Zim's WWE NXT Review: Wyatt Family vs. Regal, Neville, and Graves, Ric Flair appears for Charlotte’s debut, Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger match-of-the-night, and Emma vs. Summer Rae in a semifinal match
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired July 10, 2013 WWE NXT on Hulu Plus
Taped June 20 at Full Sail University
The opening video played… In the arena, Summer Rae made her entrance and the new NXT Women’s Championship displayed on the screen for this, the last semifinal match of the tournament. Emma’s music hit and bubbles filled the stage as she made her usual entrance to a great reaction. Tom Phillips and Brad Maddox on commentary.
1. Summer Rae vs. Emma in an NXT Women’s Championship Tournament semi-final match. The crowd chanted "Emma" as the two locked up. Summer took control in the opening minutes, but the arena was solidly behind Emma. Summer used her long legs to work a stretch on Emma’s arm, but Emma was able to escape and went for a roll-up. Summer kicked out and caught Emma with a dropkick for a two-count before settling into a chinlock.
Emma worked up and did her doge in the corner into a roll-up, and then hit a drop toe hold. She charged at Summer seated in the corner and hit a crossbody that looked like it really hurt for a near-fall. A short time later, Summer went for a sunset flip but Emma reversed and scored the surprise pinfall.
Emma pinned Summer Rae in about 4:30 to advance to the finals of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament.
Emma danced in celebration but was attacked from behind by Summer Rae. Paige made the run in and Summer took off. The two finalists of the tournament gave each other a nod and had a respectful staredown… Scott Stanford hyped the main event, a six man tag between The Wyatt Family and William Regal, Adrian Neville, and Corey Graves. He also hyped Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: The match was just okay. It was competent and believable, it just felt a bit slow and didn’t showcase either lady the way other matches have. Surprising finish leading to a babyface vs. babyface tournament final, but I like that it will be a fresh matchup between two fan-favorites that have been kept apart. The post-match angle was logical and has me looking forward to a really promising title match.
A RVD return vignette aired… Backstage, Bayley was awkwardly marking-out for Dusty Rhodes’ HoF ring. Dusty asked why on Earth Bayley tried to hug Alicia after losing to her in the tournament. She told him that she’s just so excited to be in NXT and in WWE. She fell silent and her jaw dropped and Dusty got worried for a second before turning around.
Rhodes found himself face to face with Ric Flair, who was standing beside a tall, muscular, blonde that he introduced as his daughter, Charlotte. Dusty said he was in the process of finding Charlotte an opponent for her debut, when Bayley spoke up and awkwardly volunteered to face Charlotte next week. Dusty agreed and the two ladies shook hands. As the Flairs were about to leave, Bayley asked Ric to do something and promised she would never ask him to do it again. Naich looked at her like "psh, silly mark," and walked away. A second later however, he jumped back into frame and let out a big "Wooooo!" Bayley went nuts and let out a couple of her own…
Back in the arena, Sami Zayn made his entrance to a good reaction. Leo Kruger was out next for a singles matchup between two of NXT brightest stars.
2. Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger. Kruger stalled and tried to get in Zayn’s head in the opening minute, but the crowd broke out with loud "Sami" chants. Kruger shot in for a takedown, but Zayn evaded with a quick roll-up attempt. Kruger escaped and took Zayn’s arm, but Zayn reversed with a vintage-Zayn armdrag and the crowd sang "Ole."
Kruger took Zayn down with a shoulder block, but Zayn came right back with his series of lucha-style armdrags. He went for 10 punches in the corner, but Kruger dropped him down with an atomic drop. Kruger hit the ropes, but Zayn caught him with a jumping heel kick that knocked Kruger out of the ring. Sami fired up the crowd and went for a suicide dive, but Kruger popped up onto the apron and hit Zayn with a forearm to the ear that rocked him. Both men sold as the show went to a commercial… [C]
Back in the ring, Kruger was wearing Zayn down with shots in the corner. They traded chops, but Kruger stayed in control with a snap suplex. Kruger went to work on the arms with a hammerlock and picked Zayn apart. Zayn worked back to his feet and tried to pick up the pace, but got planted with a hard double-A spinebuster for a near-fall.Kruger went up to the second rope, but missed a diving elbow and both men were down.
