Hey, I’m doing one of these again – so here’s the WWE NXT 06/27/12 recap. Things have quieted down (a bit) in my life so time to get through this “classic” NXT back log. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 06/27/12 Recap
“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event tonight”, what I assume are the standard NXT opening credits, and we’re taped from Full Sail. Jim Ross welcomes us to the show and he’s joined by Byron Saxton – for now… but more on that later. Some music hits and hey, it’s some dude named Seth Rollins. Already in the ring? Someone named Jiro.
Match #1: Seth Rollins vs. Jiro
Very little happens here besides Jim Ross calling Seth a “heavy metal enthusiast”. Seth hits an enziguri, splash in the corner, and then a curb stomp to Jiro’s back – which they call a “Blackout”. 3 count.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I kind of expected more out of Seth Rollins’ TV debut for WWE. Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how we go from this to the Shield version of the character.
Post-match, Rollins head bangs in the corner.
Eventually he leaves and is interviewed by some guy on the stage. Riley? Briley? It’s hard to tell because audio is actually terrible by WWE standards. Rollins cuts a promo introducing himself to the crowd and says he’s going to change the world “one heart at a time”. White meat babyface, Rollins. Wow.
Before he finishes, Rollins is cut off by Jinder Mahal’s music. Yes, a Seth Rollins promo was interrupted by Jinder Mahal – which in 2017 feels like some bizarre cross-brand angle on a WWE 2K video game. Mahal stares at Rollins a bit and slowly heads to the ring and we go to break.
Back from break, we join Jinder mid-Punjabi promo getting a bunch of heat from Full Sail. He’s eventually cut off by Kurt Angle’s son. Jason Jordan (w/ a lot of hair) heads to the ring to a decent face reaction. Notably, Jordan’s trunks say “Get Some” on the back.
Match #2: Jinder Mahal vs. Jason Jordan
My big takeaway here is that 2012 Jinder Mahal still had some creepy body veins like modern-day Jinder has. Also, clearly someone at WWE has been high on Jinder for a while since he absolutely dominates Jordan in this match. Jordan gets in next to zero offense and after a running knee, Jinder slaps Jordan in the Camel Clutch. Jordan taps immediately.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Another one-sided squash match.
Post-match, Jinder gets back on the mic and puts himself over in Punjabi and then again in English.
Next, we get a vignette telling us who Leo Kruger is. He debuts next.
Back from break, Leo is out. Already in the ring? Aiden English.
Match #3: Leo Kruger vs. Aiden English
Imagine that? Another squash match! Kruger manhandles English, hits a snap suplex, and slaps a body scissors sleeper on English. Aiden taps immediately.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – More squash stuff. I’m giving these all “middle” ratings because it’s not like they’re inherently terrible (just short) and I suppose WWE has chosen to introduce these characters in this fashion for whatever reason.
Next, a Richie Steamboat vignette airs and he’ll be in action after the break.
Instead of Richie Steamboat, we get the Usos. We also get William Regal and some other guy joining commentary. I’m getting the impression this next match was filmed at some other taping and was shoe-horned in here. The Ascension enter next.
Match #4: The Usos vs. The Ascension
Probably the best match on this week’s show – and I’m not even sure if it’s from the same tapings. Either way, the Usos are allowed to get in some offense on The Ascension and make this a somewhat competitive match. The Ascension resort to cheating a few times and they’re not really established yet as the powerhouse team they’ll become when Viktor joins up. After isolating one of the Usos outside the ring, The Ascension hit their Downcast finisher to pick up the victory.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Like I said, probably the best match on this week’s show – which isn’t saying a whole lot, but this at least felt less like a total squash.
Back from break, Richie Steamboat is out. Already in the ring? Rick Victor.
Match #5: Richie Steamboat vs. Rick Victor
For this match, we’re back to J.R. and Saxton on commentary. We focus a lot on Ricky Steamboat being in the crowd by way of commentary constantly mentioning it and showing him several times on camera. Steamboat’s thing appears to be arm drags since he does a lot of them in this match. As with the previous singles matches on this episode, it ends up being a squash. Steamboat hits a sequence that goes running cross body, clothesline, and sling blade. After the sling blade I expected a finisher, but wow, the sling blade was the finisher. 2012 was a simpler time.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Another introductory squash match with no stakes. Steamboat has some chops but there is no story to this match.
Later tonight? Johnny Curtis (you know him as Fandango, but in 2012 he was Johnny Curtis) vs. Derrick Bateman (aka – EC3)
Next, an Antonio Cesaro vignette airs. He’s up next.
Back from break, Cesaro (w/ Aksana) are out. The chyron calls her “Askana”. NXT has come a long way. Already in the ring? Dante Dash. Considering how things have gone for the previous “already in the ring” wrestlers – I like Dante’s chances against Cesaro here.
Match #6: Antonio Cesaro (w/ Aksana) vs. Dante Dash
Cesaro goes over strong with the Neutralizer in another squash.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – “NXT Debut. Squash victory. Repeat”.
Post-match, Aksana is holding a mic, but doesn’t use it, and she and Cesaro leave. Okay, then.
Up next? Main event time!
But first, here’s a Bray Wyatt vignette. I absolutely love the “backwoods cult leader” vibe of early Bray Wyatt. Too bad they never did more with that. Oh and Bray is still “coming soon” with no debut date given.
Back from break, Summer Rae is ring announcing. Curtis enters first, Bateman enters last.
Match #7: Johnny Curtis vs. Derrick Bateman
I think 2017 NXT has spoiled me with very strong main events. This one only goes about six minutes and largely involves Curtis working Bateman’s leg. We do learn that Kassius Ohno debuts next week – so I expect him to win a match in 2 minutes on the next episode. Anyway, after having his leg worked over, Bateman mounts a comeback, but is too injured to cover after a slam counter. No worries though, as he hits his finisher (DBD? DDB? DVD? DDP? I don’t know JR’s commentary audio is terrible and nothing on EC3’s Wikipedia entry reflects this particular finisher).
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – While not totally a squash, this had a backstage vignette on the last episode to set it up so I expected a little more here.
We go off the air with Bateman celebrating on the ramp and the crowd booing for some reason other than Bateman winning. So… yeah. I got nothing else. This episode definitely could have benefitted from another interview or backstage vignette segment. When my favorite part of the show was the “Bray Wyatt is coming soon” video – there is definitely room for improvement.