Retro WWE NXT Episode 31: Original air date — January 16, 2013
The show began with a recap of last week’s main event, when Big E Langston challenged Seth Rollins in a No Disqualification Match for the NXT Championship. Of course, just when Langston seemed to have things in hand, the rest of The Shield; Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, intervened. This led to the entire NXT locker room pretty much emptying to carry the Shield away, which allowed Big E to eventually hit the Big Ending and get the victory.
Coheed and Cambria play us. Tony Dawson and William Regal are your announcers.
Adrian Neville vs. Sakamoto
Regal put over Neville, whom he called the jumping Geordie, big to start the match. Regal noted that Rey Mysterio had told him that Neville could be the greatest high flyer ever. Neville got a nice chant from the smart fans in the first row.
They locked up to start the match, and Neville got a standing switch into a waistlock. They traded standing switches until Sakamoto went to a wristlock. Neville reversed it into his own wristlock, but Sakamoto reversed it back. Neville rolled through and kipped up to reversed it, but Sakamoto snapped off a kick to the gut and went for a whip, but Neville reversed through into a side headlock. Sakamoto tossed him in and Neville put him down with a shoulder block. Sakamoto dropped down to avoid, but Neville rolled over, ducked a clothesline, and hit a satellite headscissors on Sakamoto, kipping up smartly for a nice pop.
Sakamoto pie faced Neville as he came in, then caught him with a thrust to the throat. Sakamoto hammered the back of the Neville, then got a two count. Sakamoto locked in a cobra clutch. Neville fought to his feet, but Sakamoto threw him down quickly by the hair, then switched to a rear chinlock. The fans quickly rallied behind Neville, and he got to his feet and broke the hold with some elbows, but Sakamoto cut him off with a knee and applied a side headlock, but Neville spun him to the mat. Neville followed up with a pair of running back elbows, and went for a whip, but Sakamoto reversed it, only to have Neville kip up and cartwheeled through, ducked a clothesline and catch Sakamoto with an enziguri. Dawson to his credit, nearly jumped out of the chair. Regal is comparing Neville to the Dynamite Kid, with his talent and physique, and noted that Dynamite changed the sport as Neville climbed up to the top and followed up with the first ever Red Arrow (twisting Shooting Star Press) in the WWE for the three count. Dawson proclaimed, “A Star is Born” and damn if he wasn’t right.
Winner: Neville via pinfall
Dawson can’t stop raving about Neville. They then announce Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd versus Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow in the main event, and Leo Kruger vs Trent Barreta next…
Leo Kruger vs. Trent Barreta
Kassius Ohno was on commentary, and when Dawson asked why he was there, Ohno replied he wanted to sit with his best mate, William Regal and noted they went way back. But there had been issues between the two of them in late 2012. Dawson also noted that Ohno and Kruger had injured Barretta’s ribs as well. Ohno called that “yellow journalism.”
They locked up to start the match and Kruger drives Trent into the corner and feigns breaking clean before Barreta nailed him with a stiff chop to the chest. Barretta followed up with a pair of lifters, then whipped him into a running back elbow, then hit a kneedrop for a two count, and followed up with a quick Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Trent then hit a side mare into a headlock. Dawson notes here that Regal hasn’t said a word and let Ohno talk throughout the match. Ohno asked Regal about how a broken rib feels. Meanwhile, Kruger works back to his feet and breaks the hold with a single forearm to the ribs, and then runs the ropes but charges right into a dropkick for a two count. Kruger comes from the mat with a headbutt to the ribs, then drops hammers across the back. Kruger goes for a slam, but Barreta flips to his feet and goes for a rolling reverse rollup, but Kruger holds onto the ropes. He misses twice with clotheslines, but soon catches Trent with a knee to the gut. Regal says Barreta has more heart than anyone he’s met, including someone at the table…Kruger then front suplexed Barretta onto the top rope, then pulled him down by the hair for a two count. Commercial Break.
Kruger hits Barreta with a unique gutbuster for a two count, then applied a modified half Boston Crab. Barreta rolled to his back and grabbed a small package for a two count, but Kruger cut him off with a stiff clothesline for a two count. Ohno is continuing to prod Regal on commentary, until Regal notes that he could still turn Ohno into a vegetable. Meanwhile, Kruger hits a Sgt. Slaughter esque gutbuster for a two count. Kruger then whips Barretta in and charges, but barretta gets both boots up and drives them through Kruger’s chest. Trent hits some chops to the chest, but Kruger reverses his whip, only for Trent to come back with a clothesline. Trent hit a springboard back elbow in the corner, then a flying dropkick off the top for a near fall. Barretta went for a climbing tornado DDT, but Kruger countered with a modified spinebuster into a half Boston Crab, planting his knee into the back. Kruger pulled him into the center, but Trent fought to the ropes. Kruger stomped him and went for a whip, but Barretta reversed it and caught him with an enziguri and Kruger fell to the floor. Trent then built for momentum and hit a beautiful tope con hilo on Kruger. Ohno then left the broadcast position and as soon as Barretta put Kruger back in the ring, Ohno caught him with a running forearm to the back of the head. Kruger then hit the Kruger End (neckbreaker into a facebuster) for the three count.
But then Regal left the announce table to tend to Barreta and another ref came down and told the first ref what happened, and he reversed the decision! Kruger and Ohno were incensed!
Winner: Barreta by reverse decision
BFC, the NEW NXT Champion Big E Langston came down. Regal said that after what he saw last week, he believed that Langston could retire undefeated. Langston came down and said that now that he was NXT Champion, that the era of the Five Count would begin. But then Camacho, who would had feuded with Big E at the end of the year at the behest of Vickie Guerrero. The story there is that Vickie tried to recruit Big E, but he rejected her, so she put a 5K Bounty on him that Camacho tried to collect. Camacho said that they still had beef, and before it was about the money and “getting his friend back from Mexico”, but now Big E had something around his waist more valuable to Camacho and challenged him to a match. A ref came down and we got one!
Big E Langston vs. Camacho for the NXT Championship
They locked up, and Camacho got low and drove him into the corner, and when the ref called for the clean break, Camacho caught him with a kick to the gut and unloaded with shots, but Big E started no selling. Camacho ran the ropes, but Langston nailed him with a clothesline, then ran through him with a second. He grabbed a one arm clinch and hit four-no it was Five, knees to the gut, then ran through with the body block. One Big Ending later and well, you know.
Winner: Langston via pinfall
The fans began chanting for Five, and Langston then followed up with the Big Ending for the five count. The fans immediately began chanting for one more time. And the Champ obliged.
Main Event time.
Damien Sandow then came out for a promo. He said that he neither desired nor required the admiration of the fans and delivered what he said what would soon be a famous quote. “He who desires the admiration of idiots is himself an idiot.” You’re Welcome.
Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel
Cesaro is of course, the US Champion here. Kidd and Sandow start the match off. They locked up and Sandow slaps on a headlock. Kidd goes from a top wristlock into a hammerlock. Sandow counters with a wristlock into a hammerlock of his own. Tyson walks to the apron and goes through the ropes and back in to reverse the hammerlock. The ref calls for a break and Sandow charges Kidd, but eats a drop toe hold into an armbar. Kidd gets to his feet and turns it into a wristlock to tag in Gabriel, but Sandow rolls out of the hold and tags Cesaro. Gabriel and Cesaro lock up solid this time, and Gabriel goes to a top wristlock, but Cesaro pops him with a forearm. Cesaro, whose right hand is wrapped up pretty good, pops him again with a right hand, then throws him down by the hair. Cesaro goes to whip him into the turnbuckle, but Gabriel catches him with a kip up headscissors that sent him into the turnbuckle. Gabriel kicked away a backdrop, then hit a head kick that sent Cesaro to the floor. Kidd made the tag and hit a running PK from the apron that sent Cesaro reeling and looking to regroup with his partner. Commercial Break.
BFC, Kidd catches Sandow with a pair of armdrags, then uses a front facelock to tag in Gabriel, who comes in with a sunset flip for a two count, then armdrags him into an armbar. Sandow works to his feet in the middle of the ring, then nails Gabriel with a forearm that sends him into his corner. Sandow tags Cesaro and hit a shoulder block to the gut and Cesaro kicks him in the face on his way in, then takes him over with a side mare into a headlock. Gabriel worked to his feet and threw Cesaro in, but Cesaro put him down with a shoulder block. Cesaro ran and Gabriel came up with a drop down and a leapfrog and went for a hiptoss, but Cesaro blocked it and went for his own, but Gabriel countered into a backslide for a two count. Cesaro went for a right, but Gabriel ducked it and rocked him with some chops to the chest, but Cesaro just shoved him hard into the ropes. Sandow tried a cheap shot, but Gabriel saw it coming and Sandow backed off, and went right into a right hand from Cesaro for a two count. Cesaro hit a European uppercut, then tagged in Sandow, who came in dropping knees to the chest. Sandow hit a Russian Legsweep, then came up to drop the Elbow of Disdain for a two count.
Cesaro tagged in and Sandow body slammed Gabriel to set up a double stomp for a two count. Cesaro then went to a front facelock, then switched into a rear chinlock. Gabriel got to his feet and broke the hold with some elbows, but Cesaro just shoved him into the corner. He charged, but ate a back elbow. Cesaro went to cut off the tag, but got backdropped to the floor. Gabriel was inches from the tag when Cesaro pulled Kidd off the apron to the floor while Sandow came in to distract the referee. Cesaro then ran back in and lifted Gabriel off the mat with a gutwrench suplex, but Kidd broke up the pin. Cesaro then went a cobra clutch. Gabriel got to his feet and broke the hold with some elbows. Cesaro tried a right hand to cut him off, but Gabriel caught him with a jawbreaker. Gabriel went for the tag, but Cesaro caught his leg and he was hopping on one leg but pulled away and we got tags both ways.
Kidd catches Sandow coming with an enziguri, then hits a springboard dropkick. He knocks Cesaro off the apron, then hits Sandow with a spinning back kick to the ribs. He follows up with a collarbone kick and a leg kick, then hit a basement dropkick to the head for a two count. He catches Cesaro charging and throws him through the ropes to the floor. Kidd was about to go for the pescado, but Sandow caught him with a reverse rollup for a two count, but Kidd countered into a schoolboy for a two count. Kidd backed into the ropes and caught Sandow with an enziguri, then tagged in Gabriel before hitting Cesaro with a pescado on the floor. Gabriel laid out Sandow with a STO, followed by a springboard moonsault, then tagged Kidd. Kidd followed up with a springboard elbow drop for the three count.
Winner: Kidd and Gabriel by pin.
Frank’s Take: After two classic episodes this episode was a bit of come down and there’s nothing wrong with that. The highlight was no doubt the debut of Neville, who was probably the first big international name to debut on NXT and it was clear he was high on many people’s lists from beginning. I did like how they showcased Big E Langston and any appearance from this era Damien Sandow is fine by me.
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