Retro NXT Report – Full Sail Episode 1 (Episode #122)
Originally aired on June 20, 2012
The show began with an amazing video package. The narrator talked about the great superstars from eras past who have reached out and achieved their dreams and become stars and champions in the WWE. Then they brought it back to the present with NXT, where those who now dared to dream would take their opportunity to reach for their stars, with footage from the legendary pilot episode shown in highlights. An excellent package.
We then get the opening set to “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria, which would be the theme throughout the Hulu Plus era. Some of the superstars featured in the package such as Seth Rollins, Big E, and Jason Jordan, have gone onto big things. Others not so much. The package begins and ends with Richie Steamboat, son of Ricky, who never made it to the main roster due to a back injury.
We then arrive at the familiar Full Sail University, with some noticeable differences. The ring canvas is white instead of black. A voiceover from William Regal then introduces them to the brand new NXT, who introduces Jim Ross. Ross greets the crowd and introduces the interim GM of NXT, The American Dream – Dusty Rhodes. He talked about the electricity in the air and announced Michael McGilicutty and Tyson Kidd as the main event. He also hoped that no one tried to cross him as GM, interim or not. He then said the first two years of NXT would be nothing compared to what happened next.
Then there’s a video graphic and promo introducing Bo Dallas. It’s much like you would have seen introducing the talent on the original NXT and really it’s chessy as hell. Bo has long thick black hair and looks very Native American and is much less muscular than he is now. Long before the ‘Bolieve’ gimmick.
Bo Dallas vs. Rick Victor
Victor is of course Viktor from the Ascension. He is clean-shaven and has much shorter hair. Dallas is clearly being pushed a big babyface. He gets a big pop when he’s announced being from Florida. Victor’s training in Calgary is mentioned for probably the last time.
They started out the match exchanging holds, with Victor getting the advantage with a wristlock. Bo escaped with a Fireman’s carry, followed by a pair of armdrags into an armbar. Victor got to his feet and brought Bo into the corner, then unloaded with a series of chops. Bo then reversed it and let go with a series of punches. Bo hit a pair of big hiptosses, then whipped him into a Belly to Blly suplex. JR and Regal’s commentary tell you that they really want Bo to be the top babyface. Bo then hit the spear for the three count.
Winner: Bo Dallas via pinfall
Briley Pierce, also known as Ryan Nemeth, then came up to interview Bo. Bo said to get used to his smile, which you would see after every victory. Bo said to keep watching, because soon – all would know Bo.
JR then introduced a video hyping a young man who would debut next week, Seth Rollins. He then got his own video that was fantastic. Seth called himself the change that we had been waiting for, the solution to the sameness and said it was time for the movement to begin. And did it ever.
JR then hyped the main event between Kidd and McGillicutty, who had a great series of matches on NXT’s previous incarnation.
Another little video then aired hyping someone else who would debut on NXT next week, even though he had already had some matches on the main roster, Antonio Cesaro. He was at the time managed by Aksana (it’s okay if you don’t remember her) and was portrayed a rough, but debonair heel. Gee, something tells me they should have stuck with that…
The next match was supposed to be a very young and curly-haired Jason Jordan versus Damien Sandow, who was still the ‘Intellectual Savoir of the Masses’ we all knew and loved. He came down and had massive heat with a promo. He criticized Jordan and said that he refused to demean himself by taking on such an inferior opponent and called Jordan an ignoramus. He refused to wrestle until he had better competition and he was doing it for all of them. “You’re Welcome.” And then he just went to the back. Cool man.
They then showed a video hyping the team of Connor O’Brien and Kenneth Cameron, the Ascension, which is a little bit different from what became so popular later and then was dismissed just as easy on the main roster.
Then we go to The Raw Rebound. This should be fun…The show is just so different. John Laurinatis had just been fired as GM, but he and his henchman, had one last match with John Cena. Cena of course ran over both men.
The Ascension (Kenneth Cameron and Connor O’Brien) vs. Mike Dalton and CJ Parker
Yes, this may have been from a different world. Cameron later became Bram in TNA and was married at this time to Charlotte. Dalton later became someone much more familiar, Tyler Breeze. And Parker is now killing it as Juice Robinson in New Japan. Cameron started the match by double legging Parker and pounding him to the mat. He dropped Dalton and then tagged in Connor, who did his damage and tagged in Cameron. Both men are not as big as they are now. Cameron then hit a jawbreaker on Parker, and Connor hit him with a flapjack for the three count as Dalton just looked on.
