Paul Heyman begins scouting for talent and a new Paul Heyman Guy.
Paul Heyman starts off the show, saying that he wants to scout a new Heyman Guy. Heyman says he’s “blown away” by what he’s seen in NXT and says that though he loves hearing “ECW”, he’s looking to the future, not the past. Heyman calls Curtis Axel out to meet him. Heyman says there isn’t a man in Florida that’s worthy of an IC title shot, drawing out Big E Langston. E says that he’s man enough to beat Axel tonight. Axel stops Heyman from rebutting and agrees to a match, much to the chagrin of his manager. Axel says “not tonight” and offers a match for Thanksgiving or Christmas, bringing a smile to Heyman’s face. E tells Curtis to shut up and defend tonight or prove himself unworthy of NXT. Axel invites E to the ring
Match 1: Big E Langston vs Curtis Axel (c), Intercontinental Championship
Winner: Big E Langston via disqualification
Langston grabs Axel by the back of the neck, which Axel answers with elbows, punches and chops. Axel leapfrogs E, but runs into a belly to belly suplex, then gets clotheslined to the floor for a commercial. As the screen fades, the camera catches Heyman screaming at E “Oh my god, are you kidding me?!”. Paul Heyman should react to all things that occur on Earth at all times.
E has a chinlock on the IC Champion, but he fights up to his feet. Axel hits the ropes and gets leveled by a shoulder block. E counts off the five big gut punches, collapsing Axel. Langston wants Axel in the middle of the ring, but he holds onto the apron to prevent it, then hits a clothesline to the back of E’s head. Axel follows with a dropkick and raking the eyes of Langston. E blocks a snapmare, so Axel knees him in the head and snapmares him over, followed by a Hennig-family neck snap and a low dropkick for one. Axel floats into a front face lock and E throws him across the ring, then hits a trio of clotheslines and delivers five knee strikes to the midsection, then the running avalanche. E drops the straps and Heyman jumps in the ring to deliver a less-than-devastating axe handle to his back. Heyman immediately begs off, but Axel makes the save from behind, wanting a belt shot; E ducks and hits the Big Ending. E makes the visual 5-count pin, showing that he’s more than capable of beating the IC Champion.
Sami Zayn is interviewed by Renee Young and says that there’s nothing to be “exposed” as by The Real Americans. Zayn says he’s happy to have a two out of three falls match with Cesaro.
Match 2: Mason Ryan vs Scott Dawson
Winner: Mason Ryan via pinfall
Sylvester LeFort says to make money, you gotta spend money. Somehow this relates to Scott Dawson. This is such a mismatch of manager and talent. Which is a shame because LeFort could be a great manager and Dawson has potential to be an ok wrestler.
Dawson craptalks Ryan, who grabs his wrist and hits a short arm clothesline. Ryan follows into the corner with another. Into the opposite corner, makes it three. Ryan snapmares Dawson over as Amore and Cassidy make an entrance to distract Ryan, which works. Dawson clips the leg of the bigger man and wails on him. Dawson runs into a big boot and gets laid out by Ryan’s Cobra Clutch slam as he stares a whole through Amore and Cassidy. They make an attempt to attack, but get tossed to the floor, then Dawson gets gorilla pressed down onto both of them.
Match 3: Summer Rae vs Paige (c), NXT Women’s Championship
Winner: Paige via pinfall
Surprisingly, Paige enters first.
Tie up sends the women around the ring, then Summer gets sent to the ropes and hits a cross body, but Paige rolls it through for a one count. Summer whiffs a clothesline and gets thrown to the mat by her hair, then Paige tosses her across the ring by her hair. Paige mudhole stomps Summer in the corner then tries a gut kick, but Summer catches it, cackles and throws the leg down so fast that Paige takes a header into the mat. Summer wraps her leg around Paige in the ropes then pulls her chest first into the bottom rope by her arm. Paige kicks out at one then get her head driven into the mat by Summer Rae and rolled over for a two count. Summer leaps at Paige for a guillotine then rolls all the way backwards and mounts her, shaking her head and screaming. Good for a two. Paige fights up from her knees and reverses a whip for an arm drag, but Summer rolls through into a headlock. Paige gets up and backs Summer into the corner and rains elbows on her. Paige’s turn to catch a kick from Summer, doing the same face plant bit. Paige drapes Summer over the middle rope and delivers knee strikes from the apron. Paige mule kicks Summer and hits the Paigeturner for the win.
Renee welcomes AJ Lee in to have a word. AJ teases who she might defend the Divas Title against, including Renee, who declines. Bayley flies in out of nowhere and hugs AJ from behind and Renee hightails it out. AJ turns around to face her adorable assailant, who keeps a headlock grip around her. Bayley says she followed from the car and from the locker room. Bayley offers herself as an opponent in giddy fashion. Bayley says she doesn’t know why people think AJ is crazy…she thinks she’s awesome. AJ gets Bayley to repeat herself. Bayley says maybe after she beats AJ, they can stay friends. AJ crazies up a bit and Bayley hugs her goodbye.
Match 4: Corey Graves, Adrian Neville & Xavier Woods vs The Shield
Winners: The Shield via pinfall
It’s still wild to me that Woods comes out billed from Angel Grove with the 90’s stuff on his titantron. There’s not a snowball’s chance that gimmick makes it to the main roster, and that’s what these guys are supposed to be training for in NXT. Which is a shame, because he’s friggin great.
