by Shanna Harris (@AbsoluteSmark)
Wrestling friends! Welcome back. I, Shanna Harris, am here to break down the WWE show that made me a raging Bo-liever, NXT. Before we get to the recap, I have an announcement to make and some shilling to do.
I’m beyond excited to tell all of you that I’ve been invited by Ant (co-owner of this very website) and Murray (Chikara extraordinaire and Canadian) to lend my voice to a weekly NXT podcast called NXT Level. We recap the matches, backstage segments, and general haps of each episode of NXT.
So, in addition to reading this report each week, you’ll also get to hear me chat in depth about the show with two of 4CR’s best personalities. Who doesn’t love this?
If you aren’t following me on Twitter, you won’t get to know the moment this show drops. Trust me, this show will be part of your weekly wrestling obsession before you know it.
Shilling over. Let’s get on with the show.
(Credit all photos below: NXT’s Facebook page)
Match 1: Adrian Neville vs Wesley Blake
If you were on the fence about Adrian Neville up to this point, this match with Wesley Blake may or may not have changed your opinion on him. I know what I thought I know about Neville has changed. Sure, he could use some work on his personality. And sure, there’s a million other things working against him at any particular moment. But what cannot be denied about Neville is that he is positively dreamy to the eyes. The way he goes from walking to busting out flips, spins, and Red Arrows is as smooth as I’ve ever seen. He’s one of those types of wrestlers that makes the impossible seem easy enough for you to do.
And speaking of personality, you can tell that Neville’s been working on his. There was more of him playing to the audience and being FACE Neville than I’ve seen since I’ve started watching this show. And for good reason. It’s more than time for Neville to move on to bigger things than being a tag team title winner. I think it’s time for….
Actually, I’ll get more into that a little later on in the report.
All in all, Neville ends the match with the Red Arrow, and he is your WINNER.
Move of the match: Honestly, too many moves and flips. All of them looked pretty and were spread through the match. Watch everything and you won’t miss anything.
Winner: Adrian Neville
Meanwhile, backstage: Devin Taylor is holding the microphone, and she introduces Summer Rae, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte to the viewer. Summer, deliciously and bitchily, grabs a strand of Devin’s hair and haughtily tosses it aside. As if the site of Devin’s clean and beautiful hair is not worth beholding. Damn you, Summer, you evil woman.
Anyway. Devin reminds everyone that the last time we saw Charlotte, she brutally attacked her former best friend, Bayley, and abruptly disappeared. Devin goes on to ask Charlotte where she’s been since the attack. Charlotte turns up the bitch, and delivers a stinging promo about being rich (because of her family) and not caring about hurting Bailey. Charlotte says that life isn’t about “hugs and headbands” and that life is vicious and will hurt you if you let it. Charlotte says that reason is why she ditched the good girl act, dropped the “nobodies” and became a somebody. Summer Rae has the mike, and says that 2014 is the year of the BFF’s, starting with her match against Natalya. Summer says that the BFF’s will rise, and the rest of the “Divas” will fall.
And with that, the BFF’s leave.
Shanna says: You know, I heard some rumbling that this promo was bad on Charlotte’s part, but I’ve heard and seen much worse on Raw. Like the time that AJ Lee was delivering a golden promo about the rest of the Diva’s and how much they stunk, and the only thing the Bella’s could do was squak something about “saying it to their face.” THAT was awful. This was not. Dare I say, Charlotte was actually better than the Bella twins, who are supposed to be main eventers. Char could stand to do some work on her body language and facial expressions, but Charlotte sounded believeable as far as being mean and hurtful. Summer, naturally, was perfect. Did I mention that I love Summer Rae?
Match 2: Xavier Woods vs Alexander Rusev
Well. This match. I have to say outright and honestly I’m bored by Rusev. He’s not a bad wrestler at all. For him being where he is, he’s actually pretty good. But that doesn’t stop me from being totally bored by watching him. Everything he does in the ring seems like such a put on. From his pairing with Lana, who never seems interested in what he’s doing, never screams support for him or does anything other than squint at him and smile or frown depending on if Rusev is winning or losing. Rusev himself doesn’t make me feel anything for him at all. Not sad that he beat Woods in this match. Not angry because he submitted him. Not entertained by his screaming. Just flat out indifference. And I’m not saying this to be snobby or contrary, but I’m saying this as someone who has a good grasp on what entertains her. This was not fun to watch for me. If you like Rusev, more power to you. He doesn’t float my boat.
