WWE NXT 04/24/13 is another mainly irrelevant episode to anyone following the storylines going on in 2013 on the yellow brand. The main roster’s mid-card is invading tonight as we get the “Clash of Champions”. Oh boy, you know how much I love the main roster stuff that shows up on old NXT episodes. Though, I won’t lie, I am looking forward to Neville vs. Cesaro. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 04/24/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on Commissioner Dusty Rhodes at a desk welcoming us to the Clash of the Champions.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show and Byron Saxton is in the ring to announce the WWE United States Championship match. Cesaro’s music hits and he’s out to his awesome entrance music he had back then. A slow chyron runs across the screen telling us that this match was “taped several weeks” ago. My first thought was “this is NXT, the weekly show is never live”. I looked it up, and sure enough – Cesaro lost the U.S. Title to Kofi Kingston nine days before this episode aired. Oops. I’ll just go out on a limb here and predict zero titles change hands at the “NXT Clash of Champions”.
Cesaro gets a mic so the crowd can chant “USA” at him. Which… I mean, I guess makes sense as this is the for the U.S. Title, but Neville sure isn’t American. Cesaro puts himself over until Adrian Neville’s music interrupts. Tom tells us that Cesaro mocked Neville on last week’s show… but… he didn’t?
Match #1: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. Adrian Neville (WWE United States Championship Match)
If the text crawl during the entrances didn’t give it away – Cesaro retains. Yeah, shocking! Probably my favorite match on the show, which isn’t saying much. However, not as exciting as I expected it to be. Cesaro effectively grounds Neville until Neville builds up enough steam to attempt going up for the Red Arrow. Cesaro counters that with a European uppercut, picks Neville up off the corner into the Gotch Neutralizer, and retains.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I appreciate what both guys put into the match – even if it seemed to not really showcase Neville’s ability all that much.
Up next? Kaitlyn vs. AJ for the Divas Championship.
After no break, Saxton is back in the ring for the Divas Championship ring announcement. AJ Lee is out first. Champ enters last. Again, Tom says something happened “last week” to set this match up. Maybe he’s talking about on Raw or SmackDown? Because none of these people were on last week’s NXT episode.
Match #2: Kaitlyn (c) vs. AJ Lee (WWE Divas Championship Match)
The defining moment of this match was AJ Lee knocking Kaitlyn to the outside and then sitting down to wait out a potential count out. Regal even puts this over on commentary as a “wise strategy”. Which… just… who booked this and fed Regal that line? Not a minute later Regal is saying how AJ “needs to be careful to avoid a DQ” to not lose her chance at the title – you know, like how you don’t get the title if you let the champ get counted out. At the very least, the finish wasn’t a “Diva roll up” but Kaitlyn hitting AJ with a spear out of nowhere.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Points to WWE for wanting to put women on the “Clash of Champions”. But, I hope this was a kick in the ass to get a Women’s title already. I mean you had Paige, Emma, Bayley, Summer, Sasha, etc. just hanging around doing nothing while this was taped.
Meanwhile, Tony is backstage with Chris Jericho. Yay, more main roster stuff next week as Jericho will be working and Dusty is allowing him to choose who he faces. Enter Bray Wyatt. Jericho gets on him for interrupting and does the “never ever a-gain” catchphrase. Bray offers Jericho a spot in the Wyatt Family so people will fear him again. In doing so, Bray just made to the top of Jericho’s… list… the list of people he wants to face at NXT (not The List we’ll come to know and love because Jimmy Jacobs hadn’t invented it yet). Jericho says if Bray wins he’ll join the Family and dress just like Bray. But, if Bray loses, Bray will learn he has a long ways to go still until he can call himself great. Bray accepts the match.
Back from break, Big E’s music hits and the champ enters first. Brad Maddox introduces himself and claims he’s like 287 pounds or something like that. Oh boy, here’s our one “relevant” title match.
Match #3: Big E Langston (c) vs. Brad Maddox (NXT Championship Match)
This could have headlined a TakeOver!! Just kidding. Big E squash.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Absolutely pointless.
Post-match, Big E delivers a pair of Big Endings and a pair of self-counted five counts. I at least hoped someone would come out to set up Big E’s next program, but nah – this is the Clash of Champions where no titles have changed hands and nothing matters.
Next, we see a bunch of footage from the Royal Rumble and Raw to explain why Bo Dallas and Wade Barrett have a blood feud.
Meanwhile, Tony is backstage with Bo Dallas. Bo name drops a bunch of legendary IC champs and says he’s just like them because they were also underestimated. Before leaving, Bo makes fun of the shoulder pads in Tony’s suit.
Next week? The day Chris Jericho came to your developmental show was the most important day in your show’s history. For him, it was Thursday.
Back from break, Saxton announces the Intercontinental Title match. Bo is out first, champ enters last.
Match #4: Wade Barrett (c) vs. Bo Dallas (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match)
Commentary tries to put this over as a barn burner of a match, but I don’t really feel it. It’s relatively standard stuff wherein you know the champ is going to retain and they’re trying to make things look competitive. They give Bo a few near fall hope spots, but nothing that really makes Barrett look weak. Bo doesn’t really look that strong either as he never hits Barrett with his finisher. So, Bo isn’t totally buried, but the finish comes when he decides to go off the ropes for reasons unknown and eats a Bull Hammer. Not the best look, but it could have been worse. He could have been Brad Maddox.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Okay for what it was, but I really wish that Cesaro and Neville got the extra time instead of this match.
We go off the air on Wade Barrett heading to the back.
Next week? At least only the main event will feature the main roster. Progress?