8/1 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Antonio Cesaro and Leo Kruger vs. Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn, The Wyatt Family's NXT farewell, Corey Graves vs. Scott Dawson, Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped July 11th in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady came out to a surprisingly loud pop, as Tony Dawson and William Regal checked in on commentary. Enzo introduced the pair, saying "Badda boom, realist guys in the room". Cassady said they had proven they were not "Sawft". Enzo said NXT was like a dance floor, and he was going to dance. This brought out Tons of Funk, who were wearing "Property of WWE Performance Centre" t-shirts.
Amore and Cassady slid out of the ring as Tons of Funk entered it. They looked to be leaving before Mason Ryan cut them off. They ran into the ring, were Brodus Clay and Tensai attacked them. Following a double splash on Cassady, Ryan got in the ring and dropped Amore with the Cobra Clutch slam. As he went to leave the ring, Clay grabbed him, and invited him to dance. Ryan obliged, even continuing to dance after Tons of Funk had left...
Backstage, Dusty Rhodes was shown congratulating Paige and Emma on their match last week. Summer Rae entered and told Paige to hand over "her" title. Paige offered to break Summer’s face and hand over her own teeth instead. Rae said had Emma not stolen a victory from her, she would be champion now. Emma said Rae was a loser and a bad dancer. Rae got angry, but Dusty told them all to calm down.
Rae suggested a dance contest. Dusty said it was the most outrageous idea he had ever heard, but he liked it. Emma promised to win, as did Rae. Paige told them both to shut up, as regardless of who wins, she’ll beat either of them... [C]
Gutt Reaction: In case you didn’t know, dance gimmicks are "in" right now. I swear more people use dance moves than headlocks these days. I’m all for PG rated silliness once in a while, but that opening was too much. A very lame start to the new set of tapings.
[Q2] Sasha Banks came out after the break, and Charlotte was shown already stood in the ring...
1. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks. Banks took control early, landing the match’s first two count off of a dropkick. Following an arm drag, Charlotte got shot to the corner, but she dived over the onrushing Banks, and managed to roll Banks up with her unique roll up pin for her own two count. Banks fired back aggressively with slaps, eventually locking Charlotte in a Camel Clutch. She once again threw Charlotte into the corner, but this time Charlotte flipped onto the apron and drove Banks head first into the turnbuckle. Charlotte jumped back into the ring, and following a clothesline, she put Banks away with a roll through cutter...
Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks in 3:17.
Charlotte slapped hands at ringside before we cut backstage to Tyler Breeze admiring himself in a mirror. Renee Young came over and said he took NXT by storm last week, and asked for his thoughts. He said his debut was gorgeous, just like him. CJ Parker was shown in the background, waving to the camera and making a moustache with his dreadlocks. Breeze talked about how good looking he was before telling Young the interview was over. He left, and Renee said "Tyler Breeze has left the building"...
Gutt Reaction: WWE has now created a strange grey area on NXT of between "green" and "Main roster ready". They have to be careful with who they send out on NXT, as the run the risk of pushing a rookie too quickly into the spotlight. Charlotte is being protected in matches, mainly showing off her gymnastic skills, and I worry it is being done to hide her still far from ready wrestling skills. If she isn’t ready, don’t put her on TV. The Breeze stuff seems to be par for the course as far as tonight’s episode goes – campy and uninteresting.
Mickey Keegan and Aiden English stood in the ring, before we cut to a shot of Bray Wyatt sat in his rocking chair on the ramp, holding the electric lantern. When he blew it out, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan were in the ring. The crowd popped big, and Wyatt was shown nodding towards Rowan and Harper...
2. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan vs. Mickey Keegan and Aiden English. The ref started the match when all four guys were brawling. Keegan was thrown to the outside, and following a corner splash, English was taken out with a discus clothesline from Harper, and a running splash from Rowan...
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated Mickey Keegan and Aiden English in 0:25.
After the match, Wyatt got in the ring and delivered the Sister Abigail as the crowd swayed along to his music. The crowd chanted "One more time", but Wyatt told them to calm down. Wyatt said there were several different types of men in the world. There are men who dream but never make it off the couch, and men who dream and fail. And then there are men who dream and change the landscape, like himself. He asked if the crowd felt sick of being outcasts, and that if they did, today was their lucky day, as he has decided to change everything. He said today he will look Mr. Fear in the eye and call him a liar.
He told the fans to tell World leaders that they should take notice of him, and heed his warning. He said today is the day he brings down the machine. The fans chanted "bring it down" as Bray concluded by saying "today we say goodbye to NXT". He said he isn’t hard to find however, as all you need to do is "follow the buzzards". He went to leave, but instead chose to finish his promo by singing the chorus line from "Time Is On My Side" by the Rolling Stones. He struck the Raven pose as the fans chanted "Thank you Bray"...
