1/9 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: The Ascension vs. Hunico and Camacho in a Tornado Tag match, Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev, Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English, and Bayley vs. Summer Rae
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped November 21 in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] The show opened overlooking a silent crowd. The atmosphere was not helped by the most bored sounding female announcer of all time introducing Summer Rae and Sasha Banks. She was equally dull for Bayley's entrance, but the crowd did chant Bayley's name as she walked to the ring with Natalya...
1. Bayley vs. Summer Rae. Tom Phillips, Alex Riley and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary. Summer showed that she was wearing a headband, like Bayley, and offered a hug. Bayley motioned for it, but instead ripped the headband off and tried to roll up Rae. Summer kicked out, and went on the offensive. She mixed in a lot of taunts with her manoeuvres, before applying a cross arm hold. Bayley escaped, and fought back with axe handles and a running back elbow. She hit another back elbow from the second turnbuckle, and after dodging a roundhouse kick from Rae, but the match away with a Belly-to-Bayley suplex...
Bayley defeated Summer Rae in 3:53.
They dubbed in a crowd cheer that was WAY too loud for it to match with the relatively small Full Sail crowd...
Backstage, Devon Taylor introduced Xavier Woods. He seemed excited to be on NXT 200, but Taylor reminded him it was episode 203. Woods turned to leave after saying "See you at 300", but Taylor told him that Kane was in the building, and wanted to address him. Woods said R-Truth had warned him that Kane might give him something to do while he was on NXT, but he wasn't worried, because he was "Over 9000"...
The Ascension vs. Hunico and Camacho in a Tornado Tag match was announced as the main event, and Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English was also advertised... [C]
Gutt Reaction: The match was OK as far as 3 minute Diva matches go, but this was a fairly big win for Bayley. Rae has been one of only three Divas to be given in-ring credibility on NXT (alongside Paige and Emma), so Bayley beating her clean may be a sign of her becoming the fourth woman to break the glass ceiling. I'm still not entirely sure of the extent of her in-ring skills, but she's extremely likeable. She'll do very well in WWE's PG world.
[Q2] Colin Cassady came out without Enzo Amore again. They replayed last week's singing contest before Aiden English made his entrance. The crowd was much less receptive to his singing this week. Maybe we have finally reached the point where he will be treated as the heel he is portraying...
2. Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English. Cassady took it to English immediately, spelling out "Swaft" as he threw punches and elbows in the corner. Cassady went for a corner splash, but English sidestepped him, and attempted to wear down Cassady with a headlock. Cassady quickly got out of the hold,and hit English with a running knee and an elbow drop for a two count.
English grabbed the ropes as he got back up, and as Cassady came towards him, English kicked him in the knee. English took advantage by hitting the Director's Cut, and got the 1-2-3...
Aiden English defeated Colin Cassady in 2:30.
A small "encore" chant started, but English ignored it. He walked to the top of the ramp and got showered by roses as he took a bow...
Backstage, Taylor introduced Adrian Neville. She started to ask him a question about his Lumberjack match with Bo Dallas a few weeks ago, but Neville's phone started ringing. Neville should have "Don't Speak" by No Doubt as a ringtone, just to remind himself. Neville answered, and immediately hung up when he saw it was Tyler Breeze ringing him, who was stood a few feet away. Neville said "What are you doing, we're in the same bloody room". PG be damned! Breeze explained that over the phone, he didn't need to look at Neville's "uggo" face, but he still needs to talk to him.
Breeze apologised for the whole "Bo Dallas loss thing". Neville sarcastically said "I suppose you had nothing to do with that, did you?". Breeze said Neville started it, but Neville replied that Breeze deserved it. Breeze said it didn't matter, as his only concern was giving the NXT fans a gorgeous champion like himself. Neville said since Breeze likes to play games (Breeze quipped "I hate them!"), he is going to play the waiting game, and instead of giving him a facelift with his fist this week, he'll wait until their match next week. Once Neville left, Breeze said to himself "Man that gravity forgot? More like the man who mother nature forgot to make... good looking" ...
Gutt Reaction: You know what? That worked really well. Neville and Breeze, as astounding as this sounds, brought out the best of each other. They're bickering was fun, Neville seemed more composed than I can remember him being, and Breeze's sign off line, while not great on paper, was delivered in such a Derek Zoolander way I laughed out loud. I knew I had good reason to be excited for this feud!
Xavier Woods received a nice pop for his entrance. The ring announcer said "And his opponent...", but it was Kane's music that played. He walked to the ring in a suit and tie, and grabbed a mic in the ring. Kane congratulated him on his impressive start to life on Raw. He said he was impressed both with Woods' in-ring victories, and his backstage impact. He brought up Woods' petition to reinstate the Big Show from a few months ago, and said the Authority had remembered this, and now it was time for the "punishment". Kane then introduced Alexander Rusev as Woods' opponent, and he made his way out with Lana...
3. Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev. Woods charged Rusev, but got taken down by a huge Samoan drop. Kane had remained at ringside, and watched as Rusev tried to keep Woods on the mat. Woods got up, and used hit and run offence to try and knock Rusev over. It took the headspring clothesline to get him down, but when Woods went for the Lost in the Woods, Rusev threw him off and hit a body check. He followed up by applying the Accolade, and Woods tapped fairly quickly...
Alexander Rusev defeated Xavier Woods in 1:53.
Kane and Lana looked on impressed as Rusev bellowed in the ring...
A "WWE.com exclusive" video aired from last week, where Kofi Kingston was being interviewed following his loss to Rusev. Kofi said he didn't feel like himself out there, and said he underestimated Rusev. He challenged Rusev to a rematch, and said he wouldn't make the same mistake twice... [C]
Gutt Reaction: First Kofi, now Woods. Rusev is being built very strongly, very quickly. Kane's presence could be a hint at how Rusev will be introduced on the main roster. Every heel authority figure needs an attack dog, and Rusev could potentially fit that niche nicely.
[Q3] Tyson Kidd came out to new music. It was vanilla alternative rock, because that gets the people going. His opponent, Baron Corbin, was already in the ring...
4. Tyson Kidd vs. Baron Corbin. Corbin countered Kidd's initial speed with big hitting shoulder tackles and clotheslines. He dominated the early going, until he ran at Kidd in the corner, and Kidd tripped him with a drop toe hold. Kidd built up to a running dropkick to Corbin's head for a two count, and then hit a legdrop on the apron. Kidd went top rope, and hit Corbin with an Over Castle neckbreaker to pick up the win...
Tyson Kidd defeated Baron Corbin in 3:08.
Gutt Reaction: The commentators spent a lot of the match putting over Corbin, and he got the lion's share of the offence, so he may be about to become a more regular act on the show. Since NXT (at least until the WWE Network launches) is kind of a completely separate world from the main roster, it wouldn't hurt Kidd any to have Corbin beat him once or twice. It'll be more effective for establishing him than feeding jobbers to him will be.
That extra Sin Cara money must be paying off, as Hunico and Camacho now have a bicycle each. They still refuse to ever pedal them though, making them more hindrances than helpful ways of getting about. As The Ascension came down to the ring, the commentators brought up their match with the American Pitbulls (American Wolves) again. They must have been confident of signing Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards...
5. The Ascension vs. Hunico and Camacho in a Tornado Tag match. The titles are not on the line. Hunico and Victor went to one side of the ring, and Konnor and Camacho went to the other. The two pairs traded control several times before Hunico managed to set up a double team on Victor, with Hunico giving him a spinebuster before Camacho hit a flying leg drop. The Ascension rolled to the outside to regroup... [C]
[Q4] The two teams were on the outside when we returned, and Camacho slammed Konnor's head into his bicycle. Back in the ring, Hunico and Camacho went for ten corner punches, but both ended up getting powerbombed. As the brawl continued, the Cult of Full Sail seem to be going into business for themselves, chanting something at Konnor and seemingly distracting him. He regained focus and hit Camacho with a flapjack for a two count.
Hunico and Camacho got stacked in the corner, but when the Ascension tried to switch them to the other side, Camacho hoisted Hunico over him onto the apron, and then booted an advancing Konnor, giving Hunico the chance to go top rope and hit a crossbody. Hunico and Camacho rode their momentum all the way to a double pin following a lionsault from Hunico onto both opponents, before isolating Konnor, trying to put him away with a Samoan drop followed by a senton bomb.
Victor broke the pin up, and was subsequently clotheslined to the outside. Hunico split the ropes so Camacho could dive at him, but Victor met him with a European uppercut. Hunico was distracted, so Konnor was able to sneak up on him and deliver a half nelson slam. Victor climbed in the ring to hit the Fall of Man, and Konnor got the pin...
The Ascension defeated Hunico and Camacho in 8:33.
The commentators stated that The Ascension's world wide challenge to opponents still stood as NXT went off the air...
Gutt Reaction: A hot mess for most of it's running time. It wasn't even a crazy brawl, it just seemed badly planned out. The home straight was fine, but the most interesting thing was the commentators saying the world challenge was still open. As much as I dislike the team, if the Ascension is used as a vehicle to introduce new tag teams, I'd be down for that. The other thing of note was the Cult seemingly reaching their tipping point. The crowd at Full Sail is usually full of smart marks anyway, but they seemed to give in to that most modern of trends for this match, and just started chanting to entertain themselves. I think they were mocking the Ascension's guttural noises, and I'm thankful someone finds it as stupid as I do if that is the case.
This weeks episode felt like one of those "set up" episodes we usually get once a taping. Everything done, from Kofi's challenge to Rusev, to the Neville/Breeze interaction, and to the world challenge still being open, has made me look forward to future episodes more so than look back on this episode with favourability. The matches on the undercard were quite short, but none of them were bad, and followed the theme of setting up future matches (Cassady getting revenge, Bayley vs. Rae and Banks continuing, Corbin possibly emerging etc.). I suspect others may find the main event more entertaining than I did, but overall it's not an episode that will live long in the memory.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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