NXT 5.50 ReviewBy LonestarGreetings Cantonians. Before I get to this week’s NXT review I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for the warm reception given to last week’s “Lonestar State of Mind” column. I loved the fact that the article generated a good amount of positive discussion and I was also happy to see other fans from the STL chime in with their rumble experiences. Believe it or not I wasn’t all that sure how the article would turn out and was therefore a little stressed during its writing process, so for you guys to respond the way you did was very much appreciated. I guess what I’m saying is…..you earned this.<!--more-->
Shucky ducky quack quack indeed.
NXT Opening:Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks are out and …..what the hell is up with Reks’s hair? Is that a side bun? Weird….anyway, they decide to park their asses up on the turnbuckles like they did during their original “we mean business” promo from a few months back. Captain Hobo says that Matt Striker got what he deserved last week, which if you don’t remember was a sucker punch. Hawkins says that he and Reks are hands down the two superstars with the most potential on the entire roster. My response to this statement:

Tyler claims they’re like “politicians without the suits.” Hawkins buries Matt Striker’s wrestling and announcing abilities. Hawkins says the show needs change and reveals an Obama style Curt Hawkins Change t-shirt. Booooo.Striker comes out and talks some smack before stating that because things have gotten a little out of control he’s gotten a substitute to run NXT this week. While tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum try to guess who the substitute is William Regal stands up and reveals that it’ll be him in charge of NXT tonight. Regal makes a match for Curt Hawkins where Tyler Reks is banned from ringside. Curt Hawkins wants competition so he gets a match with Tyson Kidd. Awesome.P.S: If Hawkins can’t have a good match with Tyson Kidd I’d say he shouldn’t even be on NXT.Tyson Kidd vs Curt Hawkins:Kidd wrestled with forceful strikes and breath-taking high flying maneuvers. Hawkins wrestled like an 80’s era mid-card heel before making my eyes cross with his “put-your-leg-on-my-head-and-I’ll-flip-you” move. In the end Tyson hit a victory roll out of the corner that transitioned into a sharpshooter for the tap out victory. Tyson Kidd wins.If we’re being really observant I’d mark that down as another Bret Hart inspired finish, specifically from the Hitman’s matches against Bam Bam Bigelow and Owen Hart.Yoshi Tatsu vs Titus O’ Neil:I didn’t expect this match to last too long once I saw Yoshi Tatsu walk down the ramp and sadly for Yoshi that ended up being the case as Titus dominated for the majority of the contest using raw strength. After a brief offensive flurry Yoshi tried to float over Titus in the corner only to get kicked in the gut. Titus then hit him with the Clash. Nobody gets up from that. Titus O’ Neil wins.After the match Titus grabs the mic and tells everybody to shut up. He begs Mr. Regal to give him Alex Riley and so A-Ry walks out from the back with a suit and a mic. Riley is ready to fight despite his fancy duds but as he walks into the ring Titus rolls out, stating that he has no reason to fight Riley this week because he’s already wrestled and won a match and he’s got a valentine’s date.Alicia Fox and Kaitlyn Vignette:Man, I sure like one of these people more than the other. Alicia tries her darndest to put together some coherent sentences about how Maxine is annoying and Kaitlyn should go out with Derrick instead but Kaitlyn says that she and Bateman are just friends. Johnny Curtis shows up, puts his arms around both ladies and invites them back to his van to see the new disco ball he installed. The girls bail and some fat pasty ginger man walks up with a delivery of flowers and chocolates for Bateman. Curtis totally steals the gifts Bateman ordered for Maxine and says it’s “like stealing candy from a Bateman.” That pun gets the Lonestar Approval.Percy Watson vs Micheal McGillicutty:This match was built up as Watson facing a true WWE superstar. I’ll let that sink in. Mcgillicutty had the advantage for much of the match after Percy sorta missed a step-up enzu-giri. Eventually Percy got fired up and hit his flurry of athletic offense leading up to a Showtime Splash that was countered with knees to Percy’s