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NXT Retro #154: Tag Team Title Tournament continues; Paige vs. Aksana

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Retro WWE NXT Episode 154 — Original Air Date — January 30, 2011

They showed the highlights from last week with a voiceover from Mike Goldberg, showing Shawn Michaels announcing a tournament to crown the first ever NXT Tag Team Champions, and then showed highlights from the first two tournament matches. First, the Wyatt Family beat up Percy Watson and Yoshi Tatsu, and Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey, dubbed British Ambition, beating Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre of 3MB. The tournament will continue tonight!

Coheed and Cambria play us in. Tony Dawson (ugh) and William Regal (😊) are your ring announcers.

Alex Riley and Derek Bateman vs Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger in the First Round of the NXT Tag Title Tournament

Bateman is, of course, now known as EC3. He had been a partnership with Bo Dallas that was supposed to lead into a feud, but then he was going to move up to play a character on the main roster called the USA Guy, but then he hurt his knee. He still has a huge brace on the right one.

Bateman and Kruger start off. They lock up, but Kruger pushes him off. They paced and lock up again, and jockey for position. Bateman managed to push Kruger into his own corner and Ohno taunted. They locked up again, and Bateman grabbed a waistlock, and Kruger went into a top wristlock, but Bateman countered into an arm-drag, then caught him with a second armdrag into an armbar. Kruger got to his feet, as Bateman countered to a full arm twist and tagged in Riley, but Kruger broke the hold and scampered into the corner to tag Ohno.

A-Ry and Ohno faced off, and Riley caught him with a schoolboy for a two count, but Ohno caught him with a shoulder to the ribs and a club to the back, and went for a wristlock, but Riley reversed it and took him over with wristlock. Ohno went for a boot to the gut, but Riley caught it, spun him around, and caught him with an arm-drag into an armbar. Ohno reached out for a tag, but Riley put Ohno on his belly, then dropped an elbow to the arm. Riley used a knucklelock, and twice lifted Ohno off his feet, catching him with knees to the arm. Ohno cut him off with a knee to the gut and a chop to the chest and ran the ropes, but Riley dropped down and caught him with a dropkick. Riley went for a Fujiwara Armbar, but Ohno rolled through to the ropes. A-Ry caught him with a wristlock and walked him over to tag Bateman. Riley whipped Ohno in and they hit a dropdown/flying clothesline combo for a two count. Bateman worked a wristlock and then nailed Ohno with a chop to the chest before going for a whip, but Ohno reversed it and charged, but Bateman backdropped him to the floor, then nailed Kruger with a right hand to drop him to the floor. Commercial Break.

BFC, Bateman has Kruger in an armbar in the middle of the ring. Kruger works to his feet and drives Bateman into the corner and hits a chop to the chest and a series of strikes, but when the ref backs him up, Bateman reverses it and hits a series of chops to the chest before clubbing the back. Bateman whips him into the corner and goes for a high knee but misses and his brace knee hits the top turnbuckle. Kruger pulls him into the corner and tags in Ohno, who steps on the other ankle before dropping a leg into the injured knee, working a leg-lock. Ohno spun to crush the leg again, then tagged Kruger, who came elbow dropping the leg before going to the leg grapevine. Bateman rolled to his gut, but Kruger slammed the knee into the mat before tagging in Ohno. Ohno glared at Regal before stomping the head. Ohno chained together a few weird leg submissions. Bateman chopped out but Ohno was on him with big stomps to the chest. Kruger tagged and worked the leg, and hit a shinbreaker, before tagging in Ohno. Ohno got in between him on his partner and worked him with two leg snaps for a near fall…

Ohno used a spinning toe hold, but Bateman countered with a small package for a two count. Bateman dove for a tag, but Ohno hit a drop toe hold and tried to hold him back, but Riley got the tag. Riley nailed him with a pair of clotheslines and a spinebuster, then hit a flying clothesline in the corner, then hit a DDT off the second rope, but Kruger broke up the pin. Bateman dropped him and Kruger went to the floor, and clipped Bateman’s injured knee when he came to the apron. Ohno caught Riley looking at this with a schoolboy, but Riley got out at two and caught him in a Fireman’s Carry, but Ohno slipped out and tossed Riley into Kruger. Ohno then caught him with a big boot to the head, then locked in a hammerlock/cravate combo and Riley quickly tapped out.

Winner: Ohno and Kruger via submission

After the match, Corey Graves came down and put Riley in his modified Indian Deathlock, called the Lucky 13. The announcers noted that he had been able to compete in the tournament because no one wanted to be his partner, and that Riley had made fun of him for this. This was Graves getting revenge.

They showed an interview from Big E Langston by Tony Dawson. Dawson asked about he felt about Connor O’Brien interrupting him after his match and saying this week would be his awakening. Big E said that even he was a little bit interested to hear about O’Brien’s awakening but if he kept getting in Big E business, Big E would make sure that he was out for much longer than five…

Mason Ryan vs Sakamoto

In case you don’t remember Ryan, he was part of CM Punk’s New Nexus. He’s 6’5, 290, and all freaking muscle. Sakamoto was yelling in Japanese and slapping himself as he paced and locked up with Ryan. He backed Sakamoto off and he yelled some more, but this time he threw him off when he locked up. Sakamoto tried to slip past him, but Ryan cut him off and backed him hard into the corner, then tossed across the ring with a biel throw. Ryan charged, but Sakamoto called him with a back elbow, then a boot, and Sakamoto went for a second rope crossbody, but Ryan caught him and hit a scoop backbreaker, chained right into a huge fall away slam. Ryan followed it up with a hard whip into the corner, then a shortarm clothesline. Ryan clamped on a nervehold, and Sakamoto tried to fight back, but Ryan throw him down. Sakamoto tried to fight back with some chops and punches but charged right into a big boot. Ryan then followed up with the jack hammer (no lie) for the win. You can guess what WCW Superstar the fans were chanting for.

Winner: Ryan via pinfall

Line Break…

Aksana vs Paige

Paige gets a massive pop. No NXT talent is over like her right now. Paige jumps on Aksana at the bell as if she’s trying to pull guard, but Aksana puts her against the top rope, then pushed him over the top to the floor. Aksana was right on her, throwing her into the ring, then sling-shotting her into the ropes so Paige fell across her knees for a two count. Aksana grinded her forearm against Paige’s face, then threw her back first into the corner. Aksana taunted her and hit a side slam for a two count. Aksana used a modified surfboard. Paige wouldn’t tap, so Aksana pounded her ribs with right hands and went back to the hold until Paige got the ropes. Aksana took a deep breath, but Paige finally came alive with a series of right hands. Paige whipped Aksana into the corner, but Aksana caught her with a boot and went to the second rope, but Paige pulled her off but the leg. Paige then applied a Texas Cloverleaf with her knees and Aksana was in arms reach, but Paige pulled her back and Aksana tapped out.

Winner: Paige via submission

As the ring announcer, Summer Rae, was announcing Paige as the winner, Paige backed into her accidently. Summer did not look happy, and when Paige turned her back again, Summer clubbed her from behind! The crowd was shocked by this as Summer rolled out of the ring and left. Paige got holding her back not knowing what the heck happened. Regal noted that he didn’t think he’d ever seen a ring announcer attack a competitor before.

Then we have a VERY young-looking Renee Young interview an even younger looking Sasha Banks, congratulating on her first win in NXT last week. Banks said that it was one of the biggest moments of her life and she had been dreaming this her whole life and to beat a former champion like Alicia Fox was such a big deal. But then a stagehand came up with a letter for Sasha. It was a poem. “It said roses are red, violets are blue, I lay up at night and think about you. Your secret admirer.” Sasha and Renee looked confused, but ecstatic by this all.

They showed footage of NXT at the Royal Rumble Fan Fest, which featured a NXT Tournament for a spot in the Royal Rumble, which Bo Dallas won and did very well in Rumble.

Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty vs Primo and Epico (with Rosa Mendes) in the First Round of the NXT Tag Title Tournament

Bo and Primo start the match. They locked up and jockey for position and Bo backs him into the corner and gives a clean break. Primo shoved him a bit, but Bo shoved him to the mat. Primo got the ref into between, then snuck in a single leg takedown into a headlock. Bo worked to his feet and armdragged him out of the hold and caught Primo with a hip-toss, and he took a powder. Primo came back in and they locked up, and Primo drove Bo into the corner, and made the tag to Epico who came in slowly and hit Bo to the body, then whipped him into a back elbow. Primo tagged in and dropped Bo with a right, then stomped him in the corner. Primo hit a big body slam and taunted McGillicutty a bit before missing an elbow drop. Bo came up landing right hands, then whipped Primo into a big backdrop. Primo missed a right hand and Bo caught him with an atomic drop, then a running forearm for a two count. McGillicutty tagged in and they whipped him into a double back elbow for a two count, then he hit a backbreaker for a two count.

The fans chanted for Headlocks, as Primo caught McGillicutty with a back kick to the gut, and tagged in Epico, who came with a right, but McGillicutty ducked and abused him with a series of hard chops to the chest. McGillicutty slammed his head into the turnbuckle, then tagged in Bo and they whipped him to a combo-Bo with a body shot, McGillicutty with a running knee lift, and Bo with a clothesline for a two count. McGillicutty tagged back in and they hit a reverse atomic drop/dropkick combo for a two count. McGillicutty used an armbar on the ground and wrenched it, but Epico got to his feet and tossed him and dropped down looking for a dropkick, but McGillicutty caught it and catapulted him over the top to the floor. Commercial Break.

BFC, McGillicutty is making the crowd happy with a headlock, but Epico tosses him in and goes for a right hand that misses, then tries a backdrop, but McGillicutty leapfrogs over him and catches him with a running dropkick. Epico caught him charging with a backelbow and tried to backdrop him over the top, but McGillicutty landed on the apron and caught Epico with a right. Primo came over and got dropped as well, but Epico caught him with a dropkick that sent him off the apron. Epico distracted the ref as Primo threw McGillicutty back first into the rails. Epico came out and chopped him across the chest, then tossed him in and hit a slingshot senton for a two count. Epico worked him over and tagged in Primo, hit a top rope double ax-handle, then dropped a knee for a two count. Primo took the back and locked in a bodyscissors and applied a rear chinlock. McGillicutty fought to his feet and broke the hold with some right hands, but Primo caught him with a drop toe hold and pulled him into his corner to tag Epico. Rosa was taunted as well.

Epico hit a back suplex for a near fall, then applied a rear chinlock. He let go the old to step on his face. But McGillicutty came up fighting with some right hands. Epico locked on a headlock, but McGillicutty threw him off and dropped down, but they came up and collided heads. Tags both ways. Bo came in laying out Primo with right hands, then used a bodyshot to set up the elbow to the back of the head, followed by a kneedrop for a two count. Primo missed a splash in the corner and Bo hit a swinging bulldog, but Epico broke up the pin. McGillicutty and Epico got throw to the floor and Primo schoolboyed Bo and grabbed the tights for a near fall. Primo hit a sick hammerlock DDT, but Dallas kicked out at two. Primo whipped him into a boot to the gut and charged in, but Bo caught him out of nowhere with a Belly to Belly suplex for the three count.

Winner: Dallas and McGillicutty via pinfall

They show the brackets and now we have The Wyatts versus Dallas and McGillicutty and Kruger and Ohno versus British Ambition in the semifinals.

Frank’s Take: This episode was pretty fun, even though both tag matches were a little too similar for my taste. It was cool to see Ryan again, who was a big, strong dude, but seemed to be missing…it. The part where Summer Rae finally emerged to club Paige was really fun, as was the Sasha segment…I am convinced that Sasha’s secret admirer was supposed to be Bayley, in her original super fan/stalker gimmick, I liked a lot of the little things here.

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!

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