11/21 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: A Beat the Clock Challenge featuring Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Kassius Ohno and more to determine the No. 1 Contender for the NXT Title, Hunico and Camacho vs. Jobbers, and the return of Bo Dallas
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped October 24 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, Byron Saxton announced that Bo Dallas will be making his NXT "homecoming" later in the show. Hunico and Camacho walked onto the stage, and their jobber opponents, christened Chris Rockwell and (I think) Jonathan Hornigan, waited in the ring...
1. Hunico and Camacho vs. Jonathan Hornigan and Chris Rockwell. Hunico’s long absence was put down to injury. Camacho took one of the jobbers down with a club to the back. He tagged in Hunico, dropped the jobber with a Samoan drop, and Hunico finished the squash match quickly with a Swanton Bomb...
Hunico and Camacho defeated Jonathan Hornigan and Chris Rockwell in 0:19.
After the match, a female reporter by the name of Devon Taylor asked Hunico how it felt to be back on NXT. Hunico responded in Spanish, before calling out the Ascension, saying they should know "why they were here"...
Gutt Reaction: They’re gone for how long and a gimmick overhaul didn’t take place? For shame. The team died a thousand deaths of mediocrity on the main roster because their gimmick felt so one dimensional and archaic. I feel coming back the same will sentence them to sink faster than the tons of "The Corre" t-shirts WWE must have dumped in the sea at some point.
Bo Dallas walked onto the stage in a shirt and trousers to some lacklustre heat. As he played to the crowd, balloons and streamers came down from the ceiling. Before climbing in the ring, Dallas put a party hat on, as Saxton, William Regal and Alex Riley checked in on commentary. Dallas gleefully shouted there was "no place like home". He said he had been on the "Bo Dallas world tour" for a few months, and had discovered that he was loved worldwide.
JBL’s music played, and he walked to the ring beaming at Dallas. He said the company was proud of him for being a worldwide ambassador for them, and dubbed him the "Face of NXT". They were interrupted by Sami Zayn’s music, who received a big pop as he walked to the ring.
JBL reminded Zayn that he was suspended, and told him to show respect to the face and the GM of NXT. Zayn said he meant no disrespect; he just wants to be reinstated so he can take the title from "that delusional cheeseball." JBL said that’s not how it works, and pointed out that he could suspend Zayn indefinitely if he wanted to, but he respects that Zayn served his suspension amicably, so he will in fact reinstate him.
The crowd popped, and Dallas offered his congratulations, but pointed out that he had already beaten Zayn for the NXT title, and Zayn was coming off as a "sore loser". Zayn said he had no problem starting at the bottom and working his way back up, but swore he would take the title from Dallas the next chance he got. JBL stepped in and said that under his reign, opportunity is only ever one win away. He announced a Beat the Clock challenge to determine a new No. 1 contender, and said Zayn would compete in his Beat the Clock match tonight. Zayn smiled, tapping Dallas on the shoulder and saying "Welcome home Bo" before leaving... [C]
Gutt Reaction: Oh it’s good this feud has come home. In a product currently stagnating at a rapid pace, this storyline is such a relief. It’s simple, it clearly prioritises the title above all other things, and everyone is playing their roles well. Dallas is lost in his own ego, Zayn is someone easy to rally behind, and JBL actually skirted a nice line. He’s still the heel JBL who favours heels, but he gave Zayn and others a fair opportunity to get a shot at the title.
[Q2] Colin Cassady made his way out for the first Beat the Clock challenge. Regal asked where Enzo Amore was, and Saxton informed us that he had been injured at a recent NXT Live show. Lana walked onto the stage, and introduced Alexander Rusev in Russian...
2. Colin Cassady vs. Alexander Rusev in a Beat the Clock Challenge match. Rusev was the early aggressor, using a variety of strikes to set up quick pin attempts. He climbed the ropes about two minutes in, and attempted a diving headbutt, but Cassady rolled out of the way. He too went for quick pins and got no luck. Rusev managed to regain control by throwing Cassady into the turnbuckles, and following a tackle in the corner, he applied the Accolade. Cassady seemed ready to tap, but he managed to free his arms and get to the ropes.
Rusev kept up the pressure as the match hit five minutes, kneeing Cassady in the ribs before dumping him on the mat. He slowed stalked Cassady for a while, before headbutting him in the back of the head and applying the Accolade again. This time, Cassady tapped...
Alexander Rusev defeated Colin Cassady in 5:33 to take the lead in the BTC Challenge.
Lana got in the ring to raise Rusev’s arm as Saxton announced that Kassius Ohno vs. Tyler Breeze would be the next Beat the Clock match...
Backstage, Devon Taylor introduced her guest Adrian Neville. She asked him to talk about his match last week with Corey Graves, which left Graves with a concussion. Neville said wrestling wasn’t ballet, and he new the risks of injury, but Graves had tried to end his career by targeting his knee. He said he wouldn’t have wished a concussion on Graves, but right now he can’t think about it as he has to concentrate on his Beat the Clock match with Aiden English. He said he knew a thing or two about speed, and hoped that Mr. English could keep up tonight... [C]
Gutt Reaction: The longest match of Cassady’s NXT career, and he was still essentially getting squashed. I want to see more from him, which I fear won’t happen until he splits from Amore, but that’s not happening any time soon. It was odd that the new monster heel went first, so had to establish a long time. Surely Rusev would be better utilised by squashing someone quickly to take "the lead" near the end of the challenge, only for a Sami Zayn or Adrian Neville to barely beat his time and win?
