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WWE NXT - December 18, 2013

by Samoa Rowe

-From Orlando, FL. Our hosts are Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Lord F’n Tensai.

-The show kicks off with the GREATEST OF ALL TIME, KING OF KINGS, COO, AUTHORITY AND MASTER OF WWE AND ALL SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT, THE ONE AND ONLY TRIPLE H! The crowd gives him a hero’s welcome, but he shakes it off and puts over the greatness that is NXT. He lists off all the great main roster superstars that came through NXT over the past 200 episodes. Triple H is in complete baby face mode here and thanks the fans for their support.

Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd vs. Leo Kruger and Antonio Cesaro

Kruger squares off with Kidd, knocking him down with a shoulder block. Kidd maneuvers into an arm drag to fluster Kruger. Zayn tags, prompting Kruger to retreat into a Cesaro tag. The crowd is jazzed to see Zayn battle Cesaro again and chant “Match of the year” in honor of their previous encounter. Zayn gets the better of Cesaro and tags in Kidd, who soon suffers a sick backbreaker counter. Cue the commercial! Back from the break, and Tyson is getting his Canadian butt kicked by Kruger and Cesaro. Zayn eventually gets a hot tag and cleans house with a burst of energy, complete with a high cross body for a near fall on Kruger. Zayn runs into Kruger’s knee, but comes back with a Falcon Arrow, but Cesaro breaks the cover. Kidd hip tosses Cesaro over the ropes and nails a somersault cannonball. Zayn nails the Yakuza Kick to finish Kruger at 10:37. Match was pleasant to watch and followed the traditional tag formula, but isn’t something you just NEED to see, **½.
Winners: Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd

-Natalya is studying a match backstage and is interrupted by Emma’s dancing. Emma gives Natalya a hard time for losing to Paige recently, prompting Nattie to give her a hard time for dancing. This sets up a match between them which should be a blast.

Sasha Banks (with Summer Rae) vs. Paige

Paige goes right for the head, but Sasha claws back (not being sexist, she DOES use her finger nails). Sasha snaps Paige’s head on the ropes to take control. Paige breaks a chinlock by ramming Sasha into the turnbuckles. Sasha attempts a wrist takedown out of the corner, but Paige reverses. Paige makes the heroic comeback but Summer grabs her ankle. Sasha misses a running kick and hits Summer! The Paige Turner ends it at 3:35! Very good showing from both divas here, especially in a short match. I fear what WWE creative will do with them once they’re called up, but Paige and Sasha are more than ready.
Winner: Paige

-Enzo Amore is stuck in a wheelchair, but his mouth still works and he’s yammering on to Colin Cassady. They’re distracted by Aiden English rehearsing in the corner. They get into an argument, setting up English vs. Cassady sometime in the near future. I’m not terribly thrilled about this match up, but it was fun seeing English interact with other superstars in a backstage setting.

The Ascension (Viktor and Konnor) vs. The American Pitbulls (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards!!!)

The Ascension issued an open challenge, which has been answered by a couple of interns! The Pitbulls have new jobber names, but I don’t feel like remembering them. Richards squares off with Viktor and actually gets a chance to look good, controlling Viktor’s arm to make a tag to Edwards. Konnor tags in and doesn’t really look that much bigger than the supposedly undersized Edwards. Blind tag by Davey, and the Pitbulls nail a double arm drag! They fight off Viktor, but Konnor plants Davey to make him the face in peril. Viktor drops Richards right on his head at one point, not sure whose fault it is though. Eddie tags and gets to clean house briefly, setting up double suicide dives from the Pitbulls! Diving head butt by Richards gets 2 on Viktor. Sadly, Viktor nails a leg lariat to set up THE FALL OF MAN on Davey for the win at 4:14. The Pitbulls were not treated like jobbers here, I hope this is a sign of good things to come. **.
Winners: The Ascension

-Hunico and Camacho appear on the ramp to stir up trouble with the Ascension, who respond by beating down the American Pitbulls further.

-Kofi Kingston is interviewed backstage. Kofi is so happy to be a part of the 200th episode but gets interrupted by Lana, who challenges him on behalf of Alexander Rusev. Kofi doesn’t back down from any challenges, so the match is on.

NXT Championship (Lumberjack Match):
Bo Dallas © vs. Adrian Neville

HOWARD FINKEL is here for ring introductions! Bo is reluctant to go toe to toe with Neville and hides in the ropes. Neville shows off with a back handspring into a drop-kick. Fancy rolling cover attempt by Neville gets an early near fall. Lumberjack Tyler Breeze is completely ignoring the match to check himself out on his phone, but tries to force Neville in, only to get slapped. Commercial time! Back from the break, and Dallas is a glutton for punishment as Neville kicks the chest. Bo pulls the tights to toss Neville into some unfriendly lumberjacks, and takes control in the process. Neville takes some punishment but comes back with his patented stiff kicks. Neville hits a running drop-kick for a near fall. Enziguri by Neville and a standing SSP only gets 2! Adrian sets up the Red Arrow but Dallas rolls out. The lumberjacks mob Dallas, inadvertently setting him up for a top rope dive from Neville! That was pretty awesome. Neville goes for the Red Arrow, but Breeze pulls Bo out of the way! Neville wipes out and is pinned by Dallas at 11:19! This built to a fun final stretch, but was rather dull leading up to it, **½.
Winner and still NXT Champion: Bo Dallas

Final Thoughts: This was an overall fun episode that felt important. It set the stage for lots of appealing matches. The highlight was definitely seeing Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards get a tryout and look competitive against The Ascension. This show made me feel happy, so thumbs up.

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