NXT – January 23, 2013: It’s Tournament Time Again

Date: January 23, 2013
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: William Regal, Tony Dawson

On the 29th anniversary of the birth of modern wrestling, we’re back in Florida for more NXT. After last week’s transitional show we should be ready for something new tonight. Odds are Langston is going to get his next challenger tonight which should be interesting as he has no one else to fight at the moment. Let’s get to it.

Shawn Michaels is in the ring to open the show. Fans: “HBK! HBK! HBK!” Shawn: “Aw come on.” The fans quiet down. Shawn: “No don’t stop!” Anyway, Shawn is here and he’s got two belts which are apparently the new NXT Tag Team Championships. Shawn says that there’s a tournament starting tonight and the winners will be the stars of the future. He says that as a former tag team champion he knows what kind of a springboard these belts can be. Nice little cameo here that didn’t take up much time at all and made things feel special.

Opening video.

NXT Tag Team Title Tournament First Round: Wyatt Family vs. Yoshi Tatsu/Percy Watson

It’s Harper/Rowan here. Watson and Rowan start things off with Watson jumping WAY over Rowan’s head in a leap frog and taking him down with a leg lariat. Off to Tatsu as Regal gives us an idea of the mentality behind being in a tag team. Rowan chops Tatsu into the corner and it’s off to Harper to pound away in the corner.

Luke puts on a chinlock and circles around the ring at the same time to keep Yoshi disoriented. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. A jawbreaker finally gets Tatsu out of trouble but it’s off to Rowan to slam him down for two. Rowan cranks on the neck for a bit and here’s Harper again, but he lets Yoshi crawl over and bring in Watson. Everything breaks down and Harper takes Watson’s head off with a clothesline for the pin at 4:55.

Rating: C. This was just a squash but the Wyatt Family has a great presence to them. There’s something disturbing to them where they’re just a bit off and that’s a great characteristic to have. At this point Wyatt doesn’t even need to be in the ring which is good as I think he’s still recovering from his injury. The Family is doing fine just being creepy right now but them getting some gold would be nice.

Dusty is with Derrick Bateman and Alex Riley and offers them a tournament match against Kruger and Ohno. Corey Graves comes up to complain about not getting an NXT Title rematch and not being in the tournament. Riley gets in his face and Bateman hums a circus tune. The tag team leaves and Dusty makes it Graves vs. his former partner Jake Carter tonight. Graves says tell Carter that Carter is in his path to the title.

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox

Alicia makes fun of Sasha for being tiny and having the nickname of Small Package. Fox sends her into the ropes but walks into a headscissors to take her down. Sasha sends her to the apron but gets popped in the face for two. A bridging northern lights suplex (called a fisherman’s suplex in a rare mistake by Regal) gets two for Fox and we hit the chinlock. Sasha comes back with a monkey flip and an armdrag out of the corner, only to be caught in a wheelbarrow front slam for no cover. Fox picks her up for a slam but it’s the Ricky Steamboat/Randy Savage small package pin for Banks at 3:23.

Rating: C-. This was too short to mean much but at least Banks looks good and got to show off a bit here. The Divas are nowhere near as irritating here as they are on the main shows as they’re actually treated somewhat seriously on NXT. Decent stuff here and Banks got to look good despite being a tiny little thing.

Video on Paige who is here to be a champion.

Some new blonde interviewer asks Aksana about her match next week with Paige. Aksana accuses Paige of stealing her look and says 2013 is her year.

Conor O’Brien says he’s the true Ascension and he will rise.

Corey Graves vs. Jake Carter

Graves seems to get a face pop on his way to the ring. Carter grabs a headlock to start but gets shoved into the corner. That goes nowhere for Graves as Jake pounds away in the corner and the middle of the ring. Corey comes back with a suplex and into an arm trap chinlock which Regal says can be called a Gator Hold. Carter fight up and hits a clothesline for two but gets sent into the corner and chop blocked down. The 13th Step leg lock ends Carter at 3:09.

Rating: C-. Another just ok match here as Graves gets to run over Carter and remind us that he exists after the title match from a few weeks ago. Graves got a good reaction and definitely has a unique look which will be nothing but good for him. Carter on the other hand looked pretty generic out there and didn’t appear to get any of his dad’s good qualities.

Post match Graves says that he’s been screwed out of a rematch for the title and kept out of the title tournament because he’s an “outcast”. As the savior of misbehavior (terrible name) he’s declaring anarchy on NXT. Oh and if Riley sees him, stay down.

NXT Tag Team Title Tournament: 3MB vs. Oliver Grey/Adrian Neville

It’s Slater and McIntyre here. We start with Drew vs. Neville with Drew taking him down to the mat with ease. Off to a chinlock by McIntyre which is eventually countered by a headscissors but Drew is able to tag in Slater. Heath immediately lets Neville backflip out of a hold and bring in Grey for the first time. Off to an armbar on Slater followed by a dropkick to send Slater to the outside.

The Brits cause some heel miscommunication before Neville dives on McIntyre on the floor. We take a break and come back with Drew getting two on Grey. A clothesline gets two on Grey and it’s back to Slater for a superkick for two of his own. Slater hooks a chinlock as we hear about Grey being a lumberjack. Oliver quickly escapes and brings in Adrian who starts flipping around as fast as he can. After kicking Slater in the face, the now legal McIntyre gets caught with that corkscrew shooting star for the pin by Neville at 6:26 shown of 9:56.

Rating: C+. This was a basic formula match but Neville got to show off a lot more than he had did last week. That big shooting star is a great finisher and looks awesome but we haven’t seen yet if he can pull off the other stuff that it takes to fill out a match. Decent little tag match here as Grey and Neville look good as a fast little team.

Big E. Langston vs. Axl Keegan

Non-title here. I love the look of glee on Langston’s face during his entrance and the kind of dance he does with the powder on his hands. We hear about Langston’s association with Ziggler but the fans don’t seem to mind at all. Langston literally runs him over and wins with the Big Ending at 56 seconds.

Langston loads up the second Big Ending when Conor O’Brien pops up on screen. He says that in two weeks there will be an awakening. Langston should be there so O’Brien can show him what he thinks of the five count. After an evil laugh from Conor, Big E. hits the Big Ending anyway. A third Big Ending and another five count end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t their strongest show but they set a lot of stuff up tonight. We’ve got some new titles in play and the start of what could be a decent tournament to earn them. Also O’Brien is back and Langston has his first challenger for the title. Sometimes you have to have a slower show to set up something down the line and that’s what happened here. Not bad at all but nothing to see in the matches department.


Wyatt Family b. Yoshi Tatsu/Percy Watson – Clothesline to Watson

Sasha Banks b. Alicia Fox – Small Package

Corey Graves b. Jake Carter – 13th Step

Oliver Grey/Adrian Neville b. 3MB – Corkscrew Shooting Star Press to McIntyre

Big E. Langston b. Axl Keegan – Big Ending

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