3/6 Gutteridge's WWE NXT Review: Followup to NXT Arrival, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas, Corey Graves vs. Yoshi Tatsu, Emma vs. Charlotte, and the debut of Adam Rose (a/k/a Leo Kruger)
By Darren Gutteridge
WWE NXT on Sky Sports 3
Taped February 28th in Winter Park, Florida
[Q1] Before titles, a PPV-style stills package recapping NXT Arrival (which has still yet to air on UK TV as far as I know) aired. Can I just say kudos to Sami Zayn for featuring the England, Scotland and Wales flags on his tights, instead of just the Union Jack? Nice to see my actual nation's flag get pimped for once. I'm going to be giving my first full review of ArRIVAL on this weeks NXT podcast, so check that out!
A new title sequence debuted, utilising the music featured at the start of the ArRIVAL show last week. New NXT Champion Adrian Neville also came out to his new music, a cool quasi-techno sounding theme. Camacho, his opponent, was already in the ring for the non-title opener...
1. Adrian Neville vs. Camacho. Neville offered his hand to shake, but Camacho refused it, kicking Neville in the stomach instead. Neville responded with a springboard crossbody before taking Camacho to the mat to work him over. When the two men returned to their feet, Camacho actually came out swinging, taking it to Neville with chops in the corner before putting him down with a powerslam.
Neville fought back with running forearms. He followed up with a missile dropkick from the middle rope, which ended with Camacho laying in prone position for the Red Arrow. Neville delivered it, and picked up the win...
Adrian Neville defeated Camacho in 2:51.
Renee Young got in the ring with a mic and congratulated Neville on winning the NXT title last week. She asked him to describe how his win felt last week. Neville called it indescribable. He said it was the most amazing night of his life, and a pivotal point in his career. Neville claimed the NXT title was validation, and proof that anything is possible. He asked everyone to look at him, and went on to describe how he wasn't the prototypical champion – he looks like a "crazy elf man", he isn't that big, he's from a little town no ones ever heard of, and has a strange accent. He said you could question everything about him, except his in-ring work, and the NXT title proves that it is beyond questioning. He concluded by saying the best thing about last week was the fact that there was now "No more Bo."
Bo Dallas' music played, and he came out looking downbeat. However, he congratulated Neville on his win, and said he has always taught his Bo-Lievers to be good sports, but he wanted to point out that Neville didn't pin him, he just climbed a ladder. He said he was cashing in his rematch, claiming it was "Bo time"...
Gutt Reaction: The match was non-descript, but the after match promo showed the progress Neville has made. He's still a little awkward on the stick, but he didn't look lost or intimidated like he once did. Dallas was a little too short and sweet here for my liking, and I would have liked to have seen him snivelling and crying like he did in the arena after ArRIVAL went off the air, but I'm jazzed for the rematch.
A backstage interview filmed at Arrival featuring Renee Young and Emma aired. Young asked what was going through Emma's head. She said Paige was tougher than anyone she had ever faced, and she deserved to be the champion. She was pleased that she had earned Paige's respect however, and still hopes to one day be a champion.
Ric Flair walked into shot, and praised the fight Emma had shown, but said that both she and Paige had to accept the fact that the next NXT Women's champion would be his daughter, Charlotte. This heralded the arrival of Charlotte, who showed false sincerity in offering Emma a shoulder to cry on. Emma smiled gormlessly at her, before doing her weird hand movement towards her face and leaving. Flair laughed it off by saying Charlotte had gotten into Emma's head...
Emma vs. Charlotte is up next... [C]
Gutt Reaction: Oh no, Charlotte is getting in the ring! Quick, hide the valuable china, and put small children to bed to save them the horror!
[Q2] Renne Young was shown on commentary, joining Regal, Phillips an d Saxton. Young and Regal did the Emma dance as she made her way to the ring. Sadly, the Nature Boy did not accompany his daughter to the ring (although Sasha Banks did), so all interest in this match has now dissipated...
2. Emma vs. Charlotte. The crowd almost instantly died when the bell rang. Emma took control with early mat work, and eventually shot Charlotte to the corner. As Emma charged, Charlotte dived over her, but appeared to tweak her ankle as she landed. She sold the injury as the ref checked on her. Banks started to climb on the apron behind Emma, who turned to face her. While she wasn't looking, Charlotte kip-flipped up, and levelled Emma with her somersault cutter finisher...
Charlotte defeated Emma in (Austin) 3:16.
Gutt Reaction: So we follow up the best Divas match in recent history with that awkward mess? I have zero enthusiasm in a Charlotte feud with anybody, period. It's baffling that she is still being featured on TV while she's still so green. You know what? Why not get on the phone with Lance Storm, and see if Charlotte can join his school for one course. It clearly worked for Emma, so it could do wonders for the athletically gifted daughter of Naitch.
[Q3] Yoshi Tatsu came out in AWFUL tights. They are tiger print. With red kneepads and kickpads. Beige doesn't go with anything, but it REALLY doesn't go with red. Corey Graves, who came out to new music, is his opponent. Graves got on the mic before the match, and introduced himself. He bemoaned the fact that he wasn't on Arrival, and picked on Sami Zayn. He questioned when was the last time Zayn actually won a match. He asked why Zayn keeps getting rematches against Cesaro just because he has "heart", and claimed he would only need one opportunity at Cesaro to get the job done...
3. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Corey Graves. Graves circled Tatsu, but slid out of the ring and said "You know what, forget this". He started to walk off, but it seemed it was all a trick to sucker Tatsu out of the ring, as when Tatsu came after him, he took him out with a vicious clothesline before throwing him into the steps. Graves rolled back into the ring, and Tatsu couldn't beat the 10 count...
Corey Graves defeated Yoshi Tatsu in 1:31.
Graves dragged Tatsu into the ring, and locked in the Lucky 13. Zayn's music played, and he ran down to make the save. Graves got out of the ring before Zayn slid in. The two had a stare down as Zayn checked on Tatsu. Zayn grabbed a mic, and said he didn't know the pair of them had a problem, but apparently they do. He said there was no need for Graves to wait for his opportunity, as he wanted a match with him tonight...
Phillips threw us over to the "Adam Rose party" happening backstage. Devon Taylor went into it, and it looked like a nightclub, complete with DJ (played by Solomon Crowe AKA Sami Callihan) and dancing guy with a glowstick (played by Kallisto AKA Samuray Del Sol). Taylor made her way into the VIP area, where Adam Rose (the artist formerly known as Leo Kruger) was sat. Taylor said everyone was excited for Rose's debut, and Rose added that when he debuts, everything was going to change. Taylor tried to ask him another question, but Rose told her she was being boring, and told her to go enjoy the party. Rose danced around a bit before Taylor stated that his debut is up next...
The same entourage of people from the party where shown dancing on the ramp. Adam Rose emerged through them, and danced his way to the ring. He got on the apron, and then fell back into his entourage's arms. They crowd surfed him around the ring, where he climbed in and danced, waiting for his opponent Wesley Blake...
3. Adam Rose vs. Wesley Blake. Rose escaped a wrist lock with the normal roll through counter, but he carried on rolling after Blake broke the hold. He then backed into the ropes, and did a cycling motion with his legs in mid-air, which Saxton said was a stretching routine. Blake tried to land hard shots to throw Rose off, but Rose tackled him to the floor and took it to him with forearm smashes. After a big Double A spinebuster. Rose went to the corner and started to gyrate. The crowd chanted "Rose" with each thrust, and he topped it off with a "CHOO-CHOO!" before taking out Blake with the Slice clothesline...
Adam Rose defeated Wesley Blake in 2:30.
Rose danced up the ramp, where his entourage met him. He led them backstage... [C]
Gutt Reaction: I... I... I think I'm in love. I haven't laughed at wrestling like that for a good, long while (at least, when the humour has been intentional). I am sad that Leo Kruger is seemingly gone forever, but this is one hell of a consolation prize! I'd like him to move away from his Kruger moveset, of which the Double A and the Slice where big parts, but for night one, that showed a hell of a lot of upside for a wacky, loveable babyface. Book him in a six month program with Tyler Breeze RIGHT GODDAMN NOW!
[Q4] Graves made his second entrance of the show ahead of the main event. Zayn received a nice pop considering it is also his second time out tonight...
4. Sami Zayn vs. Corey Graves. Graves was the early aggressor, with Zayn barely getting a look in during the early assault. He eventually caught a break with a couple of arm drags, which sent Graves to the outside. Zayn looked for the dive over the ropes, but Graves retreated, forcing Zayn to abort...
After a tour advert, Graves nailed Zayn with a backbreaker for a two count. Zayn climbed up in the corner, and managed to catch the on rushing Graves with a forearm before launching a crossbody for his own two count. Zayn seemed to go for the running big boot, but Graves had it scouted, putting Zayn down with a forearm. Graves went for Lucky 13, only for Zayn to kick him off and hit the Blue Thunder bomb. Once again, Zayn looked for the big boot, but this time Graves cut him off with a low chop block.
The counters continued when Zayn rolled up Graves as he went for Lucky 13. Graves kicked out, and Zayn went to put him away with the tornado DDT. Graves caught him on his shoulders however, only for Zayn to catch him with another roll up pin. This one worked though, giving Zayn the 1-2-3...
Sami Zayn defeated Corey Graves in 5:31.
Zayn got out of the ring quickly, and celebrated as he walked up the ramp. This brought NXT to a close...
Gutt Reaction: A fast paced match (though I'm convinced a big section was missing on this edit) from two guys who I look forward to seeing paired up together again in the future. There is the problem of both guys needing re-establishing wins, but with Dallas/Neville looking like it's going to continue, these two are the only other upper card guys in NXT right now, so working with anyone else may seem like a step down at this point for both guys. And should Graves come out on the losing end of this feud, I think Zayn and Neville are both main roster bound soon, so his re-establishing run could easily end with him being crowned the next NXT champion.
Will you be talking about Neville's opening match tomorrow? No. Charlotte's match? You better not be. The good, technically smooth main event? Maybe. Adam Rose though? Hell yeah! His segment was a blast, and has managed to outshine what was a nice follow up to last weeks mega hot ArRIVAL show. Check it out, before it becomes too popular, so you can revel in the hipster satisfaction of liking Adam Rose before it was cool!
Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out the Dot Net NXT podcast with Zack Zimmerman and myself, available exclusively for members of the site! If you have any thoughts on the article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG
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