Episode six has arrived, and it’s a milestone here at The NXT Wrestling Fan, because we have our first-ever guest host! Lucas Brown of The Math of You joins Miles and MeganBob for their discussion of the NXT show that originally aired on June 26th, 2013. If you don’t have WWE Network, you can check out some highlights from the show here.
In this episode:
First things first, we talk to Lucas about how he got into wrestling, how NXT became part of his relationship with his future wife, and how wrestling newcomers can ease themselves into the fandom. He mentions a few things about wrestling history during this discussion, including…
Édouard Carpentier inventing the dropkick:
WWF Survivor Series 1987:
WWF Summerslam 1991:
And Canadian wrestling legend Bret “Hit Man” Hart, pictured here wearing the coveted Intercontinental Championship (aka the one that used to mean you were good at wrestling):
Okay, with that out of the way, on to the NXT breakdown.
Big E Langston is back for his first match post-championship loss, and his first opponent is a man named Aiden English. About whom we have THOUGHTS.
And Langston? How’s he feeling these days? How did that Cheap Pop Quiz question go, again?
Yeah, Langston is out for blood, and this match against English, who is clearly a jobber, does not take long. It’s pretty fun to watch him bounce off the mat after taking the Big Ending, though. Look at this sell right here:
Langston isn’t finished, though, and hits English with a second Big Ending. Check out the air he gets on this one, keeping in mind this is happening after English hits the ground. He is moving upward in this picture.
Big Langston does not fuck around.
Okay, Big E, that’s enough, isn’t it? You don’t need to get back in the ring and give him another one, surely?
You know, traditionally the “thumbs up” means the guy gets to live. Oh well. Feast your eyes on the manner in which English bounces off the mat the third time.
Meanwhile, backstage, Emma is playing with her bubble gun. Like you do. She’s scheduled for an interview with Renee Young, which starts off great.
Once Emma is done dance-poking “her” bubbles, she…shoots Renee with a few more of them.
She does eventually stop and grudgingly allow Renee to hold the bubble gun while she goes out to wrestle a match in the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament. Renee, however, is not to use them under any circumstances, as conveyed by these two dueling facial expressions:
Which Renee then follows up with THIS:
I’ll be in my bunk.
As for Emma’s opponent, meet Aksana, a Lithuanian fitness model who basically represents the style of WWE women’s wrestling NXT is in the opening stages of moving beyond. Exhibit A:
Yeah, she basically just does weird feline sexy (?) things until it’s time for the inevitable “both women roll around and shake each other by the shoulders” part of the match. Though I have to say, it seems like every women’s match on these early NXT episodes features a wicked kick of some sort.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take Emma long to dispatch Aksana with her submission finisher, which Lucas notes is commonly referred to as a Muta Lock (though Bob still refers to it as “the reverse ouroboros of flesh”) and which is pretty ridiculously difficult to do. In case you’ve forgotten, it looks like this:
Here’s another angle, just because I love this screenshot and want it enlarged, framed, and on my wall.
By the way, Lucas remembers Emma from waaaaaaay back in the day, when she was “Tenille Tayla” of Pro Wrestling Australia. Miles remembers her from SHIMMER, too, where she was just Tenille.
Yep, that’s teen Emma, a little less than a decade before she started in NXT. She started training when she was 13. It’s important to remember that both she and Paige had been working as wrestlers for many years before arriving at NXT, which is one reason they’re so different than their FCW contemporaries, and so much better.
She also dances in the ring with children after her victory, because Emma is THE BEST.
Oh, goddammit, this video package again? Really? Wait, why does it say “NEXT” in big letters this time?
Yep, it’s finally time to meet Leo Kruger and watch him wrestle somebody in the ring! At long last! And who is his opponent?
Ah. I see. Say hello (and goodbye) to Dante Dash. We hardly knew him.
While the quality of the opposition for Kruger isn’t, like, amazing, this match does give us a great look at submission-style wrestling, as Bob noticed and Lucas does a great job of explaining. Basically the entire match is Kruger trying to tear Dash’s left arm apart.
It seriously looks like he wants to just rip it off and eat it. What Kruger is doing here is called “working the arm.”
