Friday, April 14, 2017
The Architecture of NXT: Episode #123
Jim Ross and William Regal are on commentary again. Summer Rae is our ring announcer.
JR says this is the much anticipated debut of Seth Rollins. He’s not wrong. Seth has his head banging intro, which is something I’m glad he never kept. I don’t think it would’ve worked that well. Jiro gets in a few shots, but this is a clear Seth showcase. He wins with the Blackout, which would later be named the Curb Stomp. Fine that Seth won but he didn’t get enough time to showcase much.
Briley Pierce interviews Seth Rollins atop the stage, who promises to turn NXT upside down and change the world. The tron gives away the interruption with a Jinder Mahal graphic. HE stares down Seth on his way to the ring.
Afro Jason Jordan is ready to job again. Mahal speaks quickly before the match, claiming that he will mold NXT in his image. Whatever that means. Mahal works his dull offense to kill time. I’d have given this ninety seconds and gave Seth more time. Mahal wins with the camel clutch. This felt longer than it was. They give him more promo time to say generic stuff after the bell. Five years later, Jordan is a bigger star than Mahal by a fair margin.
VIGNETTE ~ Leo Kruger is from South Africa and he’s coming.
Aiden English went on to marry into the Guerrero family, while Leo Kruger had a gimmick change and was released. Anyway, Kruger comes out with a cheetah print sash. English tries some dropkicks but fails. Kruger wins in short order with a rear naked choke. They aren’t wasting time tonight.
VIGNETTE ~ We see Ricky Steamboat get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and footage of him with his baby son in the 80’s. That baby grew up to be Richie Steamboat and he’s coming to NXT.
The Usos are a main roster team at this point, but wouldn’t get way over for another year or so. The Ascension quickly gain control with some classic heel tag work. Konnor pulls the middle rope down and Jey falls outside. He takes a short heat before tagging Jimmy, who ran wild for a bit. That didn’t last long and the Ascension beat Jimmy with Downcast. Fine little tag team match here. I wish the Usos got to put up a better fight but they couldn’t do much with the time.
Byron Saxton joins commentary.
Papa Ricky Steamboat is in the crowd. Richie learned his arm drags from his dad. He reels off some chops after working the arm a bit. He really does a lot of arm drags before winning with a slingblade. Richie didn’t do much for me here.
VIGNETTE ~ Antonio Cesaro is a seductive presence.
RAW REBOUND ~ During a Chris Jericho vs. John Cena match, Big Show ran in and attacked Cena.
Cesaro is two months shy of a US Title reign. He tosses Dash around like nothing. They really want to hammer home the rugby thing as a regular kick by Cesaro is a “rugby kick”. Cesaro wins with the Neutralizer.
VIGNETTE ~ Another great Bray Wyatt video airs.
FANDANGO AND SUMMER RAE IN THE SAME RING! The future EC3 chases Curtis around the ring and gets in control. Curtis catches a kick and starts attacking the leg. He oddly pumps his groin up and down while working a modified figure four. There’s also some weird movements on a spinning toe hold. Bateman makes a short comeback and wins with a headlock driver. Dull main event that had no energy.
Overall: Week two of the Full Sail era sees a dip in quality. The show moves along quickly, which helps make sure it isn’t boring. However, with so many matches crammed in, nothing gets time to breath and what does get a decent amount of time is not good. Guys that should’ve gotten more time to shine (Rollins, Kruger and Cesaro) got less than two minutes each while Mahal and a bad main event got more.