Thursday, January 24, 2013

1/23/13 NXT

Nice surprise to see Shawn Michaels visiting NXT! Crowd finally comes alive. HBK shows one of the new NXT Tag Team Title belts, and again, I think they look horrible and cheap, too much like something you can get at the damn merchandise stand. Yup, announcement is that there will be another tournament to decide the first NXT Tag champs. Seriously? I doubt there's even enough time each week to properly decide who Big E Langston will face next for the NXT Title. Anyway, I woulda pegged Ascension as the favorites, but since Kenneth Cameron got released, who knows.

Wyatt Family vs. Yoshi Tatsu & Percy Watson: I like the Wyatt Family's chances of capturing the titles. Bray Wyatt doesn't need to do much, even though I'm sure he's cleared to wrestle by now. In the meantime, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan can do the damage. Two big guys with thick beards, yay. Yoshi ends his tweets with #nevergiveup, but he's been largely irrelevant the past several months. I'd put him on the chopping block, but he still can be extra advertising money for WWE when the company goes to Japan. I think Yoshi and Percy's best chance to stay on the roster would be to team up, but they're not getting the titles right now. Harper with a lariat to Percy to get three. Not bad. *3/4

Dusty Rhodes with Alex Riley and Derrick Bateman. They're in the tag tournament. Corey Graves comes to complain and Dusty burns him by saying not even Jake Carter wanted to be his tag partner? Who? Oh, that's Vader's son, right? Graves and Carter in singles action tonight. FYI, Carter and Graves tagged before on one of the first NXT episodes.

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox: Alicia's still waving the fox jacket over her head. I've read that WWE has high hopes for Sasha Banks. I dunno if I want the nickname of "Small Package," though. I guess it's good that she's a woman in that respect. Sasha Banks is also related to Snoop Dogg (actually Snoop Lion now). Good lucha stuff from Sasha, so I can definitely see the promise. Alicia is basically only known for two moves: that Northern Lights bridge suplex and the scissors kick. Sasha counters a slam into a rollup for three. *1/2

Video package on Paige. She looks awesome in that jacket.

WWE signed Canadian TV personality Renee Paquette a while back for a "backstage correspondent" role, but her on-screen name is Renee Young. Seriously?! Let her have her real name. She interviews Aksana. When next to Renee, you can tell which person has really been hitting the heavy weights. Will 2013 be Aksana's year? Well, I think it could at least be better than last year. Aksana faces Paige next week.

Short vignette of Conor O'Brian. As I said, no more Kenneth Cameron, but Conor's still doing the Ascension gimmick as a solo act. Might end up being great for him if it leads to NXT gold.

Corey Graves vs. Jake Carter: Corey has even more generic rock music now. Short match here, Graves tackles Carter's leg and slaps on that 13th Step leglock finisher for the tapout win. Graves on the mic after the match, saying if he can't be in the tag tournament, he'll declare anarchy on NXT. I vote that he declares anarchy. *

Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey vs. 3MB: Slater and McIntyre represent 3MB in this tournament. Neville and Grey are both from Great Britain, so a natural pairing there. Regal wants to punch 3MB right in the face. Lovely. Really liking that WWE has signed "smaller," agile wrestlers like Neville (billed at 5'9" and a "solid" 200 pounds). Grey has a judo background. Neville getting the crowd pumped with his high flying. Not surprising that Neville gets the hot tag. Neville hits the shooting star corkscrew splash on McIntyre for three. Crowd went nuts for it. Win. *3/4

Big E Langston vs. Axl Keegan: Basically another squash for the champ. Langston has the NXT Title graphic on his Titantron video now. Killer Kowalski trained Keegan. Crowd loves to chant "FIVE" when Langston's in the ring. Langston with the avalanche and then his "big ending" cutter move for three. He definitely doesn't work by the hour; match took about a minute. Langston's pissed that he didn't get his five-count. N/A

Conor O'Brian on the Titantron. In two weeks, I'm assuming Conor challenges Langston for the title. Just as I thought. Langston delivers two more Big Endings to Keegan -- and two five-counts.

Five matches on this week's NXT. Yay?

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