Zim's WWE NXT Review: CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze, Paige vs. Summer Rae, Aiden English in action, Adrian Neville speaks, Alexander Rusev breaks out, and a Luke Harper promo
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired October 30, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped October 10 at Full Sail University
The opening video played… The commentators: Byron Saxton, Renee Young, and William Regal quickly welcomed viewers. The show opened with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady making their entrance with microphones. Amore introduced them as the "Bada-boom, realest guys in the room." Cassady said Sylvester Lefort and the Legionnaires had no backbones – boneless. Amore yelled that they were "chicken tenders." Funny. Cassady continued on and they closed by calling their opponents "S-A-W-F-T." The crowd eats these guys up. Alexander Rusev and Sylvester Lefort were out next. Peculiar, considering Rusev wrestled last week with no mention of his Legionnaires association. Also, this was Sylvester Lefort’s in-ring debut on TV.
1. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. Alexander Rusev and Sylvester Lefort. Rusev went right to work on Cassady with knees and strikes. The crowd started a "chicken tenders" chant. Awesome. Rusev dropped Cassady and then brought Amore into the ring the hard way before crushing him with a body attack into the ropes. Sylvester Lefort entered the ring for some reason, and Rusev turned on him and took him out as well. Rusev then locked in the Accolade on the legal man, Colin Cassady, who quickly tapped out.
Alexander Rusev and Sylvester Lefort beat Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady in about 1:30.
After the match, the commentators put over the dominance of Rusev, with Regal stating that Rusev would be a world champion in the next year. Not so sure about that one. The blonde woman who circled the ring last week was standing at the top of the ramp waiting for Rusev. Rusev walked to the back, followed closely by the woman…
Scott Stanford hyped CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze as the main event of the show. Joy… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Basic but decent break-away for Rusev, and not much more than that. He’s been slightly better than expected, but I’m not sold on him. I’m still intrigued where the story with the woman goes and I hope there’s a well-told story behind it. Amore and Cassady are really getting good together in their promos. The act is a lot of fun, but they’re the only team besides the Ascension in the tag division and they’re comedy jobbers. It’s a sad time for the NXT tag division.
Back from break, ring announcer Kendall Skye introduced "The Artiste" Aiden English. He requested his spotlight and sang himself to the ring. The song is new every week but has the same in-ring close, where English delivers big on the "E" in "WWE." The commentators all praised him and Regal was absolutely giddy, admitting that English is his man-crush. English’s opponent, Jason Jordan, was already in the ring.
2. Aiden English vs. Jason Jordan. Jordan got the better of English early until English hit a cheap-shot elbow and took control with aggressive offense. A short time later, English locked Jordan in a sleeper hold and sang him a lullaby while it was applied. Good stuff. Jordan worked back up and caught English with a high dropkick, but English came right back with the Director’s Cut for the win.
Aiden English beat Jason Jordan in about 1:30.
The Full Sail crowd politely applauded and chanted "encore." English took a mic, requested his spotlight, and said he had decided to give everyone an encore. He delivered the usual final line and took a deep bow. The crowd threw roses into the ring and broke out in a loud "yes" chant. William Regal was shown giving a standing applause and gushing at the announce table...
The commentators threw to a recap of Corey Graves attacking Adrian Neville’s leg after their match last week. They then went to a "WWE.com exclusive" clip of Neville from afterwards. NXT’s new roving reporter asked how Neville was feeling. Neville said he would tell him how he’s feeling, and then proceeded not to. Weird. He spoke to Corey Graves and said well-done. He said he’s the ‘Jumping Geordie’ and his legs are his livelihood. He said if Graves "thought this was personal, nah. Nah. This is only just the beginning…" [C]
Zim’s Zag: Same stuff from English. It’s a fun act but it strikes me as one-dimensional (or dare I say – one-note). The promo with Neville was just kind of awkward. He’s still seriously sub-par on the mic. Though the continuation of the Neville-Graves program is something I’m really looking forward to.
Back in the arena, Summer Rae made her entrance accompanied by Sasha Banks. Paige made her entrance to a good reaction. A replay showed two weeks ago, when Summer and Sasha beat Paige and Emma, planting the initial seeds of the Paige-Emma tension.
