Zim’s WWE NXT Review: Leo Kruger vs. Xavier Woods, Paige vs. Sasha Banks, Amore and Cassidy vs. Dawson and Rusev, and appearances from Bo Dallas, Summer Rae, and CJ Parker
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired September 11, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped August 22 at Full Sail University
The opening video played… Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy made their entrance to open the show. He cut his usual promo before he was interrupted by Sylvester Lefort walking onto the stage. Lefort introduced his legion: Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev.
1. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy vs. Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev (w/ Sylvester Lefort). Amore landed two left jabs to Dawson’s jaw before tagging in big Cass. Cassidy and Amore continued to work over Dawson until Dawson connected with a clothesline that turned Amore inside-out. The heels isolated Amore and hit a bearhug/wheel kick combination, but the referee called for the bell before the pin could be made.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy beat Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev by DQ in about 3:30.
William Regal on commentary clarified that both men were still in the ring after the referee’s five-count, hence the disqualification. The heels seemed unsure what to do next and awkwardly raised their arms in the ring, but Amore’s music hit and he and Cassidy made their way up the ramp, victorious…
Scott Stanford hyped the main event stemming from last week’s backstage attack, pitting Xavier Woods against Leo Kruger. He also hyped Sasha Banks facing Paige in a non-title matchup… [C]
Zim’s Zag: What a clusterf--k. If that was the planned finish, I would hope it played out better in the mind of the booker than it came across here. I’m almost wondering if the NXT refs were told to strictly enforce the rules, and this was an unplanned finish that occurred as a result of ignoring the five-count.
Back in the arena, ring announcer Kendall Skye introduced the NXT Champion, Bo Dallas. Dallas came to the ring in nice clothes and started by thanking all of his Bo-lievers for their support. He said it makes him feel like he can fly. He said that he’s mentoring Sami Zayn and he’d be happy to face Zayn once he’s 100 percent again, but not for the title, “of course, because he doesn’t deserve that yet.” He once again thanked everyone and encouraged them to never stop Bo-lieving as the crowd chanted “Pocahontas” at him to close his segment…
Backstage, Renee Young introduced CJ Parker and asked what was going on between him and Tyler Breeze. Parker said Breeze was totally in love with his outer self, while Parker was totally in-touch with his inner self. He said Breeze hoards his love, while CJP wants to spread his love across the world like a phoenix spreading its wings. He said that the clash stemmed from a little fun, games, and photo-lovin. Just then, Tyler Breeze attacked him from behind and took the time to lay on top of him to take a selfie. Breeze took off as Renee called for help for Parker…
Scott Stanford hyped Paige vs. Sasha Banks, coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Mega-heat for Dallas; the first time in recent memory where the reactions to him came across more like real heat than go-away heat. Parker’s interview was just mediocre. He still needs to find his voice as this hippie character because at the moment, he’s simply too oddly unrelatable.
Back in the arena, Sasha Banks made her entrance and was followed by NXT Women’s Champion, Paige.
2. Paige vs. Sasha Banks in a non-title match. The crowd chanted “happy birthday” for Paige, who just recently celebrated her 21st birthday (much like myself). Paige had the upper hand through much of the early part of the match, but Sasha slammed her into the turnbuckle with a schoolgirl style rollup to take control. [C]
Back from break, Sasha had Paige in a camel clutch and quickly switched to a chinlock with bodyscissors. Paige tried to start a comeback with a rollup, but Sasha came right back with a dropkick and settled into a chinlock once again. Sasha was forced to release the hold when Paige had her in a pinning position. Paige came back with a snap suplex as the crowd attempted a complex “we will rock you” chant with stomps and claps.
Paige hit her 10 knee strikes to Sasha in the ropes, but was slow to get back into the ring and Sasha got a near-fall on a rollup. Paige missed a dropkick, but reversed a running crossbody by Sasha into a rollup of her own for the win.
Paige beat Sasha Banks in about 7:00.
Post-match, the commentators put over Sasha’s performance and Paige went for a handshake. The crowd chanted “hug it out,” but Sasha waited for Paige to turn around before she attacked from behind. She slapped angrily at Paige and finished with a cross-arm neckbreaker to leave he champ laying. ..
Scott Stanford hyped Xavier Woods vs. Leo Kruger, coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Ho-hum match. Seven minutes of Paige sounds like it’d be great, but a few of the minutes were spent working a lackluster chinlock. I like the Sasha turn, as it gives Paige another heel opponent other than Summer Rae and it brings another talented female worker into prominence
Backstage, Summer Rae approached Sasha Banks. She asked how it felt, and Sasha explained that it felt amazing. She thanked Summer for bringing out her inner rage, and the segment concluded with a hug.
Back in the arena, Leo Kruger made his entrance for the main event. Xavier Woods was out next and he got a big pop for his entrance.
3. Xavier Woods vs. Leo Kruger. WWE referee Charles Robinson was in for this matchup. Kruger spent the first minute-plus stalling, but he was able to rip Woods’ arm down across the ropes and went to work, logically targeting the same arm. Woods was unsuccessful at gaining any momentum until he caught Kruger with a running hurricanrana which sent Kruger to ringside. Woods attempted a plancha, but Kruger evaded and both guys were down at ringside. [C]
Back from break, Kruger was in control and he hit a hammerlock suplex on Woods for a quick two-count. Kruger continued to weaken the arm over the next several minutes and kept the match going at his methodical pace. Woods attempted several comebacks, but Kruger kept the upper hand until he missed a diving elbow from the second turnbuckle.
Woods chopped and punched away at Kruger with his good arm and hit a running dropkick that put Kruger down. Woods set up for the front-handspring lariat, but Kruger caught him and turned it into a spinebuster for a near-fall. Kruger stalked for the Slice, but Woods dodged and rocked Kruger with a jumping enziguri. Woods ran the ropes and hit a sliding reverse STO for a near-fall of his own. Woods waited for Kruger to get back to his feet before connecting with the Honor Roll lariat. He quickly picked up Kruger and connected with Lost in the Woods to score the clean pinfall.
Xavier Woods beat Leo Kruger in about 10:30.
Woods celebrated his victory and danced his way up the ramp to close the show..
Zim’s Zag: Decent match, but nothing worth raving about. I still really like Kruger’s style in the ring; he works slowly and methodically, but with an aggressiveness that keeps him from getting boring to watch. Woods oozes charisma, but I’d really like to see him establish his character before getting a clean win over an established NXT main eventer like Kruger. Overall, this was a really lackluster show with two matches that got decent time but will be forgotten by the next day. NXT isn’t ever difficult to sit through, but this wasn’t an episode worth going out of your way to see.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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