This is, ladies and gents. The big one. The episode featuring the match that everybody’s been talking about. Cesaro vs Zayn III, the 2 out of 3 falls match. What’s been called the best televised wrestling match of 2013 so far. Will it live up to the immense hype? Will the rest of the show suck balls in comparison? Let’s freakin’ find out!
NXT began with a cold open this week, running a video package summing up the awesome feud between Sami Zayn and Antonio Cesaro. After that we went to the ring for a WWE Diva’s championship match between AJ Lee and Bayley. AJ won with a Shining Wizard! Backstage Tyler Breeze made a lady I didn’t recognize take his picture, all while a photobombing CJ Parker stood behind him. Woopsie. Micahel Zaki and Ron Hicks then died to the Ascension. CJ Parker beat Baron Corbin. Tyler Breeze came out for a bit of a confrontation with Parker but hightailed it when Parker feinted a punch. Dolph Ziggler beat Alexander Rusev.
In the main event….I’m not putting the result here. Watch the match first.
Now, for my tomy award-winning observations!
NXT is a step up in quality for AJ’s opponents:
I’m pretty sure everyone and their mom already knows this, but AJ Lee is so far ahead of all the other divas on the main roster in terms of character and wrestling ability that she kind of exists on an island by herself. Some of the ladies can sort of hang with her in certain ways, but nobody really has the total package like she does. NXT, however, is quickly creating well-rounded female wrestlers, so it’s cool to see AJ get the chance to interact with someone who can keep up with what she’s doing as a character and in the ring.
Bayley was probably the perfect choice to interact with and wrestle against AJ during this taping. Their match tonight was good, propelled by the character-driven stuff they did while wrestling, chiefly the hugging and the possum-playing that brought about Bayley’s downfall.
On a side note, Alex Riley made a bold statement about AJ having a good shot at the hall of fame….and I agree with him. AJ’s career is still very young and she’s only now into her first title reign as Diva’s champion, but she’s already had enough noteworthy moments and been a part of enough big storylines that I would consider her the most important WWE diva since Beth Phoenix, maybe even since Mickie James at this point. She’s also trending upward, if you will, and might just be the core of the division as it rebuilds itself using the talented ladies currently wrestling on NXT. It’s a really, really early prediction, but we may very well get to watch AJ go down in history as the top diva in this era.
On a side side note, Bayley’s butt still looks pretty swell.
Hey, look, a one-note character:
Photo-bomb a wrestler once in a backstage area and you’re poking fun at the structure of wrestling. Do it each week as your character and you become shallow and annoying.
Okay, maybe he’s a two note character:
CJ Parker’s not just a photobomber, he’s a photobombing hippie. So I guess that’s something?
What’s curious about this whole thing between Tyler Breeze and CJ Parker is that they were both jobbers on NXT early on and actually teamed once as that version of the Ascension’s weekly sacrifice. Now they both have revamped personas and are feuding against each other. Each are doing their best impression of a stereotype, though I’d say Tyler Breeze is winning that race by a fair margin. I’m not a giant fan of Breeze so far, but at least when he talks he sounds like what he’s supposed to sound like. Speaking of that, when Tyler opened his mouth and said “Really” during his in-ring confrontation with Parker, I was instantly reminded of Zoolander, which is perrrrrfect.
Ay Dios Mio! Where are all these new characters coming from!:
That name that Ziggler beat up above belongs to a wrestler I’ve never seen before, a stocky, 300 pound man described as Bulgarian with a Muy Tai and Sumo background. And I’ll be damned if it wasn’t fun watching Ziggler bounce off the due. But enough about that s**t, here’s comes the main event!
Sami Zayn vs Antonio Cesaro….
…..I probably should have figured out that Zayn/Cesaro III wasn’t going to be as good as advertised (Cures canceraids! Makes you ripped! Gives you orgasms via computer screen!) when I chastised the NXT crowd a couple weeks back for chanting “That was awesome!” in response to an entrance. An entrance. The people in attendance were definitely there to have a good time (nothing wrong with that) and between that energy and the fact that we’ve been hearing about this match for maybe a month now, I’d say its quality has been inflated a bit. Is it a good match? Why yes. Yes it is. It is a very good match. But once again overhyping has dulled my enjoyment of something. Call it the “Hangover Effect” and by that I mean that “The Hangover” wasn’t quite amazing because I watched it after everyone said it was amazing and not that I get drunk and hook up with what I think are attractive……uh, wrestling, yeah! Let’s talk about the wrestling!
I think the most positive thing I can note about this match is that the falls were outstanding. I can honestly say I did not expect any of the three pinfalls (one was a submission, sue me), and not because they were poorly done. They were just that well thought out.
Now’s your last chance to watch the match fresh by the way.
The first pinfall was almost instant, two big ass moves by Sami onto Cesaro that gave Zayn a 1-0 advantage immediately and put an exclamation mark on the match from the start. It was unexpected, it was impactful and it was a message from the wrestlers to the audience saying “This match means something. Pay attention.” It’s what Triple H and Randy Orton tried and failed to do at the start of their WrestleMania main event when they exchanged finishers in the opening minute.
The second fall, in which Zayn tapped out to Cesaro’s advanced chinlock, I loved because it helped show the devastation of an underrated Cesaro move (you know, the one where he chokes you by swinging you around by your freaking neck?) and because Sami sold it like he was really about to pass out. The third fall was most surprising to me because I really thought Zayn was going to win this match since he’s the good guy! Call me naïve. So when Cesaro countered Sami’s attempt at a tornado DDT by hossing him up over his head and uppercuting him into smaller pieces, I was very surprised Sami didn’t kick out. It’s a weird thing to think, but it happened.
One other cool thing to mention before we rap up is that Sami Zayn busted out some more Generico moves I wasn’t sure I’d ever see in the WWE. The brainbuster (or brainbustAHHHH) was the crazy-ass move people usually associated with Generico on the indies but the dude also routinely defied several laws of physics by jumping through the turnbuckle ropes to perform a tornado DDT on the floor. Tonight he did just that in the final minutes of this match. Grown men might have cried. We can’t be sure.
And that was NXT! Damn good show this week. What did you think of the Cesaro/Zane match? MOTY contender? Just really good? Live in a mindset thankfully beyond such words and comparisons? Let us know!