Graves starts with Rollins. Rollins tries to lure him into the Shield corner, but Graves moves to the middle of the ring. Rollins tags him with rights, but Graves counters a hip toss into an arm drag and a dropkic, then tags in Neville. Rollins whips Neville, who low dropkicks him in the leg then the head. Neville pushes Rollins to his corner and tags in Woods who works on the arm. Woods ducks a clothesline and a back elbow then grabs a headscissors for a one count. Graves is back in and continues working on Rollins’ arm. They exchange rights with Rollins getting the better. The ref separates them and Rollins bashes his knee on the way in, leading to a top rope dragon screw from Graves. Ambrose and Reigns drag Rollins out to safety, but Woods and Neville hit stereo flip dives to lay them out and take us to a break.
Reigns is all over Woods and backs him into the Shield corner, which allows Rollins and Ambrose to squish his head with their boots. Ambrose tags in to wishbone Woods, then proceeds to stomp on his fingers. Ambrose grounds Woods with a neck wrench, but he eventually flips out of a belly to back to tag in Graves. Load of strikes to Ambrose then a gourdbuster and a chop block and Lucky 13. Reigns boots Graves off while the ref is drawn into Graves’ corner. Reigns tags in for a huge scoop slam then a jumping elbow for two. Rollins in to deliver a knee to the midsection. Graves tries to fight up and Rollins knees him in the mouth for two. Rollins with a top arm lock, but Graves fights up again and tries a sunset flip, but Reigns gets a tag before Rollins goes over. Reigns pounces on Graves and punches him. Reigns rakes the face of Graves and stomps his gut. Ambrose tags back in and jabs Graves in the corner, followed by a short arm clothesline for another near fall. Ambrose taunts the other corner, then suplexes Graves toward the Shield corner, tagging Reigns back in. Graves tries to kick from the floor, but Reigns puts a stop to it with a stomp. Graves finally fights out of the Shield half of the ring and knocks Rollins and Ambrose to the floor. Ambrose tags in as Neville makes the tag, then proceeds to go wild on him with forearms. Neville hits a high kick in the corner, which sets up Ambrose for Red Arrow, but the US Champion gets his knees up. Rollins tags in and tries a German suplex, but he flips out and tags in Woods who gets a two count off a cross body. Woods with a back elbow and a round kick, then a sliding reverse STO for two. Woods lets everyone know it’s Morphin time, then hits a flip over clothesline and Eat Defeat but Reign breaks it up. Woods hits him with a front dropkick and Neville leaps up for a hurricanrana, but Reigns catches him. Reigns stumbles toward the ropes and Neville takes him over to the floor. Graves goes after Ambrose, who tries an American Wolves-style “suplex self to the floor” spot (I hate this spot), but kind of bounces off the rope, so he rolls under. Rollins leaps at Woods in the corner, but he dodges and puts Rollins on the top rope and readies for a superplex, but Rollins fights out and wants a sunset flip powerbomb. Woods grabs the top rope to block and Reigns tags himself in and punches Woods, leading to a buckle bomb from Rollins and the best spear I’ve ever seen from Reigns, leading to a Shield victory.
Cesaro tells Renee Young that he is the greatest American ever and is the Boss of the World. He accepts Sami Zayn’s challenge and says that he’s going to make him regret it, then gets jumped by Zayn. Zayn is pulled off.
Weird to see E, an established Raw superstar now, back in NXT doing his “five” bit and actually talking which he rarely gets to do on the big shows. That was a good match back and forth, but Axel and E are both quite good, so that’s expected. I hate the blatant manager interference ending as a principle, but at least E stands tall at the end. It would really really behoove WWE to acknowledge matches like this on the main shows. As E separates from AJ (We all know that’s impending), it would set him up for a title rivalry, plus give Axel something better to do than getting beat up by CM Punk in passing. Just logically speaking, why would Raw/Smackdown ignore an IC Title defense?!
Ryan squashes a dude after distraction and a knee clip. I’m sure we see a three on one within a couple weeks.
That guillotine spot could have been cool if they hadn’t made it a typical cat fight spot instead. The whole cat fight thing in women’s wrestling doesn’t help the general perception of it. Good win for Paige, if not expected. Wrestling-wise, Paige kind of outclasses the rest of the NXT women, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll go to the main roster any time soon.
The one thing I’ll say about AJ and Bayley is, in character, it makes no sense for AJ to have not leveled her with a slap at the word “Crazy”. She’s happy to swing at Kaitlyn, who’s three times the size of either one of them. But it gives us AJ vs Bayley, so that’s fine. Bayley always seems to be in the right place at the right time to “volunteer” for matches…maybe she’s not just a goofy fangirl…?
If Graves is going to do gourdbusters, be might want to pack on a bit more muscle to actually, you know, get the guy in the air. Reigns delivers my favorite kind of scoop slam, with a kind of suplex grip, but there was also a ludicrously audible “here we go” to Graves as he did it. Need to watch out for that. Obviously Shield needed to win this. Three main roster champions losing to three guys on NXT would be a horrible choice to make. Not that Neville isn’t main roster material and the other two are close to it, but you need to keep Shield strong. That ending sequence was stellar and the image of Reigns already being in mid air as he comes in from off camera for that spear was great. Raw and Smackdown would benefit from matches like this on occasion. Raw, with three hours of television, has absolutely no excuse to not showcase matches and action like this. So much of the show is filler that exists simply to get them to that third hour. Why not have an upper tier NXT guy come up every week for a match to open Raw or something? Fire up the crowd, give a good 10-15 minute bit of action. Or we could have more HHH segments. That’s cool too.
AJ Lee will defend the Divas Championship against eager Bayley. Dolph Ziggler will appear as well. Wildly convenient.
As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom. I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!
Tags: adrian neville, aj lee, bayley, big e langston, Consequences Creed, Corey Graves, Curtis Axel, mason ryan, NXT, PAC, Paige, Paul Heyman, sami zayn, Summer Rae, sylvester lefort, The Shield, WWE, xavier woods