As we went off the air last week, we learned that the WWE NXT 05/22/13 main event will be Corey Graves taking on Bray Wyatt. In addition to that match, we’ve got the NXT debut of Sami Zayn. Will we find out who that mysterious man who grabbed Conor’s attention was this week? Let’s find out!
WWE NXT 05/22/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Updated NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Curt Hawkins’ music hits to open the show and he’s out. Tony welcomes us to the show and he’s joined by Regal this week. Some random music hits and Sami Zayn is out for his NXT debut.
Match #1: Sami Zayn vs. Curt Hawkins
Hawkins is playing a cocky heel and is here so Sami can showcase his offense. Not quite a squash, but Sami goes over with a springboard Tornado DDT which isn’t even his finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Yay for Sami being here now, but there wasn’t much to this match.
Later tonight? Corey Graves vs. Bray Wyatt.
Next, we see the same Corey Graves “I have tattoos” hype video we’ve been seeing for weeks now.
After that, Cesaro’s music hits and he’s out wearing a beret. Yoshi Tatsu is out next.
Match #2: Antonio Cesaro vs. Yoshi Tatsu
So, Tatsu’s deal is that he never wins, right? Because even in this match, where he actually gets some offense in, Cesaro essentially no sells it and goes over in about a minute with his finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Not really a “thumbs up” for this match, but for the post-match segment.
Post-match, Cesaro gets a mic and cuts a promo on all of WWE saying no one on any of the shows are competition for him. He even name drops Saturday Morning Slam, so you know he means it. Sami Zayn takes exception to this and interrupts Cesaro cutting a promo in German. We get a sequence that is captioned by the WWE Network as both Zayn and Cesaro “speaking in a foreign language”. Those languages being Arabic and French. The gist? Sami wants Cesaro right now. He gets in the ring, a ref appears, the bell rings… and we’re doing this? Wow.
Match #3: Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn
This is about as good as you’d expect from an impromptu match on the weekly show. Not quite “TakeOver” quality but a nice treat nonetheless. Sami shows off some more of his move set and Cesaro gets to show off his strength. An especially nice spot happens when Zayn is attempting a cross body and Cesaro catches Zayn – immediately converting it into a backbreaker. After a running European uppercut only gets Cesaro a two count, Zayn is able to roll Cesaro out to get three.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Good stuff from two guys who can go. Considering Zayn just debuted, a surprise roll up win on someone established like Cesaro was probably the way to go here too.
Post-match, Zayn is immediately attacked by Cesaro and eats a Neutralizer.
Meanwhile, Renee is backstage with… Emma? Even Renee is surprised but Emma is ready for her interview. Audrey Marie appears, the actual planned interviewee, and sparks between her and Emma fly. Emma calls Audrey “Amy” and “Alicia” and Audrey takes offense. She buries Emma’s dancing calling it stupid (which Emma thinks is a “hipster word for cool”) and tells Emma to get out or she’ll take her out. Emma takes this to mean that Audrey will take her out to lunch. Audrey is irate and Emma dances off, “accidentally” hitting Audrey in the forehead with her arm.
Later tonight? Corey Graves vs. Bray Wyatt.
Next, the same “I’m a swamp cult leader” Bray Wyatt hype video we’ve been seeing airs.
Back in the arena, Enzo Amore is out. He does the deal for the first time (sans Big Cass). Mason Ryan and his muscles are out next. Good luck, Enzo.
Match #4: Enzo Amore vs. Mason Ryan
Absolute squash. Commentary even mentions how Enzo is getting “ragdolled around the ring”. You can see the “Vince McMahon looks interested in this” gif playing in your head when it happens. Ryan tires of tossing Amore around and hits him with a Argentine neckbreaker to get the easy win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Enzo looks terrible here and is still a ways from being the guy who at one time took Full Sail by storm. But, it was the first time we got to see him do what Vince McMahon essentially paid him to do – say some stuff and get thrown around.
Up next? The main event.
Next week? Stephanie McMahon will be here to make a historic announcement. My God, we’re finally getting a women’s title, aren’t we? If that’s what next week’s big announcement is it’s great it came after an episode that had zero women’s matches.
Also, next week? A #1 Contender Battle Royal to see who is the next man to eat a Big Ending from champ Big E Langston.
Graves’ music hits and he’s out first for the main event. Bray’s music hits next and he’s out (w/ face mask, Luke Harper, & Erick Rowan).
Match #5: Corey Graves vs. Bray Wyatt (w/ Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)
We learn via commentary that Bray is actually wearing the mask due to a broken nose. Allegedly this happened during the match with Jericho – at least that is how commentary is selling it. I figured this was a weird tweak of the gimmick Bray was doing because they didn’t mention it at all last week. But, if it’s legit – Bray has the absolute worst “broken nose face mask” ever. The mask falls off at least four times in this nine minute or so match. Including one extended sequence where Bray has to bail out, put the mask back on himself, and we see this happen in real time. I kept expecting the mask to be used as a weapon or something, but nope – he’s just out there wearing a medical device that doesn’t fit him properly. Very odd. The match itself breaks down about how you’d imagine (in between the start and stops because of the mask). Graves builds up steam, targets the knee, and locks on the Lucky 13. Rowan distracts the ref, Harper takes out Graves, and Bray hits the Sister Abigail to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Graves feels like a directionless heel so putting him in a match with one of the more over heels was a strange choice. The crowd wasn’t very into it as a result. Also, things just felt odd because of that damn mask falling off so many times.
Post-match, the Wyatts stomp Graves. This brings out Kassius Ohno to get revenge for the random beat down he received from the Wyatts. It doesn’t go well for Kassius and he eats a Sister Abigail from Bray.
We go off the air on the Wyatt Family celebrating in the ring.