NXT Power Rankings: November 2013
If you’re curious about what the future of WWE looks like, you need to check out WWE NXT. Every week, hopeful Superstars and Divas battle it out to make an impact and hopefully work their way up to the main roster.
But who stands out from the pack of hungry competitors? The Academy of Wrestling Arts and Sciences has turned its eyes upon the young upstarts and picked the top 10 NXT competitors of the past month. Helping out The Academy is someone who keeps a close eye on NXT every week, commentator William Regal.
“The future is very bright,” he said. “Especially on the weeks I’m commentating.”
Who’s top of the class? Click through, find out and be sure to come back every month to see who will rise and fall in our NXT Power Rankings!
Most people probably wouldn’t peg Tyler Breeze as a dangerous competitor. Those people would be very, very wrong. Though he spent most of his time as a runway model in Milan, Breeze has proven himself to be a vicious grappler, especially when you ruin one of his selfies.
CJ Parker made the mistake of photobombing one of the vain grappler’s iPhone self-portraits, setting Breeze off. The runway model went to all lengths to fend off “The Moonchild,” using his smartphone as a weapon behind the official’s back to sneak out a pair of wins.
Breeze wasn’t content with defeating Parker. He wanted to embarrass him. He definitely did so on the Oct. 23 edition of NXT. After Parker was defeated by Alexander Rusev, Breeze slid into the ring with a pair of scissors and clipped off a few of “The Moonchild’s” colorful locks.
Though Parker defeated him one week later, Breeze escaped before his foe could give him a haircut.
This effervescent Diva was awkwardly dancing her way to a potential showdown with NXT Women’s Champion Paige, until Summer Rae got in the way. After getting a stinging eyeful of bubble solution at the hands of the blonde bombshell, Emma set aside her quest for championship glory in favor of getting retribution.
Emma found an unusual ally in the Diva who holds the title she should be challenging for, Paige. The two have formed a tense alliance to take on Summer Rae & Sasha Banks, though it hasn’t worked out well for them. The two Divas can’t get on the same page and often end up bickering with each other.
Paige got a measure of retribution over Summer Rae when she and Santino Marella teamed up to defeat Summer and her dance partner, Fandango. It may not be long before the leader of the “Emma-lution” finally gets her day in the ring with Paige.
Adrian Neville has been a mainstay in NXT’s tag team division. Unfortunately, the highflier can’t seem to find a stable partner. He won the tournament to crown the inaugural champions with Oliver Grey in his corner. When Grey went down with an injury, Bo Dallas stepped in to replace him, only for the makeshift duo to lose the titles to The Wyatt Family in their first match.
Neville thought he had a partner he could trust in Corey Graves. The pair won the titles in July and looked to be on top of the world. It all came crumbling down for Neville after he and Graves lost the titles to The Ascension in early October. Graves brutally attacked him after the bout.
The Newcastle, England, native never gave Graves a chance to explain himself. He returned the favor, jumping his former partner from behind one week later. Neville is on the rebound after losing to Graves that night. Still, with his breathtaking aerial offense, it won’t be long before Adrian Neville flies back up the rankings.
“The Savior of Misbehavior” has shown WWE NXT a new edge. After losing the NXT Tag Team Championships to The Ascension, Corey Graves thought he and Adrian Neville were a sure bet to regain the titles in their rematch.
Unfortunately, the British highflier was pinned in the rematch, which sent Graves into a rage. He viciously attacked Neville after the bout, leaving NXT fans wondering one thing: Why? Graves tried to explain himself on the Oct. 23 NXT, but Neville attacked him before he could say anything.
Later that night, the former partners faced off in singles competition. Graves successfully grounded the aerial artist, weakening his legs to the point where Neville had no choice but to tap out while trapped in his Lucky 13 leglock. “The Savior of Misbehavior” continued his assault after the bout, locking on Lucky 13 on the ramp.
Graves’ vicious attack remains fresh in the minds of NXT fans and Superstars alike. The message he sent to the rest of the locker room is simple: Stay down.
This Bulgarian brute has stormed into WWE NXT and bulldozed over competition like CJ Parker and Mason Ryan. He’s leaving people like William Regal astonished.
“ Alexander Rusev is one of the most incredible things I’ve seen in my entire 30-year career,” Regal said. “He’s a ferocious monster.”
“Ferocious” might be the nicest possible way of describing Rusev. The sleazy Sylvester Lefort seemed to have Rusev under his control, but the beast snapped during a match between the two and Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady. On the Oct. 30 edition of NXT, Rusev demolished all three men, but all eyes were on a mysterious blonde beauty who was watching the carnage from the ramp.
The following week, Rusev was introduced by his new advocate, the lovely Lana, when he took on his former manager. The Bulgarian beast made quick work of Lefort, forcing him to tap out to his camel clutch variation called The Accolade. The lightning-quick victory put all of NXT on notice.
