5 YRS AGO – NXT TV REPORT (4-24-13): Cesaro vs. Neville, Wade Barrett vs. Bo Dallas, plus A.J. Lee, Big E, Brad Maddox, Kaitlyn

By Justin James, PWTorch contributor


A.J. Lee (photo credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)

The following was published on PWTorch.com five years ago this week…


WWE NXT Results
April 24, 2013
Taped at Full Sail University

This week’s episode was advertised as showing a number of NXT members against main roster members. Since some of these are championship matches, the outcome is unfortunately quite predictable. With any luck, the action will not fail to deliver.

[Q1] Dusty Rhodes has a pre-credits promo from his office welcoming us to NXT “Clash of the Champions.”

As Antonio Cesaro makes his way to the ring, WWE engages in a rare moment of honesty with a crawler noting that this episode was taped before Cesaro lost his title. He cut a short promo demanding respect from the crowd, but was cut off by Adrian Neville’s music.

1 – ANTONIO CESARO vs. ADRIAN NEVILLE – United States Title match

Neville with a quick schoolboy for a quick pin attempt. Cesaro takes him down and mocks him a bit. Cesaro with some offense, but a huracanrana sends Cesaro out of the ring. Neville’s speed lets Neville look good, but Cesaro catches him in the corner and dumps him face-first into the ring post.

[Commercial Break]

Cesaro with a post-break hold, but Neville breaks out. Cesaro with a double stomp to put Neville back down. There’s some exciting action as Neville keeps trying to speed it up and Cesaro keeps shutting him down with counters and reversals. Neville low-bridges Cesaro then strikes from the apron. Neville with a springboard moonsault from the apron knocking Cesaro down and somehow landing on his feet. The crowd is on their feet after that. Springboard missile drop kick gets a nearfall, then a standing star press for a nearfall then a brilliant jumping headscissors into a pin for a nearfall.

They reset. Neville wants a moonsault from the turnbuckle but Cesaro catches him and Neville reverses the counter with a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Neville sets up the corkscrew Shooting Star Press, but Cesaro crotches him. Cesaro with a running European uppercut to Neville on the post, then picks him off the turnbuckle for the Neutralizer and the win.

WINNER: Antonio Cesaro in 9:45. This match fulfilled then exceeded all of the promise that we’ve seen in both Cesaro and Neville. If you were not well acquainted with WWE booking and the knowledge that the U.S. Title would never change hands on NXT, this would be a nailbiter. Neville didn’t play the “scrappy, undersized, underdog who just might get lucky” here, he really did come off as a legitimate contender who was beaten by a more experienced competitor. The number of reversals and counters in this match made it feel like you were watching Chris Jericho facing Chris Jericho.

[Q2] A.J. comes out looking a bit nuts for her match, as Byron Saxton gives them the full honors for the championship match.

2 – Divas champion KAITLYN vs. A.J. LEE – Divas Title match

Kaitlyn offers a handshake and A.J. barely takes it, then she slaps Kaitlyn hard. Kaitlyn with some whips, but A.J. dodges a corner charge and starts to work an arm. Kaitlyn tries to fight out of an armbar, but A.J. takes her down again. Kaitlyn fights out of the corner then runs at A.J., but A.J. opens the ropes to send Kaitlyn to the outside. A.J. locks in a sleeperhold, but Kaitlyn quickly escapes. A.J. with more offense and she looks frustrated. Kaitlyn with the spear with no warning for the win.

WINNER: Kaitlyn in 5:00. A.J. is quite likely the best thing going in the ring on the main roster. Natalya is arguably more technically skilled, but A.J.’s ring psychology is far better.

Backstage, Tony Dawson has Chris Jericho, who is set to be on NXT next week. Jericho compliments Tony Dawson’s attire, and says that he’s impressed by the NXT facility, and hypes NXT as the future of WWE. Dusty Rhodes has let him have his pick of opponents, but then Bray Wyatt interrupts. He offers to make Jericho something that people fear again, if he just carries the chains of the Wyatt Family. Jericho tells him to never interrupt him again, and says that he’s been watching Wyatt, and he’s good but not great. Jericho says Wyatt is his opponent for next week. Jericho says that beating him will likely send him to the main roster and if he loses, he will join the Family.

[ J.J.’s Reax: Good segment, with Jericho putting over Wyatt while not pandering to him. It shows a lot of well-placed confidence in Wyatt to spend a Jericho match on him. Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves are the only other Superstars that this would make sense for. ]

[Q3] Big E. Langston comes out to a five count chant to face Brad Maddox. Brad Maddox gives his own introduction, and claims to be 295 pounds, “chiseled.” He also copped a page from Mr. Anderson and repeated his name.

3 – NXT champion BIG E. LANGSTON vs. BRAD MADDOX – NXT Title match

Maddox offers a handshake, then changes his mind, big Langston back-drops him. Maddox pokes Langston, then shoves him, and pays the price. Langston drops the straps and lands the Big Ending for the win.

WINNER: Big E. Langston in 1:00. Langston is at his best in squash matches.

Post-match, Langston gives the crowd what they want, another Big Ending and a five count. He lets the crowd talk him into a third, over the ref’s objections.

Tony Dawson is backstage with Bo Dallas to ask him about this shot at the Intercontinental Title. Dallas says he is under-rated like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, and others.

4 – IC champion WADE BARRETT vs. BO DALLAS – Intercontinental Title match

Barrett easily muscles Dallas into the corner, but Dallas surprises Barrett with an elbow to get some respect. Barrett responses with brawling offense.

[Q4] Dallas with a brief flurry, but Barrett takes a breather outside. Barrett with more brawling. Dallas makes a comeback and takes Barrett out of the ring with a clothesline.

[Commercial Break]

Dallas is controlling Barrett by the arm, but Barrett comes back. A knee to the head flips Dallas around, then Barrett follows with a big boot. Dallas is reeling. Barrett sets Dallas across the corner ropes and knees him in the gut and over the ropes. Pumphandle slam gets Barrett a two count. Knees to Dallas in the ropes draws the ref’s reprimand. Dallas gets boots up in the corner then a drop toehold to gain some breathing room.

Barrett wants a pumphandle slam, but Dallas reverses. Barrett shrugs off a tornado bulldog and hits the Winds of Change for a nearfall. Barrett calls for the end and rolls down the elbow pad, but Dallas ducks the Bullhammer and hits a tornado bulldog for a nearfall. Barrett blocks a whip, and wants Wasteland, but Dallas holds the ropes and gets onto the turnbuckle. Dallas looks for a move off the ropes, but Barrett catches him with a Bullhammer in mid-air for the win.

WINNER: Wade Barrett in 12:30. Barrett showed the offense that has impressed many, and Dallas did his usual fine job at selling, but Dallas still lacks pizzazz and impact on offense. The crowd was firmly behind Barrett, which didn’t help.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The first match was very, very good, and the last match was decent enough, but there was little reason to watch this episode. Most of the storylines are close to dead at this point, unfortunately, outside of the Divas, which is an unusual state for a WWE show.


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NXT FLASHBACK: 5 YRS AGO – NXT TV REPORT: Rollins vs. Corey Graves, Bayley vs. Emma, plus Bray Wyatt, Yoshi Tatsu, Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger (Adam Rose)

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