Winner: The Ascension in about a minute
And then we get the first ever promo for Bray Wyatt. It featured the familiar Wyatt family theme and had shots of a small town somewhere in the south with Bray doing the voice over, “Stop lying to your children. Stop telling them monsters aren’t real. They should be looking under their beds. The Boogeyman is real. I am real. Bray Wyatt is coming.”
We then see Derek Bateman looking for Johnny Curtis, who is throwing up in the bathroom. Bateman asked if he’s trying to make himself sick to get out of their match next week. Curtis fires back with everything that he doesn’t like about Bateman and promises to get rid of him next week, and tells him to stay out of his bathroom. Bateman whispers that “it’s a public bathroom,” then asks if Curtis is gonna wash his hands. Curtis then whips them on Bateman’s shirt. Of course, we now know these guys as EC3 and Fandango, respectively.
Michael McGillicutty vs. Tyson Kidd
We now know McGillicutty as Curtis Axel, a name a million times better. That’s how I’ll refer to him in this match, it’s just easier. I actually used to run the Team Curtis Axel Twitter handle but I lost the damn email and password. Kidd is all oiled up here. Dudes don’t do that anymore. They exchanged holds to begin the match, with Kidd’s speed winning the day. Kidd rolled through on a leglock, but Axel got to the ropes. They then went to a test of strength. Axel got the advantage until Kidd did the Owen Hart escape to get out and hit a pair of armdrags into an armbar. Axel got him in the corner and worked him over to get out o the move. Axel hit a snap suplex for a two count. Axel went for backdrop, but Kidd kicked it away and clotheslined him to the floor, then hit a big tope! Commercial Break
BFC, Kidd hit a leg lariat for a two count. Kidd went for a sunset flip, but Axel caught him with a knee to the ropes and hit a neckbreaker off the ropes for a two count. Damn, I forgot how smooth Axel was. Axel worked him over with stomps. Axel whipped Kidd hard chest first into the buckles for a two count. Kidd came back with a crucifix into a sunset flip for a two count, but Axel cut him off with a clothesline to the back for a two count. Axel put him in the tree of woe and pounded him, then went to the outside and choked him to the four count. Axel then covered for a two count. Axel put him back in the tree of woe and went for a baseball slide, but Kidd moved and Axel went crotch first into the post. Kidd then unloaded with a series of kicks, leading to a running dropkick to the head for a two count.
Kidd hit an enzugiri from the apron, and went for a springboard, but Axel caught him with a mid-air dropkick for a two count. Axel then went for a superplex, but Kidd fought him off and shoved him to the mat, and hit an awesome turnaround moonsault press for a near fall. The crowd loves this match. Kidd went for the Sharpshooter, but Axel reached out and grabbed the apron and kicked Kidd off, then hit a Saito suplex for a two count. Axel then applied the Sharpshooter, but Kidd fought his way to the ropes. Axel went for the Perfect Plex, but Kidd countered into a small package, but Axel reversed it for a two count. Axel went for a clothesline, but Kidd ducked it and double legged it and applied the Dungeon Lock (a triangle choke with a leglock) and Axel tapped out!
Winner: Kidd via submission
The show ended with Kidd celebrating.
Fanatic Take: My this is going to be fun! Of course, the NXT in this first episode is more like the previous incarnation of the show than what we see on the WWE Network today, and that’s alright. But to see where so much of the talent that is being showcased not just in WWE, but around the world in some cases, where they were five years ago is so much fun.
This episode has a few highlights for me. First, the main event was excellent. The fact that Axel and Kidd never got to have this match on a big stage is almost criminal. Two, the commentary between Jim Ross and William Regal is almost a verbal wet dream. Just amazing. And three, the videos previewing Seth Rollins and Cesaro fill me with delight. Seth shows a character most never got to see and is dying to come out I feel. Cesaro shows what he should have been all along, and he just is now finding again. Oh where that man should be. All in all, this episode is a sign of things to come, but who could have seen what had been started on this night…