COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross & William Regal
Eight years ago WWE decided to merge their NXT game show-ish TV show and their developmental brand FCW into one brand new thing. I’ve been jonesing to revisit this so here I am. The first episode kicks off with the announcement of the new (interim) General Manager, vignettes on debuting superstars, Damien Sandow being a butt, and Tyson Kidd taking on Michael McGillicutty (LOL) in the main event.
- Bo Dallas vs. Rick Victor (**)
- The Ascension vs. Mike Dalton & CJ Parker (SQUASH)
- Tyson Kidd vs. Michael McGillicutty (***)
-OPENING VIDEO: NXT is the story with the audacity and ability to stand tall on the threshold of greatness. Their history is unfolding today, NXT is the gateway to the future and the future beings NOW.
–William Regal welcomes the home audience as we scan the Full Sail crowd for the first time ever.
–Jim Ross makes his way out to the entrance stage. Ross welcomes the new interim General Manager: “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Ross asks him what he has in store tonight, Rhodes announces a big main event as Tyson Kidd goes one-on-one with Michael McGillicutty. If the people thought the first two years of NXT (the game show era) were crazy they haven’t seen anything yet. I concur.
-SUPERSTAR VIGNETTE: Bo Dallas and his PERFECT HAIR talk about being a third-generation superstar (grandpa is Blackjack Mulligan, father is Mike Rotundo). He always knew he was going to be a WWE superstar because nepotism of his desire. He debuts next (NXT?)!
Bo Dallas vs. Rick Victor
Ross puts over Dallas “young, single, and charismatic” so swipe right if you come across him on Tinder, ladies! Dallas grabs a hammerlock to start, Victor escapes via back elbow and wrenches the arm with a wristlock. Dallas counters with a fireman’s carry into a pair of armdrags. Victor backs Dallas in the corner and connects with knife-edged chops. Dallas responds with a series of elbows and a throw out of the corner as Regal lets us know he’s healing from a RIPPED KIDNEY the year before. That sounds awful. Dallas connects with a snap powerslam followed by a spear for the 1…2…3.
Bo Dallas defeated Rick Victor via pinfall (2:19)
- The first official match of the Full Sail era of NXT. Good showcase for Dallas, who the company already seem to be pretty high on. His spear looks like a little goofy but I think that about most spears. Props to Rick Victor and his purple velvet pants. (**)
Briley Pierce stops Bo Dallas on the stage to get some post-match comments. Dallas says this is just the beginning and tells everyone to keep watching because they will know Bo.
-SUPERSTAR VIGNETTE: Seth Rollins makes his NXT debut next week. Never heard of him. Rollins says we are the authors and finishers of our fate, the solution. COOL.
-NEXT WEEK: Antonio Cesaro will be in action, joined by his LOOOOVER Aksana. Man I miss Aksana.
–Damien Sandow makes his way out, mic in hand. His scheduled opponent, Jason Jordan, awaits him in the ring. Sandow says as the intellectual savior of the masses he saw it as good form to address everyone, but sees Jordan as an unworthy opponent so he refuses to wrestle.
-HYPE VIGNETTE: The Ascension (Conor O’ Brian & Kenneth Cameron). They are the gateways of the future and they will rise…next!
-RAW REBOUND: John Laurinaitis made tonight’s main event before he was fired the night before: John Cena vs. David Otunga, The Big Show, and Laurinaitis in a handicap match. Big Show thanks him for his IRON-CLAD contract…then says he’s on his own and bails from the match, making it 2-on-1 instead of 3-on-1. Laurinaitis refuses to tag in until Cena is down then finally does so, but then Otunga turns on the former GM as well and walks off. Cena gives Laurinaitis three Attitude Adjustments before making him tap to the STF, ending People Power for good.
The Ascension (Conor O’ Brian & Kenneth Cameron) vs. Mike Dalton & CJ Parker
Ascension 1.0’s goth vibe and SUPER EPIC YouTube movie trailer music is the best. Dalton is better known now as Tyler Breeze, while Parker went on to better things in Japan as Juice Robinson. He’s got a little while in NXT before that happens though, so I’m getting ahead of myself.
O’Brian and Cameron make mince meat of Parker early, throwing down all sorts of elbowdrops and isolating him from his partner. Cameron hits a jawbreaker, O’Brian hits a flapjack (sequence known as the Downcast) for the 1…2…3. Dalton didn’t even try to save Parker, what a goon.
The Ascension defeated Mike Dalton & CJ Parker via pinfall (1:14)
- Quick squash to showcase The Ascension’s dominance in their debut. I hope they celebrated by going to Hot Topic after. (SQUASH)
-VIGNETTE: Bray Wyatt preaches his cult stuff in the Bayou. He’s coming soon. Wait ew I should have phrased that better.
