Zim’s WWE NXT Review: Leo Kruger challenges Bo Dallas for the NXT Title, Adrian Neville challenges Dean Ambrose for the U.S. Title, Tyler Breeze models, Emma and Summer Rae dance
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired August 7, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped July 12 at Full Sail University
A video package hyped tonight’s show, featuring Adrian Neville challenging Dean Ambrose for the U.S. title, Emma and Summer having a dance battle, and Leo Kruger’s shot at Bo Dallas’ NXT Championship… The opening video aired… The camera panned the crowd chanting “NXT” and the commentators welcomed viewers and ran down the show. Announcer Byron Saxton stood mid-ring and informed everyone that Tyler Breeze had entered the building. Funny.
Adrian Neville made his entrance solo for the opening title match. Tom Phillips and Alex Riley checked in on commentary. Dean Ambrose was out next, solo as well. Riley said that Neville had a buzz about him on the main roster when he was up on the live event tour…
1. U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose vs. NXT Tag Champion Adrian Neville for the U.S. Championship. Ambrose backed Neville into the corner, but Neville smacked him in the face. Neville caught Ambrose with a jumping heel kick and then landed a few kicks in the corner before Ambrose took control. Ambrose worked him over in the corner, bur Neville slid under Ambrose and took him down with a running hurricanrana. Neville reversed a whip into the corner with his up-and-over handspring and caught Ambrose with a springboard crossbody off the opposite corner.
Neville got a two-count and then briefly settled into a grounded hammerlock. Ambrose worked up and dropped Neville with a short clothesline. Neville dodged a splash in the corner and caught Ambrose with a high round kick that put him down. Neville went up to the top rope, but before he could jump, Ambrose rolled across the ring and slid to ringside. Neville went for a baseball slide, but Ambrose dodged and dropped Neville with another clothesline at ringside. [C]
Back from break, Ambrose dropped a twisting elbow on Neville for a two-count. Neville ducked a clothesline and tried to fight back, but Ambrose caught him with a knee to the gut. Ambrose landed shots on Neville in the ropes and followed up with a running front dropkick to the chest. Ambrose got another two-count and then transitioned into a great bow and arrow lock.
He eventually released it and continued to work over Neville. Ambrose hit a suplex for another two-count and then settled into a sleeper hold. Neville worked to his feet and flipped over a back suplex attempt. He rocked Ambrose with a hard shot and both guys were reeling. Neville dodged a charging Ambrose, who went shoulder-first into the ring post. Adrian Neville landed a high springboard crossbody for a two-count and stayed hot with a series of forearms and a hurricanrana that sent Ambrose to ringside.
Neville caught Ambrose with a baseball slide, and followed up with a running no-hands moonsault over the top rope. Neville tossed Ambrose back into the ring, climbed up to the top rope, and connected with the Red Arrow. An instant before the referee’s hand counted three, Seth Rollins slid into the ring and broke up the pinfall.
Adrian Neville beat Dean Ambrose by DQ in about 8:15.
The Shield put the boots to Neville until Corey Graves and Xavier Woods hit the ring. The Shield slid out of the ring and left the arena as the babyfaces checked on Neville…
Backstage, Scott Dawson, Sylvester Lefort, Enzo Amore, and Colin Cassidy were talking. Amore asked Dawson about an upcoming match against Mason Ryan. He asked if they saw what he and Cassidy did to Ryan, and said Ryan was “s-a-w-f-t: sawft.” Amore said there wasn’t a doubt in his mind that Dawson would crush Ryan. Dawson said it’d be a piece of cake, and Lefort said it was all about the money, before they walked away.
The camera stayed on Amore and Cassidy. “That’s gonna fall through like coins on a couch,” Amore said. “Oh yeah, he’s done.” Cassidy agreed. Meanwhile, CJ Parker appeared in the background and began fist pumping to mock the Jersey duo. Cassidy asked if they were going to watch that match up close and Amore said he’d miss his sister’s wedding to see that match… Scott Stanford hyped the main event title match and the dance battle, which was coming up next…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Very good match that built nicely and made Neville look credible in the ring. I would’ve liked to see these two get more time together, but the finish was perfectly executed and logically set up a future six-man main event. Alex Riley was not very good at all on commentary, which stood out. The backstage segment was mediocre, but Amore is super confident in front of the camera and Cassidy is starting to grow into his role. I’m curious to see how CJ Parker’s character plays out in the ring.
