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WWE NXT - August 21, 2013

by Samoa Rowe

-From Orlando, FL. Our hosts are Josh Phillips and Alex Riley

-We get a video package highlighting Sami Zayn upsetting Antonio Cesaro, who in turn brushed the loss off like a fluke. In a rematch. Cesaro evened the score. Now, they’ll square off in a 2/3 falls contest for the rubber match.

WWE Divas Championship:
AJ Lee © vs. Bayley

Bayley is gushing over her good luck (she got this title shot by ambushing AJ with a hug last week). The crowd chants “Hug it out” but AJ is only interested in tearing into Bayley with a series of neck breakers. Bayley escapes a cravat but runs into a clothesline. Bayley applies a bear hug and rams AJ into the turnbuckles. Bayley does this cute thing where she acts concerned for her opponent right before dishing out another attack. AJ surprises with a Shining Wizard for the win at 4:25. This was a nice showcase for AJ, and I already like Bayley more than most of the main roster divas.
Winner and still Divas Champion: AJ Lee

-Tyler Breeze wants his picture taken, but CJ Parker sneaks in and gives him bunny ears. Breeze doesn’t notice until checking his phone later and is devastated by this photo bomb.

Michael Zaki and Ron Hicks vs. The Ascension (Rick Victor and Conor O’Brien)

If the Ascension debuted on Raw tonight with this exact same dark entrance, they’d probably already be the most over tag team by default. O’Brien starts with a vicious rolling side headlock on Zaki. O’Brien holds Zaki up for an open hand thrust by Victor. The Ascension come across as a well oiled machine, making quick tags and delivering double team moves. They finish Zaki with a Total Elimination variation at 1:34. Good squash.
Winners: The Ascension

Baron Corbin vs. CJ Parker

This is Parker’s redebut as a hippie. Parker runs into a shoulder tackle and takes some punishment in the corner. Parker fires back with a clothesline and running knees to the chest. Inverted DDT finishes Corbin at 1:38. Basic squash here.
Winner: CJ Parker

-Renee Young comes to the ring to ask CJ Parker where’s been all this time. Parker says it’s more like “Where haven’t I been?” He says he’s not a hippie, he just wants to have fun. Tyler Breeze interrupts, and he’s still mad about Parker having fun at his expense. He shows the photo bombed picture on the video screen to show just how outraged we should all be. Parker (who’s completely winded from his 90 second match) brushes it off, saying it’s just a joke. Breeze calls Parker a “Lenny Kravitz wannabe” but flees the ring when Parker threatens an attack. This is a fun basis for a feud.

Alexander Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler

Rusev shows off by snapping a 2x4 with Ziggler’s written on it over his knee. Ziggler gets the type of reaction here that they wish he was getting on Raw. Ziggler outmaneuvers Rusev and poses for the crowd. Rusev has a size advantage and overpowers Dolph on a lock-up. Dolph outsmarts with a drop-kick but Rusev counters a cross body in ruthless fashion. Rusev takes control with clubbing offense. Dolph comes back with the Fame-asser for a 2 count. Rusev blocks the Zig Zag and nails a leg lariat for a close 2 count. Rusev misses a diving splash and Ziggler ends it with the Zig Zag at 6:12. Impressive win for Dolph in a rather formulaic match.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

2/3 Falls Match:
Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro

Zayn catches Cesaro with a dive during his entrance. The bell rings and Zayn catches Cesaro with a Yakuza kick for the first fall in 20 seconds. The crowd gets behind Zayn with “Ole” chants as he bats Cesaro around the ringside area. Cesaro turns it around with his methodical offense. Cesaro’s size and power advantage leads to brutal power bombs and a double stomp to the chest. Zayn counters the gut-wrench and turns it up with a hurricanrana. Cesaro cuts the comeback short as we head to commercial. After the break, Zayn is still fighting an uphill battle. Cesaro absorbs a drop-kick and spins Zayn around with a chinlock. Zayn taps out at 8:10! I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone tap out to a chinlock! Zayn must have the 3rd fall in mind as the crowd rallies behind him for the finale. Running uppercut by Cesaro gets a near fall. Vertical suplex off the second rope by Cesaro! They exchange counters until Zayn almost steals it with a roll-up. Running boot to the face by Zayn gets a near fall. They get the “This is awesome” treatment as they struggle to their feet. Zayn counters with a sunset power bomb! Cesaro bails so Zayn soars through the turnbuckles for a tornado DDT! Crowd is chanting “NXT” now. Cesaro counters another DDT off the ropes and delivers the elevated uppercut. The Neutralizer ends it at 14:09. Seriously excellent match here, with emotions running high and a crowd that was invested into every moment, ****¼.
Winner: Sami Zayn

Final Thoughts: With the work-horse WWE talent mixing it up with the best developmental talent, what’s not to love? WWE seems to have swooped in and stolen Ring of Honor’s thunder by delivering an intimate venue show that creates the high emotion and action that ROH used to be famous for. Now that NXT is a free offering on Hulu, I strong recommend checking this out. Big thumbs up.

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