Last week, Damien Sandow issued a challenge for Big E Langston’s NXT Championship. On WWE NXT 05/15/13 that title match is our main event. Also on tap this week? Conor O’Brian vs. Sakamoto & Briley Pierce and Natalya vs. Summer Rae. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 05/15/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on a video package hyping up tonight’s NXT Championship Match main event.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tom welcomes us to the show as Natalya’s music hits. Nattie is out and we see the Regal is off tonight and in his place is Brad Maddox. Summer Rae’s music hits next and she’s out.
Match #1: Natalya vs. Summer Rae
Not too bad. Natalya is clearly way better than Summer, but she leads Summer through a solid match. Not a huge fan of the finish since it was pretty “Diva’s era” but we can’t have everything in 2013. Said finish comes when Nattie is about to slap the Sharpshooter on Summer, Paige comes down to the apron, and Summer counters the Sharpshooter sending Nattie into the ropes. Of course, Nattie knocks Paige to the floor and Summer rolls Nattie up for the three count.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Dodgy finish aside, this continues to be a step in the right direction. Considering it sounds like Nattie’s main roster duties at this time entail hanging out with Hornswoggle and the Great Khali – she’s better served here at NXT.
Post-match, Summer runs to the back with Paige in hot pursuit.
Meanwhile, Renee is backstage with Sami Zayn. The very charming Zayn is not worried about his debut against Curt Hawkins next week because this isn’t Zayn’s first rodeo. He’s confident and says next week can’t come soon enough. He also compliments Renee a bunch of times during the interview in typical “babyface Sami” fashion.
Later tonight? Big E Langston defends the NXT Championship against Damien Sandow.
Next, a Bray Wyatt hype video airs and fades directly into Bray Wyatt’s entrance in the arena. Bray is out (w/ Harper & Rowan) wearing the leather apron and now sporting a weird white mask. I figured it was one of those “I broke my nose” masks, but Bray tells some story about how he’s wearing a mask now as the “new face of fear”. Bray wears the mask for the whole match, but takes it off during the finish so… I have no idea. Anyway, some random music hits and Danny Burch is out next. Yeah, that Danny Burch.
Match #2: Bray Wyatt (w/ Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs. Danny Burch
Burch gets in a few strikes, but this one is otherwise all Wyatt. Bray hits all of the signature spots he does in 2013, ballroom dances with Burch, and hits the Sister Abigail for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Decent enough for a squash match and it was wild seeing Burch “debut” here five years ago just days after seeing him work TakeOver Chicago in the tag title match.
Meanwhile, Neville is backstage talking to some guy when Bo Dallas appears. After a long speech about John Cena, the heart of the matter is that there is a Battle Royal in two weeks and the winner gets a shot at Big E’s title. Bo has entered, but sorry Neville – there are no spots left. But, because Bo has been ducking Neville all day, he didn’t realize that Neville has a spot in the Battle Royal too. “May the best man win”.
Later tonight? The NXT Championship is on the line!
Back from break, Conor’s music hits and he’s out. Already at ringside? Sakamoto & Briley Pierce.
Match #3: Conor O’Brian vs. Sakamoto & Briley Pierce (Handicap Match)
Absolute squash. The only offense Sakamoto and Pierce get in is no sold by Conor. O’Brian hits a double face plant on them and covers both men for three.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – The squash is a squash, but I got excited about the post-match bit.
Post-match, Conor is posing in the corner – when he turns and sees Rick Victor (w/ a new look) standing on the stage looking at him. The best version of The Ascension is about to be a thing at NXT!
Up next? The main event.
Back from break, Corey Graves is in the locker room with Tony Dawson. Graves cuts a promo about how you have to fail first before you can break through. He’s interrupted by Bray Wyatt who cuts a confusing promo that essentially tells Graves “look at what we did to Ohno and we’ll do the same to you”. Graves isn’t scared and if the “swamp people” keep messing with him they’re all going to stay down. “We’ll see” says Bray.
Next, Sandow’s music hits and he’s out for the title match. Champ (w/ new entrance theme) enters last.
Match #4: Big E Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow (NXT Championship Match)
Well, Sandow lasts a decent amount of time against Big E. He accomplishes this by escaping three Big Ending attempts – including one during Big E’s signature “to the finish” sequence. We get a half-way believable false finish sequence from Sandow, before Big E converts with a Big Ending to retain. I was actually surprised that Sandow was booked to hang in here as long he was. For all of the complaining I do about the main roster challengers that come through NXT, Sandow looked really good in this match.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A rare “main roster guy comes to NXT” main event match that I actually thought worked well.
Post-match, Big E celebrates in the ring with the NXT Championship.
We go off the air on Tom telling us that next week Bray Wyatt takes on Corey Graves.