The opening contest saw improbably over Alex Riley lose to Three Man Band founding member Jinder Mahal. Sighting of the Perspex box aside it was a disappointing way to start off a show that is supposed to showcase wrestlers trying to get themselves onto the main roster. Mahal v Riley would have been more appropriate booked on an episode of Superstars.
The Jake Carter versus Trent Barreta match was an improvement from a showcasing point of view but it wasn’t exactly an electrifying contest. Barreta has been featured on SmackDown and Superstars before now and Carter appears to be little more than a jobber-in-the-making. Both men would have benefitted from different opponents.
The appearance of ‘The Intellectual Saviour of the Masses’ Damien Sandow improved things considerably. Sandow received a big cheer when his music hit but by the time he reached the ring he’d managed to convince the fans to boo him with an effective promo.
You need only watch his performance here to see why he’ll be a regular on WWE television for years to come: he understands the character he’s portraying and how to make people dislike him. Touches like refusing to perform a victory cartwheel (because the fans were chanting for one) and pulling a smug pose while getting the winning pinfall are the sort of thing that too many WWE guys overlook.
That thick, lustrous beard and winning smile will be on WWE television for a long time to come
The six man tag team main event was the show’s saving grace. The inclusion of the Usos may have stopped it from being the all-developmental match it should have been but seeing Richie Steamboat, Kassius Ohno and The Ascension more than made up for that. The six men put on a lengthy and entertaining match with a very nice finish: Steamboat hit the ropes to build up steam for a dive to the outside and got caught with Ohno’s One Behind the Ear elbow smash finisher.
NXT needs to stick to matches like the main event if it is to retain its appeal. Too many main roster stars will cause the show to lose its uniqueness.
Opening recap video
Tweet 1: NXTweet.Tweet 2: Briley Pierce looks familiar... #Dolphsbrother
Tweet 3: The CM Punk recap was nice and all but where's it going to lead?
Alex Riley v Jiner Mahal
Tweet 4: They're starting off with an Alex Riley match. Not a good sign.Tweet 5: JINDER MAHAL'S PERSPEX BOX!!
Tweet 6: I think this is the first time I've wanted to skip a match on NXT.
Tweet 7: You can tell this was filmed before the 3MB idea. Jinder's still wearing his purple and turquoise trunks.
Tweet 8: This referee looks like Sheldon Cooper.
Tweet 9: Riley wins a generic match with a generic rollup. I feel cheap having watched this.
Tweet 10: Post-match camel clutch there. The babyfaces of the locker room either fear Mahal or hate Riley because nobody made the save.
Tweet 11: I like to think they all hate A-Ry.
Jake Carter v Trent Barreta
Tweet 12: It’s Carter time!Tweet 13: Regal is telling a story about Vader refusing to take Jake to the park unless he did 1000 push-ups. Nonsense yes, but funny nonsense.
Tweet 14: Don't try and get Barreta over as a striker. You're doomed to fail.
Tweet 15: Nice belly to belly suplex.
Tweet 16: Carter has two watches on his trunks. One says "It's" and the other says "Time". Oh dear.
Tweet 17: Surprised Carter lost that to be honest.
Brandon Traven v Damien Sandow
Tweet 18: The NXT Arena pops for Sandow. They love an intellectual savior.Tweet 19: "Don't boo me, I'm simply asking questions" - Damien Sandow
Tweet 20: Brandon Traven was trained by Harley Race. According to Saxton that's all that needs to be said.
Tweet 21: It doesn't matter who trained him, Traven isn't going to beat Sandow.
Tweet 22: Those rumours of a confrontation between Race and Vader at a wrestling convention should be used as the basis for a Traven v Carter feud.
Tweet 23: I won't lie, I'm a bit creeped out by Regal talking about Sandow's hip action.
Tweet 24: Since when do audiences react to a drop kick so loudly?!
Tweet 25: No cartwheel for that audience. Solid bit of heat there.
The Ascension and Kassius Ohno v The Usos and Richie Steamboat
Tweet 26: Remember when Conor O'Brian was a babyface who likened himself to a rat? I do.Tweet 27: It's Kassius... OHNO!
Tweet 28: The Usos need to work on their choreography.
Tweet 29: From a distance Richie Steamboat looks a little like Paul London.
Tweet 30: I miss the Kings of Wrestling.
Tweet 31: #kravat
Tweet 32: JR couldn't tell the Hardys apart, what chance does he have with actual twins?
Tweet 33: OBE from the outside was a nice finish.