Zim's WWE NXT Review: Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves, follow-up with Bo Dallas, Sami Zayn, and JBL, Emma vs. Sasha Banks, Alexander Rusev vs. CJ Parker, The Ascension, Summer Rae, Paige, and Tyler Breeze appear
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired October 23, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped October 10 at Full Sail University
A video package recapped The Ascension’s title retention last week, and the subsequent split of Adrian Neville and Corey Graves when Graves attacked Neville post-match. In the arena, Corey Graves was standing on the stage in a suit with a microphone. He began to cut a promo begging the question of why he attacked Adrian Neville. Before he got too far along, Neville ran out and blindsided Graves. The fight went to ringside and into the ring with the crowd chanting “yes.” Graves hit a kick on Neville, but Neville came right back and got the better of Graves until the referees separated them. Neville broke free and hit a plancha on Graves at ringside, before it was broken up again…
The opening video played… In the arena, the commentators Tom Phillips, Alex Riley, and Tensai checked in and reacted to the opening brawl. Sweet T was excited to be on commentary for the first time. Emma danced her way to the ring and awkwardly skinned the cat to a good response. Sasha Banks made her entrance accompanied by Summer Rae. A replay showed Sasha turning on Paige following Sasha’s loss to Paige six weeks ago.
1. Emma vs. Sasha Banks (w/ Summer Rae). The two ladies bickered in the ring before finally getting to work about a minute in. Emma got a few two-counts off rollups but Sasha took control a short time later. A-Ry liked Emma because she’s cute, Tensai likes Sasha because she’s from Boston… [C]
Back from break, Sasha was still in control of Emma and berated her in the ring. Emma slapped her, and Sasha snapped. Emma eventually made her comeback, locking in the DilEmma and hitting the running low crossbody for a two-count. Emma used a catapult to set up the Emma Lock, but was distracted by Summer on the apron. Paige ran down and yanked Summer off the ring, but Sasha took advantage and used a small package on Emma in the ring to score the win.
Sasha Banks beat Emma in about 6:30.
After the match, Sasha was trash-talking Emma while Paige entered the ring behind her. Paige threw a clothesline, but Sasha evaded and Paige hit Emma. The BFFs backed up the ramp as Emma shoved Paige in the ring and the two traded words…
The commentators threw to a WWE.com exclusive video clip of NXT Champion Bo Dallas. It was apparently recorded backstage last week after his controversial title defense. Bo said “controversy-smontroversy” and pointed that he’s still the champ and that’s all that matters. He said that he has a huge announcement that he’s going to take a well-deserved vacation from his Bo-lievers at Full Sail to tour the world. He said he was calling it the “Bo Dallas vs. The World” Tour. (Reality called it WWE’s tour of Abu Dhabi).
He delivered my favorite line ever when he said “I’m going to make a special stop in Bo-livia to deliver 10,000 squirt guns to starving children; it’s going to be a blast!” He said he would be doing some wrestling and of course, some sightseeing. He signed off with konnichiwa, and informed everyone that was Japanese for goodbye. “Don’t stop Bo-lieving!” [sic]…
Scott Stanford hyped Adrian Neville and Corey Graves as the main event… [C]
Zim’s Zag: First real break in the show, so a lot to cover here. The opening video package and brawl did a good job of recapping the breakup of Neville and Graves, and logically leads to the main event of the show. While it is a bit quick to have the match a week after the turn, I don’t see this as the blow-off match as much as the start to the ensuing program. The Diva’s match was what it was. There’s rarely a bad match from the current roster of ladies in NXT, but I want to see them step up and impress a little bit more often. Onto the Bo interview: that was my favorite thing Bo Dallas has ever done. That interview clip is well worth seeking out on WWE.com to get a real sense of the direction of Bo Dallas’ current character. Fun stuff. On we go…
Back in the arena, the duo of Casey Maron and former WWE developmental/current FIP talent Tommy Taylor were already in the ring. NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension were out next with their full entrance.
2. The Ascension vs. Tommy Taylor and Casey Maron in a non-title match. The crowd started a “let’s go these guys” chant for Taylor and Maron, but The Ascension wore Maron out and made frequent tags over the next few minutes. Victor hit a dropkick on Taylor, knocking him off the apron. In the ring, The Ascension hit a double hip-toss slam and followed up with the Fall of Man high/low combination for the win.
The Ascension beat Casey Maron and Tommy Taylor in about 2:30.
A replay showed the finish and the Ascension’s lighting too effect as they stood over their fallen opponent…
The commentators threw to a recap of last week’s NXT Championship match and the controversy surrounding the false finish and ultimate finish. After the replay, Sami Zayn’s WWE.com exclusive clip from post-match last week played. Zayn said he had the title in his hands, and now it’s gone. He said he doesn’t have an issue with JBL restarting the match when Bo’s foot was on the rope, but he did take issue with JBL not restarting the match when Bo used the exposed turnbuckle to win. He said he understands what Daniel Bryan must be feeling, not being the chosen guy. Zayn said these are the things that happen when Triple H is in charge of things top-to-bottom. He said that the next time the NXT Championship is in his hands, it’s staying there…
Scott Stanford hyped CJ Parker vs. Alexander Rusev coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Back to the usual Ascension formula. Meh. I suppose it’s a necessary step to keep them dominant while building up new teams, but I have yet to see any of those new contending teams taking shape. Zayn’s backstage promo was just what it needed to be. He isn’t the guy to fly off the handle and lose his cool, but he clearly wasn’t his usual self here; it came across believably.
