Zim’s WWE NXT Review: Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves vs. Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan, Leo Kruger returns with a goal, Big E and Bo Dallas both in action, and the EMMAlution enters the title tourney
By Zack Zimmerman
June 26, 2013 NXT on Hulu Plus
Taped May 23 at Full Sail University
The opening video played including a new brief insert of Sami Zayn… In the arena, Big E Langston made his talcum and steam pyro entrance. Aiden English was introduced and was already in the ring.
1. Big E Langston vs. Aiden English. Langston whipped English towards the corner but English jumped up to the second turnbuckle and blew a kiss to the crowd. He jumped off lucha-style but walked into a back body drop from Big E. Big E hit the ropes and ran English over before dropping his straps and hitting the Big Ending for the win.
Big E Langston beat Aiden English in under a minute
Post-match, the crowd chanted “five” and Langston hit his finisher again and self-counted the five count. He left the ring, but the fans chanted “One more time” so Langston obliged and did it all one more time… A Rob Van Dam return vignette aired…
Zim’s Zag: Standard squash match for Big E to keep rolling after dropping the NXT championship. The guy is a gifted athlete; I just wish he’d break out a new move once in a while (like his awesome leapfrog). Aiden English was fun in the brief seconds he had to show his stuff.
Backstage, Emma was playing with a bubble gun when Renee Young approached for an interview about her match with Aksana. Renee asked what her strategy was going into the tournament. Emma said she was going to win and take the Emmalution around the world. She added, “and you can’t have my bubbles, they’re my bubbles,” before shooting bubbles at Renee. “Wait, I know I said you can’t have my bubbles, but will you just hold them for a sec I have a match…” Renee held it, but Emma made it clear she dare not pull the trigger…
Zim’s Zag: Australian accents are awesome. Emma is gaining confidence and growing more into her character week to week. It’s near Santino-level comedy, so she may not be for everyone.
Aksana made her entrance. Emma’s music hit, the crowd lit up, and bubbles filled the air. She danced her way down the ramp and awkwardly skinned-the-cat into the ring.
2. Aksana vs. Emma in an NXT Women’s Championship Tournament first round match. The crowd chanted for Emma and she broke out in dance, but Aksana attacked from behind and took control to earn several two-counts. Emma tried for a quick rollup but Aksana regained momentum with a back elbow. They essentially broke out into a catfight, but Aksana remained in control. A short time later, Emma tripped up Aksana and applied the Muta Lock, now called the DilEMMA, for the submission win.
Emma beat Aksana in about 3:30 to advance in the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament.
After the match, the bracket display revealed that the round two matchups will be Paige vs. Alicia Fox and Summer Rae vs. Emma. Emma brought a few kids in the ring to dance with her. High five to the kid in blue, who was having a blast… The Leo Kruger vignette aired hyping that he was coming up next…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Emma hardly got any offensive in until the finish. I don’t like the lack of flow in a match like that, but Emma continues to be a silly delight and Aksana’s work was better than we’ve seen from her. I’m really looking forward to the second round matchups.
Back from break, Dante Dash was introduced and was already in the ring. Leo Kruger made his return and had a big, sadistic smile on his face with what looked like a lip full of khat.
3. Leo Kruger vs. Dante Dash. After the lockup, Kruger took control with a knee to the gut. He used a rolling snapmare into an armbar and methodically manipulated Dash’s arms. Kruger used repeated armbreakers and rammed Dash shoulder-first into the post twice. Kruger used a great hammerlock suplex, then crouched in the corner to stalk Dash for his lariat, The Slice. He hit it and followed up by locking in the CG3 for the submission win.
Leo Kruger beat Dante Dash in about 3:00
After the match, Kruger crouched in the corner of the ringside area, rather than heading backstage… Scott Stanford hyped that new NXT Champion Bo Dallas would be in action next, fresh off his trip to Disney…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Kruger looked really good in his return. Again, no offense for Dash, but Kruger worked his entire offense around Dash’s arm which set up his finish perfectly. I had him scouted as my number one for a reason; Kruger seems to be a complete package. I’m surprised that Dallas is showing up, I thought surely he’d continue to hold out and end up heel. Let’s see where this goes.
Somewhere blue, Conor O’Brian’s eyes were glowing and he emphasized that “We are the Ascension, and we will rise…”
Back in the arena, Mickey Keegan was introduced and was already in the ring. Bo Dallas’ terrible theme played and he made his way to the ring, stopping briefly to notice Leo Kruger still crouched in the corner.
4. NXT Champion Bo Dallas vs. Mickey Keegan Bo Dallas hit a couple of atomic drops before shooting Keegan into the ropes and connecting with an ugly dropkick. Keegan fought back with a tight back suplex before Bo regained control. He hit his usual combination and followed up with the Acid Drop-style bulldog. Bo tried to play to the crowd and got rejected, then he shot Keegan into the ropes and hit his snap belly-to-belly for the pinfall.
