COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross & Various
Derrick Bateman gets his hands on Johnny Curtis in this week’s main event on NXT. This episode also features the debuts of Seth Rollins, Leo Kruger, and more, plus the first of many Usos/Ascension matches to come.
- Seth Rollins vs. Jiro (SQUASH)
- Jinder Mahal vs. Jason Jordan (SQUASH)
- The Usos vs. The Ascension (**)
- Richie Steamboat vs. Rick Victor (*1/2)
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Dante Dash (SQUASH)
- Derrick Bateman vs. Johnny Curtis (**1/2)
Seth Rollins vs. Jiro
Ross is joined by Byron Saxton on commentary. Rollins is making his NXT debut here, and does a whole lot of moshing during his entrance. He looks like all the straight edge kids I grew up around. Jiro is better known as Taishi Takizawa in Japan, where his career I assume went a lot better than it did in WWE as I forgot he was ever part of the NXT brand.
Rollins flips through a wristlock and sends Jiro to the mat. Rollins catches a kick and trips Jiro up. Jiro breaks a wristlock and connects with a chop, Rollins ANGRY FACES his way through the pain and hits a series of chops. Jiro charges, Rollins drops him with a clothesline and dropkick. Jiro misses a clothesline, Rollins catches him with an enzuigiri. Rollins connects with a spin kick followed by the Blackout (Curb Stomp) for the 1…2…3.
Seth Rollins defeated Jiro via pinfall (1:32)
- Efficient debut for Rollins, showed off his hops and cool finisher.
Briley Pierce interviews Rollins on the entrance stage. Rollins says he’s here to do what he does best: rip the clouds out of the sky and turn the place upside down. He’s interrupted by Jinder Mahal, who makes his way out for the next match. They share a glance as Mahal heads to the ring. He’s in action next!
Jinder Mahal vs. Jason Jordan
Back from commercial and Mahal has a mic. Mahal says NXT will be molded in his vision and speaks a FOREIGN LANGUAGE for that cheap heel heat. Jason Jordan interrupts his speech with his entrance, finally getting a real match after Damien Sandow bailed last week.
Mahal stomps down Jordan in the corner and clubs him to the mat with a forearm to the back of the neck. Mahal connects with a neckbreaker, Jordan kicks out of the lateral press so the Maharaja makes him pay by choking him against the middle rope. Ross calls Jason Jordan an “aloof” person; somebody in the office take offense that he prefers spending time alone or something? Don’t get why that’s a bad thing. Mahal applies a chinlock/armbar combo in the center of the ring. Jordan almost breaks out so Mahal throws him to the canvas and connects with a double underhook suplex for the 1…2…Jordan kicks out again and misses a follow-up kneedrop. Jordan tries a dropkick, Mahal swats it away and buries a series of knees to the bridge of the nose followed by a running high knee. Mahal poses then locks in the Camel Clutch for the submission.
Jinder Mahal defeated Jason Jordan via submission (2:50)
- Mahal gets the easy win but despite it only being less than 3 minutes I still found it kind of dry. I like the Jinder Mahal character though, I’m probably one of the few. Jordan got punked out but got a lot of shine on commentary. (SQUASH)
After the match Mahal speaks in the EVIL FOREIGN LANGUAGE then once again says he will mold NXT in his vision.
-SUPERSTAR VIGNETTE: Leo Kruger says he has been gifted all the attributes needed to be at the top in the business. Also he’s from South Africa, don’t forget that. Kruger calls himself the alpha male lion in WWE and is treated like a god in Africa, and will show the rest of the world that he is an icon. He debuts next!
Leo Kruger vs. Aiden English
Kruger makes his entrance to royal-sounding music and wearing a sash. Not a Kraven-style hunter or a party animal yet. Aiden English still has most of his hair!
English connects with a dropkick but Kruger bats the second away and pummels him with forearms. Kruger with a corner clothesline and corner double stomp. Kruger poses for the crowd then locks in a rear choke for the quick tap-out.
Leo Kruger defeated Aiden English via submission (1:22)
- By the end of his NXT run Kruger will have played THREE different characters and all of them are great. Real shame how his WWE career turned out. (SQUASH)
-SUPERSTAR VIGNETTE: Richie Steamboat is looking to follow in his father’s footsteps while also bringing his own flavor to the Steamboat name.
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Ascension (Conor O’Brian & Kenneth Cameron)
William Regal and Chris Russo (?!?) replace Saxton on commentary. Ascension entrance still as funny as last week, lots of blank looks and strobes. I always have a hard time telling Jimmy & Jey apart so I will be doing a bad job here too.
Usos in control early, connecting with a double elbowdrop on Cameron for a one-count. Regal says Jimmy has the tattoo on his chest so I’ll go with it, even though Ross thought that was Jey. Cameron tosses Jey out to the floor as O’Brian holds the ropes open. Ascension take turns wearing Jimmy down with a series of stomps. Thing slow down as O’Brian applies a chinlock. Jimmy breaks out and catches a charging O’Brian with a spinning headbutt. Jey and Cameron both tag in and it’s the former who’s the house of fire. Jey with a pop-up Samoan drop on Cameron followed by a hip splash in the corner for the 1…2…O’Brian breaks it up. Jey runs in, O’Brian throws him out but Jey pulls him to the floor quickly. O’Brian rams Jey into the apron and gets the tag, Ascension hitting the Downcast for the 1…2…3.
