9/12 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Xavier Woods vs. Leo Kruger main event, Paige vs. Sasha Banks, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev, Bo Dallas appears
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped August 22nd in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Immediately after titles, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady were shown mid entrance. Enzo introduced himself as a "Certified G", and said you "can’t teach" Cassady’s 7ft frame. He called Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev "Sawft" for their attack last week. Sylvester Lefort eventually cut him off, and introduced his "Money Making Company of Fighting Legionnaire", Dawson and Rusev. Rusev snapped a plank of wood, with "Enzo" written on one side and "Colin" on the other, over his knee...
1. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev. Tony Dawson and William Regal are on commentary. Cassady initially roughed up Dawson, but when Enzo tagged in he only managed to land a few punches before Dawson hit him with a big running clothesline. This allowed Rusev to tag in and hit a few falling headbutts before placing Amore along the top rope and nailing him with knees to the ribs.
The heels continued to isolate Enzo, and Dawson also took advantage of a Lefort distraction to take Cassady off the apron. Dawson tagged in Rusev, and held Amore in a spinebuster position as Rusev built up steam and hit a spinning heel kick. Dawson initially went for a jack-knife pin, but upon realising he wasn’t the legal man, he rolled out of the ring to allow Rusev to pin Amore. However, the referee called for the bell...
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady defeated Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev via Count Out in 3:36.
The commentators guessed that the stoppage had been caused by Dawson exceeding the five count after tagging in Rusev. The ref confirmed this by showing the "five" signal to Lefort when he questioned why he had stopped the match. Lefort raised Rusev’s and Dawson’s hands, until Amore and Cassady were announced as the winners. Amore celebrated at ringside as he and Cassady left up the ramp...
Xavier Woods vs. Leo Kruger (the graphic seemed to have a picture of Kruger from his early days on NXT, as a South African prince, for some reason) and Paige vs. Sasha Banks were advertised for later on in the show... [C]
Gutt Reaction: I’m not sure who was at fault, but that ending was badly done. If the refs were that hard line over 5 counts, almost ever tag team finisher would be unusable. It’s a shame because they had actually worked an OK pace up until that jarring finish. I’ll be interested to see how Amore fares in a proper 1 on 1 match, as tonight he reverted back to the "say a few catchphrases and then take a lot of bumps" Enzo of a few weeks ago.
[Q2] The ring announcer introduced Bo Dallas. Dallas came out in a waistcoat-over-shirt deal, and grabbed a mic when he got in the ring. The fans booed him heavily as he started to thank his "Bo-lievers". He said the belief he felt made him feel like he could fly. He said last week he came out during the Sami Zayn and Jack Swagger match because he was Zayn’s friend, and saw himself as Zayn’s mentor. Dallas promised Zayn a match after he had recovered from injury, but not for the NXT Title because Zayn hadn’t earned it yet. Bo once again thanked his fans, and told them "Don’t stop Bo-lieving" as the fans chanted "Pocahontas"...
Backstage, Renee Young introduced CJ Parker (who was also rocking a waistcoat-over-shirt look. Is that "in" now?). Young asked what was going on between Parker and Tyler Breeze. Parker said Breeze was totally in love with his outer-self, but he was totally in touch with his inner-self. Breeze wanted to store his love, just as the beaver stores sticks to build a dam, but he wants to spread his love far and wide, like the phoenix that soars into the sunset. He said it was "quite a clash."
As he recapped his previous run ins with Breeze, Breeze attacked him from behind. After a few stomps, Breeze leaned up against him on the floor and took a picture. He stood up and said "Gorgeous" to his phone before leaving...
Gutt Reaction: I really liked Dallas’ segment. Instead of trying to quiet the fans down, he ploughed on, making his insincerity that much more prominent. Great stuff, but the question remains how Dallas will do as a heel without the nuclear heat to play off that is so abundant in Florida. The backstage segment was a little formulaic, but the "clash" of styles that Parker alluded to may actually benefit both men in regards to defining their characters – they can define themselves by their opposition to the other, as Batman and Joker often do in their appearances together.
Sasha Banks was greeted by apathy on her way down to the ring, but Paige received a nice pop for her entrance...
