June 13, 2013
William Regal is back on commentary this show. I guess the wrestling gods were feeling merciful enough to spare us from Brad Maddox this week.
Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro
If you saw the past few episodes of NXT you would know that Antonio Cesaro and Sami Zayn go together like hard liquor and handguns. Zayn debuted by not only beating WWE wrestler Curt Hawkins. But also pinning Antonio Cesaro on the very same night after the cocky Swiss Superman basically issued an open challenge. And last week the two had backstage tilts that only served to add fuel to the fire.
Cesaro viciously attacked Zayn before Sami even knew what hit him, quickly throwing the Quebecer to the floor where he tossed Sami in the air like pizza dough only for Zayn to land on the solid steel security rail. Cesaro followed up by picking up Zayn like and small child and ramming him torso first into the ring post.
Sami was able to survive the relentless onslaught early on, but just barely. William Regal rightfully claimed Cesaro to be one of the best wrestlers he has ever seen.
Cesaro was on Zayn like a blanket with jarring chins locks and violent fists and forearms. Sami Zayn suffered a brutal thrashing, to put it simple. Sami’s resilience and tenacity were both inspiring. When Zayn finally made his big comeback the crowd was all in. Zayn was throwing kicks and forearms and awe-inspiring moves at Cesaro, but he just couldn’t seem to put the old school European catcher away.
The Canadian highflyer was finally defeated after a Herculean effort when he fell to the Gotch-style Neutralizer and the 1-2-3. Cesaro got his win back. But he didn’t seem like he was done just yet when he slapped around Sami post-match, but we shall see. Either way, Cesaro & Zayn have a bright future in WWE. The best is yet to come for both men. What a performance. This was one of the greatest matches in NXT history.
Bayley vs. Alicia Fox
The NXT Women’s Championship Tournament continued with opening round action between the NXT wrestler and the WWE Diva. Bayley played the fangirl role well. She was in awe of Fox. I thought she was going to pull out a Sharpie and a notepad and ask for an autograph. Perhaps she has seen the great Melina/Alicia classic. Regal got Bayley over big, as he does with most NXT superstars. Bayley already seems to know her way around the ring better than Alicia does, as she hit a crisp suplex and moved around like she had been there for years. Alicia Fox won the match with the big axe kick ala kickboxing legend Mirko Cro Cop. She will advance in the tournament and meet up with Paige in round 2.
Scott Dawson & Garrett Dylan vs. Travis Tyler & Barren Corbin
Sylvester Lefort came out and introduced his Southerner duo of Garrett Dylan & Scott Dawson. Apparently Lefort discovered them at the Country Music Association Music Festival. Regal responded without missing a beat “What were they doing (at the festival), robbing cars or something?” Loved the teamwork from the Southern boys. Gives you hope for the future of tag team wrestling. This was an exhibition of sorts for Dylan & Dawson. It will be interesting to see what a step up in competition for them will produce or them.
NXT Championship: Big E. Langston © vs. Bo Dallas
This is what the entire show has been building to. The crowd was solidly behind the master of the 5 count. They weren’t too fond of Bo though. Would Big E’s unstoppable reign continue or would Langston fall to Dallas.
I would have preferred to see Regal take on Big E based on commentary. For anyone who thought Langston wasn’t mobile or couldn’t go, you can shut up now. Big E can do it all in the ring. Langston was absolutely dominant and in-charge for the majority of the contest. Langston’s worked the body like a boxing world champion and took it to until Bo finally made the big comeback and just as Big E cut Bo off and was ready to hit The Big Ending, a turnbuckle was exposed and Dallas used it to put Big E away and become the second ever NXT Champion.
But the crowd wasn’t buying it. This good guy Bo Dallas character just doesn’t fly with a pro wrestling audience in 2013. Hopefully this was the beginning of a big turn for Dallas. If not, this title run will be a complete failure.
Overall this was a very strong showing from NXT with an intriguing ending that could end up being either really good or really bad. You have to wonder if Big E. Langston is going to WWE for good and leaving NXT behind. I can’t see any other reason for his departure.