I’m back with the WWE NXT 08/22/12 recap. I missed last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but I’ll see if I can’t squeeze an extra one of these in later this week to make up for it. This week’s episode features, well, I’m not entirely sure since nothing was announced for this week. Either we’re getting the Rollins vs. Mahal “Gold Rush Finals” match or at the very least I assume we’ll find out when that is happening. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 08/22/12 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. No one welcomes us to the show this week. Seriously, we pan the crowd for a nice chunk of time before Saxton finally chimes in and announces that the Gold Rush finals are next week – but we’ll hear from Mahal and Rollins later tonight. A chyron tells us that the announce team is Saxton and Regal – for now. Derrick Bateman’s music hits and sprints to the ring. Cesaro (w/ Aksana) is out next.
Match #1: Derrick Bateman vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/ Aksana)
A decent match. This still feels like a less evolved version of the Cesaro character. Bateman hangs in longer than I expected him to and builds up a ton of offense into what looks like a finisher spot. Cesaro rolls to the ropes to avoid the three count. From there, Cesaro dodges Bateman in the corner, hits a side suplex, and finishes Bateman off with the Neutralizer. Three count.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – An okay match for what it was. With no story going on here it’s just a match for the sake of a match. Granted, it’s a Cesaro match, but it’s still a match with no story surrounding it.
Post-match, Cesaro and Aksana celebrate in the ring.
Later tonight? Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel take on Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis in tonight’s “random dudes team up” main event.
Also, later tonight? Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal come face to face ahead of next week’s Gold Rush tourney finals match.
Up next? Tamina Snuka vs. Sofia Cortez.
During the break? We get the first of several “during the break” hype videos for the Gold Rush Finals – featuring comments from current (for 2012) WWE superstars.
Back from break, Tamina is out to a decent face pop. Regal points out how much weight she can lift and puts over her squatting abilities. Sofia enters last.
Match #2: Tamina Snuka vs. Sofia Cortez
Not bad. The common denominator for the women’s matches I’ve liked thus far seems to be Tamina Snuka. I’m not sure if it’s by design or by her choice, but at the very least her matches have been the most physical. Tamina goes in peril for a bit here, but this is really a showcase for her leading up to a post-match angle. After hitting a superkick for 2, Tamina slams Sofia, goes up top, and puts her away with the Superfly Splash.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not bad compared to what we’ve seen in this division up to this point. We’re still taking baby steps with the women’s division at NXT this early in the game though.
Post-match, Raquel Diaz pulls a celebrating Tamina down from the ropes and draws a “L” on her forehead with lipstick.
Later tonight? MAHAL. ROLLINS. TALKING!
Back from break, Kassius Ohno is out. Already in the ring? Jake Carter.
Match #3: Kassius Ohno vs. Jake Carter
Not a complete squash, but this one essentially follows the format of the match before it. Even down to the post-match angle. Carter attempts to start out quick, but it doesn’t really get him anywhere. Ohno wears Carter down with strikes, gives Jake a hope spot after Carter hits sidewalk slam, but Ohno hits his Rolling Elbow finisher out of nowhere to get the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Another average match that seems to exist to get Ohno the win and set up the post-match angle.
Post-match, Ohno attacks Carter and gives him another Rolling Elbow. Richie Steamboat is out to make the save. Ohno bails when Steamboat hits the ring.
Next, we see SummerSlam fan Axxess highlights.
Up next? Our tag team main event.
During the break? Another main roster star driven “why the Gold Rush Finals are important” video package.
Back from break, McGillicutty and Curtis are out to McGillicutty’s music. A chyron tells us that Jim Ross has decided to join commentary. Tyson Kidd enters next. Justin Gabriel enters last. Everyone gets a decent reaction and the crowd actually begins to wake up a bit.
Match #4: Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis vs. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel
So, the story here seems to be that NXT has realized they need to build up some tag teams. So far we have The Usos (who are maybe just on loan at this point) and The Ascension (who still have to swap a member out before they’ll do anything substantial). The current theory appears to be “throw random dudes together in the ring and see what sticks”. For all intents and purposes this is a solid, textbook tag match. I mean, Kidd botches a spot right at the end – but Ross plays it off as “risk taking” and manages to cover it up well. Gabriel and Kidd get the win and seem to be the better “team” out of these two random combos of guys. Interestingly enough, both sets of guys hit tandem offense – including Kidd and Gabriel hitting a tandem blockbuster for the win. So, I’m not sure if these guys tagged together before “Full Sail” NXT or maybe at FCW – but either way, both teams looked solid here. Also, the crowd was pretty hot for this match – at least compared to the rest of the show.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Even though this didn’t have much of a point, the action was not bad and the live crowd seemed into it.
Post-match, Kidd & Gabriel celebrate their win in the ring.
During the match, Saxton randomly tells us on commentary that Richie Steamboat has challenged Ohno to a match next week. Next, we see Briley backstage asking Ohno if he accepts Steamboat’s challenge. Ohno accepts the match and reminds us that Kassius hurts people.
During the break, another “Gold Rush Finals, yo!” hype video with Cena and company airs.
Back from break, Byron Saxton stands in the ring. He puts over the Gold Rush Finals happening next week to a modest reaction. Seth is out first to cheers. Jinder is out next to no reaction. Jinder puts his turban into the plexiglass box at ringside and heads into the ring.
Saxton asks Rollins what winning the NXT Championship means to him. Seth puts over wanting to be a WWE champion his entire life and how finding wrestling helped him discover his passion in life. Seth vows to leave Full Sail as the first NXT Champion.
Saxton asks Jinder the same question. Jinder starts out in Punjabi to some mild boos and a “USA” chant. Jinder switches to English and calls Seth a “born loser” and alleges that he, Jinder Mahal, was born into greatness. Jinder claims the NXT Championship is his “birthright” and gets “What?”ed during the last part of his promo.
Seth retorts with “born loser?” and gets jumped by Jinder. After countering Jinder with a ground and pound – Seth clotheslines Jinder to the outside and hits him with a suicide dive. Seth slam dances in the ring while refs flood the ringside area and prevent Jinder from doing anything.
We go off the air on Seth posing in the corner. Gold Rush Finals. Next week. Don’t ya dare miss it!