NXT – December 18, 2013: NXT Does The Anniversary Show

NXT
Date: December 18, 2013
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Tensai

Tonight is the 200th episode celebration and believe it or not, that’s actually an accurate count for a change, assuming you consider this the same show as the original competition show. The main stories tonight are an appearance by HHH and an NXT Title defense with Bo Dallas defending against Adrian Neville in a lumberjack match. NXT has a good history of making their big shows work so this has good potential tonight. Let’s get to it.

Here’s HHH to open the show instead of Welcome Home. The boss says he loves hearing those NXT chants. We’re here to celebrate the 200th episode of NXT which has seen people like Damien Sandow, Shield and the Wyatt come through here. The fans chant FIVE and HHH adds Big E. Langston to the list. With the new Performance Center, the next two hundred episodes are going to be even better. HHH tells the fans to give themselves a standing ovation because this is their house. The question now: are we ready?

Welcome Home.

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

Leo’s Real American trials continue. The bell rings twice for some reason before Kruger knees Kidd in the ribs to start. Tyson comes right back with an armdrag into an armbar Sami gets the tag and Kruger runs straight to the corner for the tag to Cesaro. The fans immediately chant MATCH OF THE YEAR until Cesaro grabs a top wristlock. Sami shoves him into the corner but the referee pulls him down because he loves AMERICA.

Kidd comes in with a quick rollup for two but Cesaro catches his cross body in mid air and puts Tyson down with a backbreaker. We take a break and come back with Kidd fighting out of the heel corner and getting two off a rollup on Kruger. Leo stops the hot tag with a spinebuster for two of his own though and it’s back to Cesaro. The gutwrench suplex gets two and we hit a quickly broken chinlock. Cesaro kicks Sami off the apron to give Leo a two count and a chinlock of his own.

Back up and Tyson low bridges Kruger to the floor and avoids a charging Cesaro in the corner. Sami finally comes in off the hot tag to clean house and gets two on Leo off a high cross body. The Slice is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two but Cesaro makes the save. Kidd dives on Cesaro and Sami hits a running boot in the corner to pin Kruger at 8:17 shown of 11:47.

Rating: B-. Did you really expect anything other than a good match here? Sami getting a pin on Kruger is a good thing as he’s been losing way too often lately. Kidd and Cesaro could have some awesome matches if given the time, which keeps my head shaking at how Cesaro is used on the main shows.

Emma does her dance in the back and nearly pokes Natalya in the eye. Natalya gets annoyed and Emma accuses her of going Hollywood and forgetting the little people down here in NXT. Natalya says Emma got her title shot through a dance off so she has no room to talk. Emma says wrestling brought her to the dance so Natalya offers to let Emma tango into the Sharpshooter. A #1 contenders match is made and both girls walk off.

We get a clip from the first episode of NXT. Daniel Bryan used to be even smaller than he is today. That match with Jericho he had on the first show was great stuff.

There was a special meet and greet for the first 200 people at the taping. That’s a cool idea.

Sasha Banks vs. Paige

Non-title. Sasha slaps Paige into the corner to start before slamming her face first into the mat. Paige gets stomped in the corner and Banks throws in a mockery of Paige’s scream. Off to a chinlock with a bodyscissors on Paige until the champion fights up and wristdrags Sasha off the top. Summer tries to get involved but Banks accidentally kicks her in the chest, setting up the Paige Turner for the pin on Sasha at 3:38.

Rating: D+. Paige was on defense for most of this match and it didn’t work very well. She’s still miles ahead of most of the girls on Raw or Smackdown though, meaning she isn’t going to see a main show for a long time. After all, she’s not even dating one of the top guys in the company so why would the fans want to see her?

Enzo Amore (YES!) and Colin Cassady are talking lawsuits against a parking lot without handicap accessibility (Enzo is in a wheelchair due to a leg injury) when Aiden English interrupts. Enzo says Colin can out sing Aiden and an argument over the meaning of the word moi. A singing competition is set between English and Big Cass. English: “Mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi.” Cass: “Sa-sa-sa-sa-sa-SAWFT!”

