Hey howdy hey. Lonestar here, ready and raring to review some NXT! But before we get to tonight’s episode let’s knock out a few developmental signings and rumors. Feel free to google search some of these people if you want to know who they are.
Olympic wrestler Chas Betts, fitness model Ashley Sebera, and Raquel Diaz again!
Davey Richards (he referenced it at an appearance in the UK), Eddie Edwards, NJPW’s Prince Devitt, and maybe even Santana Garrett.
And here’s this week’s video! If you’re playing along at home and haven’t yet seen the show, you should totally watch it now so you’ll know what the heck I’m talking about later.
Click here for the video on dailymotion. It apparentally won't embed.
So yeah…there were a lot of squash matches this week, weren’t there? Alexander Rusev beat Sylvester Lefort, Leo Kruger beat El Local, the Ascension beat jobbers, and Mojo Rawley beat Tye Dillinger. Add a couple of backstage diva interactions and the Luke Harper/Kassius Ohno main event and that was NXT. But we’ll talk about the squashes first.
The Squash Match Medley:
I feel like the term “squash match” has become a dirty word in wrestling. People equate “squash” with a bad, pointless thing that wastes time. But squashes have their uses and can even be entertaining in their own right, like when Ryback was inventing new and comically painful ways of destroying jobbers. Tonight, however, four in a row was just too many, to the extent that I had difficulty remembering every one that occurred. The lone stand-out (for good reasons, anyway) was Mojo Rawley vs Ty Dillinger.
Mojo, whose first name I will never dislike saying, is pretty much pegged for greatness at this point. The WWE, as a company, has pointed forth its mighty finger and said, “Him!” I can confidently claim this because of all the little things that have happened for the guy after only two matches. Seriously, this is his second televised match and he’s already got steam pyro after his victories, a catch phrase, and feel-good vignettes about his aunt’s battle with cancer. The WWE is definitely hyped about this guy and they want you to be hyped as well.
…I can’t say I’m hyped yet but pairing Rawley up with Ty Dillenger was an excellent decision. If you watch the match, Dillenger, who was making his re-debut after being released from the WWE in early 2009, peppered in enough heelish little actions to make you want Mojo to squash him. That ability to make the audience form a quick opinion is an excellent skill to have and it’s what makes you get promoted from jobber to reoccurring character, not unlike what happened with Enzo Amore. Speaking of the Enzo/Mason Ryan feud, how screwed is Mason Ryan now that the way more likeable Mojo Rawley is around? I’d say very.
The Bad Stand-out:
Remember when I said Rawley/Dillenger was the only squash that stood out for good reasons? Yeah…the Ascension vs jobbers match tonight stood out for one, very, very bad reason: the finish. This wasn’t the first time the tag team has seemingly gotten confused about which member was supposed to make the pin after their Total Elimination-style finisher, but it was definitely the most obvious time they’ve screwed up in that regard. I double checked just to make sure I didn’t slander anybody, but after the move both men rolled out to the floor, leaving their downed opponent to wonder where the hell they just went.
That’s just bad. I don’t know what happened or whose fault it was, but Rick Victor was the legal man.
Two different Divas storylines were featured tonight via various forms of the backstage vignette, though I thought one was more effective than the other. I’m not entirely thrilled with the recent change to the backstage interviews now that Renee Young in on commentary, but I think the Paige/Emma feud needed the argument the faceless cameraman presented them having tonight. The mean girls/Emma and Charlotte interaction, on the other hand, didn’t do Charlotte any favors. She kind of came off as the weak actor, especially standing next to Bayley.
…okay, so I’m just stalling at this point. Let’s talk about the main event.
Luke Harper vs Kassius Ohno was…eh?:
So…here’s the thing. I really wanted to like a match between Harper and Ohno that fit into the “we just gave you a bunch of inconsequential matches so here’s one allotted decent time and competent wrestlers” mold NXT occasionally gives us as a main event…but this didn’t work as that. Not for me anyway.
Yes, it was nice to see Kassius Ohno wrestling again, and looking even more trim than last time. Yes, Harper and Ohno put together some decent exchanges, but only after long sequences of repetitive brawling, show-boating and, in general, wasting time. I felt like I was watching two long-established WWE acts coasting their way through the first half of a match in order to fill our their assigned run-time, not two young, athletic newcomers trying to make a name for themselves. To put it another way, many of the things I criticize tired, main-roster wrestlers for I saw happen in this match, by two wrestlers I expect better from.
I was disappointed.
Thankfully the commentary team was at least doing their job by selling the story of Kassius Ohno trying really hard to fight back from injury and just…not…quite squeaking out the W. So yeah, when it comes to this week’s Indy Guy main event I’m going to criticize the indy guys and praise the announce team. I’m just as surprised as you are.
What did you think of this week’s main event? Are you hyped for Mojo? Are you hyped for Mojo-Jojo? Leave a comment and let us all know.