Breaking tradition a bit, we actually got some “next week” previews on last week’s show for WWE NXT 09/19/12. We’re getting Rick Victor vs. new champ Seth Rollins and the Kassius Ohno Sparring Session™. Beyond that, I’ll be shocked if we don’t get Conor O’Brian vs. Jimmy Uso on this episode as well. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 09/19/12 Recap.
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Updated opening credits (now with 100% more Seth Rollins swinging the NXT Championship above his head!) and we’re taped from Full Sail. Saxton welcomes us to the show and tells us that our main event is Rick Victor vs. Seth Rollins.
Meanwhile, Trent Baretta’s music hits and he’s out to a pop. We learn he’s been out for six months due a tricep injury. A chyron tells us that commentary is Byron Saxton and William Regal – for now. Johnny Curtis is out next.
Match #1: Trent Baretta vs. Johnny Curtis
Not bad for what it was. Curtis targets Baretta’s arm and does some relatively standard “heel stuff”. Baretta looks okay, but he does hit a pretty rough-looking sunset flip bomb on Curtis. Not sure if that was just a timing thing or some ring rust he hadn’t shaken off yet. The guys cover it up pretty good and Full Sail isn’t terrible in response to it. Curtis works the arm a ton, but inexplicably goes up to the top for a leg drop and misses. This allows Baretta to regroup and hit a running knee to pick up the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not bad for a “guy is returning from injury” match. Baretta was over with the crowd and Curtis’ strategy made sense.
Up next? Paige vs. Alicia Fox.
Later tonight? Rick Victor vs. Seth Rollins.
Back from break, Alicia Fox is out to a pop. Paige’s music hits next and she’s out to a pop.
Match #2: Alicia Fox vs. Paige
Well, this is the first “NXT Catch Up” match that I can honestly say was a good match. I’m not sure if you can call this the “birth of the women’s revolution” but this match is a HUGE step up from what we’ve been seeing. That’s largely in part to the fact that Fox can pull off some incredible spots. She hits Paige with an amazing tilt-a-whirl backbreaker that gets an audible reaction from Full Sail. What I liked best is that this match starts out with the standard “go for roll ups and backslides” stuff you’d see in a “Divas match” but they flip that quickly into a match with some actual spots. In fact, the finish comes when Fox tries a roll up and Paige counters that into a Rampaige for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – The best match on this week’s episode and easily the best women’s match on the show up to this point. I hope we get more of these types of matches in the remaining 2012 episodes.
Later tonight? Some sparring with Kassius Ohno.
Also, later tonight? Jimmy Uso vs. Conor O’Brian.
Back from break, the Usos are out and they do the thing. The Ascension are out next. I called this one!
Match #3: Jimmy Uso (w/ Jey Uso) vs. Conor O’Brian (w/ Kenneth Cameron)
Meh. Super predictable “booking by numbers in the tag division” stuff. Jey Uso won the match last week, so Conor O’Brian wins the match this week. 50/50 booking so far in this tag feud that they’re hyping as a big rivalry. I hope this leads to the inevitable tag tournament to launch the NXT tag division because so far this feels like main roster “lite”. The finish comes when Cameron hangs Jimmy up on the ropes, which allows Conor to recover and hit a running dropkick for the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – I’m definitely spoiled by the booking of the tag division in modern-day NXT.
Post-match, Jey checks on Jimmy and gets circled by the Ascension. The expected beat down ensues and is capped off with a Fall of Man on Jey Uso.
Later tonight? The war to settle the score after Rick Victor slapped Seth Rollins.
Up next? Ohno spars.
Meanwhile, Briley is backstage with Bo Dallas. Briley attempts to ask Bo a question and McGillicutty interrupts and starts burying Bo Dallas. McGillicutty turns to face the camera to continue the trash talk and gets taken out by Bo. The Miztourage explodes! Refs pull them apart and we head to break.
Back from break, Ohno’s music hits and he’s out for a “NXT Sparring Session”. Already in the ring? Oliver Grey.
Match #4: Kassius Ohno vs. Oliver Grey (Sparring Session)
Ohno lays in some strikes. Grey fires back with a few uppercuts, but Ohno counters with a big kick. Ohno slaps on a cravate and Grey taps.
Verdict: See below.
Post-match, Ohno gets a mic and cuts a promo on Grey saying that was “easier than anticipated” and will give him another shot.
Match #5: Kassius Ohno vs. Oliver Grey (Sparring Session)
Ohno hits a rolling elbow to Grey’s head. Ohno slaps on the cravate and Grey submits.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – So, this is a clever way to get Ohno heat and essentially do a squash match but frame it differently than usual. Not bad.
Post-match, Richie Steamboat’s music hits and he’s out. Ohno flees the ring and taunts Steamboat from the stage.
Up next? MAIN EVENT!
During the break, a Leo Kruger vignette airs. He’s in a dark room saying creepy things.
Back from break, Rick Victor is out. Rollins is out next. Jim Ross joins commentary. All of this means that it is main event time!
Match #6: Rick Victor vs. Seth Rollins
Victor gets in a surprising amount of offense and manages to put Rollins in peril a few times. Of course, the new champ isn’t going to lose on weekly NXT so Rollins goes over. Nothing terribly memorable here but a decent enough match. Not nearly as good as some of the main events we’ve seen up to this point, but not bad for the end to a one-off feud for Rollins. After an enziguri, Rollins hits a splash, and a single legged drop kick. That puts Victor in the perfect position for a Black Out. This reminded me how limiting the Curb Stomp is as a finisher since the opponent has to be in such a specific position to take it.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Average. I imagine Victor won’t hit his stride at NXT until he joins The Ascension which feels like it’s still off in the distance. Rollins picks up an easy win and sends the crowd home happy.
We go off the air on Rollins celebrating in the ring with the NXT Championship.