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NXT Retro Episode 17: CM Punk ‘honors’ Seth Rollins with his presence



Retro WWE NXT Episode 17 – Original air date – October 10, 2012

The show begins with a shot of the WWE Title, resting on the shoulder of the Champion, CM Punk. He said that if you looked up the word respect in the dictionary, you would see words like ‘admired’ and ‘revered’, and that you would think that being champion, especially for as long as he had (over 300 days at this point,) he would be those words, but instead he had been treated with contempt and that he had watched more main events than he had competed in. But tonight he was at NXT explicitly to watch Seth Rollins defend the NXT Championship for the first time in the main event, exactly where the champion should be. He said that tonight he hoped all of the NXT Superstars, especially Rollins would be honored by his presence because he would be delivering a lesson—a lesson in respect. He then looks down at the title and says the word that I came to dread—“Respect.”

Coheed and Cambria play us in. Byron Saxton and William Regal are on commentary. They announce Rollins vs Michael McGillicutty for the NXT Title in the main event and CM Punk would appear tonight.

Bo Dallas vs. Johnny Curtis

Saxton put over that Bo had become one of the more popular superstars on NXT. I’m sure they would have liked that. Saxton puts over Curtis as a “connoisseur of all things weird.” They say that every time he comes out but never really give Curtis time to explain that. They locked up to start the match and Bo grabs a wristlock into an armbar and rolls through for a quick one count, but Curtis stuck his head through the ropes to back Bo off. They paced and locked up again, with Curtis driving him into the corner. They broke, but then Curtis nailed him with a chop to the chest. Bo reversed and then let loose with three short clotheslines in the corner, then got a running start for a clothesline for a two count. Bo hesitated before getting another running start, but Curtis got to his feet and clocked him with a back elbow, then started putting the boots to him, taunting Bo by clapping. Bo comes up firing bodyshots and goes for a whip, but Curtis catches him again with a back elbow, then covers him, grinding his forearm into his face for a two count. Curtis played with his hair a bit, then hit a vertical suplex for a two count. Some fans are chanting something I can’t make out. Curtis grinds his foot into the face of Bo in the corner, then he snapmares him into a rear chin lock. Some fans get behind Bo and he works to his feet, breaking the hold with some right hands, but he gets a full head of steam and charges right into a high back body drop from Curtis. Curtis then goes for a second rope kneedrop, but Bo moves out of the way.

The camera focuses on Bo getting angry, as he gets to the feet and launches into his comeback. Clothesline, back elbow, whip into a bodyshot, running elbow to the back of the head. Bo goes for a whip, and Curtis reverses it, but spins around and charges right into a Belly to Belly suplex. Bo then hits Curtis with a spear for a three count.

Winner: Dallas via pinfall

Then we get the first Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer commercial, as this the first year that WWE went along with the pink washing. Get ready for that because it’s October all over again.

Kaitlyn and Alicia Fox vs Paige and Audrey Marie

Paige gets a huge pop when she comes in. Again, she was the first performer other than Seth Rollins to get consistently huge pops for the Full Sail crowd. She starts out with Kaitlyn. They lock up and struggle for a moment, before Kaitlyn powers her to the floor. Paige comes up smiling, with the crowd chanting her name. They pace and go to lock up again, but Kaitlyn catches her with a boot to the gut and grabs a headlock. Kaitlyn wrenches on the hold for a moment and takes her over with a side mare. Paige manages to counter and slip out of the hold and catch Kaitlyn coming with a sidekick to the ribs. She grabs a front facelock and comes over and tags in Audrey Marie. Regal does his usual great job of putting over Paige and her trainer, a woman who followed the same path as him called Klondike Kate. Paige whips Kaitlyn into an armdrag into an armbar by Marie. Kaitlyn gets to her feet, and Marie goes to a hammerlock, and spends the next minute chaining from the headlock to the hammerlock and back again. It kinda works until Kaitlyn reverses it with a powerful wristlock takedown. The fans are chanting “We Want Paige.” Kaitlyn lifts Audrey on one shoulder into the corner and Alicia tags herself in while Marie floats over into a sunset flip on Kaitlyn, but Alicia grabs her by the hair and pulls her to the feet and nails with a European uppercut, then schoolboys her for a two count. The ladies trade legsweeps for one counts, but Alicia jumps over a legsweep attempt, but Audrey catches her with a snapmare. Audrey runs the ropes, but Alicia drops down, does a nice leapfrog over and goes for a reverse monkey flip, but Marie sees it coming and grabs her wrist and gets her in what looks like a one leg Monkey Flip, which Regal calls a Winnick Throw. Damn, I love that man.

