Greetings, NXT fans. This week’s show was a little scary there for a minute, but ended up being really great. Let’s see why but first we’ll quickly run down the show.
NXT opened with a sweet match between Leo Kruger and Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro was the winner and rubbed in it Kruger’s face by dropping a knee on him from the top rope after his victory. Charlotte beat NXT newcomer Santana Garrett while Summer Rae and Sasha Banks lurked at ringside. Afterwards Summer Rae cut a promo, which summoned Paige and Emma in succession. After the break and while talking with Tony Dawson, Summer challenged the nice divas to a tag match. Mojo Rawley won his debut by beating Danny Burch. Backstage Emma and Paige accepted Summer’s challenge, though they don’t look to be on the same page about who will get the pinfall.
The French Legionnaires beat the Jersey Boys in a short match. Renee Young interviewed Sami Zayn about next week’s NXT championship bout until Bo Dallas hijacked the interview. A handshake was giveth and then taketh awayeth.
In the main event RVD beat Aiden English.
Got all that? Then let’s get the negative stuff out of the way.
The Greatest Hits of Rob Van Dam:
I wasn’t all that excited about RVD showing up on NXT this week. Not that I naturally dislike Van Dam, but I had heard his recent return to the WWE had been less than ground-breaking and I couldn’t imagine a match between him and any of the young NXT heels being more than Rob going through the motions.
Sure enough, that’s what tonight’s main event was, RVD getting his greatest PG-era hits off on Aiden English, picking up the win and going home. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, it just was, which isn’t how I prefer my main events to go.
Luckily the people creating the show are smart and good at what they do and counterbalanced the Rolling (thunder) Stones with everything that’s young and hip and cool about NXT. Like…..
Antonio Cesaro’s Kickass Match #49:
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a recent WWE upstart just nonchalantly have as many good matches in low stakes situations as Antonio Cesaro. Tonight Cesaro was paired up with Leo Kruger and tasked with providing the night’s cutting edge wrestling action. He and Kruger did so by hitting each other really hard. As some of you might know, this is how I like my Leo Kruger matches, with heavy offense. So while the match wasn’t on the level of Cesaro vs Zayn or Cesaro vs Dallas even, it was a pretty damn good follow-up and a good argument for a feud between the two of them, which Antonio attacking Kruger after the bell seems to indicate will happen.
I’d buy that for a dollar. Know what else was cool about tonight’s show?
NXT used every Diva on the roster and used them well:
It’s no secret that the NXT’s women’s division is pretty spiffy right now and tonight was a great showcase for them. Besides Renee Young’s always excellent backstage interview, we got a match from Charlotte that only had one Charlotte-botch, multiple character driven promos setting up a divas tag team match that has potential storyline possibilities all over it, and Bayley being adorable! What more could you want? Oh wait, maybe a new diva? Let’s check her out.
That is Santana Garrett, the lady who wrestled Charlotte tonight in a red headband. The biggest spotlight of her career so far was as Orlando Jordan’s lady friend during his bisexual angle, which we will probably never, ever talk about ever again. She’s also wrestled for Shimmer and Shine and various indy promotions and…..probably isn’t signed right now to the WWE. It looks like this was her tryout match. Well, she did pretty well for herself, so maybe she’ll follow Bayley’s path and we’ll see her on NXT again in the future?
Speaking of debuts:
Another male wrestler had his first match tonight, an ex-football player by the name of Mojo Rawley. Besides sounding like the mumbled lyrics of an awesome Doors song, Mr. Rawley had energy, muscles of an indeterminate size, and the offense of a bumper car. Is that a compliment? Is that an insult? You decide.
….and here’s his picture.
Before we wrap up here…..favorite feuds!:
As I said before, the thing that kept tonight’s episode from being bogged down by RVD was, for me, just how many of my favorite NXT feuds they kept slipping in before the inevitable paint by numbers main event happened. I already got the sweet opening match and divas stuff, so imagine my delight when they found time to pepper in a quick Jersey Guys/French’s Guys match and a Renee/Sami/Dallas conversation. I liked them both! They were fun! I could have used a little more Jersey Guys, but what else is new?
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Last week we had a good discussion on Corey Graves. This week let’s talk about Mojo Rawley. He’s only had one match and a catchphrase. We really have no room to talk about his merit yet but eff it, we’re on the internet so leave a comment.
And buy my book while you’re at it before the second one comes out.
And follow me on twitter.
And hug a dinosaur or something.