Welcome to this week’s NXT report! As always we have good ol’ J.R. on commentary with Steven Regal and Byron Saxton. Tonight we get our 2 semifinal matches in the ongoing NXT Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first ever NXT champ (neat lookin’ belt to boot!).
NXT GOLD RUSH TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH
JINDER MAHAL VS. RICHIE STEAMBOAT
Mahal’s star has been bright as of late with increasing appearances on Smackdown and RAW as the cowardly heel to Ryback’s Goldberg-esque Mortal Combat character. Steamboat – to his credit – has been having one solid match after another (not always a guarantee with the 2nd generation stars). On with the match! Mahal really goes to work on Steamboat off the lockup with multiple strikes, a reverse elbow and some use of the top rope (very oldschool heel offense). Steamboat hits a dropkick and goes for an early cover. Excellent armdrag by the son of Ricky the Dragon. Steamboat lays in a chop but is then dropped neck-first on the top rope and hit with a running knee. Mahal locks on a rest-hold. Steamboat fights out and builds up a head of steam with multiple clotheslines. Mahal catches the boot and Steamboat tries for an enzugiri but misses. Steamboat hits a unique pinning combination and follows it up with a Sunset Flip. Steamboat attempts a backslide and ends up taking a neckbreaker. Cover by Mahal. Mahal sets up Steamboat for a Superplex. Steamboat fights him off and then misses a legdrop. Mahal locks on the Camel Clutch (he’s really great at this – the move looks positively evil when he does it). Mahal makes it to the final round – woo!
Winner – Jinder Mahal
Backstage we get a brief and somewhat crazy interview with Leo Kruger (I was particularly impressed when he took out his tooth implant).
HEATH SLATER VS. SCOTTY 2 HOTTY
Prior to the match our favourite One Man Band comes out and issues an open challenge to ‘anyone in the back’ as we cut to to the commercial break (for the Expendables 2 – can’t wait to see this movie!). Back from the break and we still don’t have any takers but fear not – Slater promises to entertain us (I was so looking forward to this!). Scotty 2 Hotty comes out to a very warm response. The 2 lock up and Scotty takes the lead (he looks amazing by the way). Hip toss by Scotty who raises the roof before running into a boot. Slater hits a stiff clothesline and gets on with the stompin’. Cover and a resthold by The One Man Band. Neckbreaker and another cover by Slater. Big right hand by Slater. Slater attempts to throw Scotty 2 Hotty out of the ring but he remains stuck between the ropes a la Kofi Kingston. Scotty hits the Bulldog and the Worm for the win (my niece and nephew totally loved this move). Great to see Scotty back looking better than ever. I am totally digging Heath Slater’s succcessful losing gimmick – this man is awesome on the mic.
Winner – Scotty 2 Hotty
Backstage Bo Dallas gets some encouragin’ words from Mr. Derrick Bateman (including a Chumbawumba reference – how very 2001).
THE ASCENSION VS. THE USOS
I really like the way Cameron and O’Brian have been repackaged as wrestling’s answer to the Tru Blood series (well done!). It’s also good to see them competing this week against a seasoned and solid tag team in The Usos. Cameron starts the match with Jey who quickly tags out. Jimmy rains down punches on Cameron in the corner. Cameron hits a vicious neckbreaker off the 2nd rope. O’Brian tags in and really goes to work with some vicious stompin. Big elbow and a cover before O’Brian tags out. Cameron hits an elbow drop off his own and another cover. Rest hold applied. O’Brian hits a Flapjack and a cover. Jimmy hits a Samoan Drop counter and finally makes the hot tag (as does Cameron). Lots of high-octane offensive from the energized Jey including the running butt bump and a cover. Jey climbs the ropes but O’Brian gets his team DQ’d by tossing him to the floor. With the match over the 2 members of the Ascension double-team Jimmy and eventually hit the Hi-Lo before making their dramatic exit.
Winner(s) – The Usos
Backstage Richie Steamboat waves off an interview. Matt Striker is in the locker room with Hunico and Comacho. He brings up the loss they suffered to Jason Jordan and Mike Dalton 2 weeks back and asks how they will get past that and move forward. Hunico claims that he had a stomach virus and a 107 degree fever at the time but had to take the match to keep his job. He also claims that Comacho’s brother had died on that day (to which Comacho responds that he doesn’t have a brother – priceless!). In a different dressing room spot Raquel Diaz (yep – the daughter of my beloved Vicky Guerrero) talks about the Exfoliating Ugliness tour.
NXT GOLD RUSH TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH
SETH ROLLINS VS. MIKE MCGILLICUTTY
McGillicutty has been having some very, very solid matches as of late (and he has a wicked oldschool heel vibe about his look to boot!). Seth Rollins is totally a young C.M. Punk but I suppose that’s fairly obvious. Both men lockup and grapple for the advantage along the ropes. McGillicutty slaps Rollins in the face and this kinda starts the fast-moving part of the match. McGillicutty retreats to the outside, Rollins follows. Both men end up back in the ring where Rollins clotheslines McGillicutty to the floor and follows with a suicide dive (this looked great!). Back inside the ring McGillicutty scores with a big right and goes for a cover. McGillicutty works over Rollins in one corner and follows with a high-velocity Irish Whip into the other corner as we go to the commercial break. Back from the break and McGillicutty hits a clothesline and a cover. McGillicutty uses the bottom rope against Rollins and goes for another cover. Rollins gets back into the fight and is again beaten down to the mat. Cover by McGillicutty who follows with a side headlock. Rollins is dropped again by another McGillicutty right. Rollins continues to drop bombs and wear down his opponent. Rollins still fights back, scores a takedown and executes a little ground and pound. Unique offensive move by Rollins ensues where he drops back intentionally and smashes McGillicutty’s face on the 2nd turnbuckle. Rollins hits his unique dropkick and goes for a cover. McGillicutty hits a forward rolling neckbreaker and follows up with a back suplex (identified by Regal as a ‘Saito Suplex’). McGillicutty hits a vicious twisting suplex (don’t know what it’s really called). McGilllicutty looks for the running neckbreaker but doesn’t get it. McGillicutty positions Rollins for a Superplex. Several headbutts almost drop McGillicutty. Rollins tries for a Sunset Flip but doesn’t get it at first. He does – on the 2nd attempt – succeed in running McGillicutty all the way across the ring for a powerbomb on the 2nd turnbuckle. Rollins does his Stomp finisher for the win.
Winner – Seth Rollins
Jinder Mahal makes his way down the ramp and goes to the ring. G.M. Dusty Rhodes officially announces the match between the 2 on next week’s episode. Mahal attacks Rollins but is sent to the floor.