The SmarK Rant for NXT – 07.18.12
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Byron Saxton & William Regal
Tamina Snuka v. Kaitlyn
So it’s weird seeing Tamina being all smiling and babyface-y, while Kaitlyn plays heel. Also, FUN FACT, Tamina is the daughter of Superfly Jimmy Snuka! What an amazing bit of new information from Saxton. Tamina pounds away in the corner and puts her down with chops, but Kaitlyn stomps her down for two. Kaitlyn with a bodyscissors while Regal ponders whether Regal can “crush walnuts” with her thighs. They collide for a double knockdown and Tamina makes the comeback, but Kaitlyn takes her down with a wacky submission on the mat until Tamina breaks with a samoan drop. Superfly Splash, JUST LIKE HER FATHER, JIMMY SNUKA, finishes at 5:20. Super basic and yet still not very good. ½*
Meanwhile, Big E Langston wants us to take our beating like a man.
Jinder Mahal v. Percy Watson
Watson goes on the offensive with his ultra generic punches, but Mahal gets a cheapshot and takes over with a butterfly suplex for two and we hit the chinlock. Watson comes back with a bunch of generic slams and a splash for two, but Jinder cuts him off with a high knee and finishes with the camel clutch at 4:04. I don’t know how many more episodes of Mahal winning every match I can take. ¼* Good thing we don’t have to deal with that these days.
Richie Steamboat v. Leo Kruger
Steamboat gets a monkey flip out of the corner, but Kruger cuts him off and puts him down with a double chop for two. Richie with a small package for two, but Kruger puts him down with a suplex and showboats before hitting a fistdrop for two. Steamboat comes back with an enzuigiri and both guys are down, but Richie makes the comeback and Kruger runs away. Back in, Steamboat with a crossbody, but Kruger rolls through and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin at 4:40. *1/2
Raquel Diaz v. Paige
Paige has been upgraded from “Already in the Ring” to actually having an entrance and music. Although Tamina Snuka gets her heritage run down in every match, no one mentions that Diaz is the daughter of Eddie and Vickie Guerrero. Paige gets clotheslines and a good reaction from the crowd to start, but Raquel hits her with a Gory Bomb to finish at 1:44. Not much shown there from Diaz.
Meanwhile, Oksana pretends that Alex Riley is hitting on her, which draws the ire of Cesaro. Riley offers some American advice: Never trust a girl. Riley was really showing his acting chops here, which served him so well on GLOW.
Heath Slater v. Justin Gabriel
Apparently this is our main event. Lucky us. Gabriel works the arm until Slater reverses to a headlock. Gabriel fights out and tries a springboard move, but Slater pushes him off the ropes and Justin takes an ugly bump to the floor and hopefully that was intentional. We take a break and return with Slater hitting a neckbreaker for two. Slater with the chinlock and another neckbreaker gets two. Gabriel comes back with spinkicks, which JR calls “South African educated feet”. So were they taught to hate black people and mine diamonds? Come to think of it, was Kruger supposed to be a blood diamond tycoon? Slater with a spinebuster for two. Slater with an inverted suplex for two. Neckbreaker out of the corner gets two. They fight on the top and Gabriel gets the AJ backflip DDT to finish at 8:58. Just a Superstars match, pretty much, but that’s basically what the whole NXT brand was at this point. **
The show continues meandering along in these early episodes, but it’s easy to watch.