The Gold Rush tournament began last week, so I suspect it will continue this week on WWE NXT 08/08/12. Other than that, we didn’t get any real “next week” stuff on last week’s episode so I’m going in blind. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 08/08/12 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. I noticed in this version of the signature open features David Otunga.
We open with a dramatic video package highlighting the Gold Rush tournament. This probably should have aired last week since it has interviews with all eight men and two have already been eliminated.
NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Byron welcomes us to the show and introduces Regal and J.R.
Up next? Justin Gabriel vs. Michael McGillicutty.
Later tonight? Bo Dallas vs. Jinder Mahal.
Meanwhile, McGillicutty enters first. Justin Gabriel is out next. Both guys do the “gesture at the belt on the stage” thing.
Match #1: Michael McGillicutty vs. Justin Gabriel (Gold Rush Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
A relatively average match. On commentary, Ross lets us know that Gabriel is single. We also learn that Regal wrestled Gabriel’s father 24 years ago. The match is booked fairly even, but Gabriel’s big selling point is his high-flying abilities and almost none of that happens here. Gabriel takes a more ground-based assault against McGillicutty and as such, this isn’t super exciting. The Full Sail crowd tries to get hyped up a few times when McGillicutty goes on a run, but it is a pretty flat presentation. McGillicutty goes over, out of nowhere, with a running neckbreaker.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Both guys can go, but it felt like they went out of their way to not focus on Gabriel’s strengths – at all – so the match felt flat.
Up next? Kassius Ohno is here and backstage shadow kicking(?). I mean, what’s it called when you’re shadow boxing but only with kicks?
Back from break, here comes CJ Parker. You may know him better as Juice Robinson, but here he’s CJ Parker. Kassius Ohno (w/ generic rock entrance music) is out next.
Match #2: CJ Parker vs. Kassius Ohno
Beyond a flurry of offense right at the end, Parker serves as Ohno’s tackling dummy here. If you want to see Kassius Ohno hit someone with a bunch of strikes five years ago – then this match is your jam. Ohno eventually ends the suffering with a rolling elbow and gets the easy three count.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – It’s a Kassius Ohno showcase squash so it’s not terrible but also nothing special. It’s weird seeing a totally angry and relentless Kassius Ohno.
Meanwhile, we see some “last week” footage of Jason Jordan and Mike Dalton getting the upset victory over Camacho and Hunico. The audio from the clip completely overpowers whatever Saxton is trying to say over it. Meanwhile, we see Jordan and Dalton backstage excited about their win. I’m assuming this is also “last week”. Briley Pierce approaches them and asks them what is next. Jordan declares he and Dalton are a “team” and Dalton says they can go out and win like that every time. They leave. Pierce’s final comment? “That’s a team.”
Later tonight? Bo Dallas takes on future former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal.
Up next? Paige and Tamina Snuka take on Caylee Turner and Kaitlyn. I had to Google who Caylee is and she’s apparently Alicia Fox’s little sister.
During the break, an Ascension vignette. The Ascension rises next week!
Back from break, Paige and an incredibly “high energy” version of Tamina enter together – to Paige’s completely generic entrance music. Much like angry Ohno, it’s bizarre seeing “bubbly” Tamina. Caylee and Kaitlyn enter together to Kaitlyn’s music.
Match #3: Paige & Tamina Snuka vs. Caylee Turner & Kaitlyn
Another women’s match that wasn’t so great. I’ll try to keep it positive by saying that Paige was insanely over and when she was in the match it felt like a NXT women’s match. Tamina was not too bad either, despite a blown spot by Caylee, Tamina hung in there and kept things rolling. After a warm tag to Paige towards the end, Kaitlyn randomly pulls Tamina out of the ring. This doesn’t factor into the finish as Paige immediately rolls Caylee into a small package for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – A thrown together tag match which, beyond some drama between Tamina and Kaitlyn, accomplished nothing. Paige is over with Full Sail though so I imagine they’re starting to figure out she’s someone to build the division around.
Up next? Main event time!
Meanwhile, Bo is in a hallway getting ready. Derrick Bateman sneaks up behind Bo and jokes around with him. Bo starts to feel like Bateman may have a problem with him – but c’mon what is Bateman going to do? “Cheer for Jinder Mahal? No way!” That was some actual dialogue from this episode – proving that NXT is always ahead of its time. Bateman has Bo’s back and he takes off.
Back from break, Bo Dallas is out for the main event. We get an on-screen chyron to let us know that Jim Ross has rejoined the booth – as he has been doing. Jinder enters last and puts his turban in the special plexiglass case he has for it.
Match #4: Bo Dallas vs. Jinder Mahal (Gold Rush Tournament Quarterfinals Match)
Another decidedly average match I just couldn’t get into. The way that commentary hyped up Dallas, I figured he was a shoe-in to win this. So of course, Jinder goes on a run with a bunch of kicks and knee drops. Before long, Jinder has Bo locked in the Camel Clutch and Bo is tapping out. My knowledge of Bo Dallas at NXT starts and stops with “he was NXT Champion and over” but I forgot that we’re still a way out from that happening. So, Jinder wins. Jinder advances.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Another average tournament match that just didn’t grab me.
We go off the air with Jinder posing on the apron.
Next week? The Gold Rush semi-finals – so hopefully things get a bit more exciting.