Another week, another episode from NXT’s checkered past – this week is WWE NXT 10/24/12. No clue what is going to happen on this week’s show since we’re back to no “next week” hints dropped in the episodes. I imagine either the Usos / Ascension feud will continue or perhaps the Ohno / Steamboat feud? Let’s find out!
WWE NXT 10/24/12 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on “earlier today”. Dusty Rhodes is hanging out somewhere at Full Sail when – enter Heath Slater. Heath wants Rollins for the title tonight and Dusty lets him know at NXT you earn title shots when – enter Vickie Guerrero. Vickie is there to recruit the future so she puts over Heath (who I guess is on the main roster already at this point so wrap your mind around that). Dusty grants Slater a non-title match with Rollins tonight, and if Heath wins, he’ll get a future title shot. This pleases Slater and Vickie so they leave.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail.
Cold open on a disco ball and Brodus Clay’s music hits. Cameron and Naomi are out, eventually followed by Brodus. They dance to the ring. Some random guy starts putting over the main event and thankfully a chyron pops up to tell us our commentary team is suddenly Tony Luftman and William Regal. Just when it felt like Saxton was in a groove, here’s a random guy who is very generic sounding on the mic to replace him.
Camacho is out next – alone. Regal mentions that Hunico got in trouble but won’t go into detail. Apparently we “won’t be seeing Hunico for a while” so I’m not sure if this is a work, if he’s already become Sin Cara, is injured, or he got in some shoot drama that is keeping him off TV.
Also, of note – Brodus and co. are up on the main roster at this point too. So, that is the sudden growing theme on NXT starting this week. A few of the NXT regulars and some lower card main roster players filling out the rest of the matches. I wasn’t watching WWE in 2012 at all, so this is novel, but it feels very confusing and disjointed. But, I’ll get into that a bit later.
Match #1: Brodus Clay (w/ Naomi & Cameron) vs. Camacho
Clay goes over strong, which is no surprise. Camacho’s big spot is a Samoan Drop on Clay, which Clay kicks out of so hard it sends Camacho tumbling out to the floor. From there, Camacho attempts to hit on Naomi and Cameron, who patronize him long enough for Clay to emerge and chase Camacho back into the ring. Brodus hits an exploder suplex, follows it up with a big splash, and picks up an easy win.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – A main roster guy shows up and gets a squash victory over a guy who apparently just lost his tag partner. Good times.
Post-match, kids flood the ring and dance with Clay and the ladies – well, sort of. One boy gets paired up with Naomi and is not having it. Naomi tries her best but the kid clearly didn’t want to be there. I’m guessing his parents forced him into it? I mean it’s Naomi, dance with her already!
Next, a Paige hype video airs. She’s in action tonight!
Meanwhile, Saxton is standing in front of a weird podium on the stage with Richie Steamboat. We learn Steamboat isn’t medically cleared to wrestle tonight after taking the shot from Ohno to the back of the head last week. Steamboat calls Ohno a coward and Ohno’s music hits in response. Kassius cuts a promo on Steamboat saying Richie’s career is finished and he will be kicking back on the porch talking about the “good ol’ days” with the older Steamboat. It’s time for Ohno to move on from Steamboat and focus on becoming NXT Champion. Ohno grabs his towel and tosses it at Steamboat, telling him it’s time to throw in the towel. But now, Ohno must head to the ring and end someone else’s career. After a decent amount of roasting Steamboat, Ohno finally heads to the ring and we go to break.
Back from break, Trent Barreta is out.
Match #2: Kassius Ohno vs. Trent Barreta
Ohno does not end Trent’s career. Instead, they have a decent match – one of the better ones on this episode actually. Trent gets in some offense early, before Ohno takes control by shoving Barreta into the apron on the outside. From there, Ohno grinds down Trent and the match starts heading into “Rolling Elbow Out of Nowhere” territory. However, Steamboat heads out with the towel and distracts Ohno – eventually tossing the towel onto Ohno’s face. This is enough to allow Barreta to recover and hit a running knee strike for the upset victory.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A decently worked match with a distraction finish to keep the Steamboat / Ohno feud going. Hey, with the way NXT in 2012 is becoming a C-level main roster show – I’ll take my NXT-centric feud where I can get it.
Post-match, Ohno rages in the ring with his towel while Trent celebrates on the stage with Richie.
