The Ascension vs. Hunico & Camacho in a Tornado Match is the headliner of WWE NXT 01/08/14. Aiden English and Big Cass are likely to escalate their hostilities on this week’s show as well. Beyond that? Not sure as we didn’t get much in the way of a preview for this week’s show.
WWE NXT 01/08/14 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tom welcomes us to the show and Summer Rae’s music hits. She’s out with Sasha Banks. Tom is joined by Byron Saxton & Alex Riley this week. Saxton, a babyface a few weeks back when Cesaro attacked him, is now a ruthless heel commentator. It’s really distracting. Bayley’s music hits and she’s out… with Natalya. Okay, then.
Match #1: Summer Rae (w/ Sasha Banks) vs. Bayley (w/ Natalya)
I assumed the (w/ Natalya) had some sort of purpose behind it. But, nah, she’s just really there to raise Bayley’s hand in victory. The match itself is more “Diva” than “women’s wrestling” so it’s at best “average” for this point in time. Bayley picks up the win by hitting a Belly to Bayley after Summer misses a kick. Crowd noise is piped in too so it sounds super fake and like a WWE video game.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Decidedly average. We’ve seen way better from Bayley and better from Summer. Sasha and Natalya also did nothing on the outside so this whole thing just felt off to me.
Meanwhile, Devin is backstage with Xavier Woods. He thought this was Episode 200 (it’s Episode 203) so he’ll be back for Episode 300. Devin catches him before he leaves and says that Kane is here and may have a match for him. Woods claims he’s “over 9000” so he’ll take on whatever Kane has for him. I’m assuming this makes sense if you’re also watching Raw in 2014. I didn’t so… yeah… no context.
Later tonight? The Ascension vs. Hunico & Camacho in a Tornado Match.
Up next? Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English.
Back from break, Cass is out (w/ footage of last week’s sing off). English is out next and sings himself to the ring.
Match #2: Colin Cassady vs. Aiden English
Not much to say about this one. Cass tries to keep “sawft” a thing while Enzo is injured. He misses a splash and English takes over and hits his finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – It seems like with the reaction English is getting right now he should be doing just about anything other than this.
Post-match, the crowd chants for an encore, but they don’t get one.
Meanwhile, Devin is backstage with Neville. Neville’s phone rings, but when he answers it he realizes that it’s Tyler Breeze who is standing over in the corner. Why did Breeze call Neville? Well, he needed to talk to Neville and by calling him he doesn’t have to look at Neville’s “Uggo face”. They start bickering over the Lumberjack match and Neville threatens to give Breeze a “facelift” with his fist. But, he’ll make Breeze wait until next week so he can watch Breeze squirm. Neville leaves and Breeze scoffs at Neville’s “Man That Gravity Forgot” nickname and says it is more like “Man That Mother Nature Forgot To Make Good Looking”. Easily the high point of this week’s episode.
Up next? Xavier Woods vs. ???
Back from break, Woods is out. We’ve had a female ring announcer all night who sounds like she recorded her lines in a studio with a reverb effect to make it sound like she’s in an arena. Again, think of how the announcers sound in a WWE video game. This is how the ring announcer on this episode sounds. I confirmed this is a post-production decision as we see Byron Saxton in the ring doing the ring announcing while he’s also doing his take on “heel commentary”. Anyway, DOO Kane’s music hits and he’s out. He cuts a promo about Woods being involved in some petition to get Big Show rehired to Raw and how the Authority is mad at him now or whatever. So, Woods must face… Alexander Rusev. What, so they’re having Rusev jump each individual member of the New Day into the faction before it is a faction? Is Big E next week?
Match #3: Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev (w/ Lana)
It’s a “punishment match” so Woods gets in some strikes and then gets murdered by Rusev. He taps out to the Accolade seconds after Rusev slaps it on.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I like Rusev well enough, but just call the man up already instead of having him kill New Day members before they’re the New Day.
Post-match, we continue the “Rusev won’t break the hold until Lana tells him to” thing.
Last week? Kofi cuts a promo saying he underestimated Rusev, let Lana’s trash talk distract him, but he learned from that and won’t let it happen again. Kofi challenges Rusev to another match.
Back from break, Tyson Kidd is out to some new music. Already in the ring? Baron Corbin.
Match #4: Tyson Kidd vs. Baron Corbin
Wow, early Baron Corbin feels a lot like early Mojo Rawley. Do they just tell their football signees to just throw shoulder tackles and punches when they start out? Weird. Anyway, this is a vehicle to soft reboot Kidd for NXT so he ends up taking some generic Corbin offense, building up a comeback with kicks, and putting Corbin away with a neckbreaker off the ropes.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I always liked Tyson Kidd so I’m excited to see this NXT run he’s starting off here.
Up next? Main event.
Back from break, Hunico & Camacho are out on fancy bicycles. The Ascension are out next.
Match #5: Hunico & Camacho vs. The Ascension (Tornado Match)
I’m not a huge fan of Tornado matches in general, so this did very little for me. It’s a free for all brawl for the most part. Full Sail wants “tables” but at best get the Ascension thrown into Hunico & Camacho’s bikes. After a few double team teases by Hunico & Camacho, Conor isolates Hunico and they hit the Fall of Man on him to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Was this even for the title? I don’t think it was. Just seemed like an excuse to have some guys pound on each other. It’s like they put the belts on Ascension but had no real plans for them to defend them against a real tag team… like ever. So odd.
We go off the air on The Ascension posing in the ring with the titles.
Next week? No idea… beyond Neville’s threat to give Breeze a “facelift”.