The SmarK Rant for NXT – 08.22.12
Next week is the finals of the NXT title tournament, but this week is the far more exciting FACE TO FACE segment. Nothing like a Jinder Mahal interview to make you long for a Jinder Mahal match.
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Byron Saxton and William Regal.
Derrick Bateman v. Antonio Cesaro
Apparently Bateman is “the Prince of Perseverance.” And they wondered why he didn’t get over. Cesaro slugs on him in the corner, but Bateman perseveres, like some kind of royalty, and comes back with a dropkick and backdrop for two. Cesaro sends him into the corner with a throw and pounds him with headbutts, into a butterfly suplex for two. Cesaro with a jumping forearm to the back of the head for two and he hits the chinlock, but Bateman escapes with a backdrop suplex and makes the comeback. Corner splash and a variation on the downward spiral follows, but Cesaro bails to the apron and Bateman hiptosses him back in. Another charge misses like a geek, and Cesaro dead weights him into a side suplex and finishes with the Gotch piledriver at 4:00. Decent! Bateman obviously got worlds better with the EC3 gimmick, though. **
Meanwhile, a bunch of main roster guys talk about how important it is to be the first NXT champion. And yet JINDER MAHAL is in the finals.
Tamina Snuka v. Sofia Cortez
Tamina as the smiling happy babyface here is weird. Cortez is of course Ivelisse with a bad blonde dye job. Tamina attacks to start and Sofia takes her down for two and throws “MMA” kicks in the corner and takes her down with a choke on the mat. Tamina makes a comeback with assorted clotheslines and a superkick for two. Regal: “The samoans just love to fight. They’re a race of super-people!” Isn’t she Fijian? Anyway, superfly splash finishes at 2:55. In case you hadn’t heard, Tamina is the daughter of Jimmy Snuka. Nothing to this one. *1/4 Tamina’s celebration is cut short by Raquel Diaz, who lays her out and paints an “L” on her forehead. Funny that they basically cut Ivelisse loose for nothing, and gave Diaz the big push. That’s some questionable decision making.
DID YOU KNOW: WWE has 75 of the top 100 sports DVDs? Even though they go out of their way to never classify themselves as “sports” in any other situation. But if they had to compete with actual entertainment DVD releases, they wouldn’t even make the top 100.
Kassius Ohno v. Jake Carter
Carter is the son of Vader who ended up being a complete washout, for whatever reason. Ohno suckers him into a clean break on the ropes, and then lays him out with a cheapshot and fires away with assorted strikes in the corner and puts him down with a big boot. Ohno with a cravat, which Mr. Regal always loves to see, and he stomps Carter down. Jake comes back with a suplex and a sideslam for two, but Ohno hits him with a rolling elbow off the ropes and stacks him up for the pin at 3:49. KO basically led him through this one by the hand. The beating continues, but Richie Steamboat makes the save. *1/2 Interesting that now they’re starting to actively “book” the show, running angles and ongoing stories instead of just throwing out developmental matches.
Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis v. Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd
So this week’s half-assed makeover for McGillicutty is “Mr. Intensity”, as he apparently treats every match like it’s his last. If only. The babyfaces trap him in the corner and double-team him, with a double kick for two. Gabriel clotheslines Curtis off the apron, but MM catches him with a lariat and pounds away on the mat to take over. Michael with a side headlock as we take a break, and return with Curtis in control of Gabriel. The heels work him over and Curtis whips Gabriel into the corner and follows with a suplex for two. To the chinlock, but Gabriel fights free, so McGillicutty comes in and drops knees on him for two while the fans do a “Shah” chant for McGillicutty’s offense for some stupid reason. Curtis puts Gabriel down with a knee for two and comes off the top with a corkscrew splash that misses completely, and it’s hot tag Kidd. Spinkicks and a short dropkick gets two. He charges and hits the turnbuckle, and the heels do a nice double-team guillotine legdrop as Curtis gets two. Kidd comes back and tries a springboard moonsault out of the corner, but he COMPLETELY botches it and nearly breaks his neck on the way down. Thankfully, they regroup and finish Curtis with a double-team Buff Blockbuster at 12:00. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling outside of that terrifying slip and fall from Kidd. **1/2
Meanwhile, Kassius Ohno gets informed about the challenge of Richie Steamboat, and he’s ready to inflict pain. What’s he gonna do, make him watch all 7 hours of Wrestlemania?
Meanwhile, the main roster guys break down the matchup for the NXT title next week and have to pretend like they give a shit.
FACE TO FACE: Seth Rollins & Jinder Mahal
Yeah, you know how this goes. They call each other poo-poo heads and then Jinder attacks him and they brawl and blah blah blah. Just a thing to kill time before next week’s finale.
Decent show this week, nothing exciting. Glad we’re wrapping up this craptastic tournament next week, at least.