12/5 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Title, Paige vs. Natalya for the NXT Women's Title, Tyson Kidd vs. Leo Kruger, Antonio Cesaro appears
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped October 24 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, the female ring announcer introduced a NXT Women’s Title Match. Natalya is challenging, and she made her way out as Byron Saxton, Renee Young and Alex Riley checked in on commentary. The ring announcer then introduced Paige, billing her from "Nahhh-ich, England". When the Dot Net NXT Podcast airs (COMING SOON! BE EXCITED!), I feel obliged to provide lessons on how to pronounce English towns properly, beginning with Norwich, and running through Bur-ming-ham, Glasg-oww, etc...
1. Paige vs. Natalya for the NXT Women’s Title. The pair were evenly matched for the first few minutes, showing off some nice chain grappling and crisp mat work. Natalya tried to apply a Sharpshooter, but Paige rolled out of the ring before it was locked in. This sent us into the first commercial break... [C]
[Q2] Paige was in full assault mode when we returned, attacking Natalya in the corner. Riley explained this was because during the commercial break, she had offered to shake Natalya’s hand, but Natalya had used it to take an advantage (no replay was aired). She locked Natalya in an abdominal stretch, but Natalya escaped and applied an abdominal stretch of her own. Paige escaped the hold too, but the two Divas soon ended up in a stalemate situation again following a double crossbody.
It was Natalya who got the upper hand when they got to their feet, hitting a few running clotheslines before taking it to Paige with a suplex and a powerslam. That brought her a two count, and she got another one off of a discus clothesline shortly thereafter. Natalya tried to finish the match with a Sharpshooter, but Paige held on long enough to crawl to the corner and throw Natalya into the turnbuckles. Both women sold until a count of eight, when they both returned to their feet. Natalya went for a headlock, but Paige countered with the Paige Turner to retain her title...
Paige defeated Natalya to retain the NXT Women’s Title in 10:00.
Paige hugged a kneeling Natalya, before both women raised each other’s hands. They hugged again before Natalya left and Paige celebrated...
Gutt Reaction: Unsurprisingly, this was a damn good Divas match. While AJ will undoubtedly walk away with all the end of year awards in the Divas category, it could be argued that these two are the best workers at present. We all know about Natalya’s in-ring credentials, but Paige has improved a lot this past year, and could wrestle rings around most of the main roster Divas. She still has rough edges (her vocal work in the ring can be as grating as Seth Rollins’), but I doubt AJ will have such a stranglehold on the 2014 Divas awards should Paige get the call up this year.
A "WWE.com Exclusive" video aired, wherein Antonio Cesaro was asked for his reaction to his run in with William Regal last week. Cesaro put on a poor English accent to say "Mr. Regal, don’t stick your nose into my business, sunshine". He said it wouldn’t end well for Regal.
Leo Kruger tapped Cesaro on the shoulder, and said he wanted thank Cesaro for the match they had. It had taken him to a place he hadn’t been in a while. "It couldn’t have been a shower" quipped Cesaro. Kruger said he has come up with an interesting proposition - he wants to join the Real Americans. Cesaro seemed uncertain, but Kruger said he had recently had a match with Sami Zayn, and alluded to Cesaro’s history with Zayn. Cesaro smiled, and said he could speak to Zeb Colter about Kruger joining the Real Americans, if Kruger did a favour for him. He was about to announce his evil scheme, but noticed the camera (3 minutes into a promo segment), and decided to whisper it to Kruger instead. Both men smiled, and Cesaro left...
Gutt Reaction: Book this right damn now. I’m done with complaining about the stupidity of Cesaro being in the Real American stable, so while the ridiculousness continues, we may as well as add a 3rd great worker who also isn’t American to the unit. Three man heel teams are all the rage after all, and Kruger would add nicely to the dynamic, bringing his brand of quite danger to Cesaro’s cool and calm nature and Swagger’s over-the-top ways.
A jobber stood in the ring, but before he could be introduced, Aiden English cut him off by saying "Spotlight please". This week’s song was about how lucky everyone was that he was there to entertain them. I’m sorry, but I have a phobia of collar bones, and English’s is looking at me. I may not be able to focus on any match he’s in...
2. Aiden English vs. a Jobber. English threw off every attempt from the jobber to attack him. He quoted Shakespeare’s "To be, or not to be" before executing a vertical suplex. This set up his Director’s Cut finisher, which got him the 1-2-3...
Aiden English defeated a jobber in 1:24.
The crowd chanted for an encore, and English provided one. Some fans waved their cell phone screens in place of lighters. Roses were thrown into the ring when he finished his song.
As English smelled a rose on the stage, he was interrupted by Cesaro’s music. Cesaro walked out in a suit, and waved for English to leave, which he did. He got a mic, and said he wanted to apologise to Byron Saxton for losing his cool last week. He invited Saxton to join him on the stage so he could apologise in person.
Saxton walked onto the stage, and Cesaro offered his hand to shake. Saxton shook it, and Cesaro said he thought Saxton knew better than to touch the "Don’t Tread On Me" flag. He apologised in five different languages, and Saxton thanked him. Cesaro then invited Saxton to join him in saying "We the People". Saxton didn’t join in the first time, and then half heartedly said it the second time.
Cesaro got mad, and grabbed Saxton around the neck. Regal was nowhere to be seen, and Cesaro asked Saxton where he was. As Saxton said he didn’t know, Cesaro slapped him, and Saxton fell to the floor...
