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WWE NXT Power Rankings: December 2013
It has been a wild month in WWE NXT. Bo Dallas returned from his philanthropic tour around the world, only to find a line of hungry competitors waiting to challenge for his NXT Championship. Among them was Sami Zayn, fresh off his suspension at the hands of NXT General Manager JBL.
The GM put all willing competitors into a Beat the Clock Challenge for No. 1 contendership to Dallas’ title. That fast-paced tournament did not end without controversy, and the future Superstar that emerged from it with a title opportunity may surprise you.
Elsewhere, NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension were shocked by a returning duo, while one Diva showed that she may be ready for prime time after a bout with one of the main roster’s toughest competitors.
Bo Dallas took the No. 1 spot in the inaugural WWE NXT Power Rankings. After a month that took plenty of twists and turns, was the NXT Champion able to hold the top spot? Find out what The Academy of Wrestling Arts & Sciences decided in this month’s WWE NXT Power Rankings!
Last Month: Unranked
Bursting onto the NXT scene several months ago with a voice worthy of The Great White Way, “The Artiste” Aiden English belts out tunes on his way to the ring that leave the NXT Universe begging for an encore. Once the bell rings, however, this musical maven is a ruthless competitor. Although his mean streak clashes with his beautiful pipes, “The Artiste” wastes little time in making sure it’s curtains for his opponents, which also leaves him with plenty of time for one more song. So moved by the dulcet tones of Aiden English, William Regal has been caught wiping tears from his eyes following one of English’s trademark tunes.
During his recent run in WWE NXT, “The Artiste” has only been bested twice – once in a hard-fought contest against the legendary Rob Van Dam, the other against Adrian Neville during the NXT Beat the Clock Challenge Nov. 20.
One thing’s for sure, though: If Aiden English has his way, the WWE Universe will be throwing roses at his feet now and forever.
Last Month: #10
Tyler Breeze may focus on preserving his good looks every time he steps in the ring. However, behind that blue, steely gaze is a cunning mind.
Breeze came within a gorgeous eyelash of defeating Kassius Ohno and moving one step closer to becoming NXT Champion on Nov. 20, during the Beat the Clock Challenge. The two traded rollup after rollup, until Breeze came out on the wrong end of the dizzying exchange.
The runway model from Milan proved himself to be an opportunist one week later. After Ohno suffered a brutal beatdown at the hands of Alexander Rusev, Breeze seized the opportunity, clocking Ohno with the Beauty Shot for the quick victory.
Last month: Unranked
Just like Sting in the early 1990s, Bayley learned a very important wrestling lesson —never trust a Flair. Second-generation Diva Charlotte showed that she truly is her father’s daughter on the Nov. 13 edition of WWE NXT.
Teaming with the happy-go-lucky Bayley to take on NXT’s resident mean girls, Summer Rae & Sasha Banks, Charlotte was a solid partner — until Bayley needed her most. Reaching for the tag, Bayley instead got a hard slap to the face from her supposed best friend.
Charlotte’s friendship now lies with her new BFFs, Summer and Sasha, who are doing their best to keep Bayley at bay. While Charlotte’s newfound mean streak may have earned her a spot in the NXT Power Rankings, she may not be here for long if Bayley has her way.
Last Month: #4
It was a rough month for NXT’s popular French-Canadian Superstar. After having his suspension lifted by NXT General Manager JBL, Sami Zayn crashed Bo Dallas’ homecoming. Though Zayn thought he deserved another opportunity at Dallas’ NXT Championship, JBL stacked the deck against him, pitting him against NXT’s elite in a Beat the Clock Challenge.
After an impressive win over Leo Kruger to set the pace, Zayn looked to have his title match wrapped up, until a controversial ending in the Adrian Neville-Aiden English bout prompted JBL to make a match between Zayn and the British high-flyer to determine the No. 1 contender.
In a thrilling bout, Zayn came up short, with Neville emerging victorious to claim the title opportunity - which leads to Sami dropping down in the Power Rankings. Now, the French-Canadian will have to put his title aspirations to the side, as Kruger is on the hunt, and he has his sights set on Sami Zayn.
Last Month: #3
With Paige and Emma at each other’s throats, Summer Rae has set her sights on turning the rest of the NXT Women’s division against each other. Her plans are coming to fruition much easier than she may have thought possible.
Summer Rae found an easy target in Bayley. The shy Diva wanted to add Summer and Sasha Banks to her circle of friends. The BFFs took advantage of Bayley’s kindness, even buying her a headband to get her on their side, despite Charlotte warning Bayley not to trust them.
