WWE NXT 04/17/13 features a main event of Seth Rollins (sans Shield – allegedly) vs. Corey Graves in a Lumberjack match. Will Roman and Dean really “take the night off” or will they come through the crowd and level all of the Lumberjacks? Let’s find out!
WWE NXT 04/17/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on a video package hyping up tonight’s Lumberjack Match main event.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tony Dawson welcomes us and he is joined by the triumphant William Regal. Justin Gabriel’s music hits and he’s out. Leo Kruger is out next.
Match #1: Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger
So, this feud is continuing on with little fanfare. I’ll give Gabriel and Kruger credit though, they’re switching stuff up. We see almost none of Gabriel’s “high-flying” offense in this match as Gabriel resorts to using strikes and holds way more than usual. We get an extended sequence in the corner where Gabriel is able to tease the 450, but not convert on it. Kruger manages to counter and hit a big double stomp to set up the finish. Kruger goes over with the GC3 submission. Yeah, I had to rewind that to make sure it wasn’t the “EC3” – since we’ve already shattered my illusion that Lacey Evans was the first “first lady of NXT”. We haven’t seen it before, but Kruger has a submission finish now.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I think I enjoyed their earlier matches in this program, but at least they’re changing things up. For example, Kruger could have just gone over with the Kruger End instead of busting out a new finisher.
Later tonight? Twelve men surround the ring as Seth Rollins and Corey Graves do combat!
Up next? Remember WrestleMania? Well, if not, you’re going to see a video showing you what people from NXT did during that weekend.
Next week? God forbid we have dedicated NXT storylines happen for more than two weeks in a row. That’s right, the main roster invades once again for the “Clash of Champions”. We get four title matches: Kaitlyn vs. AJ (no “Lee” is mentioned so was she just “AJ” back then?) for the Divas Title, Adrian Neville vs. Antonio Cesaro for the U.S. Title, Brad Maddox vs. Big E Langston for the NXT Championship, and Bo Dallas vs. Wade Barrett for the IC Title. I know I bitch a lot about the main roster stuff that happens on NXT, but at least the Cesaro vs. Neville match should be good and I’m kind of looking forward to seeing that.
Back from break? Wrestling fans in Orlando are seen arriving to a pro wrestling show.
Next? The video package detailing what the NXT Superstars did during WrestleMania weekend airs.
After that? Renee Young is backstage with Paige. Summer Rae’s “curling iron excuse” is brought up and Paige is tired of Summer Rae always running. Summer is running her mouth and now she’s running away from a confrontation with Paige. Summer is challenged to a match with Paige and appears from behind Paige, mid-promo, and takes her out. Summer accepts the match… but it sure won’t be happening next week thanks to the random “Clash of Champions” show.
Next, the same Corey Graves hype video that aired last week before the main event airs again.
After that, some generic music hits and Bayley is out. Emma’s music hits next and she’s out. We keep seeing a rather eerie sign someone made where Emma looks like a puppet and has articulated arms that can move like the “Emma dance”. Emma dances her way to the ring and successfully pulls herself up into it this time!
Match #2: Bayley vs. Emma
Wow, for a little while in the early goings Bayley works vaguely heelish and gets boos after a facebuster to Emma! It doesn’t last long, however, as by the end the crowd is chanting “Let’s go Bayley / Let’s go Emma”. You can almost feel the “revolution” starting to brew during this match as it has to be the first women’s match we’ve seen where the crowd is that invested in both women enough to do that divided chant. Emma goes over with the Emma Lock, which is no surprise considering how new Bayley still is.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – One of the better women’s matches we’ve seen to date and hearing that dueling chant start to build up was exciting!
Post-match, Regal starts talking about going to illegal raves back in 1988 and he wishes he could have taken Emma with him to them.
Later tonight? Lumberjacks!
After no break, Yoshi Tatsu’s music hits and he’s out. Bray Wyatt (w/ Family) is out next.
Match #3: Yoshi Tatsu vs. Bray Wyatt (w/ the Wyatt Family)
A squash match so Bray Wyatt could cut a post-match promo. Bray toys with Yoshi and then puts him away quickly with the Sister Abigail.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Bray is starting to get over and this is an effective way to have him deliver the post-match promo.
Post-match, Bray hits Tatsu with another Sister Abigail. He pulls Tatsu’s head into his lap and cuts a promo saying that NXT is a “playground of puppets” for Bray. His decisive victory over Tatsu is a message to the entire locker room that there is “no man back there that walks on two feet on Earth that is greater than Bray Wyatt”. Bray calls himself the “eater of worlds”. Bray and the Family leave the ring and we hear Harper say “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” for what I think is the first time at NXT.
Up next? Main event time.
Back from break, random guys are surrounding the ring. I noticed: Axl Keegan, Aiden English, Danny Burch, Enzo (w/ a creepy mustache and dark hair), Big Cass, Mojo Rawley, and Baron Corbin (w/ a mohawk!). Graves is out first, Rollins is out last (w/ Shield music and entrance through the crowd)
Match #4: Corey Graves vs. Seth Rollins (Lumberjack Match)
So, what you think will happen is what happens. It’s an even enough match until Graves takes the advantage and is about to put Rollins away. Reigns and Ambrose appear through the crowd, take out all twelve lumberjacks, and Ambrose drops Graves on the apron behind the ref’s back. Rollins hits his “Sethwalker (was it really called that?)” finisher and picks up the win. Of note, Enzo was particularly annoying as he was one of the lumberjacks facing the hard camera and he definitely made the most of being on TV. Everyone else just kind of did their jobs as ‘jacks and pounded on the mat every once in a while. Leave it to Enzo Amore…
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Decent enough, if not completely predictable. Considering the Shield are on the main roster at the same time as NXT, I have a feeling they’re just here to draw eyeballs on the yellow brand and won’t be factoring into the title pictures. So, this was a main event for the sake of having a main event.
Surprisingly, the Shield don’t Shield powerbomb Graves after the match.
We go off the air on Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose standing tall in the ring.