The SmarK Rant for NXT – 09.19.12
Back to these again. Honestly, Covid is destroying the average pageview numbers for the blog so badly that it’s gonna be a while before I have to worry about what’s doing numbers again anyway. So hey, I like doing these, unexciting as they can be sometimes. But seriously, sharing the links to these rants on social media really helps me out.
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Byron Saxton & William Regal
Trent Barreta v. Johnny Curtis
Trent is making his return after months of an arm injury, although he was found sitting in a broom closet last week. Of course these two are in vastly different places today, with Trent a big part of AEW while Johnny Curtis is the eternally-injured Fandango and stuck back in NXT. Curtis slugs away to start while Regal points out that he didn’t particularly miss Trent while he was gone. Curtis flips away from a monkey flip attempt, but stops to fix his hair and gets dropkicked by Trent. Curtis misses a charge and Trent goes up, but Curtis crotches him to take over and goes to work on the arm. “Oh no, not the elbow!” yells some smart-ass in the crowd. Curtis takes him down by the arm for two and they fight to the top, where Trent gets a sunset bomb for two. They trade chops and Trent comes back with an enzuigiri and goes up again with a corkscrew senton for two. He barely made contact there. Trent tries a tornado DDT, but Curtis suplexes him into the turnbuckles for two. But then Johnny goes up and misses the Alabama Jam, and Trent finishes with the Daniel Bryan knee for the pin at 5:46. Trent looked greener than his tights at this point but this was alright. **
Alicia Fox v. Paige
Speaking of green (albeit a very pale shade of green) we continue with the early career of Paige as she immediately gets over with the NXT crowd before they even had a Women’s title. William Regal is in rare form talking up his romantic conquests (“I’ve got a new one, she’s half French and half British. She’s got one hairy armpit and looks like she’s got Diana Ross in a headlock”) as I wonder again why he never got a color commentary job on the main roster. Paige gets a bunch of rollups for two and Alicia gets frustrated and slaps her, then follows with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Paige slugs back, but Fox hits a northern lights suplex for two. Fox goes to a chinlock and then awkwardly changes to a surfboard. People are really into Paige here but Fox is just HOPELESS at trying to do the basic mechanics of working. She has no ring awareness and just kind of stumbles from one move to another. Fox tries to roll into some stuff, but Paige puts her down with the Rampage DDT for the pin at 4:50. This fell apart in a hot second. ½*
RAW REBOUND! John Cena pins CM Punk in a tag match to probably earn another title shot, which indirectly led to the introduction of the Shield at Survivor Series. My summation of the debut at the time: “Cena gets attacked by Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and some other guy”. That’s why they pay me the big bucks.
Jimmy Uso v. Conor O’Brien
Yes, the epic Usos v. Ascension feud continues. Jimmy throws chops to start and drops a headbutt for two, then clotheslines Conor to the floor. Kenneth Cameron runs interference and Conor pounds Jimmy’s back into the apron, which later on we will learn is THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. But back in 2012 we were still blissfully unaware of the deadly potential that it had. Back in, Conor works the back and neck and he’s pretty fucking bad. Uso makes the comeback with a samoan drop and follows with a butt splash in the corner, but Kenneth interferes again and knocks Jimmy off the top rope. Jimmy is like OUCH MY GROIN and Conor finishes him with a big boot at 3:55. NOT GOOD. DUD
Meanwhile, Bo Dallas is about to be interviewed, but Michael McGillicutty interrupts and the future B-Team EXPLODES.
Did You Know? Night of Champions was the “most socially active show on television”, apparently beating all top 10 shows on TV combined. So that means…what exactly?
Sparring Session: Kassius Ohno v. Oliver Grey
Byron wonders what exactly qualifies this as a “sparring session” since it seems to be a normal match. Ohno beats on Grey with elbows and applies a cravat for the submission at 0:51. Ohno isn’t fully worked out yet, so we go again, and he immediately applies another cravat and gets another submission. Luckily, Richie Steamboat makes the save before he can cravat any further. Grey ended up being a tag team champion with Neville later in the early days, but got cut and went back to England and never returned.
Meanwhile, Leo Kruger does a creepy promo to let us know he’s on the way. Now, I’m no hunting expert, but usually if you’re going to be hunting the world’s most dangerous game, you DON’T want people to know you’re showing up.
NXT title: Seth Rollins v. Rick Victor
Man this show has the stink of the end of a taping cycle all over it. Victor runs away from Rollins to start but then grabs a headlock and takes Seth down. Seth escapes and Victor bails to the floor and then catches Seth with a forearm to block a dive. Back in, Victor gets an overhead suplex for two. We take a break and return with Victor holding a chinlock, but Rollins fights out of it before running into a high knee that gets two. Victor misses a charge and they slug it out as Seth makes the comeback. Seth with a pair of elbows in the corner and a dropkick, and the Blackout finishes at 7:00. This was a match that existed. *1/2
Sometimes these early NXT shows are tremendous fun and other times I feel like yelling GET TO THE GOOD STUFF ALREADY, and this was the latter.