MATCH ONE: JINDER MAHAL VS. JASON JORDAN
Mahal cuts a long promo prior to the match (which means – for once – that the lesser opponent actually gets a ring entrance). Man – it is so great to hear Jim Ross on commentary (with a 2nd voice – not Regal – Striker perhaps?). Mahal methodically works over Jordan with his oldschool offense. Jordan tries to fight out of a rest hold but Mahal easily gets his heat back. There’s another brief hope spot by Jordan but eventually Mahal applies the Camel Clutch for the win.
Winner – Jinder Mahal
After the match Mahal promises to mold NXT in his own vision. One of those excellent video prom packages airs – this one’s for Leo Kruger (who sorta reminds me of a younger, jacked Al Snow).
MATCH TWO: AIDEN ENGLISH VS. LEO KRUGER
Kruger wears a lioncloth to the ring. English attempts a few dropkicks early in the match but Kruger easily avoids them. Kruger hits a clothesline into the corner and then follows up by standing on the collarbones of his opponent. Leo locks in a sleeper/bodyscissors for the quick tap out.
Winner – Leo Kruger
Following the match we get a bit of an introduction to Richie Steamboat (son of the legendary Ricky Steamboat). He mentions in his promos that he’s not trying to fill the shoes of his father. He mentions that – yes – he will be doing the armdrags and the cross body blocks but that he’ll also bring his own personality
MATCH THREE: THE USOS VS. THE ASCENSION
These Acenscion dudes sure have one hell of a ring entrance (I’ll bet the bigger one is thinking “man – this is so much better than the rat gimmick”. Uso1 takes a headbutt from one half of the Ascension which he no-sells. Tag in to Uso2 and some clean touble-teaming ensues. Cover by Uso2. Bodyslam, headbutt and a cover by Uso2. The smaller member of the Ascension tags in the larger one as Uso2 is tossed out of the ring. The Ascension employ frequent tags. Uso1 re-enters the fray after simultaneous hot tags are made. The fired up Uso hits a Samoan Drop and the Running Butt Bump on the smaller of the Ascension guys (I’ll have their names figured out for next week’s report). Cover by Uso2 and a save by O’ Brien (he’s the bigger one). Jey and O’Brien end up on the outside. O’Brien tags himself in and outta nowhere the Ascension hit their jambreaker/Flap Jack combo for the win.
Winner(s) – The Ascension
MATCH FOUR: RICHIE STEAMBOAT VS. RICH VICTOR
So – does the next Steamboat to wrestle in the WWE look like his father – not really. Does he employ the iconic deep armdrags and cross body blocks – yes! He also has a cool tight ponytail to boot. Both men chain-wrestle in the early part of the match (awesome). Steamboat hits 2 deep armdrags after which the camera pans to the Dragon himself. Steamboat works an armbar rest hold, Victor bodyslams him but he still keeps the hold locked (this looked really cool). Steamboat continues to work the arm while Jim Ross mentions that prior to turning pro this young man had a solid amateur background. Victor hits some offense in the corner and Steamboat fires back with some chops of his own and then goes for another deep armdrag (he really nails ’em). Steamboat hits several reverse elbows in the corner and then his finisher (a move I don’t have a name but but have seen Jeff Hardy do).
Winner – Richie Steamboat
A video package for Antonio Cesaro airs (in real life the former Claudio Castognoli is a coffee fanatic – has a Starbucks Gold Card – true story!).
MATCH FIVE: DANTE DASH VS. ANTONIO CESARO (w/ AKSANO)
I love the fact that when the opponent gets no entrance they actually introduce him as “already in the ring” (totally reminds me of an awesome sketch by T.O. comic T.J. Wilson – very funny guy). Cesaro starts off strong and rubs his opponent’s face in the mat. Cesaro hits a gut-wrench suplex and follows with a soccer kick to his opponent’s back. Cesaro wrenches the neck of Dante Dash. Cesaro backs his opponent into the corner and hits a flurry of rabbit punches – ending the sequence with a stiff runnng boot to the head. Spinebuster is followed by the Neutralizer for the win.
Winner – Antonio Cesares
Prior to the next match we get another one of those excellent intro videos for Bray Wyatt (the repackaged Husky Harris). I really like where they’re going with this character.
MAIN EVENT: DERRICK BATEMEN VS. JOHNNY CURTIS
Jim Ross emphasizes the importance of getting a win here on NXT. Curtis lands a hard slap t the face of Batemen and then exits the ring. Bateman goes to work on Curtis in the corner. Batemen turnbuckles Curtis and then hits a face slap of his own. Cover by Bateman. Bateman misses a charge into the corner and hits the top turnbuckle with his knees. Johnny Curtis hits a leg lariat on Batemen and follows up with a rest hold. Jim Ross looks forward to next week’s show and the debut of Cassius Ono (Chris Hero) – as do I! Curtis locks on a painful rest hold. Bateman eventually fires Curtis head-first into the corner and hits a series of clotheselines. Curtis continues to target his opponent’s knee but in the end Bateman takes it with a neato DDT variation.
Winner – Derrick Bateman