Another "WWE.Com Exclusive" video aired from last week, this time featuring Sami Zayn, who was asked for his reaction to losing the No. 1 Contender match. Zayn said the better man won, and spoke of his disappointment of coming so close to an NXT Title opportunity and missing out. He praised Adrian Neville, but warned that whoever held the NXT Title by the end of the night, he was coming for them. All of a sudden, Kruger attacked Zayn from behind. The video ended as Kruger said "Ta-ta, Sami"... [C]
Gutt Reaction: An English squash match doesn’t do him any favours. It’s time to see how the character reacts to others in a storyline. The Cesaro stuff would usually put heat on him, but there was a more noticeable "Yes!" chant than there was a chorus of boos. On NXT, he’s like Ric Flair in his late 2000s run – they can do everything they want to get him heat, the fans will just continue to cheer him.
[Q3] Tom Phillips replaced Byron Saxton on commentary as Tyson Kidd made his entrance, and received a nice pop. They replayed a video from February this year, wherein Kidd (on crutches) was attacked by Leo Kruger. Alex Riley said (in reference to Kidd), and I quote, "I thought it was Eddie Guerrero coming out here just now!" Damn it, Alex, engage your brain sometimes before you open your mouth! Kruger is his opponent...
3. Tyson Kidd vs. Leo Kruger. Kidd started off super aggressive, taking it immediately to Kruger and quickly hitting his running dropkick to Kruger’s head. Even when Kruger grabbed the ring apron and kicked Kidd away from him to cause a break, Kidd got straight back on the front foot. Kruger only managed to stop the momentum by catching a kick from Kidd and dropping it across his shoulder...
After a quick tour promo, we returned to the match to see Kruger targeting Kidd’s left leg. The commentators pointed out that it was Kidd’s left knee that he had surgically repaired. Kruger locked in a Sharpshooter, and when it looked like Kidd was about to tap, Sami Zayn walked down the ramp. Kruger let go of the hold and stared at Zayn, which allowed Kidd to recover and roll up Kruger for the surprise pin...
Tyson Kidd defeated Leo Kruger in 4:06.
Zayn celebrated a little before quickly leaving, as Kidd hobbled up the ramp selling the damage Kruger had done...
Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Title was advertised for up next... [C]
Gutt Reaction: Kidd didn’t show any signs of ring rust here, putting on a fun, fast paced match with Kruger which I hope to see a longer version of down the line. Since he hasn’t shown up much on the main roster since his return from injury, I’d like to see him on NXT a lot, similar to how Cesaro is utilised. Potential matches with Zayn and Neville could be very exciting.
[Q4] Sami Zayn vs. Leo Kruger was announced for next week...
In the third "WWE.Com Exclusive" video (I think their version of exclusive and my version of it are very different) of the night, Hunico and Camacho were asked for their reaction to beating The Ascension. Hunico said they had fought their way out of the barrio, and they take what they want. He promised they would take the Tag Titles next week, and concluded by saying something in Spanish. Is it too late to make a Hunico/Sin Cara joke to spice this segment up? ...
As Neville made his entrance, Riley questioned why he was called the "Man that gravity forgot". He said he should be called "the man that gravity momentarily forgot, but then remembered". I think Riley gets pissy when no one talks to him, so he morphs from face to heel over the course of the show. Dallas came out second, and the introductions were handled in-ring. Neville was billed from "New Castle". That’s added to the list of towns now...
4. Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Title. Neville caused two early standoffs, the second of which came off of his rolling heandsprings into a crossbody out of the corner. As Neville backed Dallas into the corner and the ref stepped in to force a break, Dallas landed a punch over the ref’s back, and as he walked away, the pad on the second turnbuckle fell off. The ref threw the pad outside, and Dallas grounded Neville to wear him down.
Dallas built up to his corner bulldog for a two count. Following a bodyslam, Dallas climbed to the second rope and yelled "Don’t stop Bo-Lieving!". He went for a knee drop, but Neville rolled out of the way. Neville initially targeted the knee before kicking it into a high gear, hitting quick hit and run offense, which lead to Dallas rolling to the outside. Neville nearly came up short with his dive over the ropes, before rolling Dallas back into the ring and getting a two count.
Neville went top rope for the Red Arrow, but Dallas again rolled to the outside. Neville simply changed tactics and hit a crossbody to Dallas on the outside. The ref started counting, and Neville rolled back in on 9, but Dallas let go of the rope and fell back to the floor from the apron, giving Neville the win by count-out...
Adrian Neville defeated Bo Dallas by Count-Out in 7:26 (Dallas retains the NXT Title).
Neville showed his frustration as Dallas sold on the outside. This brought NXT to a close...
Gutt Reaction: The "Boring" chants I think I heard at the end where a little harsh, as this finish makes more sense than a clean victory at this point. I know I’ve joined the growing number of fans upset with the screwy finishes in PPV title matches, but here it works – the pair can now build a feud based on Dallas basically dodging a bullet by dropping back to the floor when he was already on the apron. It was also unexpected, as I expected the exposed turnbuckle to once again play a part in a Dallas title retain. I guess they just have poorly secured turnbuckle pads in Florida.
The good in-ring work shown in the main event matched that of the two previous long matches on the show. The hour flew by tonight, which is more than I can say for Raw and Smackdown recently. Things a coming to the boil at a nice rate on NXT this month, with good matches being coupled with new, intriguing storylines. If that doesn’t encourage recurring viewership, I don’t know what will.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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