WWE NXT opened with interim general manager Dusty Rhodes announcing the creation of the NXT Championship and the Gold Rush eight-man tournament to crown the new champion. I like the idea of a title for the show. I'm hoping that it'll eventually lead to champions making it to the main roster and getting the opportunity to shine against the top talent.
The opening contest was a tournament match between Richie Steamboat and Leo Kruger. The son of Ricky Steamboat would advance to the semi-finals in a good match.
Steamboat is quite good in the ring and could very well do the Steamboat name justice when he gets the opportunity to do so. Kruger is good in the ring as well and he also has a gimmick going for him.
Kruger is a cocky, arrogant wrestler and his actions in the ring really add to his character. He could be a massive heel if built right.
Big E. Langston made his debut against Adam Mercer next and he all but killed Mercer. Langston kind of reminds me of a bigger "Alpha Male" Monty Brown, or Marcus Cor Von to fans of WWE's ECW. I don’t think he'll get beyond squashing people, though.
Raquel Diaz defeated Audrey Marie next in what was a sloppy match. The fans in the building seemed to think so as well with chants of, "You can't wrestle."
I think WWE called Raquel up way too early. She's got strong mic skills, but her in-ring skills leave a lot to be desired.
Her gimmick of ridding the world of ugliness is nothing but a cheap knockoff of the Beautiful People, and I wouldn't doubt seeing WWE hire Angelina Love and Velvet Sky to create their own version.
Backstage, Paige said, "Raquel Diaz? Exfoliating Ugliness Tour? We'll see." Hopefully that means she'll take her out so she can be sent back to FCW. As a Guerrero, wrestling is in her blood. She needs to tap into that heritage, but she also needs to learn how to do so.
Mike Dalton and Jason Jordan defeated Hunico and Camacho next in a victory that came out of nowhere. I literally looked to the side to grab a new pen and the match was over when I looked back.
I remember Hunico and Camacho dominating the match, but that was it. I understand putting concentration on the tournament matches, but it would have been nice to see another match.
The main event saw Seth Rollins defeat Drew McIntyre to advance in the semi-finals of the Gold Rush. They delivered a good match as both wrestlers were quite impressive in the ring.
I've been a fan of Seth Rollins since his time in Ring of Honor as Tyler Black and I'm glad to see him get this chance to shine. McIntyre continues to be great on NXT and on Superstars when he's on, but get zero attention on the main shows despite being a former Intercontinental Champion.
I don't know what WWE's problem is with the Scottish superstar, but they need to get back on track with him.
If it wasn't for the two tournament matches, I think this episode would have been a bust. The beginning and ending were great, but the middle, well, sucked.