6/13 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Big E Langston vs. Bo Dallas for the NXT Title, Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn, Garrett Dylan and Scott Dawson vs. Travis Tyler and Baron Corbin, NXT Women's Title Tournament continues
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped May 23rd in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Tony Dawson introduced himself and William Regal on commentary as Sami Zayn made his entrance to a nice pop. Following a short video package on Zayn’s win over Antonio Cesaro, Cesaro marched to the ring and immediately elbowed Zayn in the face. Zayn rolled to the outside, and Cesaro continued to assault him by throwing him into the railing and the ringpost. Cesaro put Zayn back in the ring, and the ref checked on Zayn. Zayn said he was fine, and the ref rang the bell...
1. Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro hit Zayn straight away with a running European uppercut for a close two count. Cesaro attacked aggressively, with Zayn only hitting a quick move here and there before Cesaro regained control. Cesaro hit a big tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two count before a “Don’t Try This At Home” video aired and we cut to the first commercial... [C]
[Q2] Following a double foot stamp, Cesaro applied a chinlock. After a few escape attempts, Zayn got out with a back suplex turned into a spinebuster. Following the pin attempt however, Cesaro hit another European uppercut for a close count of his own. Cesaro started to reign down on Zayn with punches and forearms, until Zayn caught him in a head scissors and threw him out of the ring. Zayn capitalised with a flip over the ropes onto Cesaro.
Back in the ring, Zayn went to the top rope, but Cesaro hit a third European uppercut when Zayn was mid dive. Zayn again kicked out, and forced Cesaro to try for the chinlock a second time. Zayn escaped and got in another pin attempt from a sunset flip, but following a big boot out of the corner, Cesaro went for the chinlock again. This time, he appeared to make Zayn pass out, allowing him to hit the Neutraliser and get the 1-2-3...
Antonio Cesaro defeated Sami Zayn in 10:52.
Cesaro got up and slapped Zayn following the pin. After having his hand raised, Cesaro looked to try and attack Zayn some more, who was still selling the effects of the chinlock. Two referees successfully begged him off before he could do any more damage, and he smiled as he left the ring...
Gutt Reaction: A great match to kick off the night, and one that told a solid story. That’s one of my favourite Cesaro matches in his WWE run, as he looked every inch the dominant in-ring force he should have always been portrayed as (thank the Lord the yodelling has passed). He worked in a lot of aggression, and it made the fans root for Zayn that little bit more. Zayn looked plucky, but seem to just be outwrestled by the wrestling machine. Nothing wrong with that as a match with the aim of getting both guys over. Zayn can always come back in the rematch and win with his quickness.
Following a UK tour promo, Baron Corbin and Travis Tyler were shown stood in the ring, before Sylvester Lefort walked onto the stage. He introduced himself, and then introduced Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan as “the next NXT Tag Team champions”. This time, Dylan brought an actual bottle of JR’s BBQ sauce to the ring to drink from instead of just a generic bottle. It’s one way to shill the product I suppose...
2. Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan (w/ Sylvester Lefort) vs. Baron Corbin and Travis Tyler. Dawson and Dylan isolated Tyler in their corner with quick tags. After a long period, Tyler got a break and tagged Corbin. Corbin punched Dylan off the ropes, but Dylan quickly scrambled back to the apron to get the blind tag and set up the tag team finish, wherein Dawson hit a spinebuster and Dylan hit a sitout double axe handle from the top rope. This lead to the pin... [C]
Garrett Dylan and Scott Dawson defeated Baron Corbin and Travis Tyler in 4:23.
Gutt Reaction: Wow was that dull. 90% of it was Dylan hitting Tyler a few times before tagging Dawson so he could do the same. Rinse and repeat. That doesn’t make for a very engaging tag match.
[Q3] Bayley was making her entrance when we returned, as the NXT Women’s title was shown on the commentators table. As Alicia Fox came out, Regal pointed out that Bayley was just “happy to be there” and was “in awe of Fox”. He then concluded by saying Bayley was his niece’s favourite wrestler...
3. Alicia Fox vs. Bayley in a NXT Women’s Title Tournament Quarter Final match. Bayley offered the hand shake, but when Fox shook it, Bayley hugged her quite aggressively. Fox took exception, and elbowed Bayley in the face.
