Percy Watson vs Johnny Curtis:

Creepy Curtis arrives with Maxine in tow, which Watson isn’t too happy about. Percy gets on the mic and complains about Maxine’s presence, pointing out that she’s always causing distractions in matches. William Regal warns Maxine to stay out of the ring and the blue-dress wearing seductress decides to park her fine booty nearby Regal at the announce desk.

ce the match starts, Watson runs into trouble with Johnny Curtis, who does a phenomenal job of shutting down Percy’s offense by targeting his arm and destroying it. Seriously, Curtis’s dissection of the body part is one of the most impressive bits of technical heel wrestling I’ve seen in a while. You know that thing some wrestlers do where they grab a prone opponents arm and forcefully leg drop it back down to the mat? Yeah, Curtis did that shit from the second rope while Watson was standing. Ouch. Fucking Ouch! Combine that bit of offense with a combination hammerlock/single underhook suplex and Percy’s arm ain’t feeling too well.

Meanwhile, at the hall of justice announce desk, Maxine successfully gets William Regal’s attention and whispers something into his ear. Whatever it is apparently deserves Regal’s focus enough that he leaves the announce table for a bit to converse with Maxine. When Regal comes back it’s pretty clear that Maxine told Regal about the situation with Matt Striker, who if you haven’t been paying attention was kidnapped by Hawkins and Reks. I shall continue to ignore the fact that William Regal saw that information revealed on the Titantron last week.

Back in the ring Percy finally overcomes Johnny’s pressure and starts to fight back, first by throwing Curtis off the turnbuckle when he tries that big leg drop again. After some dropkicks and a hiptoss, Percy notices Maxine leaving the ringside area with William Regal. Percy manages to yell, “See, this is what I’m talking a-“ before Johnny Curtis rolls him up in a schoolboy for the three-count. Johnny Curtis wins.

Afterwards Percy paces the ring, understandably angry at how the match ended because of a distraction he knew would happen and yet failed to prevent.

Backstage Shenangan-a-poluzza!:

Okay…..I can do this….here goes.

Tamina is backstage and is rapidly approached by Titus O’ Neal. Tamina gives him crap for getting angry at Darren Young last week, so Titus busts out a certain potted coconut tree to show her that he’s okay after all. Too bad said coconut tree was supposed to be Young’s gift to Tamina. Oh snap! Tamina gives Titus a peck on the cheek and leaves him there to dance in the shadows before running into Darren. Young figures out what Titus did and confronts him about it after Tamina leaves. Titus calmly states that he isn’t all that interested in Tamina and just did it to show Young another way in which he is better than him. Titus’s explanation? “Cause I’m a PLAYA…..from the HIMALAYAS…..seeya (random sound effects)”.

I think somebody told Titus to just be ridiculous and therefore highly entertaining. I approve. Also, someone that looked suspiciously like Mick Foley randomly walked through the background of this scene for some reason.

Later, Maxine runs into Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks, who may or may not be drunk, and they ask her if she’s done “the thing”. If they had asked “Did you get that thing I sent you?” I would have laughed my ass off at the reference, logic be damned.

Maxine tells them she did what they wanted and asks for Striker. Hawkins and Reks tell her they’ll hang on to him for a bit to make sure they didn’t get doublecrossed (probably smart) and then goofily hinted that they locked Striker up in the janitor’s closet (decidedly less smart). The bumbling heels leave Maxine standing confused in the hallway. Seeing Bateman and Kaitlyn coming, Maxine uses a water fountain to fake some tears and tries to appeal to her ex-fiancé to get him to help her deal with Hawkins and Reks. Bateman doesn’t seem to fall for the false show of emotion but surprisingly agrees to look into the situation, mostly because neither he nor Kaitlyn have a match tonight and he’s bored. By the way, the Chicks and America t-shirt totally happened.

(And if I could figure out how to post pictures hosted by the flickr account I just set up I totally would have shown it)

Even later, Bateman and Kaitlyn are in a different hallway. Kaitlyn asks if Bateman misses the good old days of NXT with its Talk the Talk challenges and capture the flag. Bateman says no. Muffled shouting comes from a nearby door and they open it. Inside they find Matt Striker blindfolded, gagged, and guarded by several PINK LADDERS!!!!! After Striker is released from his captivity, Matt finds Hawkins’s discarded cane and tells Kaite-Man they he’ll handle the situation. Kaite-Man shrug.

Even later-later, William Regal find Hawkins and Reks and reviews all the insults he’s used to slight them. He asks where Matt Striker is and they deny any knowledge of his whereabouts. Regal threatens them and leaves. Hawkins decides that they’ll go free Matt Striker and blame the others for his disappearance. They head to their janitor closet and find that Striker is already gone. Malarchy! Maxine and Curtis show up and eventually Johnny sings falsetto Alanis Morisette lyrics, cause why the hell not?

Tyson Kidd vs Micheal McGillicutty:

Wow that was a lot of backstage vignettes! Before the main event a sweet video package airs that hits all the highlights of this feud, just another example of how if you give your lower-card wrestlers some support people will pay attention to them.

Tyson is especially flippy in the early going tonight and actually rotates “skinning-the-cat” all the way into a low momentum dropkick on McGillicutty. Where the match really picks up is in the long back and forth finishing sequence that I won’t spoil for you but needless to say there were some high impact moves being liberally applied around the ring. The end came when Tyson Kidd added a motherfucking Triangle Choke to the traditional Sharpshooter leg hold. I had to watch it three times just to understand what happened. What a badass move. Tyson Kidd wins. Watch this match. 

Wrap-up:

Another solid episode from NXT this week highlighted by vignettes full of goofiness but also counterbalanced by a couple solid wrestling matches. The only knock I could give this week’s show would be that the live segments felt a little shortened, probably because of the logistics of a live Smackdown taping. Speaking of which, NXT is totally better than Smackdown this week, in my opinion, despite being less than half the main show’s length. Let’s face it, you should be watching NXT at this point. John Canton does, Brandon of withleather.com does. NXT has gone through its ups and downs but right now the program is hitting on all cylinders; this week’s episode gets a 6/10. Watch it! 

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