Top 4 of NXT from 12/5/12
Between October and November I had a rough couple of months, so let’s be honest, I was anxious to get back in the saddle and writing about NXT! And then this episode happened. Five matches, which is never bad, but three of the matches fell into the two-three minute range. There was no real storyline progression except for an Ohno/Kidd feud being teased for the future. I’d be fine with just matches if two had not been a showcase for another guy and a “debut” for two men that have yet to prove themselves. Not making it to the list for matches is Axl Keegan vs. Bo Dallas, because… Bo Dallas.
4. Gavin Reid vs. Roman Reigns
At only 2:10 the match didn’t do much but show that Reigns can still move in the ring and this is why he’s a great asset to Shield while Reid where’s ring gear that looks like it had seen the washing machine a few too many times as it was faded and a bit lackluster. Reigns, of course, wins against Reid after a show of his moveset and then decides to cut a promo, taking the microphone from Saxton. Reigns gets ghetto-fabulous on us and only licks his lips twice during this promo, but still. You’re Samoan. No need to act like you wish you were teasing Hunico’s character when speaking. The Usos did that when they first came up as well, crotch grabbing and slouching their way through promos. It’s been done, and Reigns is better than just another wanna-be gimmick.
3. Corey Graves vs. Yoshi Tatsu
At just under three minutes I expected, since it’s Tatsu, a feat of quick movements and what Tatsu does best, which is the happy, frenzied, kicking. Instead, about thirty seconds in, Graves lands a blow to Tatsu’s knee and that appears to be about it for Tatsu. Again, this match is another showcase, this time of Graves, but more on his brutality as a skinny, tattooed, jackass than as a wrestler. It’s a character that he molds into well, and for this it’s why it’s ahead of the last match. That, and it was still Tatsu in the match. Still, I would have liked to have seen more wrestling style from the both of them before Tatsu’s knee was mutilated. In story, of course.
2. Tyson Kidd vs. Leo Kruger
My own expectations of what this match should have been probably ruined it a bit for me. The match was a lot of good spots and then rest holds while waiting for the next one. Someone else said, “I can’t help but think if this match was shorter it would have been better,” and I agree. If they had been given five minutes instead of nine minutes would they have cut the rest holds and just smoothly transitioned from move to move? I know both men can, and they are entertaining to watch, in ring psychology alone, but I’d rather have a short match that does a lot than a long match that is reminiscent of a Raw match. Raw is Rest Holds. At the end of this match Ohno comes out and attacks Kidd, possibly setting up a new story line. I’m also reading too much into Regal being the one who helps Kidd out of the arena.
1. Michael McGillicutty vs. Antonio Cesaro
Despite my not being a fan of Cesaro I had to admit at the end of the episode that this was my favorite match. It did what the other matches failed to do. Sure, there was a rest hold or two, but there was less of a wait between moves than Kidd and Kruger had, and McGillicutty just seemed to be enjoying himself as he took down his opponent repeatedly. Yeah, I also loved this was a feat of strength more for McGillicutty even if he ultimately lost. The crowd was fully behind Michael, chanting his name (Michael, not McGillicutty) and he seemed to enjoy the interaction between them. If I had to recommend one match from the episode, it would be this one.