Kaitlyn tags in but Marie catches her with a legsweep that takes her face first and locks in a front choke. Kaitlyn tries to power out of it once, but Marie hangs on. Kaitlyn is able to power out and drop Marie face first on the second attempt. Kaitlyn locks in her own front choke and drags her into the corner, then tags in Alicia, who slams Audrey’s head three times into the turnbuckles, then snapmares her for a two count, then applies a rear chinlock. Audrey gets to her feet, but Alicia leg trips her to the mat and tags in Kaitlyn, her delivers a boot to the gut and takes her over by the hair. Kaitlyn then locks in a bodyscissors before switching to a full nelson using her legs. Marie smartly rolls back for a two count, when Kaitlyn kicked out, she pushed Audrey towards Paige. Kaitlyn went to try and cut her off, but Audrey hit a jawbreaker and got the hot tag to Paige.

Paige catches Alicia with a shoulder block, then ducks a clothesline, and pull her down by the hair. Paige goes for the Rampaiger, but Alicia gets out with some knees and countered with a small package for a two count. Alicia charges right into a sidekick to the ribs, and Paige hits her with a running dropkick, but Kaitlyn makes the save. Audrey tries to come in, but Kaitlyn tosses her to the floor. Alicia goes for a slam, but Paige floats over and grabs a waistlock and runs Alicia right into Kaitlyn before taking her over with an O’Connor Roll for the three count.

Winner: Paige and Audrey Marie via pinfall

We got to the back and see Jake Carter (whom I have a low-ki obsession with) talking to a girl in the back. He looks the modern-day version of a 50’s teen movie reject, or your everyday frat boy. He’s talking to a girl (you don’t see her face, but she looks a whole lot like Emma from the back) and he’s telling her there is no room on the team for her, and that was the way it goes, baby. Because guys like that legit are the only ones who call a girl baby in 2012. She exits and Trent Barretta enters, asking if he just struck out, cause that would be embarrassing. Carter says that he doesn’t strike out, as he has a whole team of girls and she just wanted to be at the top. He said if Trent wanted to talk embarrassed, Carter could do that by beating him next week. Trent responded by saying that the answer to the question “Where’s Trent?” would be him kneeing Carter in the face.

Then Briley Pierce interviews NXT Champion Seth Rollins and asks how he feels about his first defense tonight. Seth said that all he had been dreaming about since he won the title was his first title defense, and tonight he was excited. He said that last week Michael McGillicutty had disrespected him, but before he could go any further, CM Punk walked up to Seth. He looked at Briley like he was a slug and Briley split. Punk said that he knew all about being disrespect. He said that he had been champion for almost a year and he had beaten every great wrestler alive, and he still didn’t have the respect that he deserved. He said that they would tell Rollins the same thing that they told Punk, that respect had to be earned. Punk said that he had earned this-pointing to his belt, just like Seth had earned the NXT belt. He said McGillicutty and everyone else would give him respect, and that Seth would have to beat it out of him tonight. The fans cheered and he told Seth good luck.

Leo Kruger vs. Dante Dash

Like he does with Paige, Regal goes out of his way to really put over Kruger and his character. Kruger is sitting in the corner in a crouch, playing with his hair while Dash looks on in confusion, looking at the ref. Dash is a big, tall dude, but has really skinny arms for his size. All of the sudden, Kruger comes up from his crouch and nails Dash with a forearm. Kruger puts the boots to him hard, then whips him into a back elbow. He goes back to stroking his hair before applying a reverse chinlock, where he seems to pulling at the skin of Dash. He lets him go, takes a moment, then locks the hold on again. He released it again, and stalks before hitting a snap suplex. Kruger then starts pulling on his hair that he’s been stroking the whole time, then pulls a chunk out. He then lays out Dash with a neckbreaker into a facebuster for the three count.

Winner: Kruger via pinfall

Kruger then takes the mic as the lights go out and he starts grunting into the mic before speaking a little bit in the South African language of Afrikaners. He then says in English “My prey should not worry about a long suffering, as I will extinguish then quickly. Who will be my next trophy.” Creepy.

They then announce that CM Punk will be joining Jim Ross on commentary for the title match.

Then Briley Pierce interviews Michael McGillicutty (now Curtis Axel, if you were confused). Pierce asks him what is more important tonight, the title or Respect. McGillicutty wins my heart when he says “Who cares about respect!” He says that when he beats Rollins for the NXT Title, that he could have all the respect that he wants, and says that when he is done with Rollins, Punk is next. He then mutters the word Respect and waves his hand dismissive and walks off.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Michael McGillicutty for the WWE NXT Championship

They do the championship entrances here, with McGillicutty, the heel/cult hero/challenger comes out first, with fans “Ya!” throughout his entrance. Then Seth does his babyface one man moshpit entrance that is about as cool as anything I’ve ever seen in wrestling. Then ‘Cult of Personality’ by Living Color hits and the WWE Champion, CM Punk enters to a monster reaction. He takes the mike and says he was looking forward to the match and taking a closer look, and then joins the announce table. So Jim Ross, William Regal, and CM Punk are on commentary for this match.
“Let’s Go Rollins” chants went out as the two men paced. They locked up and Rollins went straight into a hammerlock, taking McGillicutty down to the mat. McGillicutty went to the ropes and stalled a bit and the fans “Ya!’ at him some more. They pace and go to lock up again, but Rollins schoolboys him for a one count. He catches McGillicutty with a pair of shoulderblocks and ducks a clothesline and catches him with a spinning back kick to the ribs and he goes for the Blackout, but McGillicutty clears the way and goes out to the apron. Commercial Break.

BFC, McGillicutty is working over Seth in the corner with kicks to the ribs. He goes for a whip into the corner, but Seth reverses it and catches him with a hiptoss and a headlock takedown. McGillicutty worked back to his feet and threw Seth into the ropes, dropped down, and caught him with a backelbow, then followed right up with a headlock takedown. Seth’s shoulders went down for a one count, but then Seth managed to push his away up to his feet and toss McGillicutty into the ropes and catch him with a dropkick, then a second one. He hit another spinning back kick to the ribs, kicked away a backdrop, and hit another spinning kick to the ribs before grabbing a headlock as to go for a bulldog, but McGillicutty threw him off and over the top to the floor. McGillicutty followed him to the floor and slammed him on the apron, then slammed him face first before throwing him in for a two count. McGillicutty badmouthed him a little bit and Seth responded with some bodyshots, but McGillicutty cut him off with a knee to the gut and went for a whip in the corner, but Seth caught him charging with a boot. Seth lept to the top for a moonsault, but McGillicutty shoved him and crotched him on the top rope, dropping him into the tree of woe. McGillicutty worked him over, with the ref Ya’ing with every blow, then went to the outside to choke him. Rollins fell to the mat and McGillicutty covered for a two count. He followed up with a hard Irish whip into the corner and covered for a two count. Final Commercial Break.

BFC, McGillicutty had Seth in a rear chinlock on the side, pulling back, and then rolls to kept the pressure. Rollins manages to fight to his feet and hit some bodyshots to break the hold, then fires off some chops to chest before McGillicutty cuts him off again with the knee to the gut, then starts clubbing him across the back. McGillicutty whips him into the corner, and Seth tries to catch him with a boot, but McGillicutty blocks it and goes for a big right, but Seth catches it and hits a flatliner into the turnbuckles. Seth goes up top and McGillicutty charges, but Seth leapfrogs off the top and catches McGillicutty with a trio of rights, dropping him every time. He goes for a whip, but McGillicutty reverses it, but misses a clothesline and a backelbow, and Seth hits his running one leg dropkick. Seth then builds momentum for a corner flying forearm and goes to follow up and McGillicutty tries to cut him off with a clothesline, but misses and Seth clotheslines him to the floor and follows up immedialty with a tope! Seth recovers first and tosses McGillicutty back in the ring and goes for a springboard knee, but McGillicutty catches him in mid-air with a dropkick for a near fall. Seth clings to the bottom rope and when McGillicutty tries to yank him off, Seth lands on his feet and catches him with enziguri. Seth goes for the Blackout again, but McGillicutty avoids, ducks a head kick, and catches Rollins with a Saito suplex for a close near fall. McGillicutty screams and gets a deep cover, but Rollins kicks out again. McGillicutty does a great job of conveying the frustration on his face, as does Punk on commentary.

He then goes for the Perfect Plex, but Rollins counters with a small package for a two count. McGillicutty tries to catch him with a clothesline, but Seth ducks, only to be nailed on the back end with a clothesline that turns him inside out, but Rollins kicks out again. McGillicutty then goes for his trademark swinging neckbreaker, but Rollins rolls through and McGillicutty plants himself on the mat. Rollins then grabs McGillicutty and hits an awesome Slice Bread No.2 for the three count.

Winner: Rollins via pinfall

Afterwards, Seth did his traditional post-match celebration, but he also faced Punk and held up his belt in salute while Punk stood and clapped to end the show.

Frank’s Take: I didn’t like this show as much as I have some previous episodes. You can really see Dusty Rhodes fingerprints for better or worse on this show, from Bo Dallas as the most generic of babyfaces to Leo Kruger developing into one of the more interesting characters you will ever see. The main event match between Rollins and McGillicutty wasn’t as good as their previous match, but Punk being there really raise the stakes. While he didn’t do too much in this episode, this taping is where in a dark match happened pitting Rollins and Punk vs. Cesaro and Kassius Ohno and it is a must see for every hardcore wrestling fan. But this episode itself was just okay.

Frank has been a wrestling fan since he was two years old. (Don't worry, he's got proof.) He's also a huge boxing and UFC fan and has a long standing love affair with Popeyes Chicken. He still owns a VHS copy of the first Ring of Honor show ever and was watching NXT before it was cool (or good). Bret Hart > Shawn Michaels. You can follow him on Twitter at @FightFanaticPod and on Tumblr at FrankTheFightFanatic. He's also starting his own podcast soon!