Byron Saxton announced that this was NXT’s first-ever dance battle, with the winner earning a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. Summer Rae made her entrance before a recap of Emma beating Summer in the title tournament aired. Emma made her bubbly entrance to a lesser crowd response than in past weeks. Byron Saxton announced that there would be four rounds of “back and forth action” and the winner would be decided by the WWE Universe.
Summer Rae demanded to go first and started with some standard dancing, which was rebutted by Emma’s Charlie Brown. More traditional dancing from Summer, who looked positively delighted with herself. Emma broke out the chicken dance, the crowd chanted “yes!” and Summer took offense. “How dare you mock dance!?” she squabbled. Summer started dancing, and the crowd immediately berated her with “no!” chants.
Emma informed Saxton, who announced to everyone that this next one was called the “Advanced Shopping Trolley.” Emma pushed an imaginary shopping cart around Summer and picked things off shelves. The crowd loved it and broke out in a loud “yes!” chant. Funny. Summer demanded the music be stopped and shamed Emma for mocking the art of dance. She ordered to have her real music played, and when Fandango’s music hit, the whole arena broke out in the dance and song.
Summer finished and proudly challenged “Beat that, Emma.” Emma said that was a good attempt, but she knows of better music that everyone wants to hear. Emma’s music hit and she did her dance around the ring. She got a good reaction, but fewer fans were doing her dance than were Fandangoing. Summer shouted “This isn’t funny, Emma!” She did a great job of playing the bitter heel.
Byron Saxton said it was time to decide the winner. He asked if it was Summer Rae, and the crowd booed and chanted “no!” He asked if Emma was the winner, and the crowd popped big and chanted “yes!” Emma’s music hit and she started dancing again. Summer was steaming and eventually attacked Emma from behind. She hit her leg-drop reverse DDT and left Emma lying…
A Leo Kruger vignette aired. He said that when he was a child, the children used to laugh at him. He said that after he takes “Bo-bo’s” title, everyone is going to laugh at Bo-bo. “They’re laughing at you, Bo, they’re laughing at you” Kruger said manically as his laugh echoed in the background…[C]
Zim’s Zag: Cool Kruger promo. As for the dance battle: That was the best thing Summer Rae has done on WWE TV. She was spot-on in playing her part, doing textbook heel things that are funny but fun to boo. Emma was her typical goofy self and the crowd responded well to her act. For a dance-off, this was watchable. Fun stuff
Back from break, Danny Burch was introduced and was already standing in the ring. Tyler Breeze’s music hit and he did his catwalk across the stage before the lights came on and he gave his best Zoolander impression. He had his iPhone in his hand and the self-facing camera was his titantron video. Very cool touch for the act. He laid across the top turnbuckle as the crowd chanted “that was awesome” for his entrance.
2. Tyler Breeze vs. Danny Burch. Burch charged at Breeze, who caught him with a right hand. Breeze put his phone down and clubbed weakly at Burch’s back. He hit a kick to the gut before checking his phone again. Burch hit a few kicks, but Breeze caught him with a jumping enziguri. Breeze went back to his phone before hitting a spinning heel kick and scoring the win.
Tyler Breeze defeated Danny Burch in about 0:35.
Post-match, Breeze picked up his phone and it displayed on the big screen again. He laid on top of Burch and posed before leaving the ring and heading back up the ramp…
Backstage, Renee Young introduced NXT Champion Bo Dallas. Renee mentioned that Dallas managed to survive his first title match against Antonio Cesaro. Dallas cut her off and got really condescending. He said that he didn’t survive, he pinned Cesaro in the ring. Renee tried to speak but Dallas spoke up and said that was all that mattered. He said Antonio Cesaro is a good kid with a bright future.
Renee asked about his title defense against Leo Kruger and mentioned that Kruger pinned him in the tag team match last week. Dallas admitted that he got pinned, but he said that was on Sami Zayn. “I really like the kid, but Sami was very inexperienced. He’s never been in the ring with a champion, he was nervous.” Dallas said that Zayn should’ve had his back at all times. He said that it was something he himself knew, being a former tag team champion. Renee called him on it and questioned the fact that he was a replacement champion due to injury. “I don’t remember, that was a long time ago.” Dallas said.
Dallas quickly shifted his attention to Leo Kruger and said he was a very vicious man, “but Renee, I got this!” He said just remember, when the champ is down – then broke out into sappy singing mode with “Don’t stop Bo-lieving…” as he walked off the set. Renee continues to be the best backstage interviewer the company has right now, mouthing “what’s happening?” as Bo carried on…
Zim’s Zag: Breeze is very into his character and the entrance is great. I just wonder how the gimmick will mature. Eventually, he’s going to need to start having longer matches and he can’t be checking his phone after every single move. Bo-lieve it or not, I thought Bo was great in his backstage interview. He was disgustingly over the top and defensively confident in and totally unlikable way. Now it’s time to start having him face the babyfaces who should be calling his BS. The turn is so close.
