WWE NXT Report for Aug. 23
Joseph Bernard / August 24, 2012 - 10:55am
Welcome to this week's NXT report! Jim Ross is once again on the commentary team with Lord Steven Regal and Byron Saxton (why is this team not commentating RAW and all WWE pay per views?). Tonight's show will not feature the final match in the NXT Gold Rush Tournament to determine the first ever NXT champ but we do get a debate between finalists Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal. Cue the Coheed and Cambria song.
ANTONIO CESARO VS. DERRICK BATEMAN
Interesting side note – Cesaro used to be one half of the Kings of Wrestling tag-team in his Ring of Honor days with the former Chris Hero who now wrestles on this very same show as Kassius Ohno. Cesaro takes it to young Bateman in the early going – grounding him with a hip toss, a headbutt and rabbit punches in the corner. Bateman makes a comeback with a flurry of offense in the corner and a dropkick. Cover by Bateman. Bateman follows with a snap suplex and another cover. Cesaro gets his heat back by dropping his opponent throat-first on the top rope. Cesaro hits numerous trapped headbutts and a double-underhook suplex. Cover by Cesaro. Snapmare is followed by some clubbing offense and a rest hold. Bateman tries to power out and eventually hits a back suplex. Bateman makes his comeback with two clotheslines and a Stinger Splash. Bateman hits this really impressive move that I'm not able to identify. Cesaro tries to leave the ring and Bateman hip tosses him back in off the apron. Bateman charges the corner but misses – allowing Cesaro to hit his hesitation gutwrench suplex move. Cesaro wins with the Neutralizer. Solid match.
Winner – Antonio Cesaro
Coming out of the break we get a piece with several WWE superstars really putting over the importance of the NXT Gold Rush Tournament Final match.
SOFIA CORTEZ VS. TAMINA SNUKA
Saxton plays up the MMA experience of Sofia Cortez. Cortez really brings the attitude and then some – I like this girl already! Tamina hits the first offensive and then sorta gets dropped by what I guess shoulda been a drop toe hold. Cortez goes for an early cover. Lots of kicks here. Tamina chops her way out of the corner but then catches a roundhouse kick to the gut. Cortez locks on a bodyscissors. Tamina powers her way up and into the corner. The 2nd generation superstar makes a comeback, hits a Superkick and goes for the cover. Tamina follows up with scoop slam and scales the ropes for her finisher. Post match our winner is attacked by Raquel Diaz and given the scarlet 'L' on her forehead (quite the cool lady 'heel this one's turning out to be!).
Winner – Tamina Snuka
KASSIUS OHNO VS. JAKE CARTER
I can't help but point out once again how cool and possibly coincidental it is that we get Antonio Cesares on the same show with his former ROH tag team partner in one Kassius Ohno (the former Chris Hero). I also can't help but point out that Ohno's beard itself terrifies me (tell me I'm not alone in this). I love the way they're presenting Ohno's character (super-aggressive mean shooter style). Ohno starts things with a headlock that he just won't release. Shoulderblock and an early cover by Carter. Another shoulderblock and another cover. Carter unloads on Ohno in the corner. Hiptoss by Carter is followed by a scoop slam. Ohno retreats to the apron and makes a comeback with a stiff boot to the head and a cover. Ohno slows the match with some stomping offense. Carter starts to fight his way out but is stopped with a stiff elbow to the head. Ohno backs his opponent into the corner and hits a kick to the head. Ohno applies a modified clinch and Carter still fights his way out. Ohno hits another boot to the head but misses a second attempt. Nice vertical suplex by Carter is followed by a Sidewalk Slam and a cover. Ohno telegraphs a backdrop and pays the price. Carter gets taken down with a roundhouse elbow strike and covered for the win. Post match it seems that Ohno isn't done yet. Ohno backs his beaten opponent into the corner and hits his roundhouse elbow finisher a 2nd time. Richie Steamboat charges the ring for the save.
