Last week we got a pretty complete run down of what to expect from WWE NXT 07/17/13. Tonight’s main event features Adrian Neville and Corey Graves challenging Luke Harper and Erick Rowan for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Additionally, Sami Zayn faces Leo Kruger and Antonio Cesaro in a Triple Threat match to determine the new number one contender to the NXT Championship. Speaking of the NXT Championship, Bo Dallas will be in non-title action against Scott Dawson. Last, but certainly not least, we get the debut of Charlotte in a match with Bayley. Sounds like a loaded show this week, let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 07/17/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. We open on Leo Kruger’s Titantron video. The ring announcer sounds a million miles away while Kruger heads to the ring. Tony welcomes us to the show and he’s joined by William Regal. Cesaro’s music hits next and he’s out (w/ Don’t Tread On Me flag). Zayn is out last.
Match #1: Leo Kruger vs. Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (Triple Threat Match to Determine the Number One Contender to the NXT Championship)
Your standard triple threat but loaded with some crazy spots. The most notable spot being a German Suplex of Doom. Cesaro suplexes Kruger out of the corner causing Kruger to give Zayn an exploder suplex. Wild stuff. The finish comes by way of Cesaro hitting the Neutralizer on Zayn, but Kruger slides in and takes out Cesaro. Kruger covers Zayn to pick up the win off of Cesaro’s finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A bunch of contrasting styles that actually melded together pretty well. Cesaro winning didn’t seem to make much sense so I figured Kruger would go over, but I liked the way he did it.
Post-match, Kruger briefly celebrates his ill-gotten win before exiting to the back. Cesaro fumes in the ring.
Meanwhile, Neville is backstage getting ready. Graves appears and tells Neville he doesn’t need a friend – he needs a tag team partner. Graves adds that he respects what Neville can do in the ring and he’s willing to put their personal issues aside for something bigger.
Later tonight? Bayley vs. Charlotte.
Up next? Bo Dallas vs. Scott Dawson.
After no break, Dawson’s music hits and Lefort is out to “speak in a foreign language”. Lefort puts Dawson over until Dawson finally comes out. They’re both playing this up like this a title match. It’s not. Bo Dallas is out next to a bunch of boos.
Match #2: Bo Dallas vs. Scott Dawson (w/ Sylvester Lefort)
Not a whole lot to unpack here. Dawson gets a bit of heat on the champ, but Bo comes back and hits his finisher to get the win. The crowd boos at anything Bo Dallas does.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Proving context is everything, Bo Dallas in NXT gets the same reaction that Roman Reigns has gotten on the main roster for years. But from the bit I’ve gleaned from the brief amount of 2014 NXT I’ve already seen, WWE actually embraces this hate for Bo going forward.
Post-match, Bo celebrates to boos until Leo Kruger hits the ring. Kruger attacks Bo and hits him with a neckbreaker. The crowd loudly chants “Thank you, Kruger”. After snuggling a bit with the NXT Championship, Kruger heads to the back.
Up next? Charlotte vs. Bayley.
Next, it’s not that match – it’s Rick Victor cutting a promo with blue lighting on him. Eventually, Conor appears and we learn that they are the Ascension and they will rise – again.
Back in the arena, Bayley is out. Ric Flair’s music hits next and he’s out to a pop. Ric cuts a promo putting over NXT and introduces his daughter, Charlotte. Some generic music hits and Charlotte is out. That remix of Ric’s theme she gets a bit later was such a great idea.
Match #3: Bayley vs. Charlotte (w/ Ric Flair)
Not a whole lot to this match. Charlotte does a bunch of spots to show off how athletic she is. Eventually, she puts Bayley away with an early version of the Natural Selection.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – For a debut this isn’t much, but you can see the untapped potential with Charlotte that is rather quickly realized.
Post-match, Charlotte and Ric hug and strut in the ring.
Meanwhile, Tony is backstage with Sheamus. We learn that Sheamus will be at NXT next week, but he’s not sure who he is facing. Sheamus is attacked from behind by the Wyatt Family and Bray cuts a promo over Sheamus’ fallen body.
Up next? Tag title match!
Back from break, we see some people attending to someone who we only see from behind sitting in a chair. Oh hey, it’s Tyler Breeze! Tyler won’t let us see his face – for it will be next week when NXT will get to witness “gorgeous”. Wow, early Tyler Breeze reminds me a lot of early Velveteen Dream.
Next week? Paige vs. Emma in the NXT Women’s Tournament Finals!
Meanwhile back in the arena, Neville’s music hits and he’s out. Graves follows next. The Wyatt Family music hits and the champs are out with Bray Wyatt.
Match #4: The Wyatt Family (c) (w/ Bray Wyatt) vs. Adrian Neville & Corey Graves (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)
A solid, little tag team match. Even this early in the game, Harper & Rowan work well as a team – so I can see why WWE is so reluctant to permanently split them up. Graves goes in peril early and stays there for most of the match. The inevitable hot tag to Neville comes and he goes on a run that ends in a two count after Harper saves the match for his team. Neville attempts to go up again and gets crotched by Bray. Rowan only gets two and this brings out Sheamus to attack Bray. From there, Graves has recovered enough to chop block Rowan. Neville promptly heads up and hits the Red Arrow. New champs!
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Again, NXT did such a great job salvaging what I assume was going to be a standard Neville / Oliver Grey vs. Wyatt Family tag team program. The attack on Sheamus backstage should have tipped me off that he’d intervene, but that actually surprised me. Probably because previous “interview backstage with main roster guy” interviews felt like they were taped at Raw or SmackDown. Either way, a decent enough match and I’m excited to see Graves and Neville have to face the Ascension down the road.
Post-match, Sheamus celebrates in the ring with Graves and Neville. Sheamus eventually leaves the two to celebrate alone.
But, Sheamus is back as we go off the air on him continuing to celebrate in the ring with the new tag team champs.