Following their painful initiation into the WWE, the NXT Rookies get back down to business, as the remaining competitors yet to wrestle get their chance to impress the Pro’s and voters at home…
(Winner via pinfall: Alex Riley)
Kofi Kingston & Michael McGillicutty
Mark Henry & Lucky Cannon
(Winners via pinfall: Kingston & McGillicutty)
As we covered in our review of the first episode of NXT’s second season, things weren’t looking good after one hour with the new rookies. Thankfully, WWE corrected some wrongs in this second episode, and it feels like the train is back on the track. Even if there is still a fair bit of filler.
Despite suffering from Michael Cole seemingly being too focused on having Laycool on guest commentary, rather than the match in the ring, Kaval and Alex Riley had one of the best matches of NXT thus far, and that includes the first season. They were given time to wrestle, and could tell a story without any distractions; basic stuff that actually works very well. Kaval’s defeat did bring back painful memories of fellow accomplished wrestler Daniel Bryan’s struggles on the show, but one would hope we aren’t headed down that same slope.
The tag team main event also had more time than usual, and benefitted tremendously as a result. Compared to what NXT often gives us, these matches felt like masterpieces. Jokes aside, it was nice to see wrestling feel like a priority on the show.
Following the match, Cody Rhodes chose to use his live microphone to completely run down Lucky Canon. It was almost like a burial, but somehow Canon survived it, and then Mark Henry stepped in and told Rhodes to back up his trash talk and take on Lucky Canon the next week. Rhodes soon attacked host Matt Striker, and the show came to a close.
It was another episode that didn’t feature the fun, nor silliness, of the NXT Challenges, but it was better for it. The focus was on wrestling, and that’s a rare thing on this show.
Match of the Night
Kaval vs. Alex Riley