Greetings sports fans. If you missed the last episode of NXT you missed a helluva battle between William Regal and Kassius Ohno. Seriously, do yourself a favor and go watch it. Will this week’s show live up to a match that featured a level of brutality previously unseen by the yellow brand? History says no, but let’s find out, shall we?

NXT opened once again with a video package detailing a current feud, this time the rivalry between the Shield and Corey Graves. In the opening match Leo Kruger beat Justin Gabriel. Then a video package aired highlighting NXT’s participation in WrestleMania week, both at Axxess and during the PPV itself with Big E and the Shield. After the package Renee interviewed Paige about Summer and right in the middle of talking smack Paige got another cheap shot from Summer Rae. In diva’s action Emma beat Bayley. Bray Wyatt destroyed Yoshi Tatsu and made sure to remind us how badass he is.

In the main event Seth Rollins defeated Corey Graves after the Shield came down, beat up all the lumberjacks and helped Rollins cheat to win.

I don’t remember seeing any dislocated fingers this week but it was still actually a pretty good show. Let’s discuss why.

Okay South Africans, you got me:

One of my favorite things about watching, critiquing and writing about wrestling is that sometimes a wrestler or pair of wrestlers can turn in performances that change my mind. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it happens. Leo Kruger and Justin Gabriel have done just that, nonchalantly putting together a series of improving matches, one that showcases their less obvious talents. Did you know Justin Gabriel is solid technical wrestler and brawler? I didn’t, not until this feud.

Their match tonight really anchored their series for me, naturally reaching the dramatic and competitive heights contained in a good wrestling match and sort of validating the work they put into their first two matches in order to make the sweet stuff happen here. I guess you could call it their Revenge of the Sith, if that makes any sense.

Dreams comin’ true, yo:

Call me a weiner, but I liked the video package they ran about the NXT guys and gals participating in Axxess and even Mania itself. They focused a bit on the Shield guys (particularly Seth Rollins) and Big E Langston and how they worked hard to get to Mania and by being there were taking a big step towards their dreams of being successful, big time wrestlers. Warm feelings. Also, points for Summer Rae and Paige not being happy about having to sign autographs next to each other at Axxess. Kayfabe 4 Life!

Good job ladies!:

Speaking of the women-folk, Bayley and Emma had a pretty good little match tonight. People apparently are into Emma’s shtick and cheered for her way more than I would have expected. There was even a creepy arm-pointing Emma sign in the audience!

Bayley did well, but it was really a showcase for Emma and in that both women delivered. Emma put Bayley in the Tarantula, hit what I’ll call a low-flying cross-body in the corner (it looked awesome), and finished things off with an old school slingshot rolled all the way into a Muta Lock submission. That was enough for the impressive victory.

*Points at things to music*

*Posts picture of lady*

Heel-a-Mania!:

Looking back at tonight’s match-ups, three out of the four were won by the bad guy, which is definitely reminding me of the wonderful Mania 29 undercard. Just like when I was at Metlife Stadium, I enjoy the heels winning, but mostly because I like them so much as characters and wrestlers anyway. I don’t really have anything witty to say here, it’s just a truthful observation. Maybe the bad guys in wrestling are usually just better characters? Thoughts on this subject? Is this a phenomenