Zim’s WWE NXT Review: Sami Zayn in action, new No.1 contenders named in a tag team turmoil match, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, new interim GM introduced, Aiden English’s second act, and the on-screen return of Kassius Ohno
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired September 25, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped September 12 at Full Sail University
The show opened backstage in Brad Maddox’s office. (Since when does he have an office?) Tyler Breeze approached and suggested Maddox place him into the tag team turmoil match. Just then, CJ Parker entered from the other side. He shook Maddox’s hand and also wanted to be a part of the match. Parker and Breeze bickered before Maddox pointed out that neither man had a tag team partner. Breeze said “clone me” and Parker suggested “government funding.” Maddox decided to place them into the match as a team, which neither man was happy with. After they left, Maddox sanitized the hand that he shook Parker’s with… The opening video played…
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady made their entrance first for the tag team turmoil match. Amore introduced them as the “bada-boom, realest guys in the room.” He said they’re the hottest team in NXT; hotter than the peppers that Peter Piper picked. He said they’re like Cottonelle tissue, because they’re on a roll. Cassady said that the rest of the tag team division was also like Cottonelle tissue because they’re “S-A-W-F-T: Sawwwwft.” Tyler Breeze made his catwalk entrance next and the crowd started a “Breeze is gorgeous” chant. The Moonchild danced his way to the ring next to a mixed reaction. Tom Phillips and William Regal were on commentary.
1a. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. Tyler Breeze and CJ Parker. Amore and Parker started out trading headlock takeovers. Parker caught Amore with an airplane spin and followed up with a running double high knee in the corner. Before he could land his palm thrust, he was distracted by Breeze and Amore made the tag to Big Cass without Parker knowing. Parker turned into a big swinging side slam from Cassidy, which was good for the pinfall.
Colin Cassady and Enzo Amore beat CJ Parker and Tyler Breeze in about 1:20.
Sylvester Lefort walked onto the stage and introduced himself, and then his Legionaire: Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev as the next entrants in the match.
1b. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev (w/ Sylvester Lefort). Cassady went to work on Dawson early until Dawson hit a back elbow and made the tag to Rusev. Rusev ran right into a big boot from Cassady, who tagged in Amore. Rusev caught Amore with a Samoan drop and made the tag to Dawson, who wore Amore. Dawson hit a hard double-A spinebuster, but when he went for the pin, Amore rolled him up with a small package for the win.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady beat Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev in about 2:00.
Rusev ran in and knocked Cassady off the apron, then crushed Amore with a running hip attack in the corner. Amore was down as the Ascension made their full entrance… [C]
1c. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. The Ascension (Rick Victor and Conor O’Brian). Amore was out on the apron still selling the effects of Rusev’s attack as O’Brian went right after Cassady. The Ascension took turns working him over until he caught Victor with a back elbow and tried t fight back. O’Brian tagged in and ran over Cassady with his repeating shoulder tackles, but went for one too many and got caught with a big boot. Cassady made the tag to Amore, but Amore ran right into O’Brian’s flapjack. The Ascension hit a double team mat slam and then connected with their high/low for the win.
The Ascension beat Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady in about 2:30 to become no. 1 contenders for the NXT Tag Titles.
Post-match, The Ascension’s lighting hit and they posed over Amore to close the segment… Scott Stanford hyped that Triple H would be appearing later in the show to make a big announcement regarding the future of NXT… [C]
Zim’s Zag: It felt like they tried to cram a little too much into three short tag matches, but I like what it accomplished. Several weeks ago, I wrote that it was time to crap or get off the pot in regards to The Ascension, so I’m happy to see them being used as more than an irrelevant but dominant tag team. Future matches with the undersized tag team champions should be entertaining.
Back in the arena, Bayley made her entrance to a good reaction and a loud “Bayley” chant. The commentators checked in and welcomed Renee Young to the team for this match. Sasha Banks made her entrance next, flanked by Summer Rae.
2. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (w/ Summer Rae). Bayley backed Sasha into the corner and showed more confidence than usual with the support of the crowd, but Sasha quickly attacked her with slaps and strikes. Sasha used a drop-toe hold to get a quick one-count, and got another with an Oklahoma roll. Sasha caught Bayley trying to leapfrog her in the corner and dropped her face first to the mat to take control. Sasha hit a snap suplex for a two-count, but Bayley came right back and fired up.
Sasha caught her with a chop to the chest however, and followed up with a great turnbuckle-run lucha-style armdrag. She missed a stinger splash, allowing Bayley to connect with the hug-plex for a two-count. Bayley attempted a springboard move out of the corner, but Sasha dropped her across the top rope and followed up with a cross-arm neckbreaker for the win.
Sasha Banks beat Bayley in about 4:00.
After the match, Summer Rae entered the ring and snapped Bayley’s headband in half. She then took a mic as the crowd drowned her out with a loud “no!” chant. Summer said that next week, her “baby boopie” Fandango would be here. She said they would make NXT their own personal dance floor. She also said that she and “the boss” Sasha Banks were the fiercest Divas in NXT, taking both Paige and Emma out. Emma’s music hit and she rushed the ring, but Summer and Sasha slipped to ringside as the segment abruptly ended… Scott Stanford hyped that Sami Zayn would be in action later tonight… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Fun match from the ladies. They’re both very capable in the ring and they have a grip on their characters and attitudes every time they’re on-screen. I really like the rise to prominence of Sasha and Bayley as it pertains to the depth of the female roster on NXT.
A video package hyped Fandango’s upcoming appearance on NXT, next week… Ring announcer Kendall Skye introduced Aiden English. English ordered his spotlight and serenaded himself to the ring to a different song this week. He closed it with the same line as last week, however: he’s here to put the ‘E’ back into the ‘WWE’. His opponent, recent NXT signee Bull Dempsey, was already in the ring.
3. Aiden English vs. Bull Dempsey. Despite appearing to be at a 50+ lb. disadvantage, English went right to work on Dempsey, knocking Dempsey down with several shoulder blocks. English hit a kick to the head and took a deep bow before landing a high jumping leg drop. He allowed Dempsey to get to his feet before yelling “take a bow” and putting him right back down with his Russian legsweep/side effect combination and scoring the pinfall.
Aiden English defeated Bull Dempsey in about 1:35.
The crowd chanted “encore” as a replay of the finish aired. English then took a mic and said that he was going to give the crowd an encore, which got a big pop. He sang that he’s still here to put the ‘E’ back into the ‘WWE’…
Summer Rae was walking backstage when she was approached by Renee Young. Summer said that she isn’t going to be embarrassed by Emma, so she laid out a challenge. Summer and her “baby boopsie” Fandango vs. Emma and “whoever she can find that would actually team with her.” Summer said she was going to smash Emma’s face and then dance the night away. She called herself the First Lady of NXT before sending Renee on her way to inform Emma… [C]
Zim’s Zag: More of the same from English. Not great, but nothing worth complaining about. It seems as though the crowd chanting for an encore and English obliging may lead to an unanticipated babyface Aiden English unless they make some quick changes to his character to make him more unlikable.
Back from break, El Local made his entrance to a generally positive reaction. Sami Zayn made his entrance next to undoubtedly the best ovation I can recall in my 9+ months covering NXT.
4. Sami Zayn vs. El Local. A loud “ole” chant broke out as the two locked up and went hold-for-hold. Zayn hit his lucha armdrags and a loud “Sami” chant broke out before he hit a nice running hurricanrana. Local came back and hit a unique running STO backbreaker for a quick two-count on Zayn. He hit a suplex before settling into a grounded abdominal stretch. The crowd rallied behind Zayn and he caught Local with a jumping heel kick before he began to fire up. He tossed Local over his shoulder with a back-body drop and followed up with the yakuza kick in the corner, which was good enough to score the pinfall.
Sami Zayn beat El Local in about 3:00.
Zayn celebrated as a replay showed the finishing kick. The crowd chanted “Sami” until Bo Dallas’ music hit and he made his way onto the stage. Dallas congratulated Zayn and said he had some announcements for his Bo-lievers. He said that he was totally healed after being “carelessly injured by Zayn at Summerslam Axxess.” He also said he was ready to put his NXT title on the line. He announced the Bo Dallas invitational for next week’s episode. He said that anyone who can beat him 1-2-3 will earn a title shot in three weeks.
Zayn interrupted and said that he would be the first one to sign up, and he wanted to do it right now. Dallas said that this business is all about respect, and that means not interrupting the champ when he’s talking. He said that someday, Zayn may have a group of his own fans to call his “Zayn-iacs,” but he’s just not there yet. The crowd chanted “shut up” and Dallas announced that every superstar was welcome in the Dallas invitational except for Sami Zayn. The crowd showered him with boos as his music hit and he gave everyone thumbs up. Zayn was upset in the ring as Dallas headed backstage…
In his office, Brad Maddox was on the phone when he was approached by someone shown only from the shoulders down. He went to shake hands with the man, but was yanked to his feet, revealing the return of Kassius Ohno. Ohno said he’s been gone a long time and he wants to know why it’s been so long. Maddox reminded everyone that he was put out by an attack by the Wyatts , but Ohno said he’s been cleared for a while now.
Maddox said that Ohno was a “D+ player, C- at best.” Ohno suggested that he go out and interrupt every match until he gets what he wants. Maddox changed his tone and said that “they” wanted to keep Ohno on the sidelines. Ohno suggested that he drop Maddox right now, which convinced Maddox to put Ohno in a match against a member of the Wyatt Family next week. Mildly appeased, Ohno said it was a pleasure doing business, before walking off… Scott Stanford hyped Triple H’s announcement, coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: The match was slightly underwhelming, but not bad. I like the yakuza kick as a setup for Zayn’s finish, but it isn’t quite enough as a finish on its own. Bo Dallas is really good in this role and I like the story they’re telling, as fans seem to be salivating at the thought of Zayn getting his shot at Dallas. It’s great to see Kassius Ohno back in the mix, I’m very much looking forward to his in-ring return next week.
Triple H made his entrance and high-fived several fans at ringside. Why is the top heel in the company giving high-fives? The crowd chanted his name and he welcomed everyone to NXT, calling it the fans’ show. He said he’s amazed by the crowd, as well as the talent that performs there. He mentioned by name Sami Zayn, Leo Kruger, Bo Dallas, Adrian Neville, and Corey Graves. He said that if anything were to happen to the main roster (insinuating firing them), that he could call up these guys and the WWE wouldn’t miss a beat. He enticed them to start chanting “NXT” and called it the future.
He then turned his focus on the Rhodes’ family: Cody, Dustin, and Dusty. Triple H put Dusty over as a legend, but said that because of everything Dusty’s been through, he’s doing what’s best for business and giving Dusty some time off from his duties as GM of NXT. The crowd chanted “no,” but Triple H informed everyone that it’s “yes,” because it’s his decision to make. With that, he introduced the new interim GM: John Bradshaw Layfield.
JBL two-stepped his way to the ring with a glowing smile. Triple H shook his hand before leaving him alone in the ring. JBL went heel strong by informing the crowd that “this isn’t sing-along with the wrestling god, so shut your mouths.” He said that NXT is the greatest performance facility he’s ever seen and it’s the future of the company and the business. He said that “replacing some big fat guy who can barely speak English” with JBL is good for business. He welcomed everyone to the NXT era of the wrestling god, before his music hit and he left the ring to close the show.
Zim’s Zag: Another show, another heel authority figure. Ugh. Time will tell how this plays out, but I really have no desire to see JBL step on any of the NXT talent, so here’s hoping his role is kept minimalistic.
Overall, this was a show that felt like they crammed way too much in to way too short of a time. Plenty was accomplished with the crowning of new tag team contenders, the announcement of Fandango and Summer Rae vs. Emma and a partner, the Bo Dallas invitational, and a new interim GM, but none of it had any time to breathe. It was one thing on top of another storyline-wise, and every match was virtually forgettable. This is a show worth watching to see where things are headed in coming weeks, but buckle up because the frantic pacing was a bit much to handle.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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