then went on offense on Rowan with strikes before tagging in Graves. Graves settled into a headlock of his own but Rowan fought out and tagged Harper who rambled “yeahyeahyeah.” Graves went for a slingshot sunset flip and ended up getting a one-count on another rollup from behind. Graves used a really nice reversal off a hip toss and tagged Ohno back in. The show cut to its final break as Rowan had a slight upper hand on Ohno. [C]
Back from break, Rowan had Ohno grounded with a cobra clutch. Ohno tried to fight out, but Harper tagged in and dropped Ohno with European uppercuts and quickly tagging Rowan once again. Ohno eventually used an inverted jawbreaker-like neckbreaker and made it to his corner. Graves came in hot with punches and a chop block on the big man. Harper unsuccessfully tried to enter the ring, but was able to drop Graves on the apron which was good enough for Rowan to score a near-fall. Harper tagged back in and continued the beatdown.
Rowan re-entered and hit a pumphandle backbreaker for another near-fall. Rowan settled into a Jesse Ventura inverted bearhug and then rammed Graves into the turnbuckle. Harper tagged back in and went for a suplex on Graves, but Graves countered into a quick small package, but Harper escaped. Harper set up for a powerbomb, but Graves reversed and finally tagged Ohno. Ohno came in hot and went to work on both Family members. He hit his running elbow in the corner, dropped Rowan off the apron, and hit a running senton on Harper for a near-fall.
Wyatt made his way to the ring and tried to distract Ohno, but Ohno evaded the discus clothesline of Harper. He landed his roaring knee strike, but Rowan broke up the pinfall. Graves sent Rowan out of the ring, but Wyatt was able to hit Ohno from behind. Graves took him out with a topè dive, but in the ring Harper hit his discus clothesline on Ohno and scored the pinfall.
The Wyatt Family pinned Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves in about 9:30 to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Wyatt raised his monsters’ hands and led them back up the ramp. Tom Phillips hyped the NXT Women’s Championship tournament and NXT Title match for next week’s show, then signed off.
Zim’s Zag: Very good match to close out the show. Ohno and Graves looked really capable throughout, played their roles well, and didn’t lose anything by not winning. The Wyatt Family continue to be brilliant and the way WWE has been utilizing its three-man teams is really logical, compelling, and entertaining.
The overall show, however, was lackluster. Nothing stands out as being particularly memorable, but there was still the continuation of several storylines such as the new Ascension, Sami Zayn/Antonio Cesaro, and Bo Dallas’ hinted heel turn. Every NXT episode is worth watching, especially at only an hour in length. However, if you’re not into watching everything and just want to know what you should watch for, check out the main event for a taste of what’s coming to Monday Nights in The Wyatt Family.
Throw any comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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