Zayn made it to his feet first and fired up with clotheslines and a flapjack dropkick for a two-count. Zayn hit a diving crossbody for another near-fall. He charged at Kruger in the corner for his Yakuza kick, but Kruger caught him with a high knee. Kruger ran Zayn’s bad arm into the ringpost and caught him in a fujiwara armbar. After a great false-finish, Zayn managed to make it to the ropes and Kruger had to break the hold.
Kruger went for a slam, but Zayn slipped over the back and hit a huge spinning blue-thunder bomb for a great near-fall. Zayn took some time going up to the top rope, and Kruger caught him with a top-rope superplex. Kruger stalked Zayn and hit an armbreaker takedown before hooking in the GC3 for the submission win.
Leo Kruger beat Sami Zayn in about 10:30.
Kruger celebrated and Zayn sold as a replay aired of the blut-thunder bomb and the finish. The announcers put both guys over big time as Kruger made his way back up the ramp…
Backstage, Renee Young was standing by with William Regal, Corey Graves, and Adrian Neville. She asked simply, "Will the war with the Wyatt Family end tonight?" Neville spoke first and kept his composure for the second week in a row. He said tonight is only a taste of what the Family have coming. He said that they are ready and next week, he and Corey Graves would be crowned new NXT Tag Team Champions.
Corey Graves said that all Bray Wyatt does is talk, so tonight, Graves is going to let his fists do the talking for him. Regal started, but was briefly taken aback by the lovely Renee Young. He continued and said that when he was born and the doctor spanked him, he broke the doctor’s fingers and headbutted him. He spoke with a Geordie accent at Neville, and then referred to Graves’ fists. Regal got serious and said that the best thing the Wyatt Family can do is take the hiding they have coming tonight and stay down… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Excellent match that started out methodically and got really good down the stretch. Kruger looked maniacal as ever, Zayn is one of the best underdog babyfaces in WWE right now, and together they were able to put on a very compelling and psychologically-sound match. As for the promo segment: Neville is becoming comfortable and gaining poise, Graves was smooth and concise as usual, and Regal brought it all home. It was just a fun, entertaining, and brief throwback-style wrestling promo from all three men.
Back in the arena, Mason Ryan made his entrance. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy were out next. Amore introduced himself and Big Cass, "bada-boom, the realest guys in the room." He said that what happened last week was "pure manure." He called Ryan’s cheap shot "sawft" and said that he and Big Cass don’t like Mason Ryan. He said Ryan had a problem because "1+1=3.14, time to eat your pi(e)." Great delivery through that whole thing.
3. Mason Ryan vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy in a 2-1 handicap match. Ryan went right after Cassidy but Amore jumped on Ryan and the two men got the upper hand. They awkwardly whipped Ryan across the ring, and he dropped them both with a mistimed shoulder block. Ugly match so far. Ryan caught Amore’s crossbody attempt, but Cassidy hit a big boot and Amore fell into the cover for a near-fall. They kept working Ryan over until Ryan picked up Cassidy for a slam, but Amore clipped the knee and Cassidy fell into the three-count.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy beat Mason Ryan in about 1:30.
Amore and Cassidy quickly headed to the back, but Amore was stoked. A replay of the finish aired and Ryan was left fuming in the ring… Scott Stanford hyped the main event six-man tag coming up next…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Amore’s promo delivery is brilliant and he was the only one who looked competent in this match. Ryan and Cassidy’s timing were two steps off and it really made this match look silly in the worst way. I’m willing to admit that I may have overestimated Colin Cassidy. However, I’m as high as ever on Enzo Amore and can’t wait to hear what he has to say after actually getting a win.
Backstage, Dusty Rhodes said it was great to be the NXT Commissioner. He said last week, things got out-of-hand between Antonio Cesaro, Leo Kruger, and Sami Zayn. He said that next week, a true number one contender will be crowned. It will be the winner of a triple threat match Cesaro vs. Kruger vs. Zayn…
Back in the arena, The Wyatt Family entered and Bray had a microphone. Bray said that his heart bleeds for his opponents. He said he has to give it to them though, they just keep fighting and fighting. He questioned what they were fighting for. "Some foolish sense of pride?" He said that in time, they will realize that this was a mistake. He said that he is a wolf raised by lambs. He said that this night belongs to Bray Wyatt. "Follow the buzzards." He closed as the trio embarked to the ring.
Adrian Neville made his emtrance next and got a big pop from the crowd. Corey Graves was out next, Followed by William Regal who got a great reaction as well. Wyatt unmasked Rowan and had him start the match.
4. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erik Rowan) vs. Adrian Neville, Corey Graves, and William Regal in a six-man tag team match. Neville came out firing away at Rowan. He hit a high single-leg dropkick and forced Rowan to his corner where he tagged in William Regal. Regal hit repeated elbows and knees to Rowan before tagging in Corey Graves.
Rowan hit a shoulder block on Graves and tagged in Luke Harper, but Graves caught him with a dropkick. Graves got Harper into the corner and locked him in a hanging triangle choke before bringing William Regal back into the match. Regal hit back kicks to a seated Harper in the corner and the ref made him stop at a count of four. Regal tagged in Adrian Neville and distracted the referee, allowing Neville to his some back kicks of his own. Fun spot. Harper rolled to the outside and regrouped with the Family and the babyfaces stood strong in the ring... [C]
[Scott Stanford hyped that Charlotte would make her debut against Bayley next week. He also announced that Bo Dallas would face Scott Dawson. He finished by hyping the triple threat number one contender’s match between Antonio Cesaro, Leo Kruger, and Sami Zayn]…
Back in the ring, Neville hit a high backflip off the top over Harper and connected with a dropkick to the knee. Neville hit the ropes and caught Harper with a quick sliding dropkick for a one-count. Harper gauged Neville’s eyes and Bray Wyatt dropped Neville with a clothesline from the apron. Wyatt made sure to get the referee’s attention before tagging into the match, good ring awareness.
Wyatt went to work on Neville and hit a springboard seated senton before tagging Luke Harper back into the match. Harper kept Neville down with a hard back elbow and walked on him to make the tag to Erik Rowan. Rowan shot Harper into an elbow strike on Neville and followed up with a slam. Rowan hit a pumphandle backbreaker for a two-count and kept all the heat on the Wyatts. The crowd tried to rally behind Neville, but Rowan dropped an elbow and tagged Bray Wyatt into the match.
Wyatt hit a headbutt but missed a splash in the corner. Neville tried to fight back and went for a running crucifix, but Wyatt caught him and slammed him to the mat. Luke Harper tagged in, but Neville used a quick jawbreaker. Neville charged towards his corner, but Harper caught him with a spinebuster for a near-fall. Harper settled into a hammerlock/abdominal stretch combo and then went for a suplex, but Neville caught him with a knee and went for a quick roll-up for a near-fall.
Neville ended up on the apron and tried to springboard in, but Harper caught him on his shoulders. Neville managed to escape and make the hot tag to William Regal. Regal came in firing away with elbow and knee strikes. He hit an exploder suplex on Harper and went after Wyatt and Rowan in the corner. Regal and Harper locked up again and seemed to forget their spot, which resulted in Regal hitting the Knee Trembler out of nowhere. He went for the cover, but Rowan broke it up.
Graves took Rowan over the top to the outside and Neville followed up with a Space Flying Tiger onto Rowan and Graves at ringside. Statistically speaking, poor decision. All three men were out at ringside while Luke Harper tagged the fresh Bray Wyatt. Wyatt slowly walked over to Regal in the ring, lifted him up, and delivered Sister Abigail for the win.
The Wyatt Family beat William Regal, Adrian Neville, and Corey Graves in about 10:45.
Post-match, Wyatt struck the crucifix pose before a replay showed Adrian Neville’s dive to ringside as well as the finish of the match. Wyatt was still in the ring and the show closed with him standing tall over everyone, arms spread.
Zim’s Zag: Pretty standard six-man match. The majority of the match saw the Family getting heat on Neville, which wasn’t bad, but wasn‘t necessarily compelling either. Regal’s hot tag was exciting but it lost steam on the miscommunication and didn’t recover, leaving the finish feeling anti-climactic and random. Honestly, I expected this one to be a bit better.
Overall this was a good, not great, edition of NXT with each segment undoubtedly bringing something to the program worth watching. The Divas segment built to the tournament finals, the Zayn and Kruger match was certainly must-see, the Mason Ryan and Enzo Amore segment actually gave a base for a program to build on, and the six-man was (on paper, anyway) a marquee matchup. Once again, they did a good job this week of hyping what’s happening next week with the number-one contender three-way match and the debut of Charlotte vs. Bayley. NXT continues to be one hour of programming worth keeping track of.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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