Expanding Horizons #1: The Man Behind Adam Rose
– 2/3 Falls: Leo Kruger vs. Sami Zayn – (WWE NXT, 1/1/14)
FIRST FALL: What exactly is Kruger supposed to be? A member of a South African militia? He has a Sheepherders thing going on, but he’s South African. He beats Zayn around ringside to start. When that doesn’t score a pinfall, he takes Zayn back to the floor for more ringside violence. Nothing too crazy here. Back in, it only gets another nearfall. A slam out on the floor only gets two as well. William Regal puts over how Zayn might not have completely recovered since his match with Antonio Cesaro back in AUGUST because he himself hasn’t recovered from THEIR recent match from the week before, and isn’t sure if he ever will. What a way to put over Cesaro. Zayn hits Kruger with the Helluva Kick for the pinfall at 2:53. Love the consistency of Kruger losing to that same move two weeks ago as well. You would think Kruger would have learned to duck.
SECOND FALL: Over in the corner, Zayn takes a nasty fall to the floor that nearly gets him counted out. Once he pops back in the ring at the nine-count, Kruger jumps on him with a DDT for two. Instead of following up with any big moves despite being down by a fall, Kruger just punches and kicks at Zayn while he’s up against the ropes. Zayn fires back with the Blue Thunder Driver gets 1-2-NO! He wants a springboard, but Kruger puts a stop to that with an elbow smash and delivers a draping swinging neckbreaker. Cover, 1-2-NO! Zayn avoids the GC3 and heads up top again. Kruger wants a superplex, but Zayn fights him off. He wants a flying body press, but Kruger ducks out of the way! Back to the GC3, but Zayn manages to reach the ropes. Zayn tries to battle back, but Kruger shuts him down with a Double-A Spinebuster. OFF COMES THE WIFE BEATER. He goes for the SLICE, but Zayn catches him with the STO and the KOJI CLUTCH for the tapout to win in two straight falls. (10:17) Aside from that fancy swinging neckbreaker, I’m not seeing a whole lot from Kruger that would make me think there’s more to him than anyone else. If he could get past the punchy-kicky nature of his storytelling, then he might be something. Look at all the things that Sami Zayn can do compared to what Leo Kruger could do. I will give him credit though as the Adam Rose character is COMPLETELY different – mannerisms and everything – from this Leo Kruger guy. That would have to be very difficult. Is my opinion changed about the man behind Adam Rose? No, not yet. Sami Zayn is the man, though. ***