Welcome to the NXT report! This week’s show starts with new NXT champ Seth Rollins and a highlight package of his big win over Jinder Mahal in the Gold Rush Tournament Final. Rollins puts over this moment as a testament that anyone can rise from nothing and achieve their goals. Show starts with Steven Regal (who’s also on this week’s Art of Wrestling podcast with Colt Cabana) and his commentary partner Byron Saxton.
RICHIE STEAMBOAT VS. KASSIUS OHNO
Both competitors lock up and Steamboat grabs a headlock. Shoulderblock and a cover by Steamboat. They go into this nice sequence where Steamboat hits a takedown and transitions into a headlock but Ohno escapes it twice. Shoving ensues. Richie starts to take it to Ohno with chops in the corner. Richie charges the corner but runs into a knee. Backdrop by Steamboat and another set of chops (I love the way he mimics his father’s mannerisms while doing these). Ohno delivers a blatant thumb to the eye and Steamboat’s down. Steamboat still fights from underneath though – kicking and chopping his way out of the corner. Ohno goes back to the eye and is disqualified for doing so.
Winner – Richie Steamboat
After the match Ohno brutalizes the young Steamboat again – throwing him out of the ring and then dropping him chest-first on the fan barricade. Ohno rolls Steamboat back in the ring, stands him up and then delivers the knockout blow. Ricky Steamboat arrives in the ring and is a little pissed to say the least (but he really looks great for his age – you go Dragon!).
AUDREY MARIE VS. PAIGE
Is Paige kinda sorta like the female Sheamus? (don’t get me wrong – I love goth girls and Paige is smokin’). Marie gets the headlock off the lockup. Marie grabs a 2nd headlock and works into a takedown. Pin attempt by Paige. Takedown by Paige who then steps on her opponent’s hair and lets out a banshee scream (yep – pretty sure that’s part of her gimmick now). Audrey Marie mounts the pale diva and does the ol’ bashing the head into the mat move. Paige reverses her position and returns the favor. Marie rolls Paige around the ring several times before going into a unique pin attempt (this was actually pretty cool). Stiff forearm takes down Marie. Paige mounts her opponent again for some more hair-pulling offense. Short arm clothesline by Paige who then gives us another banshee wail (but with way more gusto this time). Paige finishes Marie with a vicious cradle DDT. Decent match.
Winner – Paige
Steamboat is approached for an interview but waves it off. Ohno approaches Steamboat wearing glasses with his hair pulled back, tries to shake his hand and actually tells him that his son doesn’t have much potential. This was excellent delivery on both parts. Steamboat shoves Ohno and the referees get in between the 2.
Back from the break and we get a recap on Ohno’s attack on the young Richie Steamboat from earlier in the show. We’re told that Steamboat has been taken to a nearby medical facility.
PERCY WATSON VS. LEO KRUGER
During the ring entrances Regal and Saxton play up the athletic credentials of one Percy Watson (former football player, 37” vertical leaping ability). Kruger’s attired a little differently this week (he looks more like a soldier as opposed to the loincloth thing he was rockin’ in prior matches). Kruger’s gimmick now is that he’s insanely happy. Suplex by Kruger. The South African athlete pummels his opponent and then stomps him in the corner. Cover by Kruger. More clubbing forearms by Kruger. Kruger charges the corner and catches an elbow. Thrust chop by Kruger is followed by a bodyslam. Kruger misses an elbowdrop. Watson connects with a series of rights and a dropkick. Watson connects with another textbook dropkick (he really does this quite well) and a shoulderblock. Percy hits the Showtime Splash. Kruger hits Watson with a Hot Shot and a neckbreaker for the win.
Winner – Leo Kruger
Back from the break we get the full recap on the closing of the week’s RAW (Punk takes a personal day, comes back in time to alter the finish of the Main Event and then drives off in a car driven by …Paul Heyman!)
BRODUS CLAY VS. BRIAN COLLINS
J.R. rejoins the commentary team for this one. I actually laughed out loud when Regal referred to himself as ‘a purveyor of the funk’. Brodus uses his strength and size advantage in the early going. Clay hits a massive Fall Away Slam and follows up with a Splash. Post-match dancing ensues. Was that Ryan or Brian Collins? (the guy didn’t even get a name graphic)
Winner – Brodus Clay
We get a little visual recap on recent developments in the feud between the Usos and The Ascension. I really like where this is going – both teams are solid, the Usos have really gotten their in-ring together and the presentation behind the Ascension gimmick is top-shelf.
THE ASCENSION VS. THE USOS
It doesn’t take long for things to break down and all four men end up fighting. The Usos clear the ring. In the early going the match is pretty much all The Usos until O’Brian makes a comeback. Cameron and O’Brian tag in and out several times whilst stomping Jimmy Uso. Bodyscissors applied by O’Brian (which Regal does a hell of a job putting over – he’s unbelievable in the commentator/analyst role). Cameron tags in and uses a very unique chancery variation (I don’t really know what to properly call it but it looked totally cool). Jimmy starts to make a comeback with several right hands. Cameron tags out. O’Brian does 3 side headlock takeoevers (this was also very cool). O’Brian drops for a backdrop but catches a kick to the sternum. O’Brian prevents the tag by knocking Jey off the apron with a forearm. Cameron tags in and drops a big standing elbow. Cameron works a rest hold. Jimmy still has some fight left in him but is easily taken down by O’Brian into another headlock spot. O’Brian charges the corner but Jimmy gets a boot up. Simultaneous hot tags are made and it’s Jey and Cameron with Jey getting the upper-hand. Jey hits the Running Butt Bump into the opposite corner. Jey tosses O’Brian from the ring and then tries for the Samoan Drop on Cameron. Superkick by Jey who then climbs the ropes. O’Brian tries to interfere but Jimmy takes him out with a suicide dive over the top rope. Cameron hits the ropes to crotch Jey. Cameron picks up the win with the craziest jawbreaker move I’ve ever seen. Another decent match.
Winner(s) – The Ascension
The last segment of the show recaps Seth Rollins’ victory over Jinder Mahal in the Final match of the NXT Gold Rush Tournament (they had Howard Finkel do the ring announcing so that was cool). Seth Rollins is all about believing in yourself. Jim Ross welcomes the new champ into the ring for his first post-win interview (and for some reason he’s not wearing a shirt – oh wait he’s putting on an NXT shirt). Rollins talks about how he was always called a loser but how this drove him. Ross asks is he’s ready for the challenge of being a champ. He is.