I’m going to try very hard not to rant and rave here so I will limit myself to two points. First, I think I might hate Alicia Fox as a face even more than I hated Alicia Fox as a heel. Second, after Alicia sauntered down to the ring wearing her stupid fox hood, Matt Striker scratched the hood’s ears and Miss Fox responded by purring like a cat.…….the girl with the FOX hood just purred like a CAT. I’m not sure what I would have wanted her to do in that situation but I certainly thought she and Striker, who acknowledged the purring, knew the difference between a fucking fox and a god-damn housecat!!!!Whew…….I need a break already….random Shelly Martinez picture!!
Thanks Shelly….I needed that. Moving on, when asked about her former rookie Alicia says something stupid about Maxine, which brings out the witchy woman herself. Cue the verbal smackdown! Alicia and Maxine go back and forth with a nice little spat where Alicia basically calls Maxine a ho and Maxine brushes it off like a sexually attractive and powerful woman should, all building up to Maxine delivering her “I prefer being on top” line and tackling Fox to the canvas. Striker sets up the obvious match and away we go.Maxine vs Alicia Fox:Have I ever talked to you about NXT’s place in the hierarchy of the WWE? Well, it seems pretty clear to me that all too often the wrestlers most associated with NXT are the poor saps that have to lose to the jobbers that in turn lose to the actual stars in the WWE; knowing that I fully expected to see Maxine lose to Alicia here and was sadly correct. Maxine was in control pretty much throughout their two-minute match until Alicia reversed a roll-up from Maxine off the ropes for the three count. Alicia Fox wins.Trent Baretta vs Tyler Reks:For some reason Hawkins accompanies Reks to the ring but Yoshi is nowhere to be found. Reks starts out in control but soon falls victim to a Baretta dropkick and corner elbow. Trent heads up top and Reks bails to talk strategy with Hawkins on the floor. Boo goes the crowd. Trent decides to just jump on both of them anyway with a running somersault senton over the ropes and to the outside. YEY goes the crowd! Too bad Baretta gets momentarily distracted by Hawkins, allowing Reks to hit a big boot and take control of the match. Reks stomps on Baretta like a malcontent ostrich before hitting an STO to the middle turnbuckle. After some more back and forth action Baretta misses a whisper-in-the-wind and Reks picks him up for his Burning-Hammer finisher. Trent decides he ain’t takin’ that shit and slides out into a backslide for the win. Trent Baretta wins.After the match the heels beat up on Baretta till Yoshi comes out and cleans house. Hawkins and Reks haven’t won jack in this feud lately and I’m not sure I mind that much.Derrick Bateman and Justin Gabriel Vignette:Bateman and Gabriel are backstage and celebrating being single. This mere mention of Gabriel will probably result in someone making a joke about him being gay, to which I say…..it’s the hair, isn’t it? (For the record, I don’t think he’s gay, nor do I really care one way or the other.) Gabriel mentions to Bateman the email he sent to Teddy Long and Derrick doesn’t know what he’s talking about. After further explanation Bateman discovers the message on his phone that pissed Maxine off and reveals that he’s never seen it before. Gabriel suggests that maybe somebody hacked Bateman’s email and that his password probably shouldn’t be “1,2,3,4” anymore. Justin wanders off and Bateman screams out a great, big, mighty curse. “CUUUURRTISSSSSS!!!!”[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="342" caption="Remember, it's the happiest place on Earth not the most homosexual."][/caption]The Usos vs Tyson Kidd and JTG:I’m a little disappointed in myself for assuming the Usos were gonna wipe the floor with the random jobber team of Kidd and JTG. Btw, Tyson, I’m sorry. I have no idea why you came out to JTG’s music but you deserve better. Since Kidd is in the match we do get some fun little spots, including a kip-up from Kidd right into the Uso slappy chin uppercut and a suicide dive that was caught and turned into a samaon drop into the barricade! In the end JTG leapt off the top rope and got nailed by a Uso superkick. Nobody gets up from that move. The Usos win.Derrick Bateman and Maxine Vignette:Bateman tries to tell Maxine that he didn’t send the message to Teddy Long but Maxine will not let him talk. She gloats about her and her new fiancé and that’s about it.Johnny Curtis vs Alex Riley:For the record, Maxine changed into a leopard print dress and black tights for that last vignette and this match. Rawr.A-Ry is out first and I’ll give him one thing, he certainly shows up every week with energy to spare. Curtis just brings Maxine, who I’d take over energy any day. Curtis bails out of the ring pretty early in the match and has a little calming moment with Maxine on the floor before heading back into the fight and taking control of Riley. After sustaining some punishment Riley fights back with an STO and fires up. Right in the middle of his roll he hits the ropes and gets distracted by Maxine, allowing Curtis to hit his falcon arrow finisher that really needs to be called “The Homewrecker.” Johnny Curtis wins, meaning Riley just lost on NXT like a bitch! Not a good sign for A-Ry.After the match Bateman comes out from the back and says that he knows what Curtis did and that next week this (he pointed to himself, Maxine and Curtis) gets finished. Curtis suspiciously pretends to not know what Bateman is talking about. I thought that was it for this week’s NXT but there was still one more thing to take care of.Darren Young and Titus O’ Neil Face-off:Man, I really do not know what to say about this segment without being negative. This was just….not good. Even before the mic-work started Titus set the tone poorly by walking out for the face-off without any sign of anger or emotion. Keep in mind that this was his first appearance on NXT after being taken out by Young three weeks ago. Then the back and forth started and I wished it hadn’t. Both Young and Titus gave fumbling, at times nonsensical speeches that did little to benefit either wrestler. Young at one point said “I’ve beaten you more times than I can even count and I’ve won ‘em all!” Titus had his own special nugget of nonsense as well. It was just a mess and built up to Young making fun of Titus’s kids until Titus couldn’t take it anymore and they started brawling. Referees came out and failed to stop the fight, causing Matt Striker to make a no disqualifications match for next week’s NXT. I hope both men bring a little more focus and intensity to Las Vegas than they did here tonight.Wrap-up:This week’s show might have been the worst episode of NXT in recent memory. On paper it probably wasn’t all that bad but opening up with Alicia Fox being a moron and closing with an awful face-off segment is a terrible way to bookend a show. This is a perfect example of why the beginning and ending of any television show, book, or other entertainment venture are such important pieces to their overall structure; screw them up and it greatly affects how people digest and remember your product. With such a bad start out of the gate everything that followed the opening segment had to fight an uphill battle to turn my opinion of the show and sadly nothing was really good enough to do that. All the wrestling matches were fine, but way too short and inconsequential for me to care about them. A superkick here and a silly outburst there aren’t going to make the show by themselves. This week’s turd of a show gets a 3.5/10.On a positive note, it looks like next week’s show will be a big one. The 100th episode of NXT should feature a wedding, a wedding crasher, probable physicality between Bateman and Curtis, a no DQ match between Titus and Young and, if we’re really lucky, an Elvis impersonator. That sounds like a pretty solid episode of NXT to me. Hopefully we can also get a good wrestling match featuring NXT alumni not named Alicia Fox and if we do I think I’ll be a much happier reviewer come this time next week.Twitter.com/LonestarTJRLonestarTJR@gmail.com