The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 09.26.12
Let’s try this again. So last night I was attempting to pick up where I had left off with the NXT reviews, and I got 35 minutes into the 09.19.92 episode and then realized that I had already reviewed it in early 2020, but had given the rant a weird filename that didn’t immediately show up in the archives where I was looking for it. So at least I’m fully refreshed on what was going on the week before!
When we last left off…
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Byron Saxton & William Regal
Michael McGillicutty v. Bo Dallas
The B-TEAM EXPLODES! Regal is amazed that both guys’ grandfathers fought each other years ago. Pretty sure Mr. Perfect would have faced IRS at some point as well. And again I ask, if they are literally putting over how both guys are third-generation stars, why not just let them be third generation stars instead of changing their names to completely unrelated bullshit? If you let him be Bo Rotundo or even Bo Windham, you’re at least giving him a BIT of a headstart. Dallas as fired up young babyface is somehow even worse than Bo-Lieve midcard comedy heel, as he seems to have no idea what his character is supposed to be. Bo gets a faceplant and hits McGillicutty with clotheslines in the corner, and an elbow puts Michael on the floor. They fight out there and Bo hits him with a clothesline as they tease a thrilling double countout, and back Dallas gets two. Bo slugs away in the corner, but Michael sends him into the ringpost, which is unforgiving steel as always, and we take a break. Back with McGillicutty pounding Bo down for two and going to a hammerlock. Bo escapes that somehow, not sure how, maybe with magic, and comes back with a flurry of punches and the Bo-Dog. Michael hides in the ropes to escape, however, and hits Bo with a lariat and neckbreaker to finish at 10:22. HE’S BUILDING MOMENTUM! Very slowly. 0 for 1. Sadly, Dallas is lacking in Bo-mentum.
Meanwhile, Paige is mysterious and she’s not here to be a Diva, she’s here to be a FIGHTER. Yeah, just ask Alberto Del Rio.
RAW REBOUND! Mick Foley shows up to badmouth CM Punk and his relationship with Paul Heyman, and then tells Punk to do a Cell match with Cena to cement his legacy. Which of course ended up being Ryback and going completely off the rails.
Jake Carter v. Leo Kruger
Carter is the son of Vader, looking nothing like him and doing more of a Miz ripoff gimmick, and Kruger is the South African big game hunter who eventually turned into party animal Adam Rose in one of the more unlikely repackages of the era. Kruger stomps him down in the corner and tosses him, and then back in for some ground and pound. Kruger drops knees while Saxton uses the bullshit WWE-speak with “calming aggression” and then goes to a couple of chinlocks before going up with a shoulderblock for two. Carter makes a generic babyface comeback with clotheslines, but misses a corner splash like a doofus and Kruger finishes with a cravat cutter at 3:54. Just saying, Blood Diamond Cutter was right there and no one ever picked it up. A very dull squash. 0 for 2.
Ryback v. Aiden English & Francis Dorian
This is well before English got the singing gimmick, as he was just a warm body at this point. Just the usual Ryback squash from this era, featured on NXT for some reason, as he no-sells everything and demolishes both geeks with a powerbomb on English and lariat for Dorian, before finishing with a Shellshock on both guys at the same time at 2:25. The squash got over huge with the audience here, but of course once he had to move beyond that simple formula, he was completely exposed and ran out of steam. Maybe they should have just kept doing the goofy squashes. 1 for 3.
Kassius Ohno v. Richie Steamboat
It still blows my mind that we, by which I mean those of us of a certain age, literally saw Richie from birth, through the beginning of his wrestling career, and all the way to the premature end of it that’s coming shortly. And why did Richie Steamboat of all people get to escape from the NXT Name Generator unscathed, I wonder? Richie pounds on Ohno in the corner and goes to a chinlock, and then boots him down for two. Meanwhile, Regal waxes philosophical about whether his own family will get into wrestling and become resentful of their father’s career achievements. But while Regal adds some interesting human nuance to the usual blathering commentary, Ohno dumps Steamboat to the floor and we take a break. Back with Ohno using the cravat, but Richie fights out of it, so Ohno chokes him out on the top rope for two. Ohno throws chops and Steamboat fires back with his own and makes the comeback. Richie with a crossbody, but Ohno rolls through for two, and Richie gets a backslide for two. Richie goes up with a missile dropkick for two, but Ohno puts him down with a big boot for two. Ohno slugs away in the corner, but Steamboat fights back with a superkick for two and then pops up with a moonsault, but that misses and Ohno rolls him up for two. Ohno hits the elbow in the corner, but Richie gets a small package for the pin at 12:54. But OH NO, Kassius lays him out with an “OBE” elbow as Regal calls it, as in “One Behind the Ear”. Byron promises us that sometime soon, they’ll lock horns! Again. Well, we just saw it and it wasn’t that great, but I suppose we have to 50/50 them to death to get them ready for the main roster. This was a decent developmental main event, but Steamboat basically had none of the passion and timing that his father had in this kind of role, and didn’t leave me feeling like I was cheering for him to overcome the odds or whatever. He was a reasonably athletic and decent worker and that was about it. 2 for 4. Also they completely squandered Kassius Ohno every time they had him in NXT but that’s not exactly a hot take.
This was a pleasant enough show, which I once again have to point out doesn’t hit its stride until a few months from this point, but I like covering everything from the start so we’ll stick with it.