Welcome friends, to the last NXT review of the year. John Cena himself was kind enough to appear on this week's show and announce that next week's episode of NXT will basically be a clip show. Since I ain't reviewing that s**t, this is it for 2012. It's been a crazy year for me. I've gotten a full time job, moved cross country and self published a book. NXT has gone through a lot as well, changing formats (again) and graduating a few talents to the main roster. Too bad this week's show was pretty freakin' boring. Here's the short play by play.
Primo and Epico (and Rosa's boobs) lost to the Uso brothers. The Ascension appeared via giant video screen afterwards and made threats to the Samaon duo. Big E Langston beat Aiden English and Camacho because 5. Kassius Ohno beat Percy Watson, they yelled at William Regal. Jim Ross interviewed Seth Rollins until Corey Graves came out and highjacked the segment. In the main event the Big Show beat Bo Dallas to the surprise of nobody.
Yeah......not the most thrilling synopsis is it? Let's extrapolate.
The Colons vs the Usos made my eyes cross:
Ok, so the match itself was fine. Servicable even. But the moment I realized it would be the Colons against the Usos I tuned out. Sorry, that's probably not what anybody wants to hear but these two teams are the definition of "Superstars level", not ever going anywhere wrestlers. The WWE has absolutely no faith or long term investment in them, which makes it really hard to care what they do in or out of the ring. In the end the Usos won with a superkick/superfly splash combo, sadly leading into....
Raise your hand if knew the Usos and the Ascension were still feuding? Alright, not many of you. Now keep your hand up if think they should keep feuding. Yeah, I didn't think so.
Cutting through the crap, my interest in this feud was on life support befire Kenneth Cameron got fired. Now that the guy up on the screen making threats or whatever is obviously disappearing from NXT sometime in the near future there's very little reason to care about any of this. So remember kids, try to avoid spoilers and/or don't get drunk and fight the police.
Speaking of NXT's taping schedule, here's Big E Langston:
So, the Big E-izzle showed up on Raw this week as AJ and Dolph Ziggler's new muscle. Some of you reading this might even have clicked on the article to find out something about him. I'm sorry to say, there's not much to reveal. That two moves you've seen Langston use to flatten John Cena are the only two moves I can recall him doing on NXT so far. He's muscular, he's strong and despite doing a gimmicky five-count routine he's also one of the most popular wrestlers on NXT. On this show, taped weeks in the past, he's a good guy. And, for the record, Aiden English, jobber at large, takes Langston's finisher way better than John Cena does. Go figure.
Thank God for Kassius Ohno:
I was starting to wonder if a wrestler I cared about was going to show up on this week's NXT, and then out came Kassius Ohno and his hipster glasses. His match with Percy Watson (who's still employed btw), wasn't amazing or even all that fluid but watching Watson eat all of Ohno's strikes had an enjoyable quality nonetheless. After the match Kassius made sure to glare and yell at William Regal a bit from the ramp, adding some more fuel to a feud and a match I'm definitely looking forward to.
Seth Rollins's next opponent will be Corey Graves:
Good guy and pre TLC Seth Rollins beat Jinder Mahal last week to retain his NXT title. Tonight in what was turning into a pretty mundane interview with Jim Ross, his next opponent was revealed to be Corey Graves. And by revealed I mean Graves came down and attacked Rollins's leg before taking over the interview. Weird promo references to "Stairway to Heaven" aside, Graves in an interesting choice to fight Rollins. He's sort of leap-frogging Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger a bit, but Graves doesn't really have anything to do long term at the moment and his ability to immobilize his opponents creates an interesting dynamic with Rollins and his desire to fly. I approve.
Welp, the Big Show and Bo Dallas ended pretty much like you'd expect:
While it's interesting that Show praised Dallas in an interview recently, Bo still has no kayfabe business fighting the Big Show. The story was that Dallas had a lot of heart and put up a good fight, but unless you count surviving a few minutes and putting Show in a sleeper hold interesting, I wouldn't recommend the match. If you like Big Show squashes though, go on right ahead.
And that's the last NXT of 2012. 3/10, yawn, hopefully next year brings better shows.
