7/18 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan vs. Adrian Neville and Corey Graves for the NXT Tag Team Titles, Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger in a No. 1 Contender Triple Threat, Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) vs. Bayley
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped June 20 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Leo Kruger was shown mid entrance. The ring announcer announced that this will be the No.1 Contender triple threat match for the NXT Title. Antonio Cesaro entered with the “Don’t tread on me” flag before Sami Zayn rounded out the line up...
1. Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger vs. Antonio Cesaro in a Triple Threat No. 1 Contender match. Zayn hit the ground running, taking out both Cesaro and Kruger on the outside with a rope flip dive before a “Don’t try this at home” video...
The first three man spot occurred when Kruger threw Zayn with a leg trap suplex, whilst being thrown by Cesaro’s German suplex. Cesaro tried to finish the match shortly after with the Neutraliser, but Kruger broke the move up and tried to pin both men. Both men kicked out, and when all three men stood up, Zayn became the target. Zayn managed to get a foothold with a simultaneous DDT and Complete Shot, and followed it up with a roll up pin on Kruger, followed by a nice head scissors pin out of a flapjack on Cesaro.
Zayn threw Kruger to the outside, and went for Cesaro, but got caught with a European uppercut, which allowed Cesaro to hit the Neutraliser. Before he could pin Zayn, Kruger slid back in, shoved Cesaro to the outside, and stole the victory...
Leo Kruger defeated Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro in 7:01 to become No. 1 Contender for the NXT Title.
Cesaro got back in the ring but Kruger quickly exited. Kruger chanted his last name on the ramp before commercial ... [C]
Gutt Reaction: That match was a little short for my tastes, but the short time frame allowed them to work a frenetic pace. The two triple man spots were nicely done, especially the suplex spot, which I don’t think I’ve seem before. Kruger winning was no surprise given the establishing time they have already given to him and Bo Dallas, but they didn’t make it obvious, allowing both Cesaro and Zayn to look dominant before the finish. Good start.
[Q2] Sylvester Lefort introduced Scott Dawson, predicting he will soon be a champion. Bo Dallas received a loud mixed reaction for his entrance...
2. Bo Dallas vs. Scott Dawson. Dawson started off the aggressor, but Bo soon got in the driving seat with two dropkicks and a running crossbody. Dawson was thrown to the apron, but he hit Dallas with the top rope, and climbed back in the ring to try and ground and pound Dallas. Bo eventually escaped a headlock, and started his hot streak of moves, building to a bulldog out of the corner. This set Dallas up for the rebound belly to belly suplex, which gave him the 1-2-3...
Bo Dallas defeated Scott Dawson in 2:34.
As Dallas posed with the title under a spotlight, Kruger slid in the ring and attacked Bo from behind. As the crowd chanted “Thank you Kruger”, he hit the Kruger’s End, and then posed with the title before placing it back on Dallas and leaving the ring...[C]
Gutt Reaction: I guess everyone’s criticisms of Garrett Dylan were echoed by WWE, as he hasn’t been mentioned since the No.1 Contender tag match a few weeks ago. The match came and went without making an impression, but the post match attack makes me question further whether WWE is embracing the fan-powered Dallas heel turn, or ploughing on with him as a babyface champion regardless. This certainly seemed like a classic “sympathy spot” for him, but the crowd’s chant shows how well it worked.
[Q3] Bayley was already in the ring as Ric Flair’s music hit, and the crowd popped huge. He walked to the ring, and grabbed a mic. He said he has been coming to Orlando since 1978. He said he respects all the kids breaking their butts here in NXT, and thanked the fans for the respect they’re showing him. He said tonight he is here to be in his daughter’s corner, and he introduced Charlotte. She came down the ramp and showed off some impressive gymnastics before getting in the ring...
3. Charlotte vs. Bayley. Charlotte let out a “Woo!”, and the crowd responded with more. Charlotte kept getting the better of the chain wrestling, including a very unique pin where she rolled up Bayley and then bridged over the top of her legs. Bayley managed to stem the tide with a suplex, before throwing Charlotte to the corner. Charlotte flipped over the turnbuckle to land on the apron, suckering Bayley over and slamming her head into the turnbuckle. Charlotte got back in the ring, and following a clothesline, she put Bayley away with a somersault cutter while Bayley was on all fours...