Surprisingly, though, it was Summer Rae who ended up making a new friend in Charlotte. The second-generation Diva joined up with Summer’s band of mean girls, The BFFs, much to Bayley’s dismay. However, Bayley promised that she found a new pal to help her vanquish the vapid vixens. That may have Summer Rae regretting her nasty ways, but probably not. For The BFFs, it’s just too fun being mean.
Last Month: #2
Unfortunately, however, a crack in The Ascension’s armor was found, but not by one of NXT’s usual suspects. Returning from an injury that kept him out of action for more than a year, Hunico, along with his partner Camacho, quickly made it clear that they wanted a chance at The Ascension’s titles.
They earned it rather quickly. Taking on the champs in non-title action, Hunico & Camacho were able to give Viktor and K’onor a rare defeat. Now that the rest of WWE NXT knows this duo can be beat, it’s up to The Ascension to show Hunico, Camacho and anyone else who dares to challenge them that it won’t be easy to take the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Last Month: #6
Having dispatched his meddlesome manager Sylvester LeFort in brutal fashion, Alexander Rusev made his presence felt once again over the past month.
With the dangerous and beautiful Lana now guiding him, the Bulgarian brute picked apart Colin Cassady with precision during the first Beat the Clock Challenge match on Nov. 20, setting the pace for the night at 5:33. Though that ultimately wouldn’t be enough for Rusev to make him the No. 1 contender, it did little to deter the beast from continuing on his path of destruction.
Kassius Ohno paid dearly for mocking Rusev and Lana after eclipsing the Bulgarian’s time in the Beat the Clock Challenge. One week later, Rusev decimated Ohno, leaving him easy prey for Tyler Breeze. If Rusev’s past exploits are anything to go by, they’ll have to scrape anyone off the mat who steps in the ring with the Bulgarian brute after the bell.
Last Month: #8
After losing the NXT Tag Team Titles to The Ascension and being brutally assaulted by partner Corey Graves, things looked grim for Adrian Neville. Never one to back down from a fight, though, The Man Who Gravity Forgot returned to get retribution on his former partner. He did just that in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match that had the NXT Universe on the edge of its collective seat. Neville battled back after tapping out to Graves’ 13thStep in the second fall, eventually landing his breathtaking Red Arrow to win the bout.
After beating Sami Zayn to earn an opportunity at the NXT Title, the Brit had NXT Champion Bo Dallas on the ropes. Neville left the champion reeling after an array of aerial attacks on the outside of the ring. However, that may have been to Neville’s detriment, as Dallas was unable to answer the 10 count, leaving Neville without the NXT Title.
Still, with a win over the NXT Champion, Adrian Neville’s superb successes in the singles ranks over the past month catapult him to No. 3 in this month’s NXT Power Rankings.
Last Month: #1
NXT Champion Bo Dallas spent most of October and November on his “Bo Dallas vs. The World” tour, spreading love and giving squirt guns to Bo-lievers worldwide. Though he had a homecoming celebration worthy of a champion when he returned to NXT, it wasn’t all cookies, balloons and party hats for Dallas.
Most of the NXT Universe believed Sami Zayn deserved a title rematch, but JBL gave Dallas something of a reprieve, letting the champ’s potential opponents battle it out in the Beat the Clock Challenge. Meanwhile, Dallas made sure to harsh the mellow of “The Moonchild” CJ Parker, defeating the groovy grappler in non-title action.
Dallas had a bit of a scare in his NXT Championship defense against Beat the Clock Challenge winner Adrian Neville. It looked as though the Newcastle, England native had Dallas on the ropes, dizzying the champion with an all-out aerial attack. Dallas slipped off the ring apron following one of Neville’s dazzling dives, taking a count-out loss at the last moment. That enabled him to remain champion, but it drops him down to No. 2 in this month’s NXT Power Rankings.
Last Month: #5
Every NXT Superstar and Diva dreams of making it to the main roster and locking up with the best WWE has to offer. WWE NXT Women’s Champion Paige couldn’t wait that long, though, and challenged “Total Divas” star Natalya to a match for the title at NXT.
“I almost felt like Paige brought out the best in me,” Natalya told WWE.com. “She made me even more competitive.”
Paige shocked the world when she withstood the challenge of the Hart Dungeon graduate, battling out of The Sharpshooter before pinning Natalya with the Paige Turner. It’s the kind of moment that can make a young Diva’s career. Though she didn’t get the win that night, Natalya took plenty away from the bout with WWE NXT’s top Diva.
“I respect Paige, but she’s never going to have it easy with me,” she declared.
Holding a victory over one of the most respected Divas in WWE, Paige claims the No. 1 spot in the WWE NXT Power Rankings. How long can the NXT Women’s Champion stay on top? Come back next month to find out!