Time for some more NXT Catch Up! Tonight’s episode is WWE NXT 07/04/12. Will WWE just phone it in like they have in the past on a “holiday episode”? Was this even recorded anywhere near the fourth of July? Who knows! All we got as a preview for this week’s show is Jim Ross casually mentioning we’re getting the debut of Kassius Ohno tonight. Other than that, there are no championships for NXT yet, and nary a woman to be seen wrestling yet. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 07/04/12 Recap
No standard WWE Signature Intro. We’re thrust immediately into the standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tonight’s commentary team is Jim Ross and Byron Saxton… for now.
We’re kicking things off with our first women’s match on NXT. Er, “Diva’s match” because 2012. Seriously, the WWE NXT 07/04/12 Drinking Game would have said “Take a shot – each time commentary says ‘diva'” and you’d get black out drunk during this brief three-minute match. But I digress. Sofia Cortez (aka – Ivelisse) is out first. Already in the ring? Some pale woman named Paige – she clearly needs no entrance.
Match #1: Sofia Cortez vs. Paige
The beauty of me doing this “catch up” is that I have no idea when Paige really breaks through and becomes the first NXT Women’s Champion. It’s clearly not soon as she’s used as developmental talent here. Which also explains her “already in the ring” status. Cortez gets in the majority of the offense and puts Paige away in about two and half minutes with a counter into a DDT.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – They got two an a half minutes. But hey, cynical me thought we’d be at least a dozen episodes in before they had a “Diva’s match” so there’s that.
Later tonight? Kassius Ohno will be in action.
Up next? Camacho vs. Seth Rollins.
Back from break, Hunico and Camacho are out. Headbangin’ Seth Rollins is out next.
Match #2: Camacho (w/ Hunico) vs. Seth Rollins
The first thing I noticed here is how many empty seats there are at Full Sail for a Seth Rollins match. It gets worse later in the show, but it was still mind-blowing to see. The early goings have Seth attempting to get quick pins and getting a one count each time. Or… you know a “near fall” as Ross called one of them. Not quite. Of course, Hunico ends up interfering towards the end, but Rollins manages to counter it and puts Camacho away with a Curb Stomp, er Blackout, to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Rollins looks better here than he did the first time we saw him. Likely because this match is a little more than a complete squash.
Post-match, Hunico immediately attacks Rollins and the double team is on. Who makes the save? Bo Dallas! This is some bizarre WWE 2K stuff.
Back from break, Corey Graves is out with Jake Carter. I did not know that Carter is Vader’s son. Interesting. Already in the ring? Juice Robinson (aka – CJ Parker) and Nick Rogers.
Match #3: Corey Graves & Jake Carter vs. CJ Parker & Nick Rogers
A squash tag victory for Graves and Carter. Parker looks exceptionally capable taking the loss and it still feels weird that WWE clearly never saw much in the guy. It was amusing to hear Saxton putting over Graves as super “cool” throughout the match considering their future commentary relationship. Graves and Carter hit their “Bottoms Up” team finisher to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Nice to finally get to see Graves work a match. He only factored into two episodes or so of the original dump of NXT content on the WWE Network before he transitioned to commentary.
Next, we get an awkwardly framed shot of Saxton and JR at commentary. JR sends us to a Kassius Ohno hype video. The hype video involves Kassius telling us that he hurts people.
After that, an eerie Bray Wyatt hype vignette airs. This one is loaded with Luke Harper cameos and is clearly the big push before Bray’s debut. Sure enough, we learn that Bray is debuting next week – the lone clue of what to expect on next week’s now.
Back from “vignette break”, Kassius Ohno is out (w/ out his signature “Oh-no” music). Already in the ring? Hey everyone, it’s Mike Dalton!
Match #4: Kassius Ohno vs. Mike Dalton
At this point in the show, Full Sail is legit half full. Yes, Kassius Ohno works Tyler Breeze to possibly less than 100 people at a WWE branded tv taping. Crazy, huh? Dalton gets in some decent offense to start and then Ohno takes over. He brutalizes Dalton with some kicks, but Dalton fires back with what would become known as the Beauty Shot and gets 2. After an eye rake, Ohno hits his discus elbow finisher and gets three.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Decent enough debut for Ohno and Dalton sold for him like no tomorrow as one would expect.
Post-match, Ohno cuts a promo firmly establishing himself as a heel.
Back from break, Derrick Bateman is out. Jinder Mahal is out next.
Match #5: Derrick Bateman vs. Jinder Mahal
A rushed, but relatively solid match. At one point, Bateman does a suicide dive to the outside on Mahal and casually reaches for his knee. JR and Saxton pick up on this and essentially sell the knee on commentary for Bateman – who seems not necessarily that worse for the wear. After some more offense from the allegedly “knee injured” Bateman, Jinder does the cowardly heel thing and hugs the bottom rope. After the ref backs Bateman off, Jinder hits a running knee from behind and slaps the Camel Clutch on. Bateman taps almost immediately.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Jinder wasn’t bad here at all and Bateman looked okay too.
Post-match, Mahal slaps the Clutch on Bateman again for good measure.
Next, we learn that “because of interference”, GM Dusty Rhodes has booked a six-man match for the main event. We get Seth Rollins, Tyson Kidd, and Bo Dallas vs. Michael McGillicutty, Hunico, and Camacho. Good thing Hunico tried to trip Rollins in that first match or I guess this episode would have only been 30 minutes long.
Back from break, we randomly have a new commentary team – as I suppose is early NXT tradition. Saxton is out. Regal and some guy that mumbled his name – but I learned at the end of the episode is named Chris Russo – are in. The face team enter together to Tyson Kidd’s music. The heel team enters last to McGillicutty’s music.
Match #6: Tyson Kidd, Bo Dallas, & Seth Rollins vs. Michael McGillicutty, Hunico, & Camacho
The big take away from this match is that it really bothers Jim Ross – a lot – that Hunico wears a bandana to work the match. JR brings this up like three different times. Other than that, it’s a six-man match that has no stakes and only loose reasons to be happening. Actually, listening to Regal tell random stories is best thing about this main event. We learn via Regal that Hunico has a huge scar on his stomach from getting knifed “in the barrio” and how Camacho once bit a man’s nose off. Later, Regal casually mentions that just “a few months ago”, Bo Dallas’ kidney was “split in half”. Man, I want to see THAT FCW episode. Action-wise, we get a decent “dive off the top into the crowd of wrestlers” high spot from Rollins. McGillicutty sneaks in and cuts off a Tyson Kidd suicide dive attempt with a chop block – which he then converts into a running neckbreaker to get the win for the heels.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Average as far as the wrestling goes, but JR’s bandana obsession and Regal’s random tales of bodily harm on commentary are worth the price of admission.
We quickly go off the air while looking at the the forlorn babyfaces in the ring.
Well, that’s it for this week – next week, things get weird with Bray Wyatt. I can’t wait!