I’m sure if given the right opponent to work with and in the right cirumstance, Rusev will go far. He’s just not there yet.
Also, the silence when nobody in the crowd recognized Xavier’s new music really hurt me.
Move of the match: N/A
Winner: Alexander Rusev
Post match shenannigan’s saw Rusev refusing to let Xavier out of the submission hold (camel clutch?) and none other than SIN CARA and his mood lighting came out to equalize. And still, I felt nothing.
Match 3: Antonio Cesaro vs CJ Parker
When I first saw this match announced on the NXT Twitter, I have to admit that it took me by surprise. You see, I hate CJ Parker. I have since he redebued as this shitty hippie character that he’s been doing. The hippie thing by itself is excuseable with the right person in the role, but Parker makes it unbearable with his over the top pee-pee dancing and his new and annoying thing of SPINNING ON HIS STOMACH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING.
When he actually has enough sense to stop spinning and start wrestling, his abilities don’t help his cause because he is terrible to watch.
Enter Antonio Cesaro. A wrestling god (besides JBL) and man among men who spun Great Khali, tossed Sami Zayn in the air like a peanut and gave him the mother of all uppercuts, and generally, a man with talents far surpassing CJ Parker.
This is NXT wrestling’s oddest match, and I’m sure someone in the back would consider this a test of CJ’s wrestling ability. Because let’s face it, if you can’t have a good match with Antonio Cesaro, as a wrestler, you should pack it up your trunks and GTFO.
Can CJ stop spinning long enough to get on the level of Antonio Cesaro?
The answer to that question is an honest yes. I’m not sure who was making who look better, but I think Antonio inspired CJ to one of his best in-ring performances. Believe me, I hate that I’m typing this, but it’s true. I’m sure I’ll be arguing this point on NXT Level this weekend, so if you’re baffled to my YES, tune into the show and hear me state my point of view. (end shill)
Move of the match: Antonio Cesaro with a lovely looking backbreaker to CJ.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro (was there ever a doubt?)
Post match shenannigan’s saw none other than Sami Zayn head out to the stage on crutches. I will skip the descriptive bullshit and get straight to the point: Sami Zayn asked Antonio Cesaro for a rematch of their 2 out of 3 falls wrestling extravaganza from last year. Antonio said no, and shoved Zayn aside.
But you see, that means that the rematch is ON. They’ll alude to it and tease it for the whole month, but it’s still ON.
I’m 99 percent certain that it will be Sami Zayn vs Antonio Cesaro in a 2 out of 3 falls match on the LIVE NXT special which will only been seen on the WWE Network. Oh my FUCK. More on the overall awesomeness of this major annoucement later in this report.
Meanwhile, backstage: Devin Taylor is back again, and this time, she’s holding a mike in front of The Miz.
Anyway. Devin asks Miz how it feels to be down at NXT. Miz responds that it’s his first time down and fuw (full?) sail university, and that NXT is awesome. Unlike this interview. Miz goes on to further kill my soul by implying that NXT needs a Miz TV. CJ Parker bursts into the frame, complaining about how the NXT universe boos him over and over and over again. Miz says that he can see why people boo CJ. CJ asks for clarification. Miz goes on to say that CJ interrupted the “most must see WWE superstar of all time” and a person that’s done just about everything that Miz can do in the WWE. (Cool, can we release him now?) Miz goes on to say that interrupting him is disrespectful.
CJ Parker says that Miz must have a huge carbon footprint, because he’s spewing all sorts of hot air. (This is awful. Truly awful). CJ then earns a whopping one point in my book by slapping Miz in the face. Thankfully, the interview ends here.
Shanna says: Folks, we need a Miz TV on this show about as bad as we need Oprah. Which is not at all. And we need a match between CJ Parker and Miz about as bad as we need Brie Bella twin vs Nikki Bella at Wrestlemania. Which is not at all. That’s all I’ve got. Moving on.
Match 4: Summer Rae vs Natalya
I’m not going to discuss the fact that Natalya is rehashing her Dad’s old catchphrases. I’m just going to talk about the action in this match. Which was solid!
Summer Rae is an okay wrestler who often times leaves me with the impression that her in-ring work needs serious polishing. This week she pulled out a solid performance with Natalya, who isn’t so bad of a wrestler herself. It’s shorter than the NXT women’s matches that I’m used to, but it was still a good match that deserves recognition.
Nothing particularly special happened, but the best thing about this match is nobody can say somebody botched something.
