Top 4 of NXT 1/24/13

Actually this was a pretty great NXT. Storylines returned, matches were all decent (except for the Big E squash but that wasn’t about a decent match) and everyone who showed up had a chance to shine a bit. Making a Top 4 this week was hard since what I wanted to do was include everyone. Instead I have to leave a few things off, like a mostly one-side match with The Wyatt Family against Tatsu and Watson (though Tatsu and Watson had a chance to show off their abilities about once each), Shawn Michaels announcing the titles (which are ugly), and Renee Young interviewing Aksana. There is even a short little video package for Paige.

This episode sees the start of the Tag Team Title Tournament. Much like they did for the NXT Championship title they will be going down to the last two tag teams standing for who wins the titles.

4. BATEMAN! (and some other people)

Bateman’s back! Bateman’s back! Bateman’s back! Okay, yes, I look for any excuse to put Derrick Bateman on my Top 4 I can, and it’s been so long. But still, this segment had me excited, and Riley makes a quote in such serious tones I ended up laughing, “You feeling froggy… then jump,” to Graves. Riley and Graves will face one another in the ring, not this episode but soon, and that might be interesting. Plus Dusty Rhodes, as the go-between this segment, was coherent, I understood every words, and kept singing after Derrick had finished.

3. Jake Carter vs. Corey Graves

At only 3:13 this match does everything it needs to do. I’m glad Carter and Graves are no longer tag team partners, not because they were awful together, but because these two are better separate. I was sure Carter was going to be the one getting the push when they split, but instead it seems to be Graves right now. Graves does a submission move to win the match and his lean and limber body works itself into it well.

2. Conor O’Brian

Everyone knows I was going to mark out when Conor O’Brian made an appearance. The first thing was a video package, all by his lonesome now, and he still managed to sound menacing. I was biting my nails wondering how I could put him on the Top 4 with just a video package but then he came up after Big E’s less than one minute match win. He promised Big E would see, in two weeks, exactly what O’Brian could do (through a video on the titantron). And yay!

1. Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater vs. Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey

There wasn’t a bad moment in this match. At 6:27 all four men kept the pace moving. I would watch a match between McIntyre and Neville over and over and over again. And luckily the match was mostly between those two men. Not that Grey and Slater are bad, but McIntyre and Neville are incredible. Neville was a great choice to bring up and McIntyre is a great choice when it comes to great wrestling.

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