WWE NXT 08/29/12 features the finals of the Gold Rush Tournament. Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal. If this was early 2017 all bets would be off – but it’s 2012 so… yeah. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 08/29/12 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Standard opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Saxton welcomes us to the show and puts over the Gold Rush Tournament Finals. No chyron this week, so I imagine it’s just him and Regal on commentary until the main event.
Mike Dalton’s music hits and he’s out with Jason Jordan. We see footage from a month ago when Dalton and Jordan shocked Florida and won their first match as a team. Hunico & Camacho are out next and that surprise victory was at their expense. I imagine they’re getting that win back tonight.
Match #1: Mike Dalton & Jason Jordan vs. Hunico & Camacho
Your standard “underdogs got the win, so we’ll have the heels cheat to get the win back” match. Hunico and Camacho quickly isolate Jordan and go to work. Dalton eventually gets the hot tag and goes on a run – including getting some near falls on Hunico. However, things “break down” and Jordan enters the ring. The ref is forced to turn his back on the action to admonish Jordan and Camacho is able to hang Dalton up on the ropes from the apron. Hunico hits a weird move that looks a bit like an Angle Slam and gets the 3 count.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Nothing bad here, but considering Tyler Breeze is still “Mike Dalton” I don’t see this program going anywhere. Especially since Hunico and Camacho got revenge.
Post-match, Hunico and Camacho celebrate in the ring. Unfortunately, Regal doesn’t speak of their bizarre life debt tonight.
Later tonight? Rollins. Mahal. NXT Championship. Two men enter, one man leaves (with the NXT Championship).
Back from break, the Usos are out. They cut a promo on the Ascension and call them out. The Ascension’s lighting hits, but it’s a ruse! The Ascension appear from behind the Usos and take them out. After a pair of Falls of Man (or would it be Fall of Men?) – the Usos are left laying and the Ascension pose.
Later tonight? Someone gets to be the first NXT Champion.
Up next? Big E Langston.
Meanwhile on Raw, CM Punk kicked Jerry Lawler in the head and later beat the crap out of him.
Back at Full Sail, Big E Langston is out to a muted reaction. Already in the ring? Chase Donovan.
Match #2: Big E Langston vs. Chase Donovan
Big E runs over Chase with a body tackle. This apparently has knocked Chase out. Big E picks him up and hits the Big Ending. 3 count. That’s the match.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’d “Thumbs Down” this but it’s obviously the first attempt at NXT of trying to get a big guy over with insanely brief squash matches (see Baron Corbin, Lars Sullivan, etc.). So, it’s okay for what it is.
Post-match, Big E lingers on top of Donovan for a few extra seconds after the three count.
Up next? Time to crown a champion!
Back from break, the entire NXT roster heads to the stage.
Moments ago? Briley is backstage with Big E. He attempts to ask Big E a question – however, Big E just breathes and snorts until Briley gets uncomfortable and leaves.
Meanwhile back in the arena, Howard Finkel is here and he announces the NXT Commissioner, Dusty Rhodes. Dusty is out to a pop and grabs the NXT Championship from the stand on the stage. Dusty heads to the ring and chyron pops up to confirm that Jim Ross has joined the commentary team for this match.
Jinder’s music hits to some boos. He does the thing with the turban and the plexiglass box. Seth’s music hits to a decent pop. Finkel announces Jinder first to boos and Seth to cheers. The ref shows the belt to both men. Dusty shakes Seth’s hand for good luck and attempts to do the same with Jinder – but Jinder’s not having it. Jinder’s refusal gets him the most heat he’s had yet on NXT. Of note, the entire roster stays on the stage and watches this entire match.
Match #3: Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal (Gold Rush Tournament Finals – Winner Becomes NXT Champion)
Not a six star classic, but definitely serviceable in a situation like this. Jinder is somewhat limited in the heel roll, so they give him a ton of spots to work Seth’s back to soften him up for the Camel Clutch. Seth does a great job as the “face in peril” and really gets the crowd riled up when he mounts his comeback. Like I said in the opening paragraph of this recap – if this were 5 years later we’d be in the “Summer of Mahal” so there’d be more suspense here. However, it seems pretty apparent that Seth will pull this one out and he does. Seth hits the Buckle Bomb and follows it up with the “Black Out” (aka – the Curb Stomp) and gets the three count.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I’ve always preferred Rollins as a heel, but matches like this show that he can be a strong babyface as well. Jinder looks good here and while his move set remains limited, he plays the heel role he needed to play in this match quite well. Not a bad end to the seemingly random tournament to crown the first champ.
Post-match, Dusty applauds as Seth celebrates in the ring. Eventually, Dusty enters the ring and he and Seth hug. Dusty also raises Seth’s hand in victory.
After the replays, we see Seth’s signature “swing the belt above my head” thing for the first time in NXT. The roster leaves the stage and floods the ring to help Rollins celebrate. Richie Steamboat and Derrick Bateman hoist Seth up onto their shoulders.
We go off the air with Rollins running through the crowd celebrating with the fans.