Meanwhile, backstage: Devin Taylor is still backstage when none other than Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady show up. And oh my lord, the sight of Enzo nearly running over Devin with his motorized wheelchair almost made me choke on my pizza.
Devin asks for an update on the status of Enzo’s injury. Enzo then goes on a rambling, inane (but funny) rant about how since he broke his leg, he used to like to jump off of things, but now he doesn’t take risks anymore. How you doin.
And that’s almost an exact quote, folks. Devin asks when we can all expect Enzo back in action. Colin reaches down and slaps Enzo on his hurt leg (brilliant) and begins answer Devin’s questions when none other than THE ARTISTE, Aiden English, interrupts the interview.
Aiden dismisses Devin, and Aiden bring up the fact that he beat Colin in a match. Aiden then brings up the sing off between himself and Colin, calling it a draw because Colin “accidentally tripped”
Colin says that Aiden has pulled cheap shot, after cheap shot, after cheap shot. So much so, that he wonders why Aiden hasn’t left the party with the ugly girl (NAAASTY GIRL, says Enzo from the wheelchair)
Aiden warms up his voice to sing another tune, but Enzo runs over his foot with the wheelchair, and Colin exits stage left. END INTERVIEW.
And now, we have a champion to celebrate.
THE Bo Dallas Banner Raising Celebration
Shanna says: For a person who hates CJ Parker (a “fun” character), as much as I do, I cannot for the life of me understand why I get such a kick out of Bo Dallas. I started off neutral on his character when I first spied NXT, but he has really bowled me over. There is something so ridiculous about him that I just enjoy watching. His obliviousness to how much everyone hates him. His 100,000 watt smile that never seems to dim. His goofy jumping and yelling. I just want to hug Bo sometimes, and I’m not afraid to say it.
Celebrations like these continue to put him over the top for me. Recap and discover the MAGIC of Bo Dallas.
Our NXT Champion starts off by thanking everyone in attendance for the ovation during his entrance (there was none). Bo says he wants everyone here and everyone at home to know that our reaction to him is part of the reason why we’re here tonight to celebrate this historic moment in the career of Bo. When we chant “Let’s go Bo!”, it fills our champion with strength, and puts him to bed at night like a warm blanket. (Okay, lines like that are why I love him)
Tonight, in NXT’s very ring, NXT officials (and Bo) are celebrating a milestone in the career of Bo. Bo is officially the longest reigning NXT Champion EVER at 224 days! Bo goes on to thank family members and friends like his best friend’s 3rd cousin for supporting him and…so many more. Bo goes on to thank his BO-Lievers, and he dedicates this banner raising ceremony to us, his people!
And out comes that HOOLIGAN, Adrian Neville to interrupt the champ in his special moment. CAD.
Let’s just cut out the descriptions and get straight to the point, folks. Adrian has come out to challenge Bo, on this most special of days, to a championship match. Bo tries to sneak out of it, but is interrupted by our King of Kings, COO of WWE, and all around meddler, HHH.
HHH says that if Adrian Neville does NOT lose in 4:45 minutes of wrestling Bo, Adrian will have a shot at the NXT Championship on the LIVE NXT special on Feburary 27th. OH MY GOODNESS. This is big.
That 4:45 starts NOW. But, doesn’t Bo even have time to change?
Match 5: Bo Dallas vs Adrian Neville
No, Bo does not.
This isn’t a match up to the usual expectations. There’s no “finish”. All Neville has to do is beat the clock.
Neville did his best to stall, and Bo did his best to punish, but in the end, Bo did NOT beat Adrian.
The match itself was meant for everyone to bite their nails and watch the clock more than pay attention to the action, so Bo and Adrian wrestled accordingly. It wasn’t bad for what it was, but we all know that Bo’s got one hell of a tough title match coming up on the NXT Live special.
Winner: Adrian Neville
And that’s the show! NXT is OVER. At just under 51 minutes, this was one packed week of wrestling (and backstage) action. I know I said I’d have this long explanation of what I think of the show this week at the end of this report, but I am exhausted and would just like to head to bed and veg out. However, you still have a chance to hear my extended thoughts (and wonderful voice, lucky you) on this week’s show by downloading NXT Level on iTunes or streaming the show on Stitcher. I will be more awake and coherent and will have LOTS to discuss with the boys on the developments of this week. Do tune in and hear what I have to say. All of it is good, I swear.
And with that, I bid you farewell.