3. Summer Rae (w/ Sasha Banks) vs. NXT Women’s Champion Paige in a non-title match. Paige went right after Summer, whipping her around the ring by her hair. Summer rolled to ringside and ran over to Sasha for consolation. Back in the ring, both ladies traded rollups before Paige continued the assault. A short time later, Sasha tried to interfere at ringside, but the referee saw and sent her to the back. [C] (They actually showed a HiaC and Raw recap during this break, which is a really weird editing decision.)
Summer managed to escape from Paige’s knee strikes from the apron and knocked Paige to ringside with a legsweep. Back in the ring, Summer followed up by working in some unique holds on the mat. The commentators strayed miles from what was happening, though Saxton was trying. Summer hit a dropkick for two, but when she went for her rolling DDT, Paige caught her and turned it into a fishherwoman’s suplex for a two-count of her own.
Paige took an arm and hit repeated clotheslines on Summer before scoring a near-fall off a single-leg dropkick. Summer briefly regained control with a high spinning back kick, but Paige hit a kick to the gut and the Paige Turner for the win.
Paige beat Summer Rae in about 6:00.
After the match, Sasha Banks entered the ring and jumped Paige from behind. Emma ran out and made the save. She zoned in on Banks with aggressive stomps. Paige grabbed her shoulder to stop the attack, and Emma swung blindly and knocked Paige down before realizing who it was. The heels escaped and Paige went face-to-face with Emma, continuing to build their heat…
Backstage, the roving reporter asked Tyler Breeze for his thoughts on his match with CJ Parker. Breeze was holding the dreads he cut off of Parker and said he was going to send that derelict back to the streets where he belongs. He closed by saying it was time to "shoot the Breeze…" [C]
Zim’s Zag: Good display from the ladies. Again, I haven’t been super-impressed by anything they’ve been doing, but they’re far more competent than a large portion of the Divas on Raw and Smackdown. I’m still clamoring to see Paige vs. AJ Lee.
A video package played with a swinging lantern and various creepy cuts to Luke Harper. He said "Ohno" several times and then said that he’s found a new "play thing." He said it amuses him. He said when he’s done playing, he’s going to leave Ohno for the buzzards… Scott Stanford hyped Kassius Ohno vs. Luke Harper for next week’s show. He also hyped Alexander Rusev would face Sylvester Lefort, following the attack from earlier in this show…
Tyler Breeze made his catwalk entrance and was wearing a new vest and fluffies to work in the Susan G. Komen pink. He also had a new fluffy phone case. Rad. CJ Parker was out next. He hit the ring in a hurry, without much dancing or hippy strangeness.
4. Tyler Breeze vs. CJ Parker. Breeze was on the run right out of the gate. They ran around the ring until Parker caught up and took control back in the ring. Parker hit a vertical suplex and then a crossbody from the second rope a short time later. He used a big airplane spin and set up for the palm thrust, which Saxton called the Third Eye, but Breeze avoided it and escaped to ringside. [C]
Back in the ring, Parker planted Breeze with a back suplex. He charged across the ring looking for his double knee strike in the corner, but Breeze dropped down and then slammed Parker to the mat. Breeze used some basic, methodical offense before checking himself in his phone camera. He continued to work over Parker until Parker caught him going to the top rope. Parker tossed Breeze down with a slam and then fired up. He hit a Booker T-like crescent kick for a near-fall. A short time later, Breeze missed his wheel kick and Parker connected with the Third Eye palmstrike for the win.
CJ Parker beat Tyler Breeze in about 8:00.
A replay showed the finish as Parker celebrated. Parker went to ringside and retrieved the scissors that Breeze brought with him. He teased cutting Breeze’s hair, but the crowd responded with a large "no" chant. Breeze managed to escape to ringside and scurried up the ramp. The commentators signed off and the show closed with Parker doing a Brutus The Barber impression in the ring.
Zim’s Zag: Decent match. It was the best these two have put on together, but it still wasn’t anything worth going out of your way to see. The crowd response, on top of everything else, makes this program hard to go along with. Here’s hoping this was the blow-off or there are some changes in the works, because this program is not clicking.
Overall, this show was a mixed bag. There was plenty worth watching for, but there also wasn’t anything worthy of high praise. The in-ring action was slightly sub-standard aside from the Divas match, but there were several things from the storyline aspect that were good about the show. Alexander Rusev is a fresh face working his way up, Adrian Neville and Corey Graves have only just begun to tell their story, the slow Paige-Emma dissension is fun to follow, and Luke Harper’s promo video for his match with Ohno really has me looking forward to the next show.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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