Gutt Reaction: Be A Star!
Fox applied a chinlock while Regal said she had a very strong grip. Bayley escaped and hit a monkey flip to kick-start her momentum. She built up to a running knee drop for a two count, before getting another close count from an exploder suplex. Fox rolled to the apron, suckering Bayley over to her before kicking her in the head. Fox took full advantage and hit a scissors kick to pick up the win...
Alicia Fox defeated Bayley in 3:29 to advance to the Semi Finals of the NXT Women’s Title Tournament.
The brackets showed that Fox will meet Paige in the first Semi Final...
Bo Dallas vs. Big E Langston was advertised for the next match up...
Gutt Reaction: Bayley’s character of an almost childlike super fan was cute and all, but it’s been played out a few times in recent memory (Daniel Bryan and Kane kinda have a monopoly on the whole “hugging” gimmick). For once, one of my bigger problems here was Regal. He’s definitely unique, and one of NXT’s strongest assets, but he has a tendency to lay things on thick, which can get distracting. He reminds me of Matt Striker in that he is always trying to imbue everything with a lot of meaning. Bayley is his niece’s favourite after maybe one other appearance on NXT? Is Regal’s niece a die hard fan who watches the bootleg tapes of Bayley NXT house show matches?
A video package focussing on the NXT Title No.1 Contender Battle Royal that Dallas won aired before Dallas came out to big boos. Big E got a decent pop, followed by a good few “five” chants. Byron Saxton handled the introductions in-ring...
4. Big E Langston vs. Bo Dallas for the NXT Title. Big E shrugged off all of Dallas’ offense early on, before Bo pulled the ropes down to send a running Langston to the outside. Big E responded by rolling back in the ring and throwing Dallas into the bottom turnbuckle head first. This took us to the final commercial... [C]
[Q4] Big E continued to dominate until Dallas rolled out of the way of a running splash. Dallas hit Big E with clotheslines and a big boot, building up to a springboard bulldog. Dallas teased the spear, but Big E caught him and threw him with a belly to belly takedown. Big E hit clotheslines of his own, following them with his five knee lifts and the running body splash. Langston took the straps down and went for the Big Ending, but Dallas grabbed the turnbuckle. Dallas partially removed the turnbuckle pad, and then rammed Big E into the exposed metal twice before hitting his belly to belly suplex. He scrambled for the pin and got it...
Bo Dallas defeated Big E Langston in 7:43 to win the NXT Title.
The crowd initially popped before boos started to ring out as Dallas looked shocked. Regal said that Dallas didn’t mean to remove the pad from the turnbuckle, but he did take advantage of it. Big E left the ring quickly as orange mood lighting hit the ring and Dallas posed with the title. He walked up the stage, and was greeted by Renee Young. She congratulated him and asked what was going through his mind.
Dallas said his mind was chaos, and said he didn’t know what to say other than “I’m the champion, baby!”. As the crowd really started to get on his back, he shouted “I’m going to Disneyland!” before leaving. This ended NXT...
Gutt Reaction: I can’t fault WWE on their logic or execution here. Big E was over with the Full Sail crowd, and they had him drop the title to the most hated man in Florida. They have to change Dallas heel right away, and the best part of the match was they gave him fodder to become the heel on NXT (once Wyatt leaves). They played up that Dallas didn’t cheat, he just took advantage of a situation, similar to how they turned CM Punk heel in his second World Title reign against Jeff Hardy a few years ago. It’s great because now he can continue to get heat the way he always has – by still trying to be phoney babyface before eventually turning fully. The only downside was the match was slightly below average for a title match, with a lot of Big E slow paced domination followed by a quick, fluky (albeit smartly booked) win.
After a great start, this NXT faltered. Two ho-hum matches in the middle of the show bottomed the episode out, but the main event, despite not being a really interesting match, was newsworthy. I now worry however that unless Dallas can turn his “X-Pac heat” into genuine heat, the NXT title scene may essentially die until the title is put on someone else, because the Full Sail crowd will just stop caring. If he can convert it though, it might transition into a very good title feud with whoever they pick to chase him.
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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