NXT – July 18, 2012: Who Would Have Thought NXT Would Be The Best Show Ever Week?

Date: July 18, 2012
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: William Regal, Byron Saxton

It’s week four or five here and things are seeming to change on this show, which is fine but it also would have been fine if nothing had changed at all. I believe this is the beginning of the second set of tapings so things are likely going to change a bit more here. I don’t remember any announced matches for this so it’ll be a surprise. Let’s get to it.

As I said I don’t know any of the matches but WWE has promised me a great main event tonight.

Welcome Home.

The main event is Slater vs. Gabriel. I forgot about that one.

Tamina Snuka vs. Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn is called the girl next door. I’ve never had a neighbor that looks like her. Tamina tries her power stuff but results in a chop to take Kaitlyn down instead. Kaitlyn leg whips her down and things slow down again. Tamina is screw this wrestling stuff and chops her right back down again. Now it’s a flying chop to mix things up. Kaitlyn hooks a kind of abdominal stretch in the ropes to take over.

Bulldog gets two for Kaitlyn and she hooks a bodyscissors on the mat. Tamina gets up and hits a spinning hair grab to slam Kaitlyn into the mat. Wouldn’t that hurt Tamina too? Tamina tries the splash but Kaitlyn grabs her leg. A Russian legsweep puts Tamina down and Kaitlyn hooks an arm hold while using her legs to hold down Tamina’s head. Tamina is like SAMOA POWER and uses a Samoan Drop to escape. Superfly Splash gets the pin at 5:20.

Rating: D+. I know that the complaint about the Divas that I usually have is that the matches are too short, but then we have matches like these where I don’t care at all no matter what they do. I have no idea who I was supposed to cheer for here or why I’m supposed to be interested in them. This was five minutes of moves with some flow to it but nothing of note. Also, that splash is on the verge of losing the name Superfly Splash because it’s barely the same move.

Raw moment is Jericho debuting in 99.

Big E. Langston, a very muscular black guy is coming. He has more personality in his calf than Ezekiel Jackson has in his whole body from what I can tell.

Jinder Mahal vs. Percy Watson

Mahal grabs a headlock to start as Regal tells stories of facing Mahal’s uncles over 25 years ago. I’d love to just hear Regal tell old wrestling stories. Watson comes back with a suplex but Mahal fires in the knees out of the cravate to take over again. A knee drop gets two for Mahal. Apparently Watson and Cena are friends. Ok then.

Regal points out how the hand grips that Mahal has in this chinlock make the hold more painful. Now that’s some good analysis. Watson comes back with his jumping attacks and the Heisman Splash for two. Percy takes too much time though and walks into a jumping knee and the camel clutch gets the tap at 4:22.

Rating: D+. They’ve wanted to push Mahal for awhile here so I guess this works as well as anything else. NXT is a good place for him but Mahal needs more promo time. We really don’t know anything about Mahal though other than the Khali stuff from a few years ago. Still though, the idea of having a heel like that here is fine for a show like this. The match was dull though.

Richie Steamboat vs. Leo Kruger

Kruger takes him into the corner with chops to start but you can’t chop a Steamboat and gets away with it. Richie rips some skin off Kruger’s chest and a monkey flip sends Kruger flying. Steamboat chargers into the corner but Kruger uses a move I’ve never seen before. He grabs a rollup but uses it to ram Steamboat’s head into the bottom buckle to take over.

Steamboat grabs a small package for two but Kruger puts him right back down with ease. Steamboat gets in a clothesline and some forearms to send Kruger to the floor. We get a chase but as they head back in, Steamboat hits a cross body but Kruger rolls through and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin at 4:30.

Rating: C+. This is what we’ve been building to on NXT for awhile. Not this match in particular, but putting these guys that we’ve built up together and seeing who comes out on top. That’s how you start a new promotion or a brand in this case, and it works very well when it’s done right. They’re doing that here on NXT and it’s working well.

Raquel Diaz promo, I believe the same from last week.

Raquel Diaz vs. Paige

Diaz comes off like something resembling Lady Gaga. She’s on a wireless mic and says she wants to give this show a makeover and sounds like a chick imitating Cher from Clueless. Her parents are Eddie and Vickie Guerrero so the genes are there. Diaz takes her to the mat and rams Paige’s face into the mat. Paige comes back with a kind of superkick but Diaz will have none of that, and hits the Gory Bomb for the pin at 1:49. That’s the kind of debuting squash you need.

Alex Riley is looking for catering and runs into Aksana. Nothing of note happens here but Antonio Cesaro pops up. Aksana says Riley was hitting on her, which Cesaro says is so American. Cesaro wants a match next week, which Riley says is very European of him.

Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel

JR is on commentary here as usual for the main event. Gabriel armdrags him down and hooks an armbar for early control. Slater fights up and gets taken down by the exact same sequence again. Gabriel tries to go up but Slater shoves him to the floor as we take a break. Back with Slater holding a chinlock for a few moments followed by a neckbreaker for two. A hard Irish whip into the corner gets two. Back to the chinlock as the fans chant that they want Frostees.

Slater sends him to the apron and catches Gabriel with a knee coming back in. A middle rope neckbreaker gets two as Slater is staying on the neck which was hurt when Gabriel fell to the floor earlier. Gabriel fires off some kicks and a sitout powerbomb gets two. Slater comes back with a good looking spinebuster for two. They trade some counters resulting in Slater hitting a reverse suplex for two.

A neckbreaker out of the corner gets two for Slater and he loads up a belly to back superplex. Gabriel knocks him off and tries AJ Styles’ backflip into a reverse DDT, but he doesn’t hit it quite right as it looks like he lands in an over the shoulder gutbuster. Not that it matters though as Gabriel hits the reverse DDT for the pin at 8:50 shown of 12:20.

Rating: B-. This is exactly what people like Gabriel and Slater need. They’re not going to get this kind of TV time on Raw or Smackdown anytime soon, but here on NXT they can go and have a 10-12 minute match and get the experience that they need. This was an entertaining match and for a TV main event on the lowest level show, that’s all you can ask for.

Overall Rating: B. NXT continues to be awesome with only the Divas being weak, but that almost goes without saying. There’s one thing here that I’d like to point out that I really like about NXT: Dusty Rhodes is the GM and has appeared I think twice in 5 weeks. What is cool about NXT is that we know who is in charge and who is making these matches, but we don’t have to see Dusty making these matches. Think about how much time is spent on Raw and Smackdown just seeing people say hey, you two are in a match. NXT is as fast paced as you could ask for and man is it refreshing. Another good show here.

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