The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 09.04.13 Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Tom Phillips & Alex Riley Bayley & Charlotte v. Alicia Fox & Aksana Yes, it’s FOXANA. Aksana offers a hug to superfan Bayley to start, and of course gives her a sucker punch. Backbreaker gets two. Aksana drops elbows for two. Fox in with a dropkick for two as A-Ry regales us with tales of his early days in the WWE locker room and his advice for new wrestlers. Frankly, taking career advice from Alex Riley doesn’t seem like a good idea unless you want to be a C-show commentator. Aksana with a chinlock and a Nash choke in the corner, but Bayley hugs her into a belly to belly to escape. Hot tag Charlotte, who does a Flair Flip and goes up, only to get slammed off just like dad. Bayley tags herself back in and they argue over it, which lets Alicia whip Bayley into the corner, but Bayley gets an ugly rollup for the pin at 4:32. Well that was ugly, but Charlotte’s literally had something like 3 matches in her career so I can give it a pass. Glad to see them putting the newcomers over. *1/2 Meanwhile, Alexander Rusev plots revenge on Mason Ryan. The plan: First they win, then they go to SIZZLER. Corey Graves v. Rick Victor Graves is right pissed and attacks to start, stomping Victor down and putting him down with an elbow for two. Graves takes him down with a facelock, but Victor throws forearms to retaliate and they slug it out. Graves with a suplex for two. Crossbody, but the ribs are taped and thus this proves to be a stupid move. Victor goes to work on the ribs and drops Graves on the top rope, as we take a break. Really? Are they afraid of people changing channels on Hulu? Anyway, back with Victor stomping a mudhole in the corner, and he adds a gutbuster for two. Victor drops knees on the ribs and goes to a chinlock as the crowd’s not really feeling this one. Victor pounds the ribs again for two and goes to another chinlock. Note to Alex Riley: You don’t have to relate EVERYTHING to your limited experiences as Miz’s bag-carrier and curtain jerking babyface. Graves makes the comeback and puts Victor down with a knee and a short clothesline. The partners get involved for distraction and Victor tries a gutbuster, but Graves rolls him up into a small package at 10:55. And Graves steals his half of the tag belts back as well, so logically you put the Ascension over when the do the title match. Decent but dull match. ** Meanwhile, Summer Rae continues her mean girl abuse of Sasha Banks. Meanwhile, Paige is not particularly afraid of Sasha or Summer. Next week: The title match. Alexander Rusev v. Mason Ryan Now, Rusev already broke the board with Ryan’s name on it in the pre-match skit, and now he does it again. Am I to believe this is some sort of MAGIC BOARD? I hope someone got fired for that blunder. Mason Ryan is, how to say this, 17 sizes smaller here. Not that I’m insinuating anything, but let’s just say that if he was walking around backstage at RAW, HHH would probably make fun of him for losing so much weight. Plus he’s got long greasy hair now. It’s a weird change for him. Ryan tries and fails to overpower Rusev, and walks into a leg lariat that gets two. Rusev drops headbutts and puts him down for two. Blind charge misses and Ryan slugs him down, then puts him down with a big boot and cleans house on the other heels. This allows Rusev to drop Ryan and finish with a camel clutch at 4:00. That’s kind of a career low for Mason Ryan. * Sami Zayn v. Jack Swagger Zayn puts Swagger down with a dropkick and chops him down for two. Swagger bails and Zayn teases a dive, but flips back into the ring instead. Big reaction from the crowd to that one, but Swagger gets a cheapshot and takes over with knees in the corner. And we take a break. Back with Swagger hitting a suplex and choking away on the ropes, but Zayn suckers him into a charge and puts him on the floor. Zayn follows with a BEAUTY of a dive, and back in for a high cross that gets two. Sunset flip gets two. Swagger powers him down with a throw for two, and then tries an Oklahoma Stampede, which Zayn turns into a powerbomb for two. Swagger grabs the ankle and then hits a Doctorbomb for two. The straps come down and it’s another anklelock, but Sami makes the ropes after freaking out the crowd. Swagger stomps him down while Zayn sells the ankle, but Zayn blocks the Swaggerbomb and comes back with the running boot in the corner for two. They slug it out and Zayn goes up, but Swagger crotches him and tries the superplex, but Zayn powerbombs him off the top and gets two. Dammit! He had me sucked in with that one, too. This brings out Bo Dallas to “cheerlead”, and Swagger grabs the ankle again for the submission at 15:15. How is Zayn not on the main roster yesterday? What more can he possibly need to “develop”? ***3/4 The Pulse Another round of logical, weekly booking topped off by Sami Zayn having a crazy good match AND building towards the storyline of his challenge for the NXT title. What a great show this is!