Zim's WWE NXT Review: Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves in a 2/3 falls match, Mason Ryan vs. Danny Burch, Summer Rae and Sasha Banks vs. Bayley and Charlotte, and Aiden English vs. Camacho
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired November 13, 2013 on Hulu Plus
Taped October 10 at Full Sail University
The opening video played… The duo of Bayley and Charlotte made their entrance as the commentators: Byron Saxton, William Regal, and Sweet T, checked in with viewers. The B.F.F's – Summer Rae and Sasha Banks – made their entrance. William Regal complained that he missed the lovely Renee Young joining them on commentary and gave Tensai a hard time.
1. Bayley and Charlotte vs. Summer Rae and Sasha Banks. Bayley presented Summer and Sasha with headbands that she made, because the B.F.F's had condescendingly given her one last week. The heels wanted nothing to do with it and quickly discarded them to ringside. Charlotte overpowered Sasha early-on as Bayley "woo'd" from the apron. Charlotte applied a hammerlock and showed good athleticism by bridging before delivering knee strikes to the shoulder. Bayley tagged in hit Summer with a stinger splash and a fireman's carry takeover before the heels took control… [C]
Back from break, Sasha and Summer continued to work over Bayley. At about four minutes, Summer settled into a lotus lock that Bayley turned into a rollup attempt, but Summer escaped and Sasha tagged in and took control. The B.F.F's continued with frequent tags before Bayley finally hit the hug-plex on Sasha and had the chance to tag out. She reached for Charlotte, but Charlotte dropped her with a hard slap to the face. The fans booed as Charlotte entered the ring and hit her weak summersault cutter on Bayley. Sasha looked bewildered but made the cover at the behest of Summer, and scored the pinfall.
Summer Rae and Sasha Banks defeated Bayley and Charlotte in about 6:25.
Post-match, the commentators were essentially speechless as Charlotte re-entered the ring and raised the hands of Summer and Sasha. Sweet T said that the B.F.F's just got meaner, and William Regal spoke sympathetically of Bayley. The heel trio stood together at the top of the ramp to close the segment…
Backstage, Aiden English was practicing his scales and a graphic showed that he would be in action up next… [C]
Zim Says: Another competent but unspectacular match from the Divas. That aside, I like the execution and potential fallout of the turn. I feared they were running out of stories to tell with the ladies, but with Paige vs. Emma on the horizon and Bayley (possibly with the help of a new ally?) fighting the new B.F.F's trio from underneath, there is good reason to be optimistic about this division.
Back from break, the returning Camacho made his entrance. Aiden English was out next and sang another new hymn to himself on his way to the ring. He finished it with the usual "WW…E" bit. William Regal gushed at the commentary table and said his heart was twitching like a bunny's nose. Funny.
2. Aiden English vs. Camacho. English landed several boots early before Camacho took over. Shortly after the minute mark, English tried begging off but Camacho had none of it and stayed in control. He mimicked English's bow and jumping legdrop before English slipped free and hit the Director's Cut out of nowhere for the win.
Aiden English beat Camacho in about 2:00.
Post-match the crowd chanted "encore" and Regal was utterly effusive, literally moaning into his headset over English. A replay showed the finish before English took a mic and said his performance was worthy of an encore. He delivered the final line of this week's song and of course, finished with the big "E" in "WWE." Audience members threw roses into the ring and Regal gave a teary-eyed standing ovation at the commentary table before snagging the hankie from Sweet T's suit and vulgarly blowing his nose…
Backstage, Alexander Rusev was standing with the mystery woman (Lana) in front of a randomly hung Bulgarian flag. Lana was walking around Rusev, rubbing his muscles and speaking in Russian. Rusev finished the segment by delivering several lines, also in Russian…
Scott Stanford hyped the main event, Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves in a two-out-of-three falls match… [C]
Zim Says: So after several months (possibly longer) of being away from TV, they actually decided to bring Camacho back as Camacho. I struggle to think of a more stereotypically offensive and lazily contrived character in any recent era of wrestling. Typical stuff here by English, aside from fighting from underneath most of the match. As for Rusev and Lana, I understand that NXT airs internationally, but I don’t see how all-Russian promos will help get them over with anyone other than Russian-speaking viewers.
Back from break, Danny Burch was introduced and was already standing in the ring. Mason Ryan made his entrance next. William Regal wasted no time in mentioning the historical rivalry between the British (Burch) and the Welsh (Ryan).