-DID YOU KNOW?: WrestleMania 28 is the top selling sports DVD.
–Derrick Bateman enters the men’s bathroom to talk with Johnny Curtis. Bateman says he’ll just meet him outside. Curtis follows him out. Bateman asks if he’s actually sick or if he’s trying to get out of a match against him next week. Curtis says what’s making him sick of Bateman’s hair and dumb antics. Bateman tells Curtis he should be scared of what he’s going to do to him next week. Curtis goes to walk off, Bateman asks if he’s going to wash his hands so Curtis uses Bateman’s tank top. WHAT A DIRTBAG. I think this is a continuation of the game show/Redemption version of NXT but I never watched it and never will.
Tyson Kidd vs. Michael McGillicutty
Remember when WWE signed third-generation Joe Hennig and put him under one of the dumbest names in pro wrestling history? I do, because I’m watching it right now. Not that Curtis Axel is much better but it’s at least a step up. Kidd is OILED UP for this one, very shiny.
Kidd grabs a wristlock to start, transitioning into a hammerlock. McGillicutty grabs the middle rope to force a reset. Kid brings McGillicutty to his knees with a side headlock, McGillicutty counters with a top wristlock. They trade hammerlocks, Kidd whips McGillicutty off and gets dropped with a shoulderblock. Both men reset once again. Kidd slides under McGillicutty, McGillicutty blocks an O’Connor Roll, Kidd wrestles him to the mat and applies a leglock until he once again uses the ropes. McGillicutty bails to the floor to regroup, earning boos from the Full Sail crowd. HOW DARE HE. Both men lock knuckles, McGillicutty uses his strength to bring Kidd to the mat, but Kidd bridges out and escapes via springboard and takes him to the mat with an armdrag. Kidd grabs an armbar, McGillicutty backs him into the corner and connects with a knee to the midsection. Kidd catches him with a superkick and clotheslines him out to the floor. Crowd goes hype, Kidd belts him with a tope suicida and is back in control as we go to commercial.
Back live and Kidd is stomping a mudhole in McGillicutty. Irish whip, spinning heel kick, Kidd covers for the 1…2…not yet. McGillicutty sends Kidd to the apron and catches him with a knee, following up with a hanging neckbreaker for the 1…2…Kidd kicks out. McGillicutty sends Kidd sternum-first into the corner and covers again for the 1…2…kickout. McGillicutty settles into a reverse chinlock. Kidd escapes and rolls McGillicutty up with a sunset flip for the 1…2…McGillicutty kicks out and clubs Kidd back to the mat. McGillicutty traps Kidd in a tree of woe and clubs him repeatedly in the sternum before bending his neck back on the outside in an unnatural position. McGillicutty covers, Kidd kicks out once again. Back to the tree of woe, Kidd dodges a baseball slide and McGillicutty goes jewels-first into the ring post. Kidd connects with a series of kicks followed by a basement dropkick for the 1…2…McGillicutty kicks out just in the nick of time! Kidd catches a charging McGillicutty with a kick and tries a springboard follow-up but gets countered with a dropkick in mid-air. McGillicutty crawls over Kidd for the 1…2…KIDD KICKS OUT. Kidd fights out of a superplex attempt and connects with a moonsault for the 1…2…MCGILLICUTTY KICKS OUT. Kidd goes for the Dungeon Lock, McGillicutty escapes and connects with a Saito Suplex for the 1…2…KIDD KICKS OUT AGAIN. McGillicutty locks in the Sharpshooter, Kidd gets to the ropes. McGillicutty goes for the Perfect Plex, Kidd counters with an inside cradle for the 1…2…McGillicutty kicks out and Kidd cinches in the Dungeon Lock, kicking at his face until he finally taps.
Tyson Kidd defeated Michael McGillicutty via submission (13:35 shown)
- A strong competitive match to main event the first NXT of the Full Sail era. Interesting choice for the inaugural main event but they proved to be worth the time and I enjoyed this for the most part. Did go a little longer than I think it needed to but that’s a personal preference thing. The Dungeon Lock is a cool move. (***)
Kidd celebrates his win as Ross signs off.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A solid first showing for new-look NXT, with a solid main event and some good vignettes of debuting talent (that Bray Wyatt guy may have a future). I’m far more excited to revisit these than I thought I’d be and can’t wait to continue.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Tyson Kidd vs. Michael McGillicutty
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Dusty Rhodes is announced as interim General Manager. If you don’t f*ck with “Common Man Boogie” I don’t f*ck with you.