chest. Mcgillicutty then missed a splash in the corner, leaving himself vulnerable to Percy’s flapjack finisher. Percy Watson wins.Maxine Vignette:Maxine is getting ready in the locker room when she finds a familiar box of chocolates addressed to Kaitlyn, from Derrick. “Sorry about Maxine last week.” The note says. “You’re the best, Love Derrick.” Maxine slams the chocolate down in a moment of anger. Dun dun dun!And yes, this officially means that either Johnny Curtis is an expert in forgery or that Maxine has no idea what Derrick Bateman’s handwriting looks like. Come to think of it, in this digital age why would she?Derrick Bateman and Justin Gabriel vs Johnny Curtis and Heath Slater:Kaitlyn is at the commentary desk for this match, which William Regal had to point out immediately after a serious update on the medical condition of Zack Ryder. Regal himself laughed at the odd shift in tone. Bateman is totally handing out Valentine’s Day cards on his way to the ring like he’s back in third grade.Wait, stop the presses. Is that a “Bacon Is My Passion” sign in the crowd!? Holy crap it is! That man right there is an Art of Wrestling listener for sure. Since most of you probably have no idea what that references, let me explain: in an excellent AOW episode featuring Daniel Bryan the now ironically vegan Bryan tells a hilarious story featuring a “bacon is my passion” t-shirt and a woman he probably didn’t date for very long. Speaking of which, right now my girlfriend is commenting on the fact that I can recognize that obscure phrase from a wrestling podcast but can’t remember what we did for Valentine’s Day last year. I should probably finish up this column.Okay, here’s the deal; paying attention to a match is pretty hard when there’s someone being interviewed at the announce table at the same time, especially when that someone is Kaitlyn being hilarious. For example, at one point Kaitlyn called a rather speedy suicide dive by Bateman onto Johnny Curtis “the Kitten Crusher”. Later, while being asked about the appropriateness of her relationship with Bateman, Kaitlyn mentioned that while they have shared a double wide bed they did so “head to toe” so it was cool. At that moment my girlfriend pointed out that just because they’re “head to toe” doesn’t mean that can’t do 69. I guess my point is that it was hard to keep up with everything going on all at once and that Kaitlyn is hilarious and has wonderful thighs.After a lot of fast action and some great examples of what modern rest holds should look like provided by Johnny Curtis, Bateman kicked it into high gear, nailing Slater in the corner with a double knee strike and finishing the match with a Man-tasm that Heath sold like death before rolling awkwardly onto Bateman’s back. Derrick got the pin and earned his team the win. Justin Gabriel and Derrick Bateman win.After the match Maxine heads down in her ring gear with the box of chocolates from earlier and smashes it into Kaitlyn’s face before throwing her into the barricade. Maxine proceeds to beat down Kaitlyn with such a fury that Bateman has to physically carry her away and all the way up the ramp, passing by Johnny Curtis so the cameraman can zoom in on Johnny’s soap opera villain face. Seriously, Curtis’s face was awesome, so much so that Curtis-Face might just have to be a thing.
Not actually from this week, but still a Curtis-Face
Wrap-up:Tonight’s episode was an interesting change of pace for NXT but ultimately a step back in quality from last week’s excellent broadcast. With William Regal in charge, match-ups were revealed only when one of the participants was already in the ring, which was a different way of going about things. You might notice that I didn’t have all that much to say about the actual wrestling…..because there wasn’t all that much say about it! The matches were fine, but were all some combination of short, inconsequential or hampered by outside factors. Even the Tyson Kidd match was a let-down compared to his bout last week, though my own personal bias against his opponent probably plays a bit into that statement. In the end tonight’s episode still had its entertaining moments and progressed the core storylines a bit but wasn’t quite as good as last week’s show. I’d give it a solid 5/10. Check out the opening match for some fun Tyson Kidd spots and the closing tag match for some hilarious shenanigans.Twitter.com/LonestarTJRLonestarTJR@gmail.com