WWE NXT 11/06/13 features Luke Harper taking on Kassius Ohno. I’d normally be excited by this combination, but the last time these two faced off a month prior didn’t really light too many fires as it was a squash match. Beyond that, maybe the “mysterious blonde woman” (aka – Lana) will get a name tonight as Alexander Rusev takes on his former manager (or just a guy who took Rusev and Scott Dawson to Sizzler?) Sylvester Lefort. No women’s matches confirmed for this week’s show which means we’re either getting a backstage segment or we’re going for that Crown Jewel aesthetic. All right, let’s see what went down five years ago on NXT.
WWE NXT 11/06/13 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on a “WWE dot com exclusive” video of Sylvester Lefort confronting “mysterious blonde woman (aka Lana)”. Lefort wants to know what is wrong with Rusev since he is Lefort’s client. Lana responds in Russian and the gist is that Rusev is her client now.
Standard NXT opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail.
Lefort is out and he’s counting money. Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show and two spins of the “random wheel of commentary” has landed us with Alex Riley and Renee Young joining him this week. Tom gets busy explaining the cold open video we just saw. “Mysterious blonde woman” is out to speak Russian, get “what”ed by Full Sail, and introduce Rusev. Maybe I missed it, but now Tom is calling her “this Lana” so I guess she has an official name now.
Match #1: Sylvester Lefort vs. Alexander Rusev (w/ This Lana)
Lefort offers Rusev money, eats a body attack, and immediately taps out to the Accolade. To add insult to injury, Rusev shoves Lefort’s money into his mouth before slapping on the finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – There isn’t much to this segment but at least Lana has a name now.
Post-match, Lana and Rusev head to the back.
Meanwhile, Charlotte and Bayley are hanging out backstage and they’ve fixed Bayley’s headband that was broken by the BFFs. Bayley “woo”s and Charlotte takes offense to this because she’s not her Dad. The BFFs roll up, Sasha calls Bayley “Bales”, and they give her a new headband (it has kittens on it!). Summer and Charlotte have words and you can see some interplay between Sasha and Bayley that looking back on it now is really cool to see considering how their NXT runs turn out. The point here is that Bayley is gullible and easily impressed by the “shiny thing” that is a spot in the BFFs. Summer implies they could “use” someone like Bayley and she should consider joining them. Summer makes another dig at Charlotte and Bayley has to hold Charlotte back as the BFFs leave. They’re also dropping not so subtle hints that Charlotte will turn on Bayley sooner rather than later.
Later tonight? Kassius Ohno vs. Luke Harper of Wyatt Family infamy.
Up next? Leo Kruger returns.
Back from break, El Local is out. Leo Kruger is out next.
Match #2: El Local vs. Leo Kruger
A squash match to “re-establish” Kruger for what feels like the fourth or fifth time now. Kruger runs through Local and makes him tap out to his submission finisher.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Kruger is good, but they’re really spinning their wheels with him. Kruger has had his moments at Full Sail, but it’s starting to feel like this character would hit a ceiling as a mid-card heel at NXT.
Two weeks ago? Paige accidentally clotheslines Emma.
Last week? Emma accidentally hits Paige.
WWE dot com exclusive? Emma and Paige are backstage arguing during CJ Parker’s entrance. Paige doesn’t buy that Emma hit her by mistake and tells her to keep away from her.
Meanwhile, already in the ring? Travis Tyler and Troy McClain. Out next? The Ascension.
Match #3: Travis Tyler & Troy McClain vs. The Ascension
Almost the same thing that happened two weeks ago. Only this time, they don’t take McClain out on the apron. He just stands there and watches The Ascension utterly dominate Tyler. Commentary hypes up that GM JBL is testing out new talent by making them tag team against the Ascension. Seems “on brand” for JBL.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – I like Ascension in NXT, but they should probably beat someone of substance soon.
Later tonight? Ohno vs. Harper.
Back from break, Mojo Rawley is out. Yay. Already in the ring? Tye Dillinger. Yay!
Match #4: Mojo Rawley vs. Tye Dillinger
Well, Tye makes sitting through a green Mojo Rawley match more enjoyable. Not that modern-day Mojo is super great, but this early in the game his offense consists of doing football moves, a body slam, and his butt-based finisher. Tye tries to wrangle out some babyface sympathy before Mojo goes through the limited offense he knows and wins.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Kudos to Tye for trying… but nope.
Next, we get a Raw recap and I didn’t watch Raw then and I don’t watch Raw now.
Up next? Main event.
Back from break? Next week? Bayley and Charlotte vs. Summer Rae and Sasha Banks.
Also, next week? Adrian Neville takes on former partner Corey Graves in a two out of three falls match.
The Wyatt Family stinger hits and Luke Harper is out to the Wyatt Family music. Kassius Ohno is out next.
Match #5: Luke Harper vs. Kassius Ohno
So, my complaints about the last time these guys faced off? Addressed. And then some. This is a fight. Really the only way to describe it. This is the stiff strike-fest between two monsters that I wanted. The result wasn’t much of a surprise since my future knowledge tells me that Ohno is on his way out of the company – but that didn’t spoil this match for me. Harper absorbs two of Ohno’s Rolling Elbows and Harper puts Ohno away with a Discus Clothesline out of nowhere. Absolutely no funny business from the Wyatt Family happens so this is everything I could have wanted.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – The slugfest I wanted last time. I wish we could have the 2018 version of this since Ohno is back at NXT and Harper is currently doing zero on the main roster.
We go off the air on Ohno heading to the back and rejecting assistance from the ref.