Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards debut as The American Pitbulls, Triple H appears on episode No. 200, Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Title
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped November 21 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] After titles, the show opened with Sami Zayn walking out to the ring. Byron Saxton welcomed us to the 200th episode of NXT. Or at least I think it was Saxton, as Tom Phillips was also on commentary, and the two have a slightly similar voice. They are joined on colour commentary by Tensai. Saxton said every NXT Title would be "represented" tonight as Tyson Kidd came out to be Zayn's tag partner. Leo Kruger and Antonio Cesaro are their opponents...
1. Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd vs. Antonio Cesaro and Leo Kruger. Although Kidd and Kruger started, the crowd only popped once Cesaro and Zayn tagged in, chanting "Match of the Year" in reference to their two out of three falls match from earlier in the year. The two went back and forth until Zayn managed to get Cesaro to his corner and tagged in Kidd. Kidd ran the ropes, but Cesaro picked him and planted him with a nice backbreaker to send us into the first commercial... [C]
[Q2] Kidd was isolated on the wrong side of the ring when we returned. Cesaro and Kruger slowed the match to a crawl, keeping Kidd on the mat for the most part in a bid to prevent Kidd from using his speed. Kidd eventually caught a break when he dodged a Cesaro tackle in the corner, and then monkey flipped Kruger when he tagged in. Zayn came in hot on Kruger, building up to a crossbody for a two count. Zayn looked for his corner big boot, but Kruger ducked it, only for Zayn to dodge the follow up Slice clothesline and hit a Blue Thunder bomb.
Cesaro dived in to break the count up, but soon got thrown to the outside by Kidd, who then dived through the ropes onto him. Back in the ring, Zayn set up and hit the corner big boot to get the 1-2-3...
Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd defeated Antonio Cesaro and Leo Kruger in 8:25.
A Royal Rumble advert, based on speed dating, aired...
Gutt Reaction: I know the purpose of positioning this match here is to have a loaded card for NXT 200, but I think that match would have been better served as a main event on a slower week. They did get 8 minutes, which is only a little below average for big NXT tag matches, but I don't think it ever really kicked into as higher gear as these guys are capable of. It was perfectly fine, but I wanted more.
An "NXT Moment" aired, highlighting the first ever episode on the 23rd of February 2010. It showed the original 8 rookies, and the main event of the night featuring rookie Daniel Bryan vs. World Champion Chris Jericho. I remember the match being pretty damn good, but the thing that stood out on this replay was Bryan. He looks so different it's unreal...
Sasha Banks and Summer Rae walked out for an apparent non-title match. Saxton did say every title would be "represented", but I guess he didn't mean defended. Banks is competing tonight, and she is taking on "Nor-itch's" own, Paige...
2. Paige vs. Sasha Banks. The NXT Women's title is defended that rarely, why not make this a title match? Banks surprisingly got straight on the gas, bossing Paige in the early going. Following a very long headlock, Banks grabbed Paige's arm and jumped to the top rope, only for Paige to violently pull her down. Paige fired up with clotheslines before attempting to run the ropes, but Summer Rae grabbed her leg from ringside. Paige played possum for a little bit, baiting Banks to try and dropkick her, only for Paige to duck out of the way and forcing Banks to hit Rae. Paige capitalised by hitting the Paige Turner and getting the win...
Paige defeated Sasha Banks in 3:33.
Backstage, Enzo Amore was shown sitting in a wheelchair with a cast on his leg. He was explaining to Colin Cassady that he was suing the place for not being wheelchair accessible. They went silent when they heard singing, and found Aiden English doing vocal exercises by a back wall. Amore criticised his singing, saying belching into a microphone makes you as much as a singer as standing in a garage makes you a car. He said Cassady was a better singer, and English said he could not beat "moi". They did the little bit where they say "Moi means "me"" - "Yeah, moi means you" a few times before English challenged Cassady to a singing contest...
The Ascension's open challenge for the NXT Tag Titles is up next... [C]
Gutt Reaction: Again, I can't help but think they should have made this a title match and lost the backstage skit to give it more time. If the NXT Tag Titles and NXT Title are on the line tonight, why not the Women's title? The singing contest could have been reached in one segment in the ring. I hope I'm not being overly pessimistic because my laptop died on me yesterday, deleting several articles I had ready to go. We'll see if this grumpiness is a passing thing as the episode wears on.
[Q3] Another "NXT Moment" aired, this time chronicling the first episode of the "new" NXT on the 20th of June 2012. It featured a lot of JR voice over, Bo Dallas' debut and the first main event between Tyson Kidd and Curtis Axel (who was still Michael McGillicutty at the time)...
The Ascension were already in the ring when we cut back to the arena. Grumpiness rising. Generic wrestling rock entrance music #254 played, and out walked Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards. Redubbed the "American Pitbulls", Edwards was given the name "John Cahill", and Richards was called "Derek Billington". If they do sign, I hope to the Lord above they don't get saddled with those names. Tensai said he had wrestled them in Japan and they could both "go"...
