Thursday, July 19, 2012

7/18/12 NXT

Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka: *

Jinder Mahal vs. Percy Watson: *

Leo Kruger vs. Richie Steamboat: *1/2

Raquel Diaz vs. Paige: DUD

Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater: **3/4

Saxton and Regal on commentary to start the show, and we finally see them on camera. Camera work doesn't look as tight as the other WWE shows.

Both Tamina and Kaitlyn squat over 300 pounds, way more than what I could do. Yikes. Kaitlyn playing the cowardly heel at the start...mind games? I like that, especially after I saw more heelish moves using the ropes. Crowd still very quiet and seemingly disinterested. Impressive ending, with Kaitlyn's armbar submission, Tamina's counter into a Samoan drop, and Tamina's superfly splash.

Jericho's debut in 1999 as Y2J was absolutely classic. And then you have Rock to do a promo with. Double win.

Vignette to promote another upcoming debut of "Big E Langston" (Ettore Ewen), a former competitive powerlifter (yeah, he really was a powerlifter). The guy's billed around 6 feet, but he's 285 lbs. of solid muscle. Nice powerlifting gimmick, similar to what Mark Henry had when he debuted. Henry's getting older, so I guess they need another guy to take over on that.

At least Percy should get the home state pops on NXT now, right? Frankly, he gets a larger reaction in this smaller arena than he ever did coming to the ring in past seasons. I've always praised Percy's athletic ability, but the guy seriously needs a good feud with a major heel to get him some type of crowd reaction. Either that, or turn Watson heel and have him play an arrogant prick from South Beach. As for Mahal, I'm not a huge fan of his work, either. All I have to really watch for is a high knee and a camel clutch. We saw that here, and he gets a submission win. Boring.

Time to watch Richie Steamboat and Leo Kruger battle, stemming from their backstage segment last week. This is what I want to see, nice mat wrestling, basic arm drags, really just classic ring psychology at a good pace. It wasn't the best match these two will have, but it got the job done. Kruger gets the heel cheating victory using the ropes.

Here we go with Raquel Diaz. Blatant ripoff of TNA's Beautiful People gimmick, really. And the outfit is vintage loud and overly frilly. All she needs is a paper bag and we're good on that one. Paige is a raven-haired woman who apparently screams when she gets in the ring after her entrance. Paige didn't get much offense as Raquel plays a scared heel. Diaz with the Gory Bomb for the win. Raquel's in-ring stuff needs improvement.

A-Ry and Antonio Cesaro battle next week. Both guys have numerous rules. Whatever happened to having just one...don't trust anybody? And yeah, nice purse, Antonio.

Two NXT alums battle in the main event. Justin Gabriel has really impressed like many thought, while Slater has languished in a really bad one-man band gimmick (Slater has a deceivingly nice moveset, but damn, that gimmick sucks). Jim Ross does PBP for this one, thankfully. Gabriel with a big spill to the floor and he clutches his collarbone. Slater takes advantage of this one. JR shows again why he's the best PBP guy in the business today, stressing how important each NXT match is to these superstars. Gabriel uses that AJ Styles-like backflip off the second rope into a reverse DDT to get the pinfall win here. Finisher wasn't clean, but still impressive. Great match. Wish we had a livelier, larger crowd for this one.

No comments: