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Retro WWE NXT #150: Rollins vs. Graves for the NXT Title

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Retro WWE NXT Episode 29: Original Air Date — January 2, 2013

Fast forward fourteen weeks…

And we are back with Retro WWE NXT. Skipping some of the darkest days of the show, when the goings on the main roster was screwing everything up. What you’ve missed is the debut of 3MB turning NXT’s top heel, Jinder Mahal, into a joke in leather pants, and the founding of the Shield suddenly turn your top babyface, Seth Rollins, into heel, right when he’s starting a program with the new top heel, a guy named Corey Graves. Yeah…

Also the very good team of Byron Saxton and the excellent William Regal, with Jim Ross joining us for main events is now gone…

Coheed and Cambria start to play us in, but then static hits and we interrupted by the Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose) in the ring attacking some dudes! They are wearing these two dudes out in brown that I don’t recognize until the NXT General manager, Dusty Rhodes comes out on the stage. But before the Dream can say anything, Ambrose takes the mike and says that this what they can expect in NXT now. Ambrose says that they had shattered more glass ceilings and caused more havoc than anybody in such a short time, and it was all the name of justice. Seth then said they had taken over Raw, taken over Smackdown, and they were here to take over NXT and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Dusty fired back that he had told them to make an impact, but they had done it the wrong way, and tonight Seth would defend his title against someone who had been after him awhile, Corey Graves.

Seth looks incredulous. Dean takes the mike again and speaking very softly, says that no one told them what to do anymore. Dusty said that is long they were in his house, he would tell them what to do, and he would defend the title or he would strip Seth of the title. Seth said did Graves was a wrong they could right and told Dusty to be careful what he wished for. Roman took the mike, stuttered, and said that Dusty was just paying the Shield’s rent. Crazy little segment

They then went to Tony Dawson (ugh) and William Regal (yay) at the announce table, recapping what had happened. Regal capped it off by saying the two needed to watch each other’s back.

Meanwhile, Byron Saxton is your ring announcer.

Bo Dallas vs. Epico (with Primo)

The fans chanted “We want Rosa” at Epico and Primo, then start chanting for Carlito. The Full Sail crowd has gotten considerably more rowdy over the past fourteen weeks.

They lock up to start the match. Dallas goes with a wristlock into a headlock. Epico tossed him into the ropes and Dallas puts him down with a shoulder block. Epico backs off into the corner and takes a little powder before going to lock up again. Epico goes into a waistlock, but Dallas reverses it and goes back into the headlock. Epico tossed him again, and Dallas puts him down again with a pair of shoulder blocks, and Epico retreats into the corner again. Regal puts over the courage Dallas showed in a match several weeks back against the Big Show, who was actually World Heavyweight Champion at the time. Epico teased a test of strength, but then snatched a headlock instead. Dallas chained through into a headlock of his own, but Epico tossed him in, dropped down this time, and caught Dallas with a knee to the gut. Primo started riling up the ringside fans as Epico put the boots to him, then hit a snap suplex, before going out to the apron for a slingshot elbowdrop for a two count.

Epico applied a bodyscissors, but Dallas broke it with some elbows. He fired a bodypunch from his knees, but Epico raked his eyes with his bootstrings, then raked his eyes across the top rope. The Puerto Rican jarred with the ref about it before hitting a side backbreaker into a submission. Dallas went two on one with the grip, then nailed Epico in the face to break the hold. Epico beat Dallas to his feet, but the third-generation star backed him into the corner with a series of bodyshots, but Epico reversed a whip into the corner and caught Dallas with a nice dropkick for a two count.

Epico waited before nailing Bo with a series of right hands, but Bo started smiling and no selling the shots before dropping with a pair of right hands. Dallas hit a running forearm, then a running right hand to the kneeling Epico, before whipping him into a Belly to Belly suplex. The crowd is chanting “No More Bo”, a chant that would become very familiar in the next year. Bo then fired up before hitting the spear for the win.

Winner: Dallas via pinfall

After the match, Primo and Epico cornered Dallas, but then Michael McGillicutty (aka Curtis Axel) came down and made the save. Primo and Epico stared them down from the ramp as McGillicutty and Dallas stared down each other…

Sasha Banks vs. Tamina Snuka

Damn, this is a shock. Sasha came down to the ring, with blond hair, smiling and strutting to the ring. This is only her second time on NXT, which the announcers put over, with Dawson noting that she had come up short against Paige. Regal put over her experience despite being so young. The Boss this is not. While she previously had been a babyface, Tamina is now a heel after she had turning on the main roster to assist Vickie Guerrero against AJ Lee.

They go to lock up to start the match, but Tamina kicks her in the gut and starts clubbing her across the back. She whips Sasha into the corner and drops her with a double chop, then covers for a two count. Tamina hits a karate kick to the back, rakes Sasha’s face across the knee before hitting a bodyslam for a two count. Tamina applied a modified abdominal stretch and it’s actually Regal who drops that Sasha is Snoop Dogg’s cousin on commentary. Sasha starts to fire some elbows and breaks the hold. Tamina shoves her in the corner and goes for a big splash, but Sasha avoids it and hits a series of forearms before grabbing a knucklelock. Tamina tries to fire back, but Sasha hits a bodykick before running the ropes for a Eddie Guerrero style top rope armdrag. Sasha followed it up with a bodyscissors into a Sushi Roll for a two count that popped the fans, but then she charged right into a Samoan Drop from Tamina. Tamina then pulled Sasha by her hair into position and the fans started chanting “Superfly.” Tamina then hit the splash off the top for the pin.

Winner: Tamina via pinfall

They put over the title match for later tonight.

Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger vs. Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel

They put over several weeks ago, when Regal saved Kidd from a beatdown from Ohno, and while also putting over a long rivalry between Gabriel and Kruger dating back to their days from South Africa.

Ohno and Kidd start the match. They lock up to start the match and Kidd uses an armbar into a wristlock into a hammerlock. Ohno standing switches into half nelson into a cravate, but Kidd reversed back into a wristlock. Ohno reversed into a wristlock of his own, but Kidd used the ropes to flip through back into control. Ohno turned into a headlock, but Kidd backed him into the ropes and Gabriel made a blind tag. Kidd tossed him into the ropes and the babyfaces hit a double leapfrog before catching Ohno in a double hiptoss. Ohno tried to catch Gabriel with a kick to the gut, but Gabriel caught it, but Ohno grabbed the ropes and kicked him off with the other leg and tagged Kruger, but the hunter charged right into an armdrag from Gabriel. Gabriel then hit a legsweep that dropped Kruger face first, then tagged in Kidd for a sick reverse rolling neck snap/basement dropkick combo that popped the fans. Kidd applied a front facelock and Kruger tried back him into the corner, but Gabriel made blind tag and came in with sunset flip for a two count. Gabriel grabbed a wristlock and whipped him into a kip up dropkick from Kidd, which Gabriel followed up with a spinkick. Kidd covered for a two count.

Kidd applied a key lock, but Kruger fought to his feet and broke it with some elbows. Kruger went for a whip, but Kidd reversed it and went for a backdrop that Kruger went to counter with a sunset flip, but Kidd rolled through and went for the Sharpshooter, but Kruger got to the ropes. The heels tried to powder and Kidd feigned a pescado, but landed on the apron and held the ropes open so Gabriel could hit Ohno with a tope! Kidd followed up with a somersault from the apron on Kruger and the babyfaces celebrated in the ring. Commercial Break.

BFC, Gabriel had Kruger in your basic armbar. Kruger worked to his feet, but Gabriel turned into a wristlock and tagged in Kidd and they whipped him into a double back elbow to the gut, double snapmare, and a sandwich round kick that popped the crowd for a two count. Kidd went back to the keylock, but Kruger fought to his feet and tossed Kidd into the ropes, but Tyson held on and hit a backelbow. He went to nail Ohno, but Ohno avoided it and when Kidd turned around, Kruger hit him with that pretty spinebuster for a two count. Kruger dragged him into the corner and Ohno tagged himself in, and hit his cool stomps before nailing him with a front elbow and a chop to the corner. Ohno then hit a bodyslam to set up a quick senton for a two count. Ohno applied a cravate and yanked on his neck before tagging Kruger back in, who hit his pretty snap suplex for a two count. Kruger dropped a pair of elbows and a knee, then tagged in Ohno and held him so Ohno could kick him in the ribs. Ohno let Kidd crawl to his corner a bit, then cut him off with a knee to the head for a two count, then tagged in Kruger and held him for a kick to the ribs. Kruger then dropped a pair of knees to the ribs for a two count.