You can tell immediately that this style is part of Kruger’s character, and works well in that context. He’s not going for big, powerful moves so that he can knock Dash out via brute force, and he’s not doing complicated pin attempts to try and pull out a win. He seems to really enjoy hurting Dash, which makes sense for an insane South African game hunter (or whatever he actually is).
Now he bends the fingers back. Just torturing the guy.
Even when he’s doing other kinds of movies, he has a grip on the left hand and is twisting it to make it hurt more.
At one point, he grabs Dash’s arm and brings it down on his shoulder to injure it. Then, later, he does it again, but over and over again like an absolute madman. That’s what you’re seeing here in the picture above.
But that’s not enough. Kruger then Irish Whips Dash into the corner, between the top rope and second rope, causing his left shoulder to slam into the ring post.
Then he does it again, on the other side of the ring:
And what’s all this setting up? What’s Kruger’s finishing hold?
Aaaaaand tap out. That’s how you make this stuff make sense, kids. That’s submission wrestling.
Here’s a look at Mickie Keegan, yet another jobber who appears on this episode. And here’s a look at what I imagine is going on inside his head:
Keegan wrestles NXT champion Bo Dallas. The audience here is still trying to decide whether they care enough about Dallas to hate him, but they’re gonna figure that one out pretty soon. Until then, here’s Dallas winning a jobber squash which, as Lucas points out, is a basic-ass finisher:
But Keegan isn’t the main thing Bo has to worry about in his post-Disneyland championship world…
Leo Kruger has been lingering at ringside (free wrestling term of the week!) during Dallas’ match, and afterward he creeps into the ring to beat up Keegan some more, make creepy faces, and lay his hand on Dallas’ championship. How does Bo Dallas feel about this?
Wet. Bo Dallas feels wet. Further updates to come.
And now, for your main event!
What if I told you that neither of these teams challenges for the NXT tag team championship?
This match isn’t the most notable thing in the world, but there are a few things we get to talk about. Like, for example, how this is the final NXT match for Garrett Dylan, seen here showing off his sparkly butt letters for the latest edition of Buttwatch:
Dylan’s partner, Scott Dawson, also makes Buttwatch this week for the blue collar working man look that his butt has going on:
Our other observations of this match are also largely aesthetic, such as Sylvester LeFort’s burnt sienna spray-tan…
…and Corey Graves’….everything…
Lucas has almost as many feelings about this as Bob did back in the very first episode. Anyway, the bottom line is that after a very high jump from Kassius Ohno…
…Corey Graves “breaking up the pin,” which requires some explanation…
…and the judicious application of Lucky Thirteen…
…Graves and Ohno win their match. But of course, they are almost immediately set upon by the Wyatt Family. Adrian Neville runs out to even the odds, and Bob notices that he’s wearing gym shorts rather than wrestling gear, which is a nice touch that adds credibility to the idea that he just spontaneously decided to come help:
But he also gets beaten down, which leads to…
OH SHIT HERE COMES WILLIAM REGAL
OH SHIT HE’S IN THE RING HE’S FIGHTING BRAY WYATT OH YOU FUCKERS HAVE GONE AND DONE IT NOW
…aw. Well, I guess he is an old man now, and with Dylan and Dawson joining in the attack, there’s like five of them. Still, just the act of Regal leaving commentary to join the fight had all three of us making happy noises.
What hath Wyatt wrought?
That’s it for this episode! Be sure to check out Lucas’ wonderful podcast, The Math of You, and follow him on Twitter @lokified! And come back in two weeks, where we answer the question that has Bob super-confused…what’s happened to Cesaro on the main roster? Drugs? Religion? Dinosaurs? You (and Bob) will have to join us next time to find out!
By the way, that is, in fact, our music! It’s called “Learnbuckle” and it was created by the uniquely talented Rafael Medina, whose work you can and should follow via his Twitter account, @EarthMeauxFaux! You can also follow Miles @mjschneiderman, MeganBob @meganbobness, and the show itself @nxtwrestlingfan, or visit www.nxtwrestlingfan.com
Additional music and sound credit to:
“Eyes Gone Wrong”, “Greta Sting”, “NewsSting”, “Samba Stings”
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0