Backstage, Renee Young welcomed NXT General Manager JBL. She began to ask about Sami Zayn when JBL asked her if her tank-top was NXT issue or not. She continued that Zayn thinks there’s a conspiracy against him, and asked for JBL’s response. JBL said the world must revolve around Sami Zayn. JBL said Sami could blame his shoes being untied, the sun being in his eyes, or the evil GM for costing him the match.
JBL said the Era of the Wrestling God wasn’t going to start with controversy. He said that restarting the match that the referee blew was doing what’s best for business. He said they take baseless accusations against them very seriously, and as a result, Sami Zayn won’t be appearing on NXT for a while. (Again, covering for Zayn missing the set of tapings for the Abu Dhabi tour). He said that when Sami learns a little respect, he should call JBL at his office, and then they’d think about getting him back on the show. Before leaving, JBL also suggested that Renee get herself a new shirt…
In the Arena, CJ Parker made his entrance. He was back to his usual dancing self and even had Tyler Breeze’s phone, taking selfies on his way to the ring. Alexander Rusev was out next, back to his original theme, without Sylvester Lefort, Scott Dawson, or any sign of his Legionnaires association. No board breaking either.
3. CJ Parker vs. Alexander Rusev. One fan in the crowd got a pretty big “Tyler Breeze” chant started amongst the Full Sail Faithful. Resev came out strong in the opening minute with some aggressive offense. An attractive blonde woman made her way to ringside as Rusev crushed Parker with his hip attack in the corner. Rusev applied the Accolade and Parker submitted rather quickly.
Alexander Rusev beat CJ Parker in about 1:15.
The woman circled the ring as the commentators questioned who she was and what she was doing. Rusev stood over Parker in the ring as the woman made her way up the ramp and to the back… Scott Stanford hyped the upcoming main event of Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Yikes, that’s not a good sign for The Moonchild. Coming off (or still involved in?) a weak feud with Tyler Breeze, a squash loss to the resident foreign brute isn’t exactly a step up. Resev’s work looks good, his entrance routine is a bit over the top but he’s a believable heel from bell to bell. Both of these characters seem to be in a transition process so look for future episodes to solidify them more, especially with the addition of the mystery woman (who research tells is NXT Diva Lana).
Back in the arena, Tom Phillips, Alex Riley, and Tensai spoke about what happened during the break. They threw to a video clip of Tyler Breeze jumping in the ring while Parker was still down and then hitting him with his spinning wheel kick, dubbed the Beauty Shot. Afterwards, Breeze cut two of Parker’s dreadlocks off and the cameras picked up the crowd’s chant of “More! More! More!” Breeze was also able to retrieve his phone…
Corey Graves made his entrance for the main event, looking slightly darker and angrier than he has previously. [C] Scott Stanford hyped CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze and Paige vs. Summer Rae for next week. Back in the arena, Adrian Neville made his entrance.
4. Corey Graves vs. Adrian Neville. Neville nailed Graves with a running dropkick right out of the gate and went to work on him. About a minute in, Neville took out Graves at ringside with a running backflip over the top rope, landing on his feet. Back in the ring, Neville wore Graves out with kicks until Graves caught the leg and managed to do some quick damage. Neville came right back with a hard kick for two; great sequence.
Graves took control with a kick to the leg and continued to target the leg with great offense to set up his finishing hold. The crowd chanted “Corey sucks,” in a rare case of the Full Sail Faithful responding the way they’re supposed to. Graves hit a shinbreaker and locked in a unique kneeling Figure-Four. He continued the assault on the leg with some great-looking twisting drops before going back to the kneeling leglock.
Neville fought out and began to fire up, revealing that his trunks had a gaping hole in the rear. That’s why they wear several layers. Neville dropped Graves with an elbow in the corner and went up top, but was selling the leg and Graves made it back up. Neville jumped over Graves and appeared to tweak his knee on the landing. Neville managed to get a quick near-fall on a rollup, but Graves kicked out and cut Neville down with the chop block. Graves applied Lucky 13 and Neville was forced to submit.
Corey Graves beat Adrian Neville in about 7:10.
Post-match, the commentators put over Graves targeting the leg the entire match, leading to the finish. A replay showed the highlights and the finish. When the replay ended, Graves had Lucky 13 locked in on Neville on the ramp as referees tried to break it up. The show closed with Graves bleeding from the mouth and looking maliciously down at Neville.
Zim’s Zag: About as excellent as a seven minute match can be. These are two of the best workers in NXT and the work here was crisp, nonstop, and logical. Of course, I would’ve liked to see it get some more time, but with the post-match attack it’s a virtual guarantee that we’ll see it again. I’m looking forward to seeing how this feud carries the next several episodes of NXT in the absence of Sami Zayn and Bo Dallas.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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