Winner – Kassius Ohno
Here we get a brief piece on Summerslam (did someone fail to realize that this is only a one-hour show – c'mon!). Back from the break and even more WWE superstars from the main roster are singing the praises of the Gold Rush Tournament Final and how much it will mean to the winner (cool!).
JOHNNY CURTIS & MIKE MCGILLICUTTY VS. JUSTIN GABRIEL & TYSON KIDD
If somehow you haven't heard Johnny Curtis interviewed on Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast stop reading this and go listen to that interview now! (or not) This should be a super-solid match as they're all great workers (well – the jury might still be out on Curtis but the other three are all deserving of a spot on the main show IMHO). McGillicutty and Kidd tie up and go to the corner. Kidd ties McGillicutty up in the ropes and then hits a beautiful armdrag. Justin Gabriel tags in and hits the Sunset Flip for a pin attempt. Gabriel follows with a textbook armdrag of his own. Gabriel tags back out and they go into this clever sequence resulting in another pin attempt (the 'faces are definitely working well together in this pairing). Kidd hits a drop toe hold and goes back to work on the left arm. Gabriel tags back in and they do a double snapmare into kicks to the front and back of the 2nd generation superstar (McGillicutty is the son of the late Mr. Perfect). Cover by Gabriel. Gabriel applies a front face lock. McGillicutty seizes the moment when Gabriel attacks Curtis on the apron and turns his opponent inside out with a running clothesline. Cover by McGillicutty is followed by a little ground and pound. Going into the commercial break McGillicutty has the headlock cinched and Gabriel's going nowhere. Back from the break and Gabriel's totally in the wrong part of town being double-teamed by the heel contingent. In tags Curtis who continues to work over Gabriel in the corner. Gabriel is sent hard into the opposite corner. Cover by Curtis. Really nicely executed snap suplex into a cover by Curtis. Curtis locks on the reverse chinlock. Gabriel tries for a comeback but ends up taking a fireman's carry throw as McGillicutty tags back in. Some oldschool stompin' offense employed by McGillicutty. In tags Curtis who snapmares the South African high-flyer before applying a submission-type move. Gabriel starts to power out but is taken back down by a kick to the gut. Cover by Curtis. Curtis ascends the turnbuckles for a really nice corkscrew-moonsault type move that totally misses its mark (super atomic ass smasher?). Simultaneous hot tags are made and Kidd enters the ring on fire – hitting numerous moves before going for the cover. A drop toe hold is all McGillicutty needs to get his heat back and he tags in Curtis. They hit a clever tandem Sidewalk Slam finishing move but Gabriel makes the save. Curtis positions Kidd to take the Superplex but Kidd fights out with headbutts. Kidd botches whatever he was attempting at this point but quickly recovers and follows up with a neckbreaker. Cover is broken up by McGillicutty who is then dumped from the ring by Gabriel. Kidd makes the tag to Gabriel and they hit a tandem finisher for the win. Decent match.
Winner(s) – Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd
Backstage Ohno is interviewed regarding Richie Steamboat. Great promo. Back from the break and we get more WWE superstars hyping the final matchup in the NXT Gold Rush Tournament. I particularly like the fact that they play up Rollins' extensive pre-WWE indy experience.
NXT GOLD RUSH FINAL DEBATE
Byron Saxton introducers the debators. First out is Seth Rollins. Rollins cuts a promo on how all of his life he wanted to hold WWE gold. Rollins talks about how wrestling gave him purpose, direction and a dream (Gut Check finalists on Impact Wrestling should study this promo - seriously). Mahal cuts a promo in his native language (awesome). Mahal switches gears and cuts a scathing English language promo (I love this guy on the mic). Rollins starts his verbal rebuttal but Mahal cheap shots him. Rollins turns things around with a double-leg takedown and some ground and pound (I love it when MMA and wrestling blur the lines!). Rollins clotheslines his opponent to the floor and follows up with a perfect tope. Officials march Mahal back down the ramp as the show goes off the air. Excellent show.