Thursday, August 2, 2012

8/1/12 NXT

Richie Steamboat vs. Leo Kruger: **

Big E Langston vs. Adam Mercer: N/A (squash)

Raquel Diaz vs. Audrey Marie: 1/4*

Hunico & Camacho vs. Jason Jordan & Mike Dalton: *

Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre: ***1/4

We see interim GM Dusty Rhodes on camera. Eight-man Gold Rush tournament to determine first NXT champ. Richie Steamboat, Bo Dallas, Leo Kruger, Seth Rollins, Mike McGillicutty, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, and Justin Gabriel. Balance of real new guys and the guys who have floundered in midcard status for a while.

Tournament starts immediately with Steamboat and Kruger. Kruger with the typical heel antics to gain an advantage. Kruger had most of the offense in the match, yet Richie pulls out the win. Not bad, could even be better with a few more near falls. Richie faces the winner of Bo/Jinder. Other first-round matches in the tournament are Rollins/McIntyre and Gabriel/McGillicutty.

We finally see the debut of Big E Langston. Adam Mercer doing the jobbing tonight. Finisher is a version of a cutter, starting like he'll do a running powerslam but just dropping opponent front-first on the canvas to Langston's side.

Raquel Diaz is back to face another diva hopeful, Audrey Marie. Audrey with generic divas country-pop sounding music. Raquel talks a big arrogant game and likes to laugh and scream. Diaz ends it with a Gory Special. Some good spots, like Diaz bridging out of a pin. Looks like Paige will be a starting storyline for Diaz.

Hunico and Camacho getting some nice TV time, probably thanks to Hunico's good work in the ring. Didn't expect Jordan and Dalton to get the win here, but a nice feel-good victory.

We finally see that NXT title that will go to the winner of the Gold Rush Tournament. It's a one-of-a-kind belt, that's for sure. Personally, I'm more of a more traditional-looking belt. This one's too fancy for me.

Seth and Drew in a great main event. Note Jim Ross saying if there's a double countout or double DQ, both guys get eliminated; only winners advance. Drew brought back the ol' tactic of going under the ring, lure the opponent in, and slam his face and shoulder into the steel ring structure.

I still believe McIntyre is very underrated and really deserves more credit for the quality matches he puts on just about every week. He may not win all of them, but I'd put Drew just a notch below Ziggler in workrate (only because Ziggler really makes others look like a million bucks). Phoenix Splash doesn't hit (I've yet to see him hit that in WWE), but Blackout wins it.

The other quarterfinal matches will be next week, I believe. Looking forward to it.

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