COMMENTATORS: Byron Saxton & William Regal
NXT this week features a grudge match main event as Richie Steamboat and Kassius Ohno lock horns. Also on the show Bo Dallas takes on Michael McGillicutty, Ryback feeds, and Leo Kruger continues the hunt…but not for Ryback. Man how good would that feud have been?
- NXT CHAMPION: Seth Rollins
- Bo Dallas vs. Michael McGillicutty (**1/2)
- Leo Kruger vs. Jake Carter (*3/4)
- HANDICAP MATCH: Ryback vs. Aiden English & Francis Remi Dorian (SQUASH)
- Richie Steamboat vs. Kassius Ohno (***1/4)
-FEUD RECAP: Richie Steamboat/Kassius Ohno.
Bo Dallas vs. Michael McGillicutty
McGillicutty interrupted Dallas’ backstage interview last week and a brawl broke out, leading to this week’s opening contest.
Dallas takes control early, repeatedly popping McGillicutty up and sending him crashing face-first into the canvas (the second hardest part of the ring. McGillicutty kicks Dallas away but runs into a back elbow and finds himself on the floor, Dallas stalks and sends him into the apron (the first hardest part of the ring). McGillicutty gets rolled in then rolls back out, Dallas clotheslines him from behind. Back in the ring Dallas works McGillicutty over with a series of elbows to the side of the head. Ref tries to separate them, McGillicutty lays in a cheap shot and sends his opponent crashing shoulder-first into the ring post. Dallas grimaces as the show goes to break.
Back live McGillicutty continues working Dallas’ arm over, utilizing hammerlocks and the middle rope to bend it in unnatural positions. Dallas rolls to the apron, McGillicutty belts him with a right hand (the crowd “SHAH”ing along). McGillicutty talks too much trash, Dallas blocks a right and flies back into the ring with a sunset flip for the 1…2…McGillicutty kicks out and connects with an armbreaker for the 1…2…kickout. Dallas mounts a comeback with his good arm, clotheslines and a bulldog but no lateral press. Dallas measures McGillicutty, McGillicutty rolls under the ropes. McGillicutty hangs onto the top rope, forcing the ref to break them up, then levels Dallas with a cheap shot clothesline and a running neckbreaker for the 1…2…3.
Michael McGillicutty defeated Bo Dallas via pinfall (8:13 shown)
- The Rise of McGillicutty continues with another big win this week in a solid match. I appreciate McGillicutty’s continued use of the ref trying to create separation to first take control of the match and then get the win; that’s using the rules to your advantage right there. These guys would make a good tag team; not A-level or anything but maybe a rung below. (**1/2)
-VIDEO: An “enchanting” look at Paige. She’s not here to be a Diva, she’s here to be a fighter.
-RAW REBOUND: Mick Foley returns and tells CM Punk he wants him to face John Cena in a Hell in a Cell to earn respect. Cena interrupts; his arm is in a sling but he challenges Punk anyway. Punk gives him till the count of five to get out of the ring, Cena responds by hitting him with a pipe (a PIPE BOMB if you will). Punk crosses paths with Foley again backstage and sucker punches Foley, he turns to do it again but instead stares into the eyes of the avenging angel himself RYBACK.
Leo Kruger vs. Jake Carter
Kruger made his new gimmick debut two weeks ago and yes it still slaps. Bell rings and Kruger immediately goes on the attack, catching his opponent off-guard mid-trash talk. Carter fights back, Kruger drops to his ass and throws Carter out of the ring by the tights, then slithers out of the ring to roll him back in and continue the offense. Corner clothesline, flying tackle from the middle buckle for the 1…2…Carter kicks out and connects with a string of offense. Unfortunately he misses a splash and that gives Kruger the opening to hit his finisher (a faceslam in a hangman’s neckbreaker position) for the 1…2…3.
Leo Kruger defeated Jake Carter via pinfall (3:55)
- Another solid win for Kruger as he establishes a new gimmick. Carter is really getting let down by his junkie bff Corey Graves; HELP THE MAN OUT. (*3/4)
Ryback vs. Aiden English & Francis Remi Dorian
No tags in this one, Ryback takes them both he’s HARDCORE. English tries a backpack sleeper, Ryback makes him pay with a backpack jawbreaker. English tries to avoid a meathook clothesline and gets powerbombed instead, Dorian takes the big ol’ lariat instead. DOUBLE SHELL SHOCK for the 1…2…3.
Ryback defeated Aiden English & Francis Remi Dorian via pinfall (2:25)
- You heard the man, WWE: feed him more. (SQUASH)
Richie Steamboat vs. Kassius Ohno
Jim Ross joins Saxton & Regal for this one to give it that extra weight. Steamboat and Ohno lockup, Ohno bails to the apron to create separation to slow him down. Ohno grabs a side headlock, Steamboat whips him off but gets dropped with a tackle. Leapfrog into a crossbody for a two-count, Steamboat with more lateral presses (pressi?) but Ohno kicks out of each one then bails once more to the apron to break the momentum. Steamboat does not relent, blocking both strike attempts and sending Ohno into the corner head-first. LOUD chop, Ohno crumples and the ref separates the two. Snapmare into a reverse chinlock. Steamboat to the apron, Ohno sends him to the floor as the show goes to break.
Back live and Ohno has a cravat locked in the center of the ring. Steamboat tries to roll through but Ohno lands on top for a one-count. Steamboat whips Ohno off, Ohno ducks a kick and connects with a reverse jawbreaker to the back of the head (headbreaker?) for the 1…2…Steamboat kicks out. Ohno locks a cravat over the top rope, utilizing the five-count and covering again for the 1…2…Steamboat is still in the match. Ohno lights Steamboat up, Steamboat absorbs the strikes and fights back with a series of chops, Ohno drops him to one knee with a right hand. Ohno charges, Steamboat catches him with a forearm and goes on a string of comeback offense, including a crossbody but Ohno rolls through for the 1…2…near-fall. Steamboat with a backslide for the 1…2…Ohno escapes and sends Steamboat to the apron. Steamboat knocks him away with a headbutt and connects with a missile dropkick for the 1…2…not yet. Ohno reverses an Irish whip and connects with a big boot, Steamboat’s stacked up for the 1…2…HE KICKS OUT and Ohno can’t believe it. Steamboat connects with a superkick out of nowhere for the 1…2…kickout. Ohno dodges a moonsault and rolls Steamboat up for the 1…2…KICKOUT! Ohno connects with a running forearm in the corner, Steamboat ducks the KO Blow and counters with an inside cradle for the 1…2…3!
Richie Steamboat defeated Kassius Ohno via pinfall (10:46 shown)
- Damn good match with some fun near-falls at the end. Seems like the anger between the two subsided relatively quick and it turned into a regular wrestling match but it was still well-wrestled and I enjoyed Ohno getting angrier and angrier when his big boy KO moves weren’t putting his “inferior” opponent away. Steamboat getting the win with an inside cradle, the same move that won his father the NWA World Heavyweight Championship back in 1989, was a nice touch as well. (***1/4)
An incensed Ohno immediately belts Steamboat with his KO Blow, cutting his celebration short. Ohno locks in a Cravat until a host of referees break it up. Ohno tries to charge back in but is kept at bay. Show ends with Ohno teasing another attack, his music blaring. He has won the war.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Fun episode of NXT with a well-built main event that delivered in the ring as well as a good opening match (likely building Seth’s first actual NXT Championship challenger), the debut of one of my favorite NXT characters ever, and a Ryback squash to boot. No complaints!