Bo Dallas pinned Mickey Keegan in about 1:40.
After the match, Dallas’ new gold lighting took effect as he posed with his championship. When the lights came back on, Kruger was in the ring. He picked up Mickey Keegan and hit a hammerlock suplex followed by The Slice. He kicked Keegan out of the ring as the crowd chanted for Kruger. Dallas looked unsure, but Kruger just leaned in and tapped his championship before backing away and leaving Dallas with a “Ta-ta...”
Scott Stanford hyped that Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves vs. Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan was coming up necxt…[C]
Zim’s Zag: So, who is the babyface? I don’t get it. I mean, I like the matchup and I’d really like to see a khat-chewing heel Kruger in the title picture, but the crowd has completely rejected Bo Dallas. Kruger is still acting heelish but he will surely get cheered against Dallas. Looks like NXT will be bizarro world around the title feud for the time being. That official Bo turn really needs to happen.
Back from break, Byron Saxton announced that this match would determine the number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship. Kassius Ohno made his entrance before a video recapped Ohno and Graves running in to save Adrian Neville from The Wyatt Family last week. Corey Graves was out next. Before Byron Saxton could introduce Dawson and Dylan, Sylvester Lefort interrupted. He introduced himself and then hyped Dawson and Dylan as the next NXT Tag Team Champions.
5. Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves vs. Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan (w/ Sylvester Lefort) to determine the number-one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships. Ohno and Graves were in control early and took turns working the arms of Scott Dawson. At about the two-minute mark, Dawson took momentum. He tagged in Garrett Dylan who hit one punch before tagging Dawson again…[C]
Back from break, Scott Dawson was working over Corey Graves before tagging Garrett Dylan. Dylan worked some really sloppy looking offense before tagging in Dawson again. Graves was able to make it to his corner and Kassius Ohno came in hot. He hit a body slam and came right back down with a back senton splash. Ohno let Dawson make it to his knees before dropping him again with a sliding single-leg. He followed up with the crash landing suplex for a near-fall.
Dylan was able to make a sneaky tag into the match and Ohno got caught with the spinebuster/axe-handle combo, which they’re calling Southern Pride. Dylan made the cover, but Corey Graves broke up the pinfall attempt. The heels worked frequent tags before Dylan settled into a chinlock and one fan chanted “You can’t wrestle” at him the whole time. Dylan was super awkward trying to prevent Ohno from making the tag, but Ohno finally hit a back elbow and made the tag.
Graves entered and went to work on Garrett Dylan. He used the ropes to uniquely tie Dylan up in the corner and land some shots. Graves hit a fireman’s carry backbreaker for a near-fall, but Dawson broke it up. Kassius Ohno caught Dawson with a high knee strike that knocked him out of the ring while Graves stalked Dylan from the corner. Graves charged in with a chop block and hooked in Lucky 13 for the submission win.
Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves beat Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan in about 9:30.
Post-match, The Wyatt Family hit the ring and put a beatdown on Graves and Ohno. The babyfaces looked like they were getting the upper hand but the numbers advantage kicked in and The Wyatts were dominating. Adrian Neville ran in to make the save successfully until Dawson and Dylan got involved and knocked Neville off the top turnbuckle.
The heels were in clear control, until a headset dropped and William Regal ran to the ring from the commentary table. Regal came in firing away at everyone within reach, but was eventually overtaken by the numbers disadvantage as well. Harper and Rowan held Regal in the corner for Wyatt to crush with his running splash. Wyatt got in Regal’s face as Wyatt’s music hit. Everyone left the ring except for the Wyatts and the beaten-down Regal. They laid in a few more boots and Wyatt yelled “I’m the king around here!” Before leading his monsters back up the ramp and out of the arena to close the show.
Zim’s Zag: The post-match attack was well done and it leaves the door open for plenty of matchups in coming weeks. Plus, it’s always a treat to see Regal get involved and work with the younger talent. As for the match, Garrett Dylan is just awful. He has no business being featured in a role like this when he was so clearly green and the cause of so many awkward spots. The babyfaces hit some really great looking offense but it wasn’t enough to make up for another poor display from Dylan and Dawson.
Overall, this was a moderately entertaining show with a few real flaws. The NXT Championship picture is slightly confusing and unpredictable, but I’m happy to see Kruger in that position. The matches did a good job of displaying acts and giving experience, but they lacked flow and psychology for the most-part. I like to see stories unfold before the bell rings, but I expect to see stories unfold when the bell rings as well, and this show just didn’t provide that. That said, as is the case every week, NXT is one-hour worth taking the time to sit and watch. Seeing some of the future (and some of the future future-endeavored) is a really nice way to change things up from the marathons that can be WWE programming.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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