On the eve of Independence Day here in the US, WWE gave us there Stars & Stripes editions of NXT and the Main Event. The two-hour block showcase some Real Americans battling for pride in their country and chasing the American dream of championships and briefcases. As always, let’s begin with the Main Event.
We begin the night’s festivities by introducing tonight’s announce team the returning son of the “American Dream” Cody Rhodes and Josh Matthews. Another solid showing from Rhodes in the booth. Especially in the opening match of the night featuring his best friend Damien Sandow as he goes against Christian.
Christian makes his entrance first to a mixed reaction as Sandow comes out cutting a promo calling his opponent a troglodyte. Sandow also added a quote from a great man, Damien Sandow saying, “in the Valley of the Stupid, the half-wit is king”. The enlightened Savior of the unwashed masses says the ignorance will come to a halt as he will defeats Captain Charisma tonight. Rhodes was great on commentary hanging on Sandow’s every word.
The match itself was great as Christian and Sandow had a great back-and-forth with solid action. During the match, Cody Rhodes was trying to get over that Damien Sandow has become more aggressive after the Dublin Street fight with Sheamus. This definitely shows in this long match where Sandow brought out some interesting things out of his bag of tricks including one hell of a top rope superplex. In the end, Christian hits the Killswitch getting the victory proving that an All-Star in Money in the Bank and the WWE title beats the World Heavyweight Title every time.
We come back to see this week’s Sin Cara match against the returning “Real American” Jack Swagger. Before the match, Zeb Colter cuts a great promo looking at the Fourth of July and how Americans have forgotten the importance. Colter talks to the masked man doing his sneak across the border schtick. Zeb was going to translate in Spanish, but deciding better saying that Sin Cara should learn English. He does however, translate something in Spanish thanks to Google… I think it was this is our day. Then Jack Swagger adds his customary “We the People…”
The match itself was an okay back-and-forth that went on much longer than I expected. I honestly thought it one point Sin Cara might get a victory as punishment for his recent transgressions. But instead Swagger gets the victory with the Doctor Bomb (which I call the Shock and Awe)-Patriot Lock combination. I don’t think this was the strongest way to showcase Jack back in the WWE fold going into the pay-per-view. Oh well. I do like the fact that Cody brought up on commentary during the match that how does Zeb know that Sin Cara came here illegally.
After reliving the retrospective of Mark Henry and the Wyatt promo from Raw, we see a squash with Curt Hawkins and Big E. Langston as AJ was on commentary. I’ll give you two guesses or maybe five for NXT fans.
And speaking of NXT, let’s begin reviewing this week’s episode. In a weird open René Young welcomes us to the show as she interviews the NXT champion Bo Dallas. Bo is bragging about his fans a.k.a. Bolievers and talking about being mentored with Bret Hart and his Wrestlemania 29 (Axxess) match . René Young points out the flaws in his statements. He also says that he took the opportunity against Langston and became a superstar.
Antonio Césaro comes in full Real American mode as he says that that Bo Dallas was handed everything. And that’s what is wrong with this great nation Antonio says when he was Dallas’ age, he worked for everything he got. Dallas apologizes to René for Antonio not introducing himself and calls Césaro one of the most disappointing US champions in WWE history (wow that was a shot). Antonio responds by saying that he will get his shot for the NXT championship and we people will have no more Bo.
We are definitely seeing a more over-the-top heel Bo Dallas.
They play the full show open as we head in the arena and are welcomed by Tony Dawson and William Regal. We begin the action with the first match of the second round in the NXT Women’s Title Tournament with Paige versus Alicia Fox. Not much to this match as the English born diva got the win rather easily with the Paige Turner. However, Alicia had to show off her ability to bridge again. Next week, Emma versus Summer Rae doing the dance for the championship.
Connor O’Brien with Ric Victor ( the Ascension) squashes the debuting Andy Baker. Not a long match, O’Brien wins with the Fall of Man Leg Drop. The coolest part was O’Brien doing a rolling headlock with Baker.
We then see a jump cut to a backstage segment where René Young Interviews Corey Graves and Adrian Neville. René says that Kassius Ohno was taken out by the Wyatt family last week and that they need a third fight. Graves says they all knew the risks doing this as superstars but they’re not giving up and they know someone they want to fight with. Adrian speaks up and says that William Regal spoke to them last week (four weeks ago) and says they needed to unite. Now they need him to join together in the battle. Corey then adds the ending will always be the same after they’re done the Wyatt family is going to stay down showing the tattoos on his knuckles.
Sylvester LeFort welcomes us back as he introduces (his protégé as he put it) Scott Dawson as he goes into singles action against the morphinomenal Xavier Woods. Not really much in this match either. Dawson gets the early offense, then Xavier takes control getting the win with his of Honor Roll and Lost in the Woods combination. I don’t really understand why they would put Dawson in this situation since they have been building Dylan and Dawson for the tag division. Wasn’t there someone else to put in that spot?
We see a standard promo from the Wyatt family talking about sheep and wolves and animals standing upright. As always good stuff.
Coming back from commercial, Tony Dawson asks Regal if he accepts the offer made by Adrian Neville and Corey Graves earlier in the episode. Regal accepts saying he wants revenge.
We move back in action as Mason Ryan returns and beats the certified G Enzo Amore who plans to avenge the loss by his boy Colin Cassidy to the SAWFT Welsh superstar a few weeks ago. All Mason does is punch Enzo in the face knocking him down and getting the pin. Enzo gets on the mic and says he wasn’t ready and pushes Cassidy into a match with Ryan. Mason wins again this time with the cobra clutch slam for the pin.
We get reminded of the six man tag next week and Emma versus Summer Rae in the NXT Women’s Title tournament.
And finally the main event of the evening as Antonio Cesaro challenges Bo Dallas the for NXT title in a really good match.
There’s great stuff going on here. I love Regal on commentary really getting over the chin lock . Dallas has his best showing to date in this match as Antonio makes him look like a million bucks. There were awesome spots like César doing an off the top rope gut wrench suplex and Dallas executing and off the top rope arm drag himself. Very impressive. The match really had that main event feel.
During the match Leo Kruger makes his way down to the ring to watch Bo Dallas. In the end, Dallas hits his belly to belly throw getting the victory. After the match Kruger gets in the ring and does Kruger’s End to Bo. Césaro recovers and goes after Kruger for a little while until both decide to attack Dallas. This brings out Sami Zayn to the rescue to run off the heels as we go off the air.
It should be noted the crowd in Full Sail University was not having Bo Dallas as champion as he had a chorus of boos during the match. The audience made it very clear with a “we the people” chant. Which will probably be the only time you ever hear that happen. I wonder if this is the same situation that TNA has had when they were in The Impact Zone and whether the same when they do house shows?
Overall, not the most solid show. For the second week in a row NXT was really squash central. Hopefully next week will break that trend with the matches they have scheduled.
Definitely check out Christian versus Damien Sandow on the Main Event and Bo Dallas versus Antonio Césaro. Everything else I would just skip.
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