Kruger then went to a rear chinlock. Kidd fought to his feet and broke it with some elbows, but Krueger cut him off and tagged in Ohno. They went for a double backdrop, but Kidd kicked them both away. Kidd lured Ohno to charge into his boot and tossed Kruger to the floor, but Ohno caught him by the leg. Kidd tried to crawl on one leg and eventually rolled through sending Ohno into the ropes and got the tag to Gabriel. Gabriel hit a springboard crossbody, a roaring elbow, and a spinkick on Ohno. Gabriel went for a whip, but Ohno blocked it while Kruger made a blind tag. Ohno went for a backdrop, but Gabriel flipped to his feet, but saw Kruger saw it coming and caught him with a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Ohno broke up the pin, then nailed Kidd off the apron. Gabriel caught Ohno with a dropkick that sent him to the floor, and Kruger tried to sneak behind him, but Gabriel reversed it and grabbed a reverse rollup for a two count. Kruger came back with a schoolboy, but when Gabriel rolled through it, Kruger caught him with a neckbreaker into a facebuster for the three count.
Winner: Kruger and Ohno by pin.

Jim Ross replaces Tony Dawson on commentary for the main event.

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Corey Graves for the NXT Championship

Graves made his entrance, but then Seth came out, sans music in his Shield gear. The rocker babyface persona and entrance that we saw before are gone. He walks to the ring and then Byron makes the introductions. By the way, Graves’s jeans seemed to be as low as they could go here…

The bell rang and they immediately started throwing punches from the clinch, with Graves getting the better of it. Ross smartly wondered how the Shield larger agenda had affected Rollins’ ability to be NXT Champion. Graves slammed Rollins head into the turnbuckle and went for a whip, but Rollins reversed it and went for a backdrop, but Graves caught him in a small package for a two count, then a backslide for a two count. Graves grabbed Rollins’ leg to stop him from crawling away and began kicking the leg, then dropping elbows across the leg. Rollins backed him off with a right enough to get to his feet, then lured Graves into a kick to the gut in the corner. Rollins nailed Graves with a series of chops to the chest and whipped him into the corner, but Graves came back with a big clothesline. Rollins grabbed the ropes to try to stem the Graves attack and Graves tried to pull him off, but the ref got in the way. Rollins caught Graves with an upkick to the gut, then followed up with a Snake Eyes across the top rope. Rollins picked him up to deliver a slap, then hit a spinning back kick to the ribs followed by the one leg dropkick for a two count.

Rollins then went to a Figure Four headscissors. Graves was able to bridge back and get Rollins shoulders down for a two count, but Rollins cut him off with a back elbow and taunted the crowd. Graves tried to fight back with body punches from his knees, but Rollins cut him off with a slap that popped the crowd. Rollins picked Graves up throw a right, but Graves blocked it and fired back with some rights of his own, but Rollins cut him off with a kick to the gut again and ran the ropes, only for Graves to deck him with a right. Graves dropped him twice more with right hands, then caught him with a Dragon screw. Graves was looking for a chopblock, but Rollins leapfrogged over it and caught him with an enziguri. Both men down.

Rollins went into the corner and stomped his leg, as if mocking his old persona and charged, but Graves caught him the chopblock and locked in his Lucky 13 submission! It’s a sweet modified Indian Deathlock. Rollins looked like he just about to tap out when Ambrose and Reigns jumped in to make the save and cause the dq.

Winner: Graves via disqualification

Ambrose was really putting the boots to Graves while Reigns checked on Rollins, and then the other two joined the beatdown. Then Dusty appeared at the top of the ramp and suddenly Trent Barretta, CJ Parker, and Mike Dalton (Berretta, Juice Robinson, and Tyler Breeze nowadays.) Rollins caught Barretta in a DDT and Parker and Dalton were tossed quickly. More guys came out including a young Colin Cassidy, who got caught stepping over the top rope. Eventually more guys including Alex Riley, Yoshi Tatsu, and Percy Watson came down to join the fight, as did Kidd, Gabriel, and Dallas, but the Shield was tossing them out and taking them down one by one. Some of the fans start chanting ‘Five!’ Bo Dallas was the last guy standing, and he took the Triple Powerbomb. They should Dusty on the ramp looking stoned faced, but then Big E Langston’s music hit and the crowd exploded. Big E took his time walking to the ring, but as soon as he got on the apron, the Shield backed up slowly and left the ring. JR are commentary for this is almost as awesome you imagine. He is clearly holding back a little. Dusty then announced that Rollins would be defending the title next week against Big E Langston. The crowd loved it!

Frank’s Take: My was this fun! One, it was fun to back to the early days of the Shield. Damn, were they needed. WWE had grown very stale and it cannot be said how much these guys revitalized things. Of course, it provided a huge challenge to NXT, as suddenly Rollins and Graves had done a double term and now had to work completely different styles with each other it had to be a challenge. And seeing Big E Langston, who had been built as unstoppable force at Full Sail, facing off with the Shield, well, that’s everything you love about wrestling.

Plus there was great action here. The tag match was fun, as was seeing a young Sasha Banks. Damn, she has come along way. Plus the main event with Graves and Rollins was fun.

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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