Charlotte defeated Bayley in 2:48.
Flair got in the ring and hugged his daughter. They both did the Flair strut before leaving...
Gutt Reaction: While she didn’t show much, I was really impressed by Charlotte’s athleticism. Far from coasting on her father’s name, she showed off some impressive, clean looking flips. I’ll wait to see her in a longer match before I give her a full review though, as this was essentially a squash match where she sold very little.
Backstage, Tony Dawson introduced Sheamus. Dawson asked if he was excited about competing on NXT for the first time next week. He said he hasn’t been this excited since he had this first pint. He called NXT the future, before questioning who he would face. He was suddenly attacked from behind by Luke Harper. Bray Wyatt walked in and said “It takes only one stone to bring a giant to his knees.” He told Dawson to tell Sheamus to “follow the buzzards”...
Backstage again, the camera showed a blonde haired man sat in a chair, looking at himself in a hand mirror as people tended to him. He introduced himself as Tyler Breeze, and said he was a model. As the camera panned around, he stopped it, saying it was next week that NXT will “witness gorgeous”...
Paige vs. Emma in the final of the NXT Women’s Title tournament was advertised for next week.
Gutt Reaction: Looks like Mike Dalton won (or lost) the annual “Generic pretty boy gimmick” lottery. I never understood the logic that someone as dainty as Breeze came off would get involved in wrestling. Wyatt vs. Sheamus seems very big, but almost too big to give away on NXT considering the Family’s much hyped debut on Raw. It could be a big feud on the main roster down the line, so they may go with Sheamus against Harper or Erick Rowan instead next week.
Adrian Neville and Corey Graves made their entrance for the main event. Wyatt lead out the Family, staying in his rocking chair on the ramp as Harper and Rowan walked to the ring...
4. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan vs. Adrian Neville and Corey Graves for the NXT Tag Team Titles. In a similar vein to last week, Graves and Neville worked a quick pace to take it to both Harper and Rowan. Following a dragon leg screw, Graves backed to the corner to charge at Harper. Rowan ran in to block, only to be taken out by Neville. Harper used the distraction to nail Graves with a big boot to give the Family control going into the final commercial... [C]
[Q4] The Family further isolated Graves, with both members working abdominal stretches between power moves. Graves got thrown to Wyatt’s corner, but he managed to hit both Harper and Rowan with elbows before charging at Harper, only to get caught with a Black Hole slam. Graves got back up in the corner, and Harper looked for a running big boot, but Graves ducked him to send Harper crashing to the outside. This allowed Graves to tag in Neville.
Neville flew in with flying forearms on Rowan, before nailing him with a kick from the apron. He took the opportunity to take out Harper on the outside with a head scissors, and then pulled the ropes down on a charging Rowan to send him to the outside as well. Neville hit an Asai moonsault on both men before throwing Rowan back into the ring, hitting him with a corkscrew 450 splash for a two count. He went to the top rope again, but Wyatt shoved him off.
Sheamus ran down and attacked Wyatt. He threw him into the steel steps, as Graves took out Rowan on the inside with a low chop block. Neville once again went to the top rope, and this time hit Rowan with the Red Arrow, giving his team the win and the titles...
Adrian Neville and Corey Graves defeated Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to win the NXT Titles in 10:08.
Sheamus grabbed the titles from ringside and handed them to Graves and Neville in the ring. All three men celebrated as NXT went off the air...
Gutt Reaction: Another solid match with a hot finish. Sheamus didn’t get in the ring and take out Rowan to help out the “rookies”, which I worried would happen, instead merely evening the odds on the outside. The title change to them was more necessary than natural, but the dynamic between Neville and Graves could be interesting to explore. I’d like to see them play up there disinterest in each other, while still winning, seemingly becoming friends before Graves turns, which would feel like a major feud in NXT world.
NXT ending with a tag match is now a cliché, so I’d have preferred the triple threat to go on last, but it could be argued the title change needed to be spotlighted more. Outside of that small card change, this was the NXT I had been asking for. Four matches, two good ones, one intriguing (Divas), one a means to an end (Dallas/Dawson) and very little lost momentum. Next week also looks interesting with Sheamus appearing, Tyler Breeze debuting and the finals of the women’ tournament. No complaints from me tonight.
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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