Views from the Hawke's Nest: NXT Review 8.14.2013
Posted by TJ Hawke on 08.18.2013
The Shield vs. Adrian Neville, Corey Graves, and Xavier Woods!
Commentators: Tony Dawson & William Regal
Paul Heyman is here and cuts a promo. He's looking for a new "Paul Heyman Guy." He puts over NXT. He introduces Curtis Axel. I legit forgot that Axel was the Intercontinental Champion. Paul said no one was man enough to take the belt from Axel. Big E. Langston came out and said that he was man enough. Axel wanted the match on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Big E. wanted the match now. I guess it's happening now.
Axel attacked Langston for a while after the match. Axel tried to hit him with his belt, but Langston avoided it and hit The Worst Finisher Since The Overdrive.
Langston is fairly over with the NXT crowd, which is nice to see. He still has a lot of work to do, but I think he has a ton of potential to be a fun WWE main eventer down the line. Axel also has a lot of potential, but his push really is not working quite yet. Despite my optimism about the talent in the ring, this match did not do much for me. Paul Heyman's presence was pretty much the only aspect of this opening sequence that entertained me. Match Rating: Derp
Sami Zayne cut a promo on Cesaro and Colter. He wants the third match with Cesaro to be a two out of three falls match. Zayne says he will expose Cesaro as a coward. Zayne has got a ton of charisma.
Mason Ryan vs. Scott Dawson (w/ Sylvestor Lefort)
I had no idea Mason Ryan was still on the WWE payroll.
Ryan was dominating, but Colin Cassidy and Enzo Amore distracted him. Dawson attacked him successfully for a bit, but Ryan eventually won with a cut-throat slam. Ryan tossed Dawson onto Cassidy and Amore.
Mason Ryan looks marginally better than when he first appeared on WWE television, but I think he needs to be protected in a tag team for the foreseeable future. Match Rating: Batistwo
This was a match. Paige clearly has a great a connection with the crowd, but she carries herself in an odd way. This is the first time I've seen her in NXT, and she seemingly made her entrance as if she was just walking down the street. When you only get a few minutes these days for most of your television matches, it would probably be in your best interest to make your entrance more of a thing. Match Rating: *
AJ Lee was backstage. She was discussing all the many possibilities for who her challenger may be next week. Bailey popped in and gave her the biggest hug. AJ agreed to let her challenge. Bailey said AJ was awesome, and that she doesn't understand why people think AJ is crazy. Mentioning the word "crazy" ticked AJ off. Bailey hugged her and said she hoped they could still be friends after she wins. This segment tickled my funny bone. I am now looking forward to their match. Success!
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns) vs. Adrian Neville, Corey Graves, & Xavier Woods
This is quite the combination of talent.
The babyfaces ran through Rollins to start the match. Neville and Woods hit stereo tope con hellos right before a commercial. It's funny how many dives happen right before the commercial in pro wrestling matches!
After the commercial, the Shield was getting the heat on Woods. Graves managed to tag in, but the Shield cut him off, and they then worked Graves over. After a while, Neville made a hot tag. Adrian Neville is awesome. He went for British Airways, but Ambrose got his knees up. Woods tagged in and ran through Rollins. Woods hit his rolling lariat. That was amusing. Everyone but Woods and Rollins ended up on the floor. Woods ate a Buckle Bomb from Rollins and then a spear from Reigns: 1…2…3
After an uninspired heat segment, the finishing sequence pretty much saved the match for me. There was a ton of talent in this match, but the first two thirds of the match did not draw me in much. While I'm here, I figure I should express my disappointment that the Shield have been pushed down the card so much over the last four months. They should be a main event act right now. Match Rating: **3/4
Antonio Cesaro cut a promo on Zayne, but Zayne attacked him! Zayne was pulled off, and Cesaro then screamed, "ZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYNE!" It was great.
The 411: I really do not watch NXT all that often. I get why people enjoy the show, but I think it's mostly a lifeless television show with a ton of talent on screen that redeems it greatly. Maybe I've just sampled all the wrong episodes, but every time that I watch it, I am unimpressed. A part of this is that SO many goddamn people hype it up as the greatest wrestling television show. I concede that it's probably the best American wrestling television show going today, but that speaks far more about the quality of Raw, Smackdown, Impact, and ROH.
Other than the last five minutes of the main event, every second of wrestling on this show was watered down WWE style in front of a crowd that could generously be described as politely invested in everything. If you are one of the people who love this show, don't let me stop you. There is just too much other pro wrestling (NJPW and PWG for the most part) that just blows this out of the water. I'm going to stick with them.