SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report was originally published five years ago this week on PWTorch.com…
WWE NXT TV Report
August 21, 2013
Taped at Full Sail University
By Justin James, PWTorch contributor
[Q1] Pre-credit video started with a high energy presentation on the Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro rubber match tonight.
The show started with Bayley facing A.J. Lee for the WWE Divas Championship. Given some of what Bayley has shown in her debut match against Paige, there is a chance that this can be a solid match so long as she keeps her gimmick out of the way. Hopefully, A.J. can slap the goofy out of Bayley and bring back the aggression. Tom Philips and Alex Riley have the call.
1 – Divas champion A.J. LEE vs. BAYLEY – WWE Divas Title match
Bayley wants a huge to start off, but A.J. looks afraid. The crowd wants them to hug it out. A.J. looks like she will, then he knocks Bayley down. A.J. with a pair of neckbreakers and a cover. A.J. claims she’s hugging Bayley’s neck as she applies a hold. Bayley fights out, but bounces right into an elbow. Bayley dodges a corner charge, but looks ashamed that A.J. got hurt, then starts hugging A.J. repeatedly. Philips wants to know if Dr. Shelby is around. Bayley starts to lose her fear of hurting A.J., who plays up a mouth injury. Bayley seems sorry and offers a hug, but A.J. takes advantage. Shining Wizard from A.J. wraps it up.
WINNER: A.J. Lee in 4:15. Bayley’s gimmick takes so much away from her in-ring abilities. Emma had to tone down the klutz routine for the same reason, and she’s clicking as a result. But, Bayley right now seems to be dangerously close to Festus territory at this point.
Backstage, Tyler Breeze is staring at himself in his phone. A woman bumps into him and he asks if she wants to take a picture. She is flattered and agrees, but than he says, “of me.” She is reluctant. The photobomber is back, it is definitely C.J. Parker. Breeze is furious at the results.
2 – THE ASCENSCION (CONOR O’BRIAN & RICK VICTOR) vs. RON HICKS & MICHAEL ZAKI – Tag Team Match
O’Brian immediately takes the fight to Zaki. Typical Ascension squash. Zaki didn’t land a single blow or tag in Hicks.
WINNERS: The Ascension in 2:00.
Scott Stamford confirms that C.J. Parker is the photobomber, and announces that the “new and improved” Parker is re-debuting next.
[Q2] Baron Corbin, who hasn’t been on NXT in quite some time, is out to face the repackaged C.J. Parker. Parker’s new music is a knock-off of the Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower” and he does a dance like he’s a stoned flower child. The flowery yin-yang reminds me of RVD. Philips: “He looks like the ‘Predator’ guy hit over the head with a flower child.” That may be the best commentary he has ever had.
3 – C.J. PARKER vs. BARON CORBIN
Parker dances a bit, then tangles up with Corbin. Corbin gets in some offense, but Parker fights out of the corner. Parker wraps it up.
WINNER: C.J. Parker in 2:00. NXT now has three wrestlers with ridiculous in-ring mannerisms. Hooray.
Post-match, Renee Young enters the ring for an interview. She asks where he’s been. I’d guess “hanging out with RVD and Jack Swagger.” But he says, “it’s more like ‘where haven’t I’ve been.'” He’s says he is just having a little fun. She brings up the photobombing, he says she needs to mellow out, he’s just “photolovin.'” Tyler Breeze with the interruption. The ‘Tron shows the picture from earlier. Breeze is steamed. Parker says Breeze needs to be cool. Breeze calls him a Lenny Kravitz wanna-be. Parker almost hits Breeze, and Breeze scampers.
[J.J.’s Reax: Breeze is slowly growing on me with his performances. ]
Dolph Ziggler is advertised as being on next.
Alexander Rusev, advertised as being from Bulgaria, and wearing a leather skirt, is making his debut. He is holding up a piece of wood with “Ziggler” written on it. He’s a big boy. Philips says he is trained in Muay Thai and has sumo training. He takes off the skirt and has a shorter leather skirt underneath. He does the routine from “Kickboxer” and taps his knees, then breaks the wood over his knee. Ziggler comes out to a big pop.
4 – DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. ALEXANDER RUSEV
Crowd chants “That was Awesome” before anything even happens. Rusev’s size gives an earlier advantage. Ziggler starts to take things seriously after getting knocked down.
[Q3] Resev rocks Ziggler with knees in the mid-section while tangling Ziggler in the ropes. Jawbreaker gets Ziggler out of a waistlock. Ziggler with a comeback, but Rusev quickly turns it around. Ziggler surprises Rusev and lands the Fameasser for a nearfall. Rusev holds the ropes on a Zig Zag attempt, then responds with a running spinning heel kick for a nearfall. Rusev goes to the top rope for a splash, but Ziggler rolls under and responds with a Zig Zag for the win.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler in 6:30. If there was any doubt, Ziggler is the Chris Jericho of his generation. For Ziggler, he is bumping hard to put over the next group of wrestlers long before he’s even hit his own prime. Rusev had some decent moves here (particularly the spinning heel kick) and he seemed very agile. They are trying to package him like Samoa Joe.