Gutt Reaction: Holy shit. Talk about going from 1st to 5th gear in one segment. They may be Wyatt’s best promo yet, as he delivered a clear message, with no rambling. I also loved the fact that he didn’t go on the offensive with the Full Sail crowd, and instead chose to talk to them like his own people. The crowd reacted accordingly (I do call them the "Cult of Full Sail" for a reason), and it means Wyatt, Harper and Rowan will receive monster reactions should they ever return to NXT. It’s been a merry ride watching Wyatt over this past year, and I’m very happy the act is getting the "big deal" treatment on Raw, but I’m sadden that I won’t get to write about him every week here on NXT.
Backstage, Adrian Neville walked into Corey Graves’ locker room, and told him he would be at ringside tonight for Graves’ match. Graves asked why, and Neville said he though the Wyatt’s might try and get revenge on them. Graves said he hoped they would, and promised to show the Wyatt’s that the "hell" they thought they had lived through in their lives was nothing compared to what the two of them would do to them. He closed by saying they are the champions, and they run from no one...[C]
[Q3] Corey Graves came out with Adrian Neville, as Scott Dawson waited inside the ring with Sylvester Lefort...
3. Corey Graves vs. Scott Dawson. Dawson started more aggressively, and Regal praised him for not wasting any motion. Graves broke the momentum with a running low chop block, and quickly locked in the Lucky 13. Dawson tapped immediately...
Corey Graves defeated Scott Dawson in 2:02.
Neville and Graves posed with the titles in the ring. Suddenly, The Shield’s music played, and they walked onto the stage. Seth Rollins said the last time they were on NXT, they left Graves in a heap. He said although Graves and Neville were tag champions, they weren’t quite as good tag champions as he and Roman Reigns are.
Dean Ambrose grabbed the mic and said Neville wasn’t a real champion, he just slid into Kassius Ohno’s spot. He called Neville a thief, and said that was an "injustice". He challenged Neville to a match, saying it was his chance to "touch greatness". Neville suggested making it interesting by challenging Ambrose to put his US title on the line. Ambrose replied by saying "Do you know who you’re talking to?". He called himself the best singles champion in the industry, and said the match will take place next week.
Neville said that was fine, as he could wait a week before becoming the man who took down The Shield brick by brick. He said next week, justice will finally be served - "Believe in that"...
Gutt Reaction: Dawson showed good intensity in the match, but everything else was poorly thought out. One attack on the leg and he’s ready to tap? Awful. The post match promo was much better. The Shield came off like the big dogs, but Neville stood his ground nicely. He still sounds robotic, but he is developing inflections and intensity in his delivery now, which is a much needed improvement.
A video package hyped next weeks episode, advertising Bo Dallas vs. Leo Kruger for the NXT Title, Neville vs. Ambrose for the US title, and Emma vs. Summer Rae in a dance battle. One of these is not like the others...
Antonio Cesaro made his out with the "Don’t tread on me" flag, while his partner Kruger waited in the ring. Sami Zayn got a decent pop for his entrance, but Dallas was met with boos and "No more Bo" chants...
4. Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro and Leo Kruger. The story of the early going was the fans booing for a Dallas tag in, and cheering for a Zayn tag in. After being booted off of the apron by Cesaro before tagging in, Zayn got the tag and chased after him. Kruger had tagged in though, and floored Zayn when he got back in the ring. Regal was mid thought when we cut to commercial. Strange timing... [C]
[Q4] Kruger was still in control of Zayn when we returned. The heels isolated Zayn for a good few minutes, before he managed to tag Dallas following a roll up on Kruger. Dallas hit the ring hot, landing several elbows and clotheslines on Kruger before eventually hitting his rope rebound bulldog. Cesaro broke up the subsequent pin, and was then taken out of the ring by Zayn. The two brawled up the ramp, eventually leaving the arena. Dallas and Kruger were left in the ring, and Dallas managed to catch the onrushing Kruger with the belly to belly slam. Kruger rolled out of the ring, only to be quickly thrown back in by Dallas.
Kruger backed into the corner, and managed to hit Dallas with a knee when Bo ran at him. He followed this up with The Slice clothesline, and got the 1-2-3...
Leo Kruger and Antonio Cesaro defeated Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn in 10:06.
Kruger led the crowd in a "Kru" chant, before saying "Ta-Ta Bo" as NXT came to a close...
Gutt Reaction: Unfortunately, the talent in the ring couldn’t keep up the high standards of NXT main event tag matches. The problem with the match was the finish was very short compared to the amount of time Cesaro and Kruger had on offense. In previous Wyatt Family main event tag matches, the faces would be given a good few minutes to close the match out, but Bo was barely in the ring for a minute before he was put away. It wasn’t a bad match per say, just not a very exciting one (not helped by the crowd being super into Zayn, and really against Dallas, so they didn’t get up for his hot tag).
A relatively poor episode of NXT highlighted by two good promos, one of which was fantastic. Bray Wyatt’s final NXT address is something to go out of your way to see, and weekly viewers of NXT will have undoubtedly enjoyed the Shield’s segment with Neville and Graves, but outside of that, we had dance silliness galore, a solid but underwhelming main event, and three entirely throw away matches. Next week is shaping up nicely though. Dance battle not included.
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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