Last week’s show didn’t give us much information about WWE NXT 07/03/13. What we do know is that the NXT Women’s Championship tournament moves semi-finals starting tonight. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 07/03/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on Renee Young who is backstage with Bo Dallas. Leo Kruger’s challenge is mentioned and Bo says it doesn’t matter who the challenger is, he mentions his “Bo-lievers” (which Renee calls him out on), and even quotes his “good friend” Bret Hart. Bo continues to mention he was at WrestleMania and he evan had a match at WrestleMania! Renee reminds him that his match was actually at WrestleMania Axxess. Bo suggests Kruger still needs to “earn” a title shot. Enter Antonio Cesaro (who is now in his Zeb Colter “We The People” phase). Cesaro channels someone’s Dad and says that Bo is only 23 years old and when Cesaro was 23 years old he had to earn things the hard way. Cesaro’s promo switches to some “pro-America” stuff and I suppose it’s fitting we’re doing this random pairing for the July 4th show. At any rate, this ends with a title match being made – without Cesaro “earning it” or Dusty making it official.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tony welcomes us to the show, he’s joined by Regal, and it’s time for the Women’s Championship Semi-Finals to kick off. Alicia Fox is out first, Paige is out last.
Match #1: Alicia Fox vs. Paige (NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Semi-Final Match)
This one really ticks all of the boxes. Fox hits her stunning Northern Lights suplex (w/ bridge), Paige yells a lot, Fox controls most of the match, and Paige hits the Paige Turner out of nowhere. Kind of by the numbers, but both women look good so I have zero complaints.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – It makes sense that Paige would go over as she’s probably the most over woman at NXT. But, I swear I heard a few “we want Emma” chants at the start of the match.
Post-match, we look at the brackets and see that Paige has now advanced to the finals. She faces the winner of Summer Rae vs. Emma.
Later tonight? Bo Dallas defends the NXT Championship vs. Antonio Cesaro.
Back from break? Andy Baker is in the ring. You know Andy Baker, right? He’s the guy who has entrance music that sounds like the menu screen to a Nintendo 64 game? Yeah, me neither. Conor O’Brian’s entrance hits next and he’s out with Rick Victor. I wonder what will happen here?
Match #2: Andy Baker vs. Conor O’Brian (w/ Rick Victor)
Conor SQUASH! Baker’s few strikes are no sold. Conor goes over by hitting a flapjack and then dropping the leg to the back of Baker’s neck. Goodnight!
Verdict: Thumbs Up – The squash match was a standard NXT squash, but we’re SO CLOSE to the start of the Ascension’s tag team run!
Post-match, Victor enters the ring and we see the “Ascension won a match” pose for the first time.
Meanwhile, Renee is backstage with Adrian Neville and Corey Graves. We learn that Kassius Ohno was “brutally attacked” by the Wyatt Family last week and “can no longer compete”. I believe this is where we say goodbye to Kassius Ohno for about four years or so. Graves covers for Ohno by saying that only one man can fill Ohno’s shoes against the Wyatts. Neville appeals to William Regal and asks him to fill in for Ohno in a six-man match next week.
Later tonight? Bo Dallas from the B Team faces Cesaro from the Bar.
Meanwhile, Sylvester Lefort is out to a bunch of boos. He cuts a promo, in English this time, and introduces Scott Dawson who is out alone. No mention is made of Garrett Dylan during the match or after. The name “Dylan” is still seen on one of the trucker hats on Dawson’s Titantron video but other than that, I think we’ve also said goodbye to BBQ Sauce man. Anyway, Xavier Woods is out next.
Match #3: Scott Dawson (w/ Sylvester Lefort) vs. Xavier Woods
I mean, it’s Dawson vs. Woods so it’s not bad, but this doesn’t really have much of a purpose beyond filling up time on the show. It felt like they had nothing for Dawson so they just chucked him out here for Woods to get another win over. Dawson wears Woods down just enough so Woods can build up a comeback. From there it’s Honor Roll into Lost in the Woods for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’d have at least appreciated a “Dylan drank too much BBQ sauce” excuse to explain his absence. Woods winning is fine, but I have a feeling he’ll be gone to the main roster before too long.
Next, we get a Wyatt Family promo that is filmed outdoors. Rowan and Harper stand behind Bray as he spews his psychobabble. I may be wrong, but I think this is the first time we see Rowan wear the sheep mask at NXT.
Back in the arena, Regal confirms to Tony that he’ll join up with Graves and Neville next week.
Mason Ryan’s music hits and he’s out. Next, some music hits and Enzo Amore is out with Colin Cassady. They do the deal. For the first time. Mason Ryan no sells their entire entrance.
Match #4: Enzo Amore (w/ Colin Cassady) vs. Mason Ryan
The bell rings. Enzo gets punched. 3 count.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Waste of time, but I absolutely loved that this was Enzo’s NXT debut.
Post-match, Enzo cuts a promo saying that he wasn’t ready. He randomly tells Big Cass to get in the ring. Since Dusty is MIA and I guess anyone can make matches tonight, Cass gets in the ring.
Match #5: Colin Cassady (w/ Enzo Amore) vs. Mason Ryan
The bell rings. Kick. Clothesline. Clothesline. Finisher. Mason Ryan Wins. Fatality.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Again, I absolutely love that Big Cass and Enzo’s big debut is them getting squashed in consecutive matches against the same guy in under a minute.
Up next? Main event!
Next week? Emma vs. Summer Rae in the NXT Women’s Championship Semi-Finals.
Also, next week? Adrian Neville, Corey Graves, and William Regal vs. The Wyatt Family.
Meanwhile, Cesaro is out first for the main event. Bo Dallas enters next to a ton of boos.
Match #6: Bo Dallas (c) vs. Antonio Cesaro (NXT Championship Match)
The way things were going this episode, when Leo Kruger wandered out about a third of the way through the match – I honestly thought he’d just add himself into the match and make it a triple threat. I mean, it’s apparently anarchy at Full Sail in July 2013. Cesaro controls this match and Bo plays the “come from behind” babyface which is hilarious because the crowd boos everything he does. Cesaro is insanely over and the crowd chants “We The People” multiple times. But, I mean, come on – Bo retains. He does so in a sequence that finally sees Kruger get involved. Leo hops up on the apron, Cesaro hits him by accident, and this distraction allows Bo to hit a Belly to Belly to pick up the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Not quite as good as Cesaro vs. Sami has been, but not bad. Cesaro is always fun to watch and it was great hearing him get cheered.
Post-match, Bo celebrates until Kruger enters the ring and attacks him. Eventually, Cesaro attacks Kruger – so he can attack Bo. Kruger gets back in, he faces off with Cesaro, and they decide to double team Bo. This causes Sami Zayn’s music to hit and he’s out to even up the sides. Bo and Sami clear the ring together.
We go off the air on Sami and Bo standing tall in the ring.