The Ascension defeated The Usos via pinfall (3:40)
- The Usos are a main roster tag team so The Ascension picking up a quick over them I would think would be a big deal; however the commentary team seem pretty whatever about it so maybe I’m just remembering this time period all wrong. I didn’t start watching again until August of 2012 so anything from like 02-12 is a blindspot for me. Ascension proving themselves to be dominant early in NXT. (**)
-DID YOU KNOW: When Raw debuted in 1993, stamps cost 29 cents and a gallon of gas was just $1.11. Thanks, Grandpa.
Richie Steamboat vs. Rick Victor
Saxton is back on commentary for Steamboat’s NXT debut. Must be a big fan. Steamboat brings Victor to the mat with a waistlock, Victor counters into a hammerlock. Steamboat counters back with a side headlock, wrenching it in and bringing him to one knee. Ricky Steamboat, Richie’s Hall of Fame Dad, is shown in the crowd cheering him on. Steamboat grabs an armbar, Victor tries to hip toss him off but Steamboat rolls through to keep it applied. Steamboat backs Victor in the corner and lays into him with a couple of chops. Victor tries a buckle shot, Steamboat blocks and counters and brings him to the mat with a snapmare so he can hit a basement clothesline for a one-count. Steamboat floats over a charging Victor, connects with a chop and we get a DEEP armdrag into an armbar. Wonder where he learned that from. Steamboat connects with a crossbody followed by a series of strikes and a clothesline. Steamboat revs up the crowd and hits a sling blade off a clothesline attempt from Victor for the 1…2…3.
Richie Steamboat defeated Rick Victor via pinfall (4:23)
- Solid if unspectacular debut for Richie Steamboat. Match felt like it went ten minutes long. I was a Steamboat fan when I watched this stuff initially so I know he gets better but…yeah. Also poor Rick Victor; went from multi-time champ in FCW to jobbing two weeks in a row on NXT. (*1/2)
Ricky Steamboat and his midlife crisis soul patch gives his son a standing ovation. The Sling Blade being a FINISHING MOVE just 8 years ago at the time of this writing is wild.
-HYPE VIDEO: Antonio Cesaro and his lover Aksana. I forgot Cesaro was billed as a former Rugby player, that’s fun. He’s in action next…or after the RAW Rebound.
-RAW REBOUND: John Cena meets Chris Jericho in the main event. The Big Show interferes and drops the leg across Cena while he’s in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho bails, Show connects with a Chokeslam (sorta, his hand was on Cena’s chest because he went up to high). Show then locks in the Colossal Clutch (Camel Clutch) until Cena passes out.
Antonio Cesaro [w/ Aksana] vs. Dante Dash
I totally forgot about Aksana, and now I miss her deeply because I’m a creep. Don’t remember much about Dante Dash but I f*cking LOVE THAT NAME. Cesaro shows off his strength, deadlifting Dash around and damn near kicking his vertebrae out of whack. Neutralizer ends it.
Antonio Cesaro defeated Dante Dash via pinfall (1:44)
- BRING AKSANA BACK, YOU COWARDS. (SQUASH)
Cesaro and Aksana kiss after. She has a mic in her hand but didn’t say anything so I guess that got cut.
-HYPE VIDEO: Bray Wyatt now has a small crowd to preach his nonsense to, including an uncredited Luke Harper. He’ll be in NXT soon.
Derrick Bateman vs. Johnny Curtis
This is a holdover feud from NXT: Redemption which is a thing people tell me existed but I refuse to check out myself. Oh hey Summer Rae is doing the ring announcing! Cool. Curtis’ gimmick is that he’s a gross pervert or something. Bateman has A LOT of hair and a less severe tan than the one he rocks now.
Curtis slaps Bateman and goes running, Bateman chases him back in and connects with a dropkick. Bateman with a twisting wristlock into a slap followed by a corner whip. Bateman charges but Curtis dodges and he goes knees-first into the top turnbuckle. Curtis focuses on Bateman’s left knee as Ross announces the women of NXT will make their debut next week in addition to the debut of Kassius Ohno. OHHHNOOO OHNO. Curtis traps Bateman in an Indian Deathlock, Bateman chops him to escape. Curtis keeps hold of the ankle and applies a spinning toehold, the move Dory Funk Jr. made famous. Bateman kicks Curtis into the buckles and drops him with a pair of clotheslines followed by an inverted-looking flatliner which hurts his knee more. Curtis kicks the knee, Bateman counters a legwhip with the DVD (Headlock Driver) for the 1…2…3.
Derrick Bateman defeated Johnny Curtis via pinfall (3:46)
- Definite drop in quality and time from last week’s main event but still a decent matchup. Good win for Bateman who most definitely won’t find himself in a competing company only to return to WWE to do absolutely NOTHING all over again. (**1/2)
Bateman celebrates his win, hobbling to sell the knee, as Ross signs off.
FINAL THOUGHTS: NXT continues building its roster this week and ending NXT: Redemption stories, fitting in SIX matches and multiple hype videos in its 40+ minute runtime. Well-played. Bateman/Curtis was definitely not on the level of Kidd/McGillicutty last week but it worked for what it was. Also I MISS YOU AKSANA.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Derrick Bateman vs. Johnny Curtis
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Seth Rollins & Jinder Mahal start a feud over an angry glance