Excellent main event between Richie Steamboat and Kassius Ohno aside this week's instalment felt weak. Leo Kruger's lopsided encounter with Jake Carter did little for either man and seemed to have been included in order to get the South African's mentally unhinged gimmick some screen time. It feels forced and directionless at the moment. I compared Kruger to the Bushwhackers when watching. That's not flattering.
Careful, he's mad you know...
The opening match between Bo 'Big Hands' Dallas and Michael McGillicutty started out nicely but was lagging by the time it finished. I like Hennig junior but he was wasted here. I've yet to be amazed by Dallas. He wrestles well but looks like an indy star who has yet to grow into his face. Look at a picture of Bryan Danielson from 2002 to see what this means.
On the plus side the audience were supportive of him and hinted at a gimmick that could help Dallas distinguish himself were he to be called to the main roster. That gimmick is the tried and tested shout-as-the-babyface-lands-a-punch routine. It's a gimmick that many wrestlers have used (or been gifted by fans) over the years, notably Hack Myers and Balls Mahoney in ECW. The practice could easily be encouraged by having Dallas shout out "Bo!" every time he lands a punch. It wouldn't take long for crowds to start joining in.
Ryback's bout was enjoyable for what it was, which was namely Ryback pummelling two skinny guys with stiff punches and power moves. The bout will be remembered only for the former Nexus member botching wearing a singlet. That’s okay. Nobody watches Ryback for smooth wrestling.
As I said above the Ohno v Steamboat match was easily the best thing on the show. They were given a good amount of time and produced a match that proves they're ready for bigger and better things. That Steamboat won with a desperation small package leaves plenty of room for their feud to continue. A rematch or two would be most welcome.
Tweet 1: NXTweet.Tweet 2: Starting with a Kassius Ohno video package. Strong.
Tweet 3: In the land of NXT the kravat is a finisher. A deadly finisher.
Tweet 4: Here's Byron 'Joey Styles' Saxton welcoming us to the show. I'm half expecting Cyrus to interrupt. #Network
Bo Dallas v Michael McGillicutty
Tweet 5: Michael McGillicutty's entrance music sounds like the theme tune to an American teen drama.Tweet 6: Bo Dallas's isn't much better...
Tweet 7: The grandfathers of these two fought each other in the territories and now here they are battling away on... um... NXT.
Tweet 8: I want McGillicutty to wear a singlet and use the Perfectplex.
Tweet 9: If this match were on RAW the commentators would be talking about the latest GM-centric storyline.
Tweet 10: McGillicutty wins what was a pretty generic match with a neckbreaker. I am unencumbered by enthusiasm.
Tweet 11: Right. The commentary team is saying that McGillicutty could be the man to beat Rollins. That means he won't be.
Paige video package
Tweet 12: Paige with her dulcet East Midlands tones there.
Jake Carter v Leo Kruger
Tweet 13: Jake Carter looks like a dapper young lad. Lucky for him he doesn't resemble his dad... #itsCartertimeTweet 14: Entering in a denim jacket is weird. That'd not going to get him to the heady heights of Monday Night RAW.
Tweet 15: I hope Leo Kruger does his racist Indian accent again this week. It was a highlight of the show last week.
Tweet 16: Leo Kruger's new gimmick reminds me of the Bushwhackers. Don't ask why. I don't know.
Tweet 17: 'Sheepherder' Leo Kruger.
Tweet 18: What this match needs is a Mark Henry waddle-in. NXT is the perfect place for his comeback.
Tweet 19: "The impact to the face will knock any man out" - William Regal on a move that is directed at the back of the neck
Ryback v Aiden English and Francis Rene Dorian
Tweet 20: It doesn't bode well for your wrestling show when Ryback is one of the in-ring highlights.Tweet 21: I want him to cut one of his Ultimate Warrior style promos after the match.
Tweet 22: Aiden English and Francis Rene Dorian are, according to Regal, this week's designated jobbers.
Tweet 23: #singletbotch
Tweet 24: "Stan Hansen lariat!" - William Regal
Tweet 25: "He's just going to have his way with everybody" - William Regal, possibly implying that Ryback is a serial rapist
Kassius Ohno v Richie Steamboat
Tweet 26: It's Kassius... OHNO!!Tweet 27: Richie Steamboat has engaged Shouty Babyface Mode.
Tweet 28: The crowd's support is split. If I were there I'd be cheering for Ohno. #heelsdoitbetter
Tweet 29: Look at this referee! Actually look at him! He looks like a creepy little goblin with pastey skin.
Strange looking referee, no?
Tweet 30: Steamboat is no-selling those chops like a trooper.
Tweet 31: Steamboat goes over by small package. Great match. Best I've seen from Junior Dragon. Best I've seen from Ohno since he left ROH.
Tweet 32: And now Ohno is ramping up his heel heat by applying a post-match kravat!
Tweet 33: "Ohno has lost his mind!" - Byron Saxton on a man applying a generic rest hold