Hey, speaking of next year, remember when we all the TJR writers made predictions for the WWE in 2012? Oh boy, mine were hilariously off. Let's review.
Lonestar's Terrible 2012 Predictions:
Prediction One: NXT will stay the course....
Even though NXT will probably end up on the WWE Network when it launches I don’t foresee the show being changed from the Superstars-style format it currently languishes in, not with the company focused on reversing the ratings slide of their two main shows and undergoing a giant new endeavor in the WWE Network. Can you say “priorities”?
Wow. How wrong was I? First of all, the WWE Network still hasn’t launched. Second, NXT did indeed change its format for the better and even crowned a champion. Triple H and company showed that they did have time to work on their developmental program, something NXT kind of got rolled into.
Prediction Two: Punk’s influence will continue
Ignore the rumors on the internet and ignore the cynicism of all its bloggers because Punk is now firmly entrenched in the main event scene of the WWE after years of excellent work. He will eventually lose the WWE title (duh) but his influence will continue and his star will shine. Don’t be surprised if the members of his group (i.e. anyone with a title as of 12/28/2011) continue to be an important part of the WWE throughout 2012.
Hmm. I was mostly right about this. Punk obviously still has influence because he is still the champion (something I didn’t predict) and several members of his “title holder group” are prominently featured on WWE TV, specifically Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston and Cody Rhodes. Punk and his success also probably helped people like Antonio Cesaro, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose get on the main shows.
Prediction Three: Jericho will come in with guns blazing
Chris Jericho has debuted (or returned) in the WWE twice already and each time his initial awesomeness is followed by a period of growing pains; I don’t foresee that happening this time. Jericho has been out long enough to recharge his creative juices and with his confidence seemingly at an all time high I think he’ll hit the ground running.
Lolz. Jericho’s entire latest run could have been considered a growing pain. Jericho, in my opinion mind you, never really clicked this time around and, though he had some good matches with CM Punk and others, did not reach the heights he achieved in his suit wearing days.
Prediction Four: Rock vs. Cena will be better than the internet expects
You know what had no business kicking ass? Cena vs Batista at WrestleMania 26. Sometimes the best matches can just be two giant names dropping bombs on each other until somebody loses. Rock vs Cena is gonna be a lot more than that, but I’m sure there will still be a contingent of jaded fans surprised at how good the match turns out. It’s like two of the most promoted and celebrated wrestlers ever might know what they’re doing. Huh. Weird.
It’s funny how goofily optimistic I was. Rock vs Cena ended up being pretty crappy, mostly due to the Rock being way out of ring shape and not understanding how to take a flying leg drop without tearing a leg muscle. Seriously, it was bad, probably worse than the internet expected, but Mania sold a ton of PPVs, so whatever.
Prediction Five: D-Bryan will fall down the ladder….and climb back up
Daniel Bryan doesn’t know this yet, but we’re bros. I think Bryan is awesome and a phenomenally good wrestler that is wise enough to take his work seriously but not himself. Having said that he will lose the title eventually and Vince McMahon will momentarily forget who he is just like he did with……..well, half the people who’ve ever won a big title. The difference between Daniel Bryan and someone like Jack Swagger is that Bryan is good enough and experienced enough so that when the next opportunity comes he’ll hit that fastball right out of the park. So expect Bryan to fall down the card a bit in 2012 before working his way back up; in the end D-Bryan is here to stay.
Ding. Ding. Ding. Daniel Bryan had the best year of his career in 2012. After solid work as a bad guy heading into Wrestlemania he lost the title in practically a non-match. I’m sure this was where Vince McMahon forgot who Bryan was. Luckily an amazing thing happened: the fans, in masse, told the entire company that Daniel Bryan was our guy and that him losing the title like that was bulls**t. Bryan took that momentum and very quickly reversed his fall down the ladder into another upwards swing and then cemented his place in the WWE with several amazing matches and an incredible run of comedy segments and promos. Yeah, remember when Daniel Bryan couldn’t talk? That wasn’t 2012 Daniel Bryan. 2012 Daniel Bryan was the f**king man!
And those were my predictions. I was right about some things and very wrong about others. What are your predictions for NXT and the greater WWE in 2013? Leave a comment below.