3. Mason Ryan vs. Danny Burch. Ryan had the upper hand early on, before Burch got a bit of offense in around the minute mark. He used European uppercuts and strikes, which eventually fired Ryan up. Ryan dropped Burch across the top rope and hit a running big boot. He planted Burch with a cobra-clutch slam and scored the win.
Mason Ryan defeated Danny Burch in about 2:30.
A replay showed the finish and the commentators said it was only a matter of time before Ryan achieved big things… Scott Stanford hyped the main event coming up next… An absolutely bizarre Emma vignette aired. It conjured up mental images of Nazi propaganda the way Emma was shown at a podium with "Emmalution" banners on either side of her, giving an audibly distorted speech to her "Emmacrats." She said she was the dancing queen of the "World Wrestling Emmatainment" and urged everyone to "join the Emmalution" (stopping short of threatening to dispose of anyone unwilling to comply)… [C]
Zim Says: Well, that was weird and I hope it never happens again. As far as the match, it was what it was. There isn’t much to say about a two-minute Mason Ryan squash win other than pointing out that he is ridiculously muscular and also ridiculously irrelevant.
Scott Stanford hyped NXT Champion Bo Dallas' homecoming from his world tour for next week's show… Back in the arena, Corey Graves made his entrance and the commentators reminded viewers that he's a bad guy now. Adrian Neville entered next to his dreadfully generic music. The "2-out-of-3 falls" graphic popped up before the opening bell sounded.
4. Adrian Neville vs. Corey Graves in a two-out-of-three falls match. Neville caught Graves with a single-leg dropkick right out of the gate and appeared to have the upper hand, but Graves took control from there. Graves got several quick two-counts, but Neville was able to fire up and come back a short time later. Neville used his up-and-over handspring across the ring and dropped Graves with a high kick. Neville climbed to the top turnbuckle and connected with the Red Arrow, which was good for the three-count.
Adrian Neville won the first fall in about 2:10.
Graves was down as a replay showed a super slow-mo shot of the Red Arrow. Man, is that a good looking move. Graves rolled to ringside to recoup, but Neville took him down with a baseball slide and continued his assault on the outside. Neville tossed Graves back in the ring and went up top again, looking to finish it early, but Graves rolled to ringside. Neville pursued, but Graves slipped passed him into the ring and knocked Neville off the apron with a dropkick to the knee that sent him crashing to ringside. From there Graves continued to target the knee, not only following up on his previous attacks on Graves, but also setting up his finishing leglock. [C]
Back from break, Graves was still in firm control as a replay showed him continuing to target the leg during the commercial. He hooked in a lengthy single-leg crab, which Neville was able to break free from, but not before sustaining further damage to the bad leg. Neville tried to fight back, but Graves connected with the chop block and forced Neville to submit to the Lucky 13.
Corey Graves won the second fall in about 8:10.
A replay showed the second finish as Neville heavily sold his leg and the commentators questioned how he would continue. Graves attempted a knee-breaker, but Neville was able to escape and connect with a kick to the head that sent Graves to ringside. The separation proved useful, as Neville fired up and went to work on Graves back in the ring, until Graves took him back down with a single kick to the bad leg.
Graves charged for the chop block again, but Neville nailed a dropkick to the face for two. Neville went back to the top turnbuckle, doing a good job of selling the leg on his way up, but as he tried to stand, his leg cave out and he crashed hard to the mat. Graves applied Lucky 13 in the middle of the ring for a great false-finish, but Neville found enough strength to make it to the ropes. Graves pulled him back to the center of the ring and looked to re-apply the hold, but Neville caught him in a surprise inside cradle and scored the win.
Adrian Neville defeated Corey Graves in about 13:00.
Post-match, the commentators emphasized the heart and resilience shown by Neville in his victory. Graves fumed in the ring as Neville limped up the ramp to the top of the stage to close the show.
Zim Says: Good main event to cap off a really flat episode. The clean pin with the Red Arrow in two-minutes was a bit odd, but the final fall of the match was excellent. Graves looked ruthless and calculating throughout, while Neville showed great fire on offense and great emotion when selling. The work-rate wasn’t off the charts, but the story was executed really nicely.
Overall, the main event was the only praise-worthy aspect of this show. Aside from the blowoff to the Neville-Graves feud, the only things that stood out as having any effect on storylines were the B.F.F's presumed new program with Bayley and the homecoming of Bo Dallas. Otherwise, this show was uneventful, unremarkable, and forgettable. Thankfully this was the final episode of a relatively lackluster set of tapings. I'm guardedly hopeful that things will pick up in the coming weeks.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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