Sami Zayn is out to a nice reception for his two-out-of-three falls match with Antonio Cesaro. They brawl (started by a flip dive from Zayn to Cesaro on the ramp) before they even get to the ring. The ref gets some space between then, makes sure they are ready, and calls for the bell.
5 – SAMI ZAYN vs. ANTONIO CESARO – Two-out-of-Three Falls match
The moment the bell rings, Zayn charges Cesaro in the corner and creams him with a big boot and a schoolboy for the first pinfall.
FIRST FALL: Sami Zayn at 0:10.
That looked brutal. Zayn clears Cesaro from the ring, then takes the fight to the outside. Zayn continues to dominate Cesaro. Zayn with ten punches in the corner, but gets caught at nine. Zayn frustrates Cesaro. Top rope crossbody gets a nearfall. Cesaro flapjacks Zayn into the turnbuckle.
Cesaro starts to dominate Zayn with grinding offense. Riley uses his history with The Miz to explain why grudge matches can be so good. Cesaro catches a kick and somehow lifts Zayn up for a powerbomb barely even bending his knees. Zayn starts to fight back but Cesaro no sells it, angering Zayn even more. Cesaro embarrasses Zayn on the mat. Gutwrench suplex, but Zayn slides down and rolls up Cesaro for two.
Zayn turns up the speed. Cesaro with a suplex into a bridge for two.
[ Commercial Break ]
[Q4] Cesaro locks on a chinlock hold out of the break. He catches Zayn, but Zayn slips out and rolls up Cesaro for two. Cesaro wants to surprise Zayn with a back body drop but Zayn sees it and kicks off of Cesaro. So smooth. Zayn charges but gets caught in a Cesaro chinlock. Zayn taps to the chinlock.
SECOND FALL: Antonio Cesaro via submission at 10:00. Mark that in the history books, someone tapped to a chinlock.
The crowd wills Zayn back to his feet, but as soon as he gets there, Cesaro flattens him for a nearfall. Cesaro tries to Van Gogh Zayn while the ref can’t see. Zayn on the apron, Cesaro on the second rope inside the ring, and suplexes Zayn back into the ring. Zayn barely manages to kick out. Cesaro can’t believe he didn’t win there, I can’t believe he managed to do that. Cesaro blocks a schoolboy attempt and lifts Zayn up for a power move, but Zayn slips out and rolls up Cesaro for two. Cesaro pops out of the cover and immediately locks in a seated chinlock, but Zayn flips over Cesaro and bridges Cesaro for two. Cesaro eats turnbuckle then shoe leather for two.
They stagger to their feet. Zayn counters a back body drop with a wicked running sunset flip powerbomb. Cesaro rolls out of the ring to save the match. Zayn runs along the floor ringside, drives through the ropes in the corner, lands on Cesaro on the other side of the corner at ringside, and transitions into a tornado DDT onto the ramp. Both men are down and the entire crowd is on their feet.
Zayn makes it into the ring and Cesaro is out cold. Cesaro gets in at nine-and-three quarters, then Zayn immediately into a cover for two-and-seven-eighths. Zayn with a wristlock and kicks and a springboard spinning DDT, but Cesaro catches him on the armdrag and reverses with a front suplex, but Zayn holds on. Cesaro carries Zayn all over the ring trying to shake him loose. Cesaro with a press slam into a European Uppercut, and right into the Neutralizer for the win.
WINNER: Antonio Cesaro in 15:30. That was a beyond superb match. The counters and reversals were layered on top of each other into strings of three and four. There wasn’t a moment of drag in there, even the holds were quick and to the point. Cesaro isn’t just insanely strong, he is superbly conditioned to be able to do those power moves for 15 minutes straight without a moment’s break. The second rope suplex to Zayn involved leverages that I cannot imagine, and the press slam to uppercut was amazing. Zayn was insane, particularly his dive through the corner of the ropes from ringside to ringside. This was a “total package” of a match, and there were several “shout at the scream” moments. The only other matches I’ve seen this good on NXT were an earlier Zayn vs. Cesaro bout, and Regal vs. Ohno.
Post-match, despite the fact that the crowd was 100 percent behind Zayn, Cesaro gets a hero’s reaction and a standing ovation. The crowd followed with a unanimous “Match of Year!” chant. It’s a serious contender.
Final Reax: C.J. Parker is a really silly character, as is Bayley. I like the potential of Tyler Breeze. The Ascension is treading water until they can step up to Graves and Neville. But that last match… if you consider yourself a fan of professional wrestling, and do not watch it, you are missing something special.