Zim's WWE NXT Review: The Ascension vs. Hunico & Camacho in a Tornado match, Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev, Summer Rae vs. Bayley, Tyson Kidd in action, appearances by Kane and Kofi Kingston, and a commentator worse than Mike Adamle
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired January 8, 2014 on Hulu Plus
Taped November 21 at Full Sail University
The opening video played… In the arena, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Alex 'Adamle Bad' Riley welcomed viewers on commentary as Summer Rae made her entrance accompanied by Sasha Banks. Riley said he thinks their B.F.F's tag team name stands for "Best Bullies Forever." Last week we learned he can't do math, this week we learned he can't spell. Bayley made her entrance along with Natalya, and a sizable "Bayley" chant picked up before the bell.
1. Summer Rae (w/ Sasha Banks) vs. Bayley (w/ Natalya). Summer tried to sucker Bayley in for a hug, but the crowd chanted "No" so instead, Bayley ripped off Summer's headband and got a quick two-count with a sunset flip. Summer tried to escape the ring, but took control with a cheap shot moments later.
Summer ran the ropes and did an unnecessary twirl before planting Bayley with a facebuster for a two-count. Around the three-minute mark, Bayley began to fire up and made her comeback. She connected with a diving reverse elbow for a two-count and then hit the Belly-to-Bayley/Hug-plex for the clean win…
Bayley beat Summer Rae in about 4:00.
Backstage, Devin Taylor introduced Xavier Woods. Woods was excited for NXT200 before Taylor informed him that this was actually 203. He said he'd be back for number 300 and began to leave before Taylor informed him that Kane was there and wanted to address Woods. Woods said R-Truth told him something like this might happen, so bring it on. He revealed his Super Saiyan shirt and said he was "Over 9000" in a really campy voice. Whether you like Dragonball Z or not, that was just awful…
Scott Stanford hyped the no-countout, no-DQ tornado match between The Ascension and Hunico & Camacho for later in the show. He also announced Aiden English vs. Colin Cassady stemming from last week's sing-off, coming up next… [C]
Zim Says: Xavier Woods has only made a handful of appearances on NXT and he's never felt relevant or significant. This interview certainly did not help that impression, but I am curious to see what Kane has in store. As for the ladies match, it was good. Summer is one of the best heel divas in WWE right now and Bayley's quirky underdog charisma was a really nice contrast to that.
Back in the arena, Colin Cassady made his entrance. The new woman handling ring introductions sounds like she'd rather be doing anything else in the world. A replay showed English's attack on Cassady following last week's singing contest. Aiden English was out next with his usual spotlight and song entrance; however there were several firsts this week. This was the first time he repeated a song (the song he sang for his debut), and also the first time the crowd unanimously responded to him as a heel.
2. Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English. Big Cass went right after English with hard knee strikes to the mid-section. He continued with shots in the corner, spelling S-A-W-F-T with each blow and yelling "Sawft" before delivering a hard club to the back. A short time later, Cassady missed a stinger splash and English took control.
Cassady fought back with a back-body drop, a running high knee, and a jumping elbow drop for a near-fall. English retreated to the ropes and took advantage with a low kick to the knee before delivering the Director's Cut for the win.
Aiden English pinned Colin Cassady in about 2:30.
English took a bow at the top of the stage and plants threw roses at his feet…
Backstage, Devin Taylor welcomed Adrian Neville and mentioned his lumberjack match with Bo Dallas from several weeks ago. Before he could respond, his phone rang and he answered it (yes, in the middle of an interview. Dumb.) Neville quickly realized who it was, and the camera pulled back far enough to reveal Tyler Breeze standing in the corner, calling Neville from his fuzzy phone.
Neville asked what was up, since they're in the same room. Breeze said that he wanted to talk over the phone so he didn't have to look at Neville's "uggo face. And that way, my beautiful eyeballs won't melt out of my head." He condescendingly apologized for Neville's loss to Bo Dallas (which was due to Breeze's interference). The two argued about who started it, and Breeze said the NXT Universe deserves a champion that's gorgeous. Neville said he wanted to give Breeze a face life with his fist right now, but he'll wait until next week. "See you then, pretty boy" Neville said before walking off set…
Scott Stanford hyped Xavier Woods vs. a mystery opponent of Kane's choosing for after the break… [C]
Zim Says: Not much to say about the backstage bit, it was expected and it was delivered. As for the match, that was the best Cassady has looked in competition. It's no secret that his in-ring skill is the weakest part of his game, but with the character development we've seen and his competence on this show, the guy has some potential. It's nice to see English treated as a heel, but his character is still in first gear and hasn't shown much more than we've been seeing since his debut.