Scott Stanford hyped next week’s episode which will feature Mason Ryan vs. Scott Dawson, and is sure to involve Enzo Amore and Big Cass. He also announced that next week’s main event would be a six-man tag match: Corey Graves, Xavier Woods, and Adrian Neville vs. The Shield.
The commentator recapped Summer Rae’s attack on Emma after the dance battle. They announced that Emma won’t be cleared to compete so it would be Paige vs. Summer Rae for the Women’s Championship next week… Byron Saxton announced that Tyler Breeze had left the building…
The lights cut out and Leo Kruger’s music hit. He made his entrance to a largely positive reaction, and the crowd chanted “Kru! Kru! Kru!” in support. NXT champ Bo Dallas made his entrance next to an overwhelmingly negative reaction and a few “no more Bo” chants.
3. NXT Champion Bo Dallas vs. Leo Kruger for the NXT Championship. The crowd chanted for Kruger as the bell rang and he rolled out of the ring. When he re-entered, he hid behind the ref and caught Dallas with a kick to take control. He stomped away at Dallas in the corner and the crowd chanted “yes” for each one. Kruger raised his arm and the crowd responded with a loud “Kruger!”
Dallas reversed a whip off the ropes and hit two dropkicks and a reverse atomic drop. Dallas followed up with a running crossbody for a one-count and then a bridging Northern lights suplex for a quick two-count. Dallas worked on Kruger’s left arm and the crowd responded with “Bo-ring” chants. Bo hit the ropes but ate a back elbow from Kruger. Kruger took Dallas to the outside with a cactus clothesline and followed up with a baseball slide.[C]
Back from break, Dallas fought out of a chinlock but got whipped hard into the corner by Kruger. Kruger hit a snap suplex for a one-count and Alex Riley rambled on endlessly on commentary. Make him stop. Kruger set Dallas on the top rope and attempted a superplex, but Bo knocked him off and hit a diving clothesline. The crowd responded with a lout “you still suck” chant.
Both guys were down but Kruger made it up first. He ran into a back elbow from Dallas, who fired up with his forearms and punches. He connected with the corner springboard bulldog for a near-fall, and got another off a reverse DDT a short time later. Dallas hit repeating clotheslines on Kruger in the corner and started to lose it, firing away with punches on Kruger.
Kruger “Krugered-up” and fired away with shots on Dallas. He sent him into the ropes and planted Dallas with a spinebuster. Kruger stalked the corner and the crowd rallied with “Kru” chants. Alex Riley said the fans were chanting “Ta.” What is with this guy? Kruger connected with the Slice, but Dallas managed to kick out before three.
Kruger taunted and said “ta-ta” before hooking in the GC3. The crowd popped huge and chanted “tap!” Dallas worked towards the ropes and the crowd booed until Kruger sat down and sunk it in deep for another good near-finish. Dallas managed to make it to the ropes, but Kruger mounted and fired away with fists. Kruger went up to the top rope and dove off with a splash, but Dallas got his knees up. Dallas locked in a new submission hold (similar to the Chikara Special) and Kruger eventually tapped out.
Bo Dallas beat Leo Kruger to retain the NXT Championship in about 11:30.
The crowd was not happy and a large portion of the fans opposite of the hard cam turned their backs in protest. One of them held a sign on his back that said ‘I disapprove.’ Dallas posed with his title as his lighting hit and steam shot down from the lighting rig. A replay of the finish aired and the show closed with Dallas standing in the ring.
Zim’s Zag: Very solid match, with the unfortunate circumstance of backwards roles. Kruger is a great heel and I think he (and Adrian Neville) will be the next guy(s) called up to the main roster. He was super over as the babyface in this match, and I’m not really sure where that leaves him going forward. Dallas’ work was as good as ever in the ring, he just can’t catch a break with the fans because of his anti-charisma. NXT can’t be a slave to the fans, but if they’re turning their backs to protest something, that’s a sign of an issue.
This was a good show. The opening and closing matches featured good action in the ring from some of developmental’s best talent. The dance-off was surprisingly entertaining, wasn’t drawn out, and did a good job of setting up several things for down the road; the title match next week, and an Emma vs. Summer feud as well. Breeze continued to get his character over, albeit without showing much growth as an act, but he was entertaining. All-in-all, it’s worth a watch this week.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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