Later tonight? Rollins vs. Slater.
Up next? Paige & Audrey Marie vs. Layla & Alicia Fox.
Back from break, we get to see our announcers and Regal introduces us to Tony. I don’t recognize Tony so I imagine he’s not long for his spot on commentary.
Layla and Fox are out next to Layla’s music. Paige’s music hits to a pop and she’s out with Audrey Marie. The announcers put over this big opportunity for Paige & Audrey to face some real, live main roster Divas. Oh boy.
Match #3: Layla & Alicia Fox vs. Paige & Audrey Marie
Once again, any time Fox and Paige are in the ring together it’s gold. Everything else – eh, not so much. We’re still in “Diva match” territory even if Fox tries her best by busting out her incredible Fisherman’s Suplex (w/ bridge) and Paige fights in a decidedly “not Diva-like” style. The finish comes when Paige is about to hit Layla with the Rampaige but Audrey tags herself in. Paige jaws at Audrey for doing this, Audrey does a lazy cover on Layla, and gets rolled up in return – taking the loss. Very non-sensical of a finish even if we’re going for a “Paige turning on Audrey” angle or something.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Waiting for the “one step forward” to happen again, since we’ve been taking a lot of “two steps back” in the women’s division so far.
Meanwhile, Briley is backstage with Seth Rollins. Topics covered include how annoying Vickie Guerrero is, how Slater is running on “15 minutes of fame”, and Seth being the future.
Next, a Bronson hype video airs. He’s up next.
Back from break, Bronson is out. Already in the ring? Lincoln Brodrick.
Match #4: Bronson vs. Lincoln Brodrick
Bronson destroys Brodrick and yells at him lot while doing so. A standard “this guy is tough and a monster” NXT squash match.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Big E Langston is already doing this on NXT and doing it better.
Post-match, Bronson rants and raves at the camera. I guess this is his thing?
Meanwhile, Ohno is backstage and trashing a meeting room of some sort.
After that, WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro is out. I should mention this episode clocks in at over one hour and that’s without commercial breaks – so probably closer to eighty minutes. It’s like every aspect of WWE main roster product I don’t like is featured in this one episode of NXT – the show I usually like.
Anyway, Cesaro hits the ring to cut a promo putting himself over and speaking in a variety languages while doing so. He demands that the crowd stand up for the National Anthem, milks the boos for a while, but finally gets people to stand. Then, he demands they play the Swiss National Anthem. This causes Tyson Kidd’s music to hit and he’s out. Tyson cuts a promo on the way to ring making fun of Cesaro’s man purse. Somehow this devolves into the crowd chanting “USA” at a Canadian guy cutting a promo on a Swiss guy – pro wrestling, folks. Kidd wants a title shot, Cesaro isn’t impressed, Kidd slaps Cesaro, and ends up dropkicking him out of the ring. That’s the “too long, didn’t watch” (tl;dw) recap – this segment eats up like ten minutes of air time.
Meanwhile, Heath is backstage warming up while Vickie Guerrero looks on.
Back from break, Vickie heads out by yelling “excuse me” and proceeds to put Slater over as the “future of NXT”. Slater is out and Jim Ross joins commentary. Seth’s music hits and he’s out last.
Match #5: Seth Rollins vs. Heath Slater (w/ Vickie Guerrero)
Not a terrible match, but really nothing to write home about. What we have seems like “a main roster dude is getting shoe-horned into a one-off match with the NXT Champion” and that is exactly how this plays out. Rollins goes over clean with his Skywalker finish (no Blackout / Curb Stomp and it wasn’t even banned yet!) and this match just sort of exists. NXT is so weird at this point in 2012. The Shield is about to debut on the main roster, Bray Wyatt has been featured on exactly one episode of the show over four months time, and now we’re bringing midcard title holders onto this show for no reason. Either way, it’s a “main event” and Seth goes over – so no future Slater title match on the show. I see that as a good thing – considering the way this episode went I expected Slater to win and for them have to have this same match again in two weeks.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Both guys do good work but the match is pointless on a show filled with random, pointless matches.
Post-match, Seth celebrates in the ring, while Vickie goes off on Slater and eventually ditches him to head to the back.
We go off the air by having Jim Ross telling us that Roman Reigns debuts next week and we’re also getting Cesaro vs. Kidd for the main roster WWE U.S. Title. More disjointed weirdness ahead!