3. The Ascension vs. The American Pitbulls for the NXT Tag Team Titles. I'm just going to go right ahead and call them Edwards and Richards. Tensai continued to sing the praises of the Pitbulls on commentary, putting them over very strongly for unsigned talent. I think this is also the episode where they have redubbed The Ascension "Konnor" and "Viktor". After some momentum trading, the Pitbulls double teamed Konnor with a double arm drag. Viktor was then sent to the outside, but Konnor managed to get a foothold for his team by dropping Richards with a flapjack.
Instead of going for the pin (this is his singles finisher if I remember correctly), he continued to simply isolate Richards.
Viktor tagged in and went for a back suplex, but Richards botched a backflip and landed on top of his head. He seemed OK, if a little groggy following Viktor's pin. They repeated the spot, and this time pulled it off, allowing Richards to tag in Edwards. He took it to Viktor with back elbows before throwing both he and Konnor to the outside. The Pitbulls then simultaneously dived through the ropes onto the Ascension, which popped the crowd.
Back in the ring, Richards tagged in and hit a diving headbutt after howling from the top rope. Viktor kicked out at two, and Richards picked up steam for something, only for Viktor to meet him with a very nice Shining Wizard. Konnor tagged in, and after Viktor took care of Edwards, they pair put Richards down with the Fall of Man...
The Ascension defeated The American Pitbulls in 4:05.
After the match, Hunico and Camacho walked down the ramp. They started arguing with the Ascension, who made an example of Edwards by dropping him with another Fall of Man...
Next week will be "NXT Rewind", a look back on 2013 which will also feature William Regal vs. Antonio Cesaro...
Gutt Reaction: That may have been my favourite Ascension match to date. It's not like it has a lot of competition however. One bad spot aside, the American Pitbulls/Wolves looked good, and I'd be much more interested in them getting a run on NXT than the played out team of Hunico and Camacho. But again, please don't call them Billington and Cahill. Konnor and Viktor is stupid too while we're on the subject.
Lumberjacks were stood around the ring ready for the main event. A lot of unknown guys were out alongside faces like Tyler Breeze. Howard Finkel (!) is handling ring announcing duties. Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas made their way out, and The Fink did the introductions in-ring...
4. Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Title. A few lumberjacks of note (based on no previous knowledge) - there are two guys in cowboy hats, so look forward to the next instalment in the long, long list of forgettable cowboy tag teams; a French Fandango; a guy with mountains on his singlet; and Gavin Spears/Tye Dillinger. And most terrifying of all, a Mike Knox lookalike. Dallas was thrown out first, and dumped back in immediately. Neville was thrown out as well shortly after, and Breeze tried to throw him back in, only for Neville to put his foot on the apron to stop him from doing so. Neville asked if he could do it, before slapping Breeze around the face and climbing back in himself... [C]
[Q4] Neville once again got dumped on the outside, but this time he was put back in without incident. Breeze was still selling the slap, leaning up again the apron. Bo kept Neville under control for a while, initially with a headlock and then with strung together clotheslines. Dallas started to get frustrated after Neville kicked out of a few pins, and went for the corner bulldog, but Neville escaped and started to build momentum. He landed a variety of kicks, including a nice combo of one legged dropsault – enziguri – standing shooting star press. Dallas kicked out, so Neville set him up for the Red Arrow, but Dallas rolled out of the ring.
All of the lumberjacks except for Breeze grabbed Dallas. Neville switched position and hit a swan dive on to all of the lumberjacks in a nice spot. Neville eventually pulled Dallas out of the wreckage, threw him back in the ring, and went for the Red Arrow again. The ref became distracted by a lumberjack climbing on the apron, which allowed Breeze to grab hold of Dallas and pull him out of the way of Neville. Neville crashed into the mat, and Dallas dived on him, getting the pinfall...
Bo Dallas defeated Adrian Neville in 8:32.
Dallas looked amazed that he had pulled it off, and Breeze checked himself out in his phone as NXT came to a close...
Gutt Reaction: A good lumberjack match because up until the finish, they just did their jobs. Both men in the ring also did their jobs – Dallas showed more aggression and desperation than usual, which fit perfectly with his character at present, and Neville was at his usual high quality when the pace picked up near the end. His programme with Breeze won't be of massive importance for him, but it may be for Breeze, who has been looking for a boost up the card since his programme with CJ Parker ended. I look forward to it, as match quality has the potential to be very high.
The show was solid, but not as spectacular as I was hoping for being the milestone it was. Nothing was bad, and some noteworthy things happened, with the Pitbulls debut standing out, but I'd have preferred WWE to have loaded the card with superstars of NXT past. Yeah Bryan may not have been available, but I'm sure Wade Barrett and the rest of the Nexus, as well as Rollins and Big E, could have been called in. Barrett and Slater vs. Gabriel and Young anyone? A triple threat between Big E, Rollins and Dallas perhaps? The return of Bray Wyatt would have been a very nice touch too. So an enjoyable episode by all means, just a missed opportunity in my eyes, especially with only two "NXT Moments" airing. Has that little happened in 200 episodes?
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