Ascension vs. ???

This is the open challenge for a non-title match. The opponents are the American Pitbulls: Derrick Billington (originally John Cahill) and John Cahill (originally Eric Philbin), more famously known as Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards respectively. Thankfully their new names aren’t horrible. The fans are entirely behind the Pitbulls and actually don’t call them the Wolves. Billington grabs a wristlock on Viktor to start before it’s off to Cahill for more arm cranking. Ascension drags him into the corner and brings in Konnor but the Pitbulls take him down with a double Japanese armdrag.

Viktor is sent to the floor but Konnor takes Cahill’s head off. We get a mild Davey Richards chant as Ascension takes turns destroying Billington. Derrick backflips out of a suplex and kicks Viktor in the chest to make the tag to Cahill. A running knee to Victor’s chest gets two as everything breaks down. The champions are sent to the floor for stereo dives by the Pitbulls for a near fall. Billington goes up and howls before hitting a flying headbutt for two. Viktor will have none of that though and blasts Cahill in the head, setting up Fall of Man for the pin at 4:22.

Rating: C+. This could have been a lot worse. First and foremost, this was not a squash. The Pitbulls got in a good amount of offense and got a near fall towards the end. I’m not a fan of Richards at all and Edwards is only tolerable (I’m not big on indy wrestling at all for the most part) but they deserve jobs after this match, or at least more appearances.

Hunico and Camacho come out to talk trash so Ascension beats up Cahill a little more.

Kofi Kingston is rocking a suit and is happy to be here. Lana comes up to speak some Bulgarian before challenging Kofi to a match with Alexander Rusev for next week. One minor note here that makes NXT that much better: Kofi was shown as part of the meet and greet earlier so he has an actual reason for being here tonight instead of just showing up because the script called for him to.

Next week is a year in review special plus Regal vs. Cesaro.

NXT Title: Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville

This is a lumberjack match with Dallas defending. As a special treat, THE FINK does the announcing. The fans think Breeze is gorgeous before shifting to a Let’s Go Neville chant. Dallas has some awesomely evil pure white gear this week. Bo is quickly sent to the floor but runs back inside to avoid the lumberjacks. A rollup gets two for Neville but Dallas sends him outside. Breeze gets in Adrian’s face and earns a slap, sending the crowd into a quick freazy.

We take a break (including another NXT moment with Rollins becoming the first NXT Champion) and come back with Neville taking Dallas down for some kicks to the chest. Dallas gets in a shot to the ribs and drops some knees for two. Tyler Breeze is seated next to the barricade and looks livid. A cravate keeps Neville on the mat and a kick to the head gets two. The fans chant DROP THE TITLE as Bo drives elbows into Neville’s head. A hard clothesline flips Neville inside out for two and Dallas is frustrated.

Adrian escapes the bulldog out of the corner and scores with a running forearm. Some kicks get two on Bo and an enziguri sets up a standing shooting star for two. The fans threaten to riot if Bo wins but the champion bails to the floor before the Red Arrow launches. All of the lumberjacks stop him so Adrian dives on EVERYBODY in a great visual. Back in and Adrian loads up the Red Arrow but Breeze pulls Dallas out of the way, giving Bo the pin at 9:50 shown of 11:50.

Rating: C+. I like the story here as it keeps the belt on Dallas and sets up Breeze vs. Adrian down the line. Again, it’s the difference between booking and writing with the former almost always being better. The pop when Dallas finally loses is going to be nothing short of unholy.

Overall Rating: B. Another great show here with everything fitting perfectly and putting together an entertaining hour. As usual, NXT knows how to build to a big show and then actually deliver on the payoff, which is more than you get from any major wrestling show at the moment. Good stuff.

Results

Sami Zayn/Tyson Kidd b. Leo Kruger/Antonio Cesaro – Running big boot to Kruger

Paige b. Sasha Banks – Paige Turner

Ascension b. American Pitbulls – Ascension

Bo Dallas b. Adrian Neville – Pin after a missed Red Arrow

 

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