Back in the arena, Xavier Woods made his entrance. The commentators questioned who his opponent would be before Kane's music hit and he made his way to the ring in a suit. Kane said that despite some in-ring success on Raw, Xavier Woods has been a nuisance behind the scenes. He said that Woods was instrumental in getting Big Show re-hired by the WWE (a storyline which was dropped after only a week or two). Kane said The Authority didn't forget, they were just waiting for the right time to punish him. Kane then introduced the Bulgarian Brute Alexander Rusev as Woods' opponent, and Rusev made his entrance accompanied by Lana.
3. Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev (w/ Lana). Woods went right after Rusev, but Rusev shoved him off and planted him with a hard Samoan drop. Woods started to fight back shortly after the minute-mark and connected with the Honor Roll leaping lariat. He went for Lost in the Woods, but Rusev again shoved him off and crushed him with a body block against the ropes. Rusev applied the Accolade and Woods was forced to submit.
Alexander Rusev defeated Xavier Woods in about 2:00.
Rusev applied the hold until Lana instructed him to break it. A replay showed the finish before Rusev and Lana made their way to the back…
The commentators threw to a "WWE.com (not-so) exclusive" clip of Kofi Kingston following his loss to Alexander Rusev last week. Kofi said it was a tough match and he didn't feel like himself out there. He said he broke rule number-one in wrestling by underestimating his opponent. He put some of the blame on Lana and said his took his eyes off the ball. He assured everyone that he would not make the same mistake twice, and then issued a rematch challenge to Rusev… [C]
Zim Says: I'm of two minds on this segment: First, I like the callback to something that happened on the main roster storyline. On the flip side, I don’t like that the callback was to an irrelevant, long-forgotten storyline that was dropped before it even materialized. Also, Rusev is starting to grow on me more each week; he's good in his role.
Tyson Kidd made his entrance to some terrible alternative rock music. His opponent, Baron Corbin, was already in the ring. 'Adamle Bad' Riley said that Tyson Kidd takes after Eddie Guerrero "with that hair and those long tights." Ugh, are you kidding me? (no pun intended)
4. Tyson Kidd vs. Baron Corbin. The larger Corbin used his size to take control early, as Kidd tried to use his speed to fight back. Corbin wore Kidd out with shots in the corner and then ran him over with a hard shoulder tackle. Shortly after the two-minute mark, Kidd began to fire up. He hit a flurry of kicks for a two-count and then connected with a slingshot guillotine leg drop. Kidd went to the top rope and scored the win with a diving blockbuster.
Tyson Kidd beat Baron Corbin in about 3:10.
Riley said the move was called "Tyson's Twisting Neck Destroyer Device," and I don’t believe him. Shut up, A-Ry. Kidd celebrated up the ramp to close the segment…
Scott Stanford hyped the tornado match between The Ascension and Hunico & Camacho coming up next… [C]
Zim Says: Alex Riley's commentary ruins everything.
Hunico & Camacho made their entrance on chop-shop bicycles. NXT tag champs The Ascension were out next for the non-title main event. The commentators brought up The American Pitbulls by name and said they gave The Ascension a great match. Before the bell, the crowd picked up a "We want Pitbulls" chant. Here's hoping the acknowledgements leads to more Pitbulls down the line.
5. Hunico & Camacho vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) in a Tornado Match. Hunico paired with Viktor as Camacho paired with Konnor and both teams traded moments of momentum with shots in the corner for the first few minutes. Really boring stuff until Hunico hit his wicked schoolboy powerbomb and Camacho came off the second rope with a leg drop onto Viktor. They went for the pin, but Konnor broke it up. [C]
Back from break, Hunico and Camacho were in control outside the ring before the action returned into the ring. Hunico and Camacho attempted tandem 10-count punches in the corner, but were both planted by Ascension powerbombs. The Ascension began to dominate and the fight once again went to ringside.
Back in the ring, Konnor hit a high flapjack on Camacho for a near-fall. The Ascension whipped both Hunico and Camacho into the corner, but Hunico went over and landed on the apron. Hunico and Camacho fought back and got a near-fall off a moonsault by Hunico onto both opponents. Camacho hit a Samoan drop on Konnor and Hunico connected with the Swanton, but Viktor broke it up.
Hunico hit a slingshot dropkick to Viktor at ringside and held the ropes open for a dive from Camacho, but Viktor popped up and rocked Camacho with an uppercut. In the ring, Konnor hit a full nelson slam on Hunico before The Ascension connected with The Fall of Man for the win.
The Ascension beat Hunico and Camacho in about 8:30.
Zim Says: Sloppy, boring match that made both teams look really incompetent. On two occasions, the babyfaces hit finishing-type maneuvers, yet the babyface not making the pin attempt failed to prevent the other heel from breaking it up. Just a disaster.
Overall, this was the worst edition of NXT in the past month or two. Every match was utterly forgettable, the commentators can't shine with A-Ry on the team, and nothing on this show felt relevant or significant. I don't like being so negative on NXT, and there was some silver lining within this episode, but in general the show was undoubtedly a miss.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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