The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 12.12.12
Whoa, trippy date.
Also why the bloody hell am I getting ads on the WWE Network before shows again? I thought they knocked that crap off when they moved to Peacock. Considering how expensive it is to subscribe in Canada they should be plugging my blog or something.
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Tom Phillips & William Regal
LAST WEEK: Jinder Mahal interprets Seth Rollins’ rambling as disrespect and attacks him, locking him into the dreaded camel clutch in advance of their title match tonight!
Paige v. Sasha Banks
This is the debut of smiling babyface Sasha Banks, skipping to the ring all happy with generic gear with ridiculous fake hair extensions. Paige takes her down with a headscissors and cranks on that while Mr. Regal marvels at Paige’s skin, “white like porcelain”. Sasha comes back with some armdrags, but Paige chops her down, so Sasha gets a wristlock takedown off the ropes for two. Paige snaps and tosses Sasha, and a snap suplex gets two. Paige with a hammerlock on the mat, but Sasha rolls her up for two to escape. Another rollup gets two, but Paige boots her down and finishes with the Paige Turner at 4:05. Unsurprisingly they meshed well and had a pretty good little match. **1/4. This show is like an Understated Observer Debut of the Week, every week.
Roman Reigns stops by to talk with the generic interviewer, but Roman doesn’t really feel like talking with the goof, even though apparently the guy had lots of important questions to ask. Yeah I can only imagine the pedigree of stuff they’d have ready to quiz him with.
Meanwhile, Kassius Ohno and his new buddy Leo Kruger are very disappointed in William Regal for getting into their business last week.
Erick Rowan v. Oliver Grey
After the introduction of Luke Harper a couple of weeks back, now Bray gives us the other half of his Family, also unnamed to start the match. Rowan slams Grey’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly and beats on him with CLUBBING FOREARMS, which gives Regal “the collywobbles”. Rowan finishes with a sideslam at 1:54 as the crowd is pretty dead for this. The gear was TERRIBLE here, as he’s wearing what looks like a thrift store sweat suit with the sleeves cut off.
Dusty Rhodes joins us with a little state of the union, and he puts a stop to Vicky Guerrero’s bounty on Big E because she didn’t run it by him. So Dusty tells Big E not to worry about dealing with it any longer, because it’s been dealt with. This brings out Camacho, who complains about needing the money because Hunico is stuck in Mexico and threatens to take the money out of Dusty’s hide. Big E comes to defend Dusty, so Dusty books a handicap match with Big E against Camacho and the partner of his choosing. That segment didn’t really make any sense on a couple of levels. First up, why just brush off the bounty angle without a payoff? Why the handicap match already? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have Big E squash Camacho and then Camacho gets all upset and challenges Big E to a handicap match to get revenge? I dunno, maybe they taped the handicap match first and then decided to backfill with promos here to explain it, but this was clunky as hell.
Meanwhile, the Big Show answers Bo Dallas’s open challenge and will be here next week.
NXT title: Seth Rollins v. Jinder Mahal
So in one of the wackier bits of “because wrestling” in a while, Jinder Mahal has switched gimmicks between last week’s show and this week’s show, and has suddenly gone from entitled Pakistani heel royalty to hard rocking wannabe band member as a part of 3MB. New leather pants, new music, new entrance, the whole shebang. Meanwhile, this show was also taped the day BEFORE Survivor Series, which means that Seth had been on WWE main roster TV for a month now as Shield Seth Rollins in a totally different gimmick and character with no mention of his status as NXT champion. That must have been a very confusing time to be watching. Jim Ross joins Regal for commentary here and chooses to ignore Jinder drastically changing his entire gimmick with no explanation.
Jinder decides to stall to start, but Seth takes him down with a headlock and puts the boots to him in the corner. They head to the floor and Seth beats on him with chops. Back in the ring, Seth tries a springboard, but Jinder shoves him to the floor and back in for two. We take a break and return with Jinder beating on Rollins outside, and back in for two off that. So the weirdness of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns being on this show and existing in a limbo between gimmicks led me to wonder…what the hell was Dean Ambrose doing all this time? Interestingly, he never made the transition from FCW to NXT with the other members of the developmental roster, instead moving directly to the main roster and spending all of 2012 doing dark matches and house shows before debuting for real at Survivor Series. Jinder goes to a lengthy chinlock while I look that up, but Seth fights out of it before trying something out of the corner and getting crotched on the top rope. Jinder goes to ANOTHER chinlock and we take another break.
JR lets us know that Jinder has continued to build offensive momentum during the break, in case you were worried about it. Jinder gets two and then goes a THIRD chinlock while JR talks about what an amazing championship match we’re honored to see here. Yeah. Seth fights back with an enzuigiri to CREATE SEPERATION and makes a comeback as they slug it out. Rollins clotheslines him to the floor and follows with a dive. Back in the ring with a springboard knee for two. Seth takes him to the top and tries a rana, but Jinder brings him down with a sunset flip for two. Rollins charges and hits the corner, allowing Jinder to slug away on him, but Seth escapes with the buckle bomb. Jinder fights back with a high knee to the back and goes for the DREADED CAMEL CLUTCH, but Seth makes it to the ropes and superkicks him. Shiranui, which JR calls the Skywalker, gets the pin to retain at 23:48. This should have seriously been 15 minutes shorter but the last few minutes were good. ***. And afterwards, Corey Graves stops by the front row to congratulate Rollins on retaining, setting him up as the next challenger.
This continues to be a strange transitional time for young NXT 1.0, with guys like Seth Rollins not even needing to be there and having matches that he could literally do in his sleep. But the rise of Big E is intriguing to watch, and of course there’s a very interesting series of people debuting in the women’s division at the moment as well, so this show always has something to talk about.