WWE NXT 01/16/13 is the first episode with new champion, Big E Langston. The only announced segment for this week’s episode is the debut of the man that gravity forgot, Adrian Neville. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 01/16/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a dramatic video package highlighting last week’s main event title match. Updated opening credits to reflect Big E Langston as NXT Champion and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tony Dawson welcomes us to the show and Adrian Neville’s rockin’ entrance theme hits.
Neville is out to a decent reaction. Already in the ring? Sakamoto. On commentary? Tony Dawson & William Regal.
Match #1: Adrian Neville vs. Sakamoto
My favorite part of this match is commentary putting over Sakamoto as someone notable at NXT – even though this is his TV debut. Not much to report on here. Neville gets in the barest minimum of the exciting offense we’ve come to expect from him and puts Sakamoto away with the (as yet unnamed) Red Arrow.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – If anything, I was excited because this means weeks and weeks of more Neville to come. With his WWE status still currently up in the air, it means I’ll finally get to see more Neville on my screen in the coming weeks and months doing these “catch up” recaps.
Later tonight? Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel take on Antonio Cesaro & Damien Sandow in the main event.
Up next? The Trent Barreta vs. Leo Kruger feud rolls on.
“Earlier today”? Fans arrived at Full Sail for a wrestling show.
Next, Leo Kruger is out. Kassius Ohno joins commentary to annoy William Regal. Seriously, that’s essentially all he does on commentary. Regal is also silent for the first few minutes of the match too as a result. Great stuff. Trent Barreta is out last.
Match #2: Leo Kruger vs. Trent Barreta
Apparently, this is Trent’s last TV match with NXT. Wouldn’t have really guessed that since he ends up going over and looks okay here. Before the ref reverses his decision, this felt like it would finally be the end of the program between Ohno & Kruger and Trent. However, it looks like this may be pivoting towards a Ohno & Kruger vs. Regal situation – which I’m all for. Also of note, when Kruger and Barreta lock up for the first time, we immediately cut away to footage of Kruger injuring Barreta’s ribs weeks ago. An odd production choice to say the least. Kruger works the ribs for most of the match, but Trent eventually builds up a babyface comeback. This causes Ohno to leave commentary and give Trent a rolling elbow to the back of the head behind the ref’s back. After the interference, Kruger hits the Kruger End and gets the easy win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – The finish and post-match seemed a little overbooked, but if we’re pivoting to Regal as the babyface here due to Trent leaving the company they didn’t have much choice.
Post-match, Regal heads to ring side to check on Trent. A second ref is out and confers with the original ref. The original ref tells Saxton to announce Trent as the winner by DQ.
Later tonight? A random tag match is your main event.
Back from break, new champ Big E Langston is out. Big E cuts a promo welcoming everyone to the era of the “5”. This causes Camacho to come out and cut a promo saying that he and Big E still have a beef. Camacho was originally after the bounty on Big E, but now he’s after the NXT Championship. In fact, he’s leaving with it – tonight. A ref enters the ring and commentary leads us to believe the following match is a title match – even if there is no on-screen graphic stating so.
Match #3: Big E Langston (c) vs. Camacho (NXT Championship Match?)
It doesn’t really matter if this is for the title or not. Camacho attacks Big E to start, but eventually Big E stops selling the punches and fires back. Two clotheslines, five knee strikes, one run through, and a Big Ending later Big E is victorious (and retains?).
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Title match or no, the crowd is insanely hot for Big E and he seems primed for the push he’s getting.
Post-match, the crowd chants “5” and “one more time”. Two Big Endings and two self-counted five counts later, we head to break.
Up next? Main event!
Next week? No clue!
Back from break, Sandow’s music hits and he cuts a promo saying that “he who seeks the admiration of idiots, is he himself an idiot” – and Sandow is no idiot. Cesaro’s music hits and he’s out next (w/ the WWE U.S. Championship). Jim Ross joins commentary because it’s the main event. Kidd and Gabriel are out next to Gabriel’s music and a nice face reaction.
Match #4: Damien Sandow & Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd
Hey, it’s one of my favorite tag teams (Cesaro & Kidd) on opposite sides of the ring! A standard, but solid “random NXT tag team match”. They appear to be grooming Kidd and Gabriel for a top spot in the NXT tag division once that becomes a thing. Cesaro and Sandow felt like two main roster guys they could slap together to have a good match with Kidd and Gabriel. As expected, Kidd and Gabriel go over after the hot tag sequence with some tandem offense. Despite not being a regular tag team, Sandow and Cesaro are both good enough to feel convincing as the foils here. Not bad, I just hope we get some stakes (like tag titles for example) before too long. These random tag matches have to be leading there, right?
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Kidd and Gabriel look great and seem set for greatness once the tag division jumps off.
We go off the air on Kidd and Gabriel celebrating on the ramp.
Clocking in at just over forty minutes, this might be the shortest episode of NXT in history. It’s also another week where we get zero insight on what is happening next week, so who knows what to expect next time.