[Q3] Bayley was shown spinning on an office chair backstage, playing with a headband. Devon Taylor walked up to her and asked how she felt about Charlotte double crossing her last week. Bayley said she doesn’t understand why Charlotte did what she did. She described them as "Spongebob and Patrick", and said she had taught Charlotte how to pogo stick and how to do the robot. Bayley then said (while smiling) she promised to let her fists do the talking next time she sees Charlotte. She asked Taylor to do the robot with her, but Taylor declined...
Tyler Breeze and his impossible to find on iTunes theme music made their entrance. I would buy it and immediately hide it from the world, but it’s too damn catchy to be ignored any longer. Speaking of impossible to find, Kassius Ohno is his opponent...
3. Kassius Ohno vs. Tyler Breeze in a Beat the Clock Challenge match. Breeze suckered Ohno in by checking his phone and clocking Ohno when he got close. Breeze set the pace with punches and kicks, but Ohno regained a foothold by trying for sneaky pins. Ohno got shot to the ropes, and flipped over them, but Breeze managed to catch him with dropkick before he could climb back inside. Ohno fell to the outside, and Breeze took a long time to get him back inside.
Breeze carried through his momentum, and tried to go for the Beauty Shot, but Ohno ducked it and once again tried to get a quick pin several times. Following several reversals by both men, Ohno managed to score the 1-2-3 with a roll up...
Kassius Ohno defeated Tyler Breeze in 4:48 to take the lead in the BTC Challenge.
Regal said this was a big statement from Ohno, and signalled a great comeback. Oh the unfortunate irony...
A Shield hype package aired...
Aiden English was already stood in the ring when we returned, forgoing his usual singing entrance. Adrian Neville ran out to a nice pop, and Regal said Neville is in his element in this type of match...
4. Adrian Neville vs. Aiden English in a Beat the Clock Challenge match. Both men traded control early on, with English getting the first real foothold with a suplex. He got a close two count off of a deep bow leg drop, which caused him to get frustrated. He got further frustrated with each kick out thereafter, allowing Neville to recover and spark into life off of a back suplex.
Neville picked up the pace with flying forearms, culminating in a running low dropkick. He bodyslammed English and went to the top rope, but English rolled to the opposite corner. When Neville gave chase, English hit him with an elbow, before putting him down with a running neckbreaker similar to Curtis Axel’s Turning Heads finisher. English put Neville on the top rope and went for a superplex, but Neville managed to fight him off and drop him back to the mat. He quickly hit the Red Arrow and narrowly beat the time...
Adrian Neville defeated Aiden English in 4:45 to take the lead in the BTC Challenge.
Riley questioned why you would ever put Neville on the top rope, and Regal concurred. Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger was announced as the last BTC Challenge match... [C]
Gutt Reaction: Some feel the Beat the Clock challenge concept easily telegraphs the results of matches, but these two bouts showed that with smart workers, they are an excuse to have an all out, no brakes style match, which is a welcome addition to any card when done well. Neville cut it really close to hit the Red Arrow, to the point I thought he may run out of time, so full marks for having me doubt myself.
[Q4] Backstage, Conor O’Brian accepted Hunico and Camacho’s challenge. He said they should realised The Ascension will rip them apart limb by limb. Rick Victor said good things come to those who wait, but Hunico and Camacho have left it far too late. They concluded by saying "We are the Ascension, and we will rise" in unison...
Gutt Reaction: Two dull as dirt heel duos competing against each other! Looks like this division is actually sinking more like the ten tons of "Air Boom" t-shrits also dumped in the sea!
Leo Kruger received a sizeable "Kru" chant for his entrance, which was eclipsed by the pop that Zayn got for his. Before the match began, Dallas walked onto the stage in wrestling gear with a chair. He sat on the stage as the match began...
5. Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger in a Beat the Clock Challenge match. Kruger went for power moves, throwing Zayn with suplexes and bodyslams in an attempt to get the early pin. Zayn countered with speed, catching Kruger with a crossbody from the top rope. Kruger kicked out, and regained control with a ground and pound assault. Zayn escaped a headlock with less than two minutes left, and picked up the pace, with clotheslines and a dropkick out of a flapjack.
Zayn went for the running big boot in the corner, but Kruger ducked him. With a minute left, Kruger planted Zayn with a spinebuster for a two count. He stalked Zayn for the Slice clothesline, which Regal criticised him for doing. Kruger did eventually hit Zayn with it, but he kicked out of the follow up pin. Kruger tried a second and third time to get the pin as the clock went past 10 seconds. With 00.03 left to go, Zayn countered into a pin of his own, with the ref hitting the 3 count just as the clock hit 00.00...
Sami Zayn defeated Leo Kruger in 4:45 to match the BTC Challenge time.
Everyone seemed confused as to what the outcome meant, until JBL’s music hit and he walked onto the stage. He said this wasn’t the era of "polka dots and controversy" like the era of Dusty Rhodes, but the era of the "Wrestling God". He announced that Zayn will now face Neville next week to determine the No. 1 Contender, and the winner will face Dallas for the title the following week. They replayed the end of the match as the commentators hyped the match for next week. This brought NXT to a close...
Gutt Reaction:This match lacked a little of the urgency of the two prior ones, especially when Kruger was waiting for Zayn to stand for the Slice clothesline, but it’s clear it was done to allow time for everything to fall into place for the tied time to occur. It’s a novel ending that sets up a few matches with real potential for the coming weeks. See creative, it’s not hard to create excitement!
A refreshing return to form for NXT. The return of the main event feud brought with it three fast pace matches with exciting finishes, and a look at how JBL will act as GM going forward – still with a heel slant, but fair and down the middle so far (the controversial NXT Title match ruling a few weeks ago notwithstanding). And Neville vs. Zayn has all the potential in the world to be great next week, so stick around for these shows.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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