Good evenings, NXT-a-philes. I just ate a whole bunch of cookie dough. Point being, I apologize for any extra zaniness that might creep its way into this review. Speaking of creep and zaniness, both Conor O’ Brian and Sami Zane are on this show! Let’s get to it.

Summer Rae opened the episode and pinned Natalya after knocking her into Paige and getting a critical on a schoolboy. Renee Interview Lady spoke with Sami Zane and it was adorable. Bray Wyatt defeated……um….well, he was a jobber. Fine, I’ll look it up. It was Danny Burch. You happy now? Anyway, Bo Dallas spoke to Adrian Neville backstage, a conversation which I will be discussing in detail a bit further down the page. Conor O’ Brian squashed Sakamoto and Briley Pierce in a handicap match and then stared down somebody on the ramp. It might have been Rick Victor, back from the abyss. Corey Graves was interviewed backstage about the upcoming NXT Battle Royal but was interrupted by Bray Wyatt.

In the main event Big E. Langston beat Damien Sandow to retain his NXT championship.

Got all that? Then let’s get nitpicky!

Unsolicited Natalya Confession:

You wanna hear my unsolicited opinion on Natalya? No?

Why are you here!?

Seriously though, Natalya has a big problem working against her when she wrestles. I’m not sure who’s fault it is (which means it’s mine!) but I don’t for a minute believe what Natalya does in between bells. Unlike almost all other wrestlers that face this issue, it’s not that I don’t think Natalya knows what she’s doing or can’t fight or whatever, it’s that I don’t buy her having trouble with pretty much any of her opponents. When I look at Nattie, given what I’ve heard about her and seen from her, I realistically expect her to shoot a double leg on any of her 100 lb to 120 lb opponents, never let them off the ground and submit them easily. Instead she has to follow up devastating and crisp-looking offense by standing there waiting for Summer Rae or Alicia Fox or the Bella twins or whoever to kick her in the stomach or elbow her or whatever lame shots most of the other divas have to respond with. This completely prevents me from getting invested in most of her matches because when I see who she’s wrestling most of the time I just go “Natalya will have to dumb down everything about her so she can lose to a model” and then pay very little attention.

Or to shorten this explanation, women the size of Summer Rae shouldn’t be able to schoolboy Natalya because IRL Natalya would probably keep rolling and twist them into little diva pretzels.


El Generico on NXT, El Generico on NXT, El Generico on NXT!

True story: my first and only independent wrestling show I’ve ever attended live was in Collinsville, IL (Greater St. Louis), put on by Ring of Honor. I was late and Jay Briscoe was the first wrestler I ever saw. But El Generico had the funnest and bestest match on the show against Mike Bennett. Since then I’ve seen little bits of Generico online and he seems awesome. I was really excited when he was signed by the Dubs and am so glad he’s finally shown up on NXT.

Having said that, all he did tonight was talk to Renee the Interview Lady but hey, I’ll take it. Watching the newly christened Sami Zane shoot the shit resulted in a lot of observations, which I will list thusly:

1. It’s weird to look at Generico without a mask. Though it was already noticeable through said mask, it still surprises how fuzzy he is.

2. You can tell Sami Zane was a masked wrestler for years (and a good one) because he listens, reacts and emotes with his body. This is important because the guy 400 feet away from the ring needs to know what a wrestler is going through, eyes holes or not. And because wooden actors are terrible and Bo Dallas joke.

3. So….Sami Zane can talk? Like, without a noticeable (French-Canadian) accent and everything. He’s not even saying anything revolutionary but in speaking with Renee in a simple backstage scenario he was natural and confident and charming and awesome.

4. Sami debuts in the ring next week against Curt Hawkins. This might even be Curt’s return from injury. Hawkins has no freakin’ chance of winning this and I am so okay with that.

Bo Dallas, your douchey friend:

Hey, remember when I said Dallas losing Adrian Neville’s Tag Championship for him could be a catalyst for a heel turn? Well tonight was step two, “Have Dallas be kind of a dick to Adrian Neville in friendly conversation.” What’s funny is that while Dallas retained his spunk, optimism and stupid grin throughout the vignette, little tiny nuances popped into his words that made him your patronizing, douchey friend or coworker. The fact that he quoted John Cena, the King of goody-two-shoes wrestling d-bags, was an extra bit of meta-goodness.

Did I miss something?:

Okay, so I know thanks to spoilers that the Wyatt Family are going to start a feud with two specific wrestlers in the very near future. I saw the seeds of that being planted during last week’s episode and also here tonight. Hell, the mere presence of Wyatt in Corey Graves’s backstage interview pretty much guarantees they’ll feud. It’s like a wrestling law or something. But Graves said something weird in the middle of their conversation, threatening that if the Wyatt Family messes with him any more they’ll have to “stay down” and whatnot.

Did I miss something? Did the Wyatt Family already interfere with Corey Graves in one of his matches? Did I forget a beatdown that happened a long time ago? Or was he referring to Bray Wyatt coming in and speaking at him in accents tonight? Am I supposed to believe the Wyatt Family messes with Graves at untelevised events or in between shows? What’s the answer? Am I a forgetful viewer or did Graves just reference something that happens in the future?

The Ascension has no idea what it’s doing:

So…….one of you hit the nail right on the head in the comments section last week by saying that the WWE isn’t really sure what they’re doing with Conor O’ Brian. He’s just….kinda there, and threatening and….blah. This week they seem to have started a more serious feud for him via staredown but I think of all the people on NXT right now, O’ Brian is the one talent that kind of needs to be let out into the wilds of the WWE to fend for himself and see what happens. They’ve made him a rat, a regular wrestler, a Koslov trainee, a rage-vampire, and a fake hoss. It’s just time to see if he sinks or swims.

…..or give him Judas Devlin as a tag partner (they seem to be testing it out at the moment) and help reinvigorate the tag division.

This week’s petty observation:

Big E Langston has new theme music. It is new and therefore terrible.

I actually have something to say about a Big E main event:

It was pretty good! I think this might have been the most legitimate wrestling match Langston has ever had as NXT champion. Yes he didn’t stretch too far beyond his usual shtick but in addition to showcasing his trademark energy and strength, wrestling Damian Sandow allowed him to have a match that was structured like any important wrestling match on any of the WWE’s regular shows. In other words, there is no longer the question if Langston can function as a proper wrestler in the WWE. He can and it works.

So that’s NXT this week. It wasn’t the best episode but it was pretty interesting. If only I could eat cookie dough every week before I did one of these things.