“He’s so powerful and with no redeeming qualities,” Regal said. “Which makes for someone who will do anything he has to do to achieve what he has to achieve. I’m in awe of Alexander Rusev.”
Paige has quickly established herself as one of the fiercest competitors in NXT, male or female.
“She’s an enchanting, raven-haired lady,” Regal said of Paige. “It’s wonderful to see a young lady headbutt somebody and kick somebody’s face.”
The NXT Women’s Champion has had a rough go of it in October. Paige has found herself in the middle of the heated rivalry between Summer Rae and Emma, perhaps the top contender to her title. Paige & Emma teamed up to take on Summer and her BFF, Sasha Banks, on the Oct. 16 NXT. However, miscommunication between the two meant NXT’s resident mean girls walked away with the victory.
The already tenuous relationship between Paige and Emma looks to be on the verge of exploding with every passing week. The two have tried to save each other from double-team attacks at the hands of Summer Rae and Banks, only to end up accidentally decking each other.
Despite her woes with Emma, Paige has remained strong in singles competition. The champion looked impressive in a victory over Fandango’s dance partner on Oct. 30.
This French-Canadian phenomenon quickly won the adulation of the NXT fan base after his debut this past spring. Fans picked their jaws up off the floor after watching the breathtaking Sami Zayn in action, wondering when he would challenge for the NXT Championship.
“He has a quality that you can’t put your finger on,” Regal said. “People love him, but not quite as much as they love Bo Dallas.”
Despite the champion’s best efforts to befriend Zayn and keep him from challenging for the NXT Title, Sami snuck into the Bo Dallas Invitational under a mask and pinned the champion. In the highly anticipated Title Match, Zayn had the NXT Championship in his hands, having pinned Dallas after a vicious big boot in the corner. However, NXT General Manager JBL saw that Dallas had his foot on the ropes. After the match was restarted, Bo launched Zayn into the steel turnbuckle to retain his title.
Zayn questioned JBL’s motives in reversing the referee’s decision, earning himself a suspension from the GM. Sami’s actions bewildered Regal.
“He’s so gifted and so skilled that you have to wonder why he has to do the things he does,” he said. “JBL was just doing his job. He wasn’t doing anything unfair. If you can’t trust people like me and JBL, who can you trust?”
After coming up short in the tournament to crown the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion, Summer Rae has ensured that no one else has a chance at the title. The self-proclaimed “First Lady of NXT,” with her new BFF Sasha Banks, has set out to make life hell for the champion, Paige, and Emma, one of the top contenders to the title.
Summer and Sasha have been successful in playing the champion and challenger against each other. The two snobby Divas proved to be a more cohesive unit than Paige and Emma, sneaking away with a tag team victory on the Oct. 16 edition of NXT.
The blonde bombshell and her BFF have continued to throw wrenches into the relationship between Paige and Emma. If Summer Rae’s meddling leads to Paige and Emma being at each other’s throats, her path to the NXT Women’s Title will be a lot easier.
After weeks of claiming that they would rise, Konnor O’Brian & Rick Viktor finally lived up to their cryptic promise on the Oct. 2 edition of NXT, defeating Adrian Neville and Corey Graves for the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Since their victory, the duo known as The Ascension has continued their path of destruction. Viktor & O’Brian have demolished every team they’ve faced in short fashion. Now that Corey Graves and Adrian Neville are focused on tearing each other apart, the path to tag team glory goes right through The Ascension.
With the former champions out of the picture, will anyone dare to take on Konnor O’Brian & Rick Viktor?
One of NXT’s most polarizing competitors, NXT Champion Bo Dallas tops the first-ever NXT Power Rankings.
“Bo Dallas is phenomenal,” Regal told us. “He’s so confident and has this star aura that shines out of him. You can see it in the peoples’ eyes, they love him. I’m a Bo-liever.”
Despite his best efforts to befriend Canadian upstart Sami Zayn, Dallas was shocked when Zayn snuck his way into the Bo Dallas Invitational, winning a championship opportunity under a mask.
Thanks to NXT General Manager JBL noticing his foot on the ropes during the Title Match, however, Bo was able to retain his NXT Championship by sending Zayn headfirst into an exposed turnbuckle. While Dallas may be able to smile obliviously while NXT fans turn their backs on him, there’s no doubt he won’t be able to avoid Sami Zayn in the near future.
After his victory, Dallas went on a “well-deserved” vacation, sightseeing around the world. He even made a special stop in Bolivia to “deliver 10,000 squirt guns to starving children.” With every NXT Superstar gunning for his title, Dallas had better be well-rested when he returns, or else there may be a new No. 1 on next month’s NXT Power Rankings.