bill bodkin gets in the ring…
I miss the bygone days of wrestling television. Whether it be the daily afternoon viewings of World Class, the USWA, Mid-South Wrestling, Global Wrestling or the Hardcore TV days of ECW, I miss the small arena, let’s just wrestle, wrestling shows of days gone by.
These shows, unlike RAW, Smackdown! and Impact Wrestling, focus just on the sport of professional wrestling and for diehards like myself — it gives you a glimpse at the future of the sport and that’s why I love checking in weekly on Hulu Plus to view the weekly episodes of WWE NXT.
Onto the show…
“The Man Gravity Forgot” Adrian Neville vs. Sakamoto
Adrian Neville is the UK wrestler known as PAC, that many indie fans have been raving about for years. Sakamoto was the former bodyguard/valet of Tensai when he debuted in the WWE over the summer and he’s a former student of TAKA Michinoku. This match was your classic “introduce the new guy” match as this was Neville’s debut for NXT. Physically Neville is super impressive and he’s got some good moves, but overall I got the feeling he was in NXT for a good reason — he’s still a bit rough around the edges. Sakamoto, he’s solid, but not overly impressive. I can’t see him making a run back to the WWE anytime soon. The match was alright, but was capped off with Neville hitting a sick twisting Shooting Star Press.
Winner: Adrian Neville
Trent Barretta vs. Leo Kruger
If you didn’t know, NXT is a taped show. So if you’re wondering…yes, Trent Barretta (formerly Plazma, the Northeast Indie worker), was released by WWE. It’s sad, because TB is actually a pretty good wrestler. His short, springboard back elbow in the corner to Kruger was quite impressive and I think if given a good character, he could’ve been successful in the WWE. Kruger, in the meantime, is a wrestler that would’ve worked in the later 80s/early 90s. He looks like Skinner meets “The Stalker” Barry Windham. With the raving psychos known as The Wyatts already in NXT, they need to think of a new gimmick for Kruger. His moveset is also kinda limited, so I don’t see him lighting it up anytime soon. However, his tag partner is Kassius Ohno AKA Chris Hero, who is amazing, and he made his presence known…and costing his tag partner Kruger, the match.
Winner: Via DQ, Trent Barretta.
Big E. Langston vs. Camacho
This was an impromptu match as Camacho (who’s actually Haku’s son) interrupted a rather uninteresting promo by the new NXT champion. This was a match designed to put over Big E. as a beast…and it was successful. Big E. hit his slam thrice and demanded a 5 count each time…a bit of a heel thing to do, but the crowd ate it up.
Winner: And Still Champ, Big E. Langston
Main Event: “International Airstrike” Tyson Kidd and Just Gabriel vs. Damien Sandow and Antonio Cesaro
And here’s why I love watching NXT — wrestling at it’s finest. Kidd and Gabriel are a dope team, very reminiscent of The Rockers, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and even Paul London & Brian Kendrick. They would’ve killed it in the old ECW. Sandow and Cesaro are two great throwback heels who fit in today’s wrestling scene perfectly. Cesaro is just a beast in the ring. Sandow, while not Mr. Perfect in terms of his skill, is awesome as a character. The match was your classic speed vs. strength match. I was to see Kidd & Gabriel win this match. Their springboard Asai moonsault/slingshot elbow drop combo move is tremendous. Great match!
Winners: Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel
Of Note: I really dig that NXT uses Jim Ross to call the main event. He just adds to the old school feel of the show. And I’ve got to give props to William Regal for being a very solid and knowledgable color commentator. He’s not playing up the heel card, he just gives the wrestlers the credit they deserve while giving historical context to their styles and their background.