The NXT Report for September 18, 2013

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2013

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Photo Credit: WWE.com

On last week's NXT, Bo Dallas addressed Sami Zayn and his rapid rise into NXT Championship contention. He claimed that he and Zayn were good friends and that he would have no problem wrestling Zayn.

He just would not give him a title shot because, as Dallas put it, "he doesn't deserve that."

On this week's show, Zayn continued to try to earn the right to challenge for the developmental brand's top prize, but he would have to get through WWE main roster star and former tag team champion Curt Hawkins.

Elsewhere on the show, four rivalries would be combined in one major tag team main event, as CJ Parker, Corey Graves, Adrian Neville and Xavier Woods teamed up to meet Tyler Breeze, The Ascension (Conor O'Brian and Rick Victor) and Leo Kruger.

Which team would get a leg up on their competition?

Find out now in the NXT Report for Sept. 18.

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Quick Results

Woods, Neville, Graves and Parker def. Kruger, O'Brian, Victor and Breeze

Aiden English def. Michael Cuellari

Zayn def. Hawkins

For weeks, the eight men involved in this week's main event have been a part of major angles for NXT.

Last week, Woods repaid Kruger for a vicious backstage assault the week prior. The Ascension's Victor and O'Brian have made it abundantly clear that they want the tag team titles from Neville and Graves, and Breeze's narcissistic nature has been at the center of his rivalry with the more laid back Parker.

Breeze was the star of this week's main event, oftentimes entering the ring just long enough to get in one good blow on one of his team's opponents before being struck and immediately tagging out.

The crowd greeted his cowardice with "that was awesome" chants—a testament to how well the character is being portrayed and how well it has gone over with the crowd.

Late in the match, Breeze's partners became tired of his hit-and-run antics and left him to do battle with all four opponents on his own. The fashion model fell victim to all of the babyfaces' finishing maneuvers, including the Red Arrow corkscrew shooting star press from Neville.

Elsewhere on the card, Aiden English made an impression both vocally and physically as he sung his way to the ring and then destroyed opponent Michael Cuellari in both short order and impressive fashion.

English has a presence about him—not to mention a rather impressive singing voice that could make him a performer worth watching in the coming weeks.

Zayn defeated Hawkins in a solid match that continues his build to an eventual showdown with NXT champion Dallas.

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Don't Stop BO-lieving

The lovely Renee Young caught up with Dallas for a backstage interview in which Dallas questioned just how impressive Zayn's win over Hawkins was since no one really knows the last time Hawkins won anything.

He said he had come up with an idea for Zayn and the NXT Championship, but he would not tell anyone what that is until next week's show.

Dallas continues to be the slimy, sneaky champion who will do whatever it takes to get out of having to defend his title against top contender Zayn. It is pro wrestling 101, but it still works on so many levels.

The angle has helped to make Dallas look like the delusional bad guy who has not quite figured out that everyone passionately dislikes him, while Zayn is the tough underdog who gives everything he has on a nightly basis just to earn the right to challenge for NXT's top prize.

Most importantly, the build to the match will eventually result in an electric atmosphere for the first time the two NXT standouts finally do clash for the title.

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Midcard Madness!

Sure, it sounds like the title of an old WWF Coliseum Home Video release, but midcard madness is exactly what this week's main event was.

It took three feuds currently dominating the midcard scene in NXT and combined them in an eight-man tag team match that allowed them to stay in the spotlight without truly advancing any of them.

Woods and Kruger's match last week appeared to be the blow off of a short-lived rivalry that began when Kruger sneak attacked Woods in the backstage area. Apparently, that is not the case, as they once again stood across the ring from one another.

The Ascension is a physically intimidating tag team who have set their focus on the smaller and faster Graves and Neville and, more importantly, the tag team titles. The two teams interacted several times throughout the match, while commentators Todd Phillips and Alex Riley continued to play up Graves' rib injury, which he suffered at the hands of O'Brian and Victor a few weeks back.

Breeze has easily become one of the most entertaining characters on NXT television, and he proved why in this week's main event. Never one to get his hands dirty or to welcome danger of any kind, Breeze would enter the ring and deliver a hard right hand.

Any time an opponent made a comeback or hit back, Breeze would rush to his corner and tag one of his partners back into the bout.

His rivalry with Parker in recent weeks has been interesting if only for its absurdity. It all started when Parker photobombed Breeze's "selfie," enraging the runway-strutting Superstar.

It is not quite Chris Jericho spilling coffee on Kane and igniting a violent rivalry that ran throughout late-2000, but it is still a pretty unique way to bring two wrestlers together.

Either way, the babyface win only assures that the rivalries involved will continue in the weeks to come.

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Match of the Week: Sami Zayn vs. Curt Hawkins

Zayn continued his streak of outstanding matches this week, defeating Hawkins in the night's opening contest.

The former El Generico stood out as not only a better wrestler than the underrated Hawkins, but also continued to prove why he is more ready for WWE's main roster than the majority of his NXT coworkers. 

The closing sequence of the match—which saw a frustrated Hawkins toss off most of his gear before insulting Zayn with repeated slaps, only to earn the rage of Zayn in the form of a series of hard rights followed by the finishing tornado DDT—was outstanding.

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Star of the Week: Tyler Breeze

Unlike some performers, who look at a gimmick character like Breeze as demeaning and would rather not be saddled with him, the man formerly known to NXT fans as Mike Dalton has adopted the character and made it his own.

Taking a scene from the 2001 film Zoolander, in which Ben Stiller plays an over-the-top, idiotic male model named Derek Zoolander, Breeze has become a performer who understands comedic timing and knows that he is the butt of many jokes. He still manages to embrace the character and has created one of the few gimmicks that both works and is the sort of thing that Vince McMahon loves.

If he can continue to improve upon his in-ring work, there is no reason Breeze cannot be a main roster Superstar sometime in the very near future.

Final Thoughts

It was a very entertaining show from NXT this week, even if it felt like a complete and utter placeholder.

The midcard rivalries were combined for an energetic main event, while Zayn continued to impress against current WWE Superstars. Add to that an impressive, interesting performance by English, and there was nothing inherently wrong with this week's program.

Next week, Triple H will appear and deliver an announcement about the future of NXT.

Finally, a Tag Team Turmoil match to determine the No. 1 contenders to Neville and Graves' titles will be one of the feature bouts.

With everything being set up for next week's show, the Sept. 18 episode of NXT was a good, old-fashioned pro wrestling show with no real, lasting impact or historical significance.

With that said, it is still definitely a show worth checking out.

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