WWE NXT 08/01/12 is the debut of Big E (Langston) and features a “big announcement” from NXT GM Dusty Rhodes. Other than that, these early episodes have slowly been getting into a format – so I’m expecting a tag match of some sort and a women’s match. Also, for Jim Ross to join commentary at random throughout the episode. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 08/01/12 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. (w/ CM Punk in the signature intro). Cold open on the Full Sail crowd and Byron Saxton sends us to a pre-taped segment from “Interim GM” Dusty Rhodes. Dusty puts over what it means to be a champion and says it’s time for NXT to have a champion. Dusty explains that tournaments have been run to get us to the top 8 men at NXT. I have to imagine those tournament matches happened in Rio de Janeiro. Anyway, Dusty names off the 2012 NXT MySpace Top 8: Richie Steamboat, Bo Dallas, Leo Kruger, Seth Rollins, Mike McGillicutty, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, and Justin Gabriel. This eight-man single elimination tournament is called the “Gold Rush” and it begins RIGHT NOW!
Standard NXT credits and we’re still taped from Full Sail. We get a close up shot of the original NXT Championship belt sitting on a stand on the entrance ramp. Richie Steamboat’s music hits and he’s out for his quarterfinals match. Our commentary team, is Saxton, Regal, and Jim Ross. Kruger is out next (w/ footage of this exact same match from just two weeks ago).
Match #1: Richie Steamboat vs. Leo Kruger (Gold Rush Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
Well, I liked this one a bit better than the match a few weeks back. Kruger is still a baffling character since he’s played up on commentary as a “submission specialist” but his main hold is a sleeper hold, which we’ve yet to see be very effective. Steamboat’s offense is the same “flips and chops” I’ve come to expect from him. Kruger does a decent job playing the nasty heel, even if his most impactful spot is a sleeper that Steamboat power out of rather quickly. Steamboat hits a blockbuster out of nowhere and picks up the three count. Just like that, Steamboat advances to the semifinals.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – An average match. Steamboat seems to rely a bit too much on his usual spots and the finish came completely out of nowhere.
We see the tournament graphic, now updated to show Steamboat going to the next round. We learn that Seth Rollins takes on Drew McIntyre later on tonight. We saw that exact match LAST WEEK.
The Big E Langston “I hurt people” vignette airs again. He debuts next.
Immediately following the vignette, Big E is out. Already in the ring? Adam Mercer. Good luck, Adam.
Match #2: Big E Langston vs. Adam Mercer
Mercer’s entire offensive output consists of two jawbreakers in a row that sort of “stun” Big E. Otherwise, it’s a showcase of Big E’s power moves. He puts Mercer away rather quickly with the (still yet to be named) Big Ending.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I think I still prefer “wacky” Big E, but super intense Big E Langston is a fun watch too.
Later tonight? That match we saw in the main event last week – but this time with stakes!
Up next? Raquel Diaz vs. Audrey Marie. I had to look Audrey Marie up and she’s apparently Tyler Breeze’s IRL wife. Huh.
Back from break, Audrey Marie heads to the ring. Raquel Diaz is out next and she banters over the headset mic on the way to the ring, cutting a promo on Audrey Marie. And then the bell rang.
Match #3: Raquel Diaz vs. Audrey Marie
Well, when the crowd chants “you can’t wrestle”, it’s probably not going to be a great match. Things are “2012 Diva’s Division” okay until a weird sequence in the corner where I can’t even really figure out what these women were trying to do. Diaz rushes from that blown spot into her Gory Bomb finisher and gets 3.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – This was not good.
Post-match, Raquel draws a “L” on Audrey Marie’s forehead in lipstick.
Meanwhile, Briley Pierce (who is apparently Dolph Ziggler’s IRL brother) is backstage to interview Paige. He asks Paige about her thoughts on what Raquel just did. Paige’s answer? “Raquel Diaz? Ugliness tour? We’ll see.” and she leaves.
Later tonight? Rollins vs. McIntyre 2.
After no break, Hunico and Camacho are out. Already in the ring? Kurt Angle’s son and Tyler Breeze (deep undercover as Mike Dalton).
Match #4: Hunico & Camacho vs. Jason Jordan & Mike Dalton
Regal tells the Hunico & Camacho story again. This time it was a nose that got bit off. We get the standard “guys who got an entrance isolate one of the developmental guys” tag match. The script gets flipped when Dalton counters with a hurricanrana in the corner on Camacho and turns it into a pinning predicament. Jordan prevents Hunico from breaking it up and the “already in the ring” guys get a big win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – This was nothing special until the finish. Considering we’re still years away from American Alpha and Breeze is still Dalton – I’m assuming this is more to cause a Hunico / Camacho rift than anything else.
Post-match, Dalton & Jordan celebrate like they just won the Super Bowl. Hunico looks annoyed with Camacho. Trouble in paradise?
Up next? Rollins. McIntyre. Again.
But wait, here’s a promo video on Bo Dallas. He’ll be on next week’s show – I’m assuming in a Quarterfinals match.
No break, so here’s Drew McIntyre’s entrance. Jim Ross rejoins commentary, as it happens on 2012 NXT. Seth Rollins enters last.
Match #5: Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins (Gold Rush Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
Much like the first match on this week’s episode, I liked this one a bit better. Interesting of note, much like in that first match, the babyface wins in this meeting. This main event hits all of the notes of last week’s main event, however Drew heels it up a bit more, and works Seth’s arm for most of the match. Seth hits a suicide dive. Drew pounds on Seth and hits some backbreakers. The finish comes when Seth goes up top, jumps over Drew, and dodges a big boot. This puts Drew bent over in perfect position to take the Curb Stomp. 3 count.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Seth was the right choice here. Drew is still not quite there as he just doesn’t exude the confidence that he does in 2017. Nice to see that he eventually gets there, though.
Post-match, Seth headbangs in celebration. We see the updated bracket with Rollins advancing to round two.
We go off the air on Seth pointing at the NXT Championship belt on the stage.