It’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time to take a look at what happened on NXT 5 years ago. This week (WWE NXT 10/02/13) we’re still reeling from last week’s reveal of JBL as the new general manager. He showed up, was insufferable, and got a modest reaction from Full Sail. I’m already looking forward to whatever happens in the ensuing years that puts William Regal in that position instead. Anyway, this week we can expect Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Emma and a partner to be named in a mixed tag. Also, Ohno gets “revenge” against a Wyatt Family member because a backup announcer was allowed to book matches before the JBL reveal. Lastly, it’s the Bo Dallas Invitational – to which everyone BUT Sami Zayn is invited. Should be good times so let’s get to the recap.
WWE NXT 10/02/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. A “Fandango is slumming it in Orlando” hype video kicks things off this week. Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail.
Tony welcomes us to the show and Fandango’s music hits. He and Summer Rae dance on the stage while Tony tells us he’s joined this week by Alex Riley and Renee Young. Er, not yet by Renee since she wanders out during Emma’s entrance to ask her, on the stage, who her partner is. Santino Marella’s music hits and he’s out to a huge pop. Maybe because he was insanely over during a time I didn’t watch – but I do not get him. Like at all. They head to the ring, and head to the ring, and then head to the ring a third time. Yes, we do that three times for some reason. I’m guessing “humor” but… yeah.
Match #1: Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Emma & Santino Marella
Emma / Tenille Dashwood is my favorite wrestler (though Nikki Cross is rapidly making that less definitive here in late 2018) and if anyone ever asks me “What is your least favorite Emma match?” I now have the answer. This is a comedy match that takes up nearly one-third of this episode’s run time. On an episode with a tag title match, a main event segment setting up the next NXT Championship match, and Luke Harper versus Kassius Ohno. My point being, this goes on for way, way too long. Santino wins the match for his team with the “cobra”, naturally. But we take days to get there.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Full Sail loves this and chants “this is awesome” before the match even starts. It must be one of those things where this was just amazing in person because it sure did absolutely zero for me on the Network.
Post-match, Emma and Santino dance in the ring.
Next, we see the announce team discuss what we just saw. This is only amusing for Renee leaving us with the line (directed at Riley and Tony) “I hope you two don’t rub off on me”.
Later tonight? No big deal… The Ascension are getting their shot at Adrian Neville & Corey Graves for the Tag Team titles.
Up next? Kassius Ohno vs. Luke Harper.
Next, the Ascension cut a promo on Graves and Neville saying they wasted Enzo and Cass and will take home the tag titles tonight.
Back in the arena, Kassius Ohno is out (w/ footage from 4 months ago). Wyatt Family music hits and Harper is out next, alone.
Match #2: Kassius Ohno vs. Luke Harper
Okay, my point still stands because on paper Ohno vs. Harper could be a stiff elbow fest. Unfortunately, we’re clearly winding down Ohno’s first NXT run and it’s time to have him take some losses on the way out the door. Harper goes over quite strong with the Discus Clothesline in quick fashion. As much as I love Harper, he’s already main roster, so I’d have loved someone new getting this spot if they’re going to have Ohno lose on TV like this.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I’m not going to “Thumbs Down” a chance to see Luke Harper work. That said, I’d love to see a competitive 10+ minute match between these two in present day.
Next, Enzo and Cass cut a promo backstage on Dawson and Rusev. Cass does most of the talking and Enzo keeps trying to cut in to make a “sawft taco” joke. It’s painful because Cass isn’t a great promo but Enzo is… Enzo. So yeah. At least we’ll get to see Rusev celebrate Rusev Day by breaking another board that says “Colin” on one side and “Enzo” on the other sometime very soon.
Up next? The Bo Dallas Invitational!
During the break, a Mojo Rawley hype video airs. Believe me, that pun was 100% unintentional. Mojo talks about what a man could be capable of he stays “hyped” all of the time. I’m going to assume so far that means you get a win during a pre-show Battle Royal and hang out with Gronk. Time will still tell as we’re only five years into that particular experiment. Anyway, Mojo debuts next week. “Yay”.
Back from break, The Ascension’s music hits and they’re out. Wow, they’re answering the Bo Dallas Invitational challenge the same night they have a tag title match? Oh, wait, this is the tag title match. The Bo Invitational isn’t really “up next”. Even the “up next” graphics lie in JBL’s NXT. Neville is out first for the champs and Graves enters last.
Match #3: Adrian Neville & Corey Graves (c) vs. The Ascension (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)
Easily the best match on this show. We build to a Neville hot tag by watching The Ascension work over Graves’ compromised ribs for most of the match. Neville gets the tag, goes on his run, and has Victor dead to rights for the Red Arrow. Conor is able to pull Victor just out of the way and Neville misses. Graves breaks up a pin attempt on Neville, drags Neville over to their corner, and tags himself in. Despite such a valiant effort, Graves ends up eating a Fall of Man. New champs.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Here we go. The Ascension are arguably the most successful NXT tag team champions and I only caught the tail end of their reign back when I started watching NXT in 2015 as these old episodes weren’t on the Network yet. I can’t wait to see the reaction from Full Sail change from the polite applause they get for winning this title match to what they get two hundred plus days into their reign.
Next, a RVD hype video airs. He’ll be on the show next week. I wonder if he’ll be squashing Mojo in Mojo’s debut? I doubt it… but fingers are crossed!
Back from break, Bo Dallas is out for his “Invitational”. Women are screaming in the crowd for some reason. Maybe someone has been attacked in the crowd? Bo gets a mic and reminds us of the rules and says anyone who can pin him gets a title shot in two weeks.
Random music hits and some dude is out. He’s never named by commentary and Full Sail starts chanting “This Guy” at him so that’s his name. It is now canon (at least on this site).
Match #4: Bo Dallas vs. This Guy (Bo Dallas Invitational)
This Guy gets a roll up on Bo for a two count and Full Sail explodes. Sadly, from there Bo dismantles This Guy and puts him away with a spear.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Bo is the perfect type of heel for a farce like this and the post-match stuff is a fun way to end the show. Finally, this episode is starting to turn around.
Post-match, Bo gets a mic and says that surely someone else in the back is up for the challenge. Leo Kruger’s music hits and he’s out. As he gets to ringside, Cesaro’s music hits and he’s out. There’s some back and forth between Kruger and Cesaro and they both slide into the ring. The crowd chants “triple threat” as Cesaro and Kruger start brawling. Cesaro dumps Kruger and while his back is turned, Bo knees Cesaro out of the ring.
Some more music hits and some guy in a lucha mask is out. The bell rings, Bo misses a spear in the corner, and eats a Helluva Kick. 3 count.
Bo is down in the corner and the man pulls off the mask to reveal Sami Zayn making a weird face. Bo looks horrified. This is done in a nearly shot for shot remake on SmackDown in 2016 when La Luchadora is revealed to be Becky Lynch. Even down to Becky making a similar face as Zayn does here and Alexa Bliss giving a more exaggerated version of Bo’s reaction. I wonder if that SmackDown reveal was a call back to this moment or just random coincidence?
Anyway, Sami Zayn backdoored his way into a title match in two weeks! I half-expected JBL to come out and somehow ruin this finish, but alas, it was not John O’Clock so we were saved from that happening.
We go off the air on Sami Zayn celebrating in the ring.