Worst: Corey Graves Turns Heel, Is Still Terrible
This week’s episode of NXT opens with Corey Graves and Adrian Neville’s tag championships rematch against The Ascension and is built around the shocking betrayal of Corey Graves. The match was boring but fine, making The Ascension (for once) look like a team that considered a strategy before wrestling instead of just, “are we goth? Do we have capes? LET’S DO IT,” but like everything involving Corey Graves it involved Corey Graves.
I assume they’re turning Graves because the crowd has figured out how bad he is, but man, I can’t remember a more limply-executed heel turn. The guy gets mad at his partner because he got knocked off the ropes and couldn’t help, so he just stands over him going GAME OVER MAN, GAME OVER for 20 minutes before setting up the ol’ Paul Orndorff “raise your friend’s hand and then hit him” act, only instead of just hitting him he TAKES OFF FOR THE ROPES, BOUNCES OFF OF THEM AND THEN CHOP-BLOCKS HIM IN THE THIGH. The absurdity of Graves hitting the ropes to sneak attack somebody aside, why the hell couldn’t Neville move? Great Khali could’ve gotten out of the way of that chop block. A guy as fast as Neville should’ve been in the back showering by the time it connected.
The good news is that we don’t ever have to see the Graves/Neville team again and Graves has a beef with someone that doesn’t involve title belts, which means he could be quietly shuffled offscreen and replaced with Kassius Ohno without anyone caring. The bad news is that we probably have to sit through a Corey Graves Explains Why He Did It promo next week, probably involving mirrored sunglasses.
Best: Tyler Breeze’s Finisher Finally Looks As Good As Tyler Breeze
The second match was the next chapter in the Ziggler/Kingstonesque series between Tyler Breeze and CJ Parker, which may constitute the longest, slowest double-turn in wrestling history. They technically had a “double turn” the first time they stepped into the ring. Breeze was supposed to be the arrogant, fey heel and Parker was supposed to be the cool dude who loves t’have fun, but Breeze is awesome and Parker sucks so the crowd responded to them appropriately. Now we just get an endless series of moments where Breeze does something heelish, gets cheered for it, Parker responds as a fired-up babyface and gets booed for it.
Here, Breeze distracts the referee, thumbs Parker in the eye and spinning heel kicks him in the face (busting him open) for the win. The crowd loves it and so does William Regal. Breeze tries to take a condescending selfie with his victim and the crowd still loves it. Then Parker comes back, hits his shitty shotei (shittei?), steals Breeze’s phone and takes a bunch of pictures with it as the crowd groans and boos at him. Tyler Breeze should be feuding with somebody else by now, and Parker should either attend the Bo Dallas School Of Working With What God Gave You or quit his job, team up with Manik in TNA and call themselves the “Jay-Pees.”
Besides the kick to Parker’s face, my favorite thing about the match was Renee Young’s commentary about how Twitter makes it easier to talk to someone who makes their seasonal residence in Italy and about how she and Tyler can share clothes because they look alike and are the same size.
Worst: CJ Parker Has No Idea How To Use A Phone
Oh, before I forget, Parker’s bit where he steals the phone is supposed to feature him taking a bunch of selfies at ringside with fans. The only problem is that Parker’s clearly never taken a photo with a smart phone because he holds it out with the screen facing outward and just jams his finger against the screen to “take” it. I hope those fans at ringside loved being briefly in focus with CJ Parker on Tyler Breeze’s phone.
Best/Worst: The Commentary I’m Assuming Cost Tony Dawson His Job
According to DA DIRT SHEETZ, this is why Tony Dawson no longer has a WWE job:
According to The Wrestling Observer, while WWE felt announcer Tony Dawson was a nice guy, the company also felt he lacked passion for pro wrestling. Dawson and announcer Tom Phillips were hired around the same time, and the feeling was Phillips had surpassed Dawson.
My theory is that somebody listened to him trying to have a conversation with the vastly superior William Regal and Renee during this week’s Divas tag match, because Jesus Christ, Tony Dawson. He spends the entire match purposefully not paying attention to the wrestling, asking Renee about the Divas because she’s a woman (a line of questioning she and Regal make fun of repeatedly) and asking Renee what she thinks about their gear. It’s embarrassing. At one point he seriously asks Renee what she thinks of Emma’s fluorescent outfit. Renee rolls with it, but you can kinda tell she and Regal would just rather be happily talking about British pop culture and cool wrestling moves like the f*cking rest of us.
So yeah, big Best to Regal and Renee for being the two easiest-to-like people in WWE, and a big Worst to future Lynchburg Hillcats (or whatever) announcer Tony Dawson.
Best: This Actual Match
Part of my problem with the commentary is that the Emma/Paige vs. Summer/Sasha match was REALLY GOOD.
There’s a lot of cute character work at the beginning, like Emma wanting to start the match with a march to the middle of the ring and Paige repeatedly stopping her with a short-arm, and a lot of really solid wrestling. In theory the Emma/Paige team-up should be like when John Cena and Randy Orton team up on Raw. They should be unbeatable. The good news for the heels is that the faces have never been good friends or able to work together, so they can take advantage of Paige’s enthusiastic confidence and Emma’s wacky aloofness and get a — get this — clean victory. That sets up a purposeful Summer Rae championship challenge and keeps the fires of an Emma/Paige rematch burning. Plus, this is the second time Summer has sauntered in and kept Emma from getting a timely rematch. Well-written women’s storylines? Thanks for secretly being revolutionary, NXT.
I want more like this!
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