2. Paige vs. Sasha Banks. The fans started chanting "Happy Birthday" at Paige. Before the commercial, Paige backed Sasha into the corner and hit her with elbows, before choking her with her foot. She went to pick up her up, but Sasha kicked her in the face, and used a roll up to smash the back of her head into the turnbuckle... [C]
[Q3] Sasha had Paige in a camel clutch when we returned. She worked a variety of holds to wear down Paige, before Paige eventually got to her feet and landed a suplex. The fans started a "We Will Rock You" chant. I’m always down for some Queen! Paige landed 10 knees from the apron, but got caught by a roll up from Sasha when she got back in the ring. Paige kicked out at two, and managed to roll though Sasha’s follow up crossbody to get the pin...
Paige defeated Sasha Banks in 7:38.
After the match Paige tried to comfort Sasha, but Banks rebuffed her. As Paige went to leave, Sasha attacked her from behind. She hit a flurry of slaps to Paige’s chest before putting her down with a cross arm neckbreaker (similar to Damien Sandow’s Terminus)...
A Los Matadores hype video aired...
Gutt Reaction: The match time may seem long compared to the write up, but much of it was taken up by Sasha’s rest holds. More ho-hum action from the Divas, and a very obvious heel turn from Sasha based on last week’s backstage talk with Summer Rae. Paige obviously saw their interaction, based on her follow up promo last week, so why wasn’t she more savvy to it?
Sasha was shown backstage texting on her phone looking pleased with herself as Summer walked into frame. She told Sasha that she always knew she had it in her. Sasha said it felt awesome, and thanked Summer for bringing out the rage inside her. Sasha hugged Summer, who joined in but looked unhappy about it...
Leo Kruger made his entrance for the main event first, leading the crowd in a few "Kru" chants. After a video recap of Kruger’s attack on Woods last week, Woods made his way out to a nice pop. Woods was billed from "Angel Grove, California". Look it up if you want to feel superior for not getting the reference as immediately as I did...
3. Xavier Woods vs. Leo Kruger. Woods gave chase early on, but Kruger avoided him. Woods eventually grabbed hold of Kruger’s hair while Kruger was on the outside, but Kruger used the position to his advantage to canon Woods arm into the ropes. Kruger slid back in and aggressively targeted Woods’ left arm. Woods eventually escaped an armbar, and built up a head of steam ahead of delivering a headscissors. Kruger went to the outside, and Woods looked to dive over the ropes onto him, but Kruger moved out of the way, sending Woods crashing to the floor... [C]
[Q4] A Night of Champions promo aired.
Both men were back in the ring, with Kruger on the front foot. He continued to target the left arm of Woods, working a long hammerlock that Woods eventually escaped with a jawbreaker. Woods started to land kicks to Kruger’s legs, building up to a dropkick, and then ran the ropes, only to get caught with a backbreaker from Kruger. Kruger followed up with a suplex for a two count, and then went to the top rope.
He went for a forearm drop, but Woods rolled out of the way. Woods threw punches and chops with his uninjured right arm, finally building up momentum. He backed into the corner and charged at Kruger, only for Kruger to counter with a Double A Spinebuster.
Kruger went for The Slice, but Woods ducked it and landed an enziguri. A reverse STO to a kneeling Kruger got a two count, and Woods pumped the crowd up as he backed into the corner. He yelled "It’s Morphin Time!" before hitting the Honour Roll headspring clothesline, and followed up with the Lost in the Woods to get the 1-2-3...
Xavier Woods defeated Leo Kruger in 11:28.
Woods danced as the commentators put over the effort both men put in. This brought NXT to a close...
Gutt Reaction: Well I didn’t see that result coming, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. Woods gets a banner win in a competitive match against an over heel (it could be argued that Kruger’s interactions with Dallas have made quite a few fans jump on his bandwagon, lessening his impact as a heel), and Kruger can do a job for someone as he presumably leaves NXT for the main roster soon. I may be getting ahead of myself there, and this may be just the first win to get the feud up and running, but I’m OK with that too.
My one critique would be the middle section of the match – I have praised Kruger for his more varied approach to submission wrestling over the likes of Alberto Del Rio, but it drained the life out of a tired Full Sail crowd, and they never really woke them back up. Otherwise, it was a fine main event to cap off a rather mundane episode of NXT. Things were advanced in the NXT and Women’s title divisions, but Dallas only really solidified his new character instead of really pushing on with his feud with Zayn, and everyone and their mothers saw the Sasha turn coming, so it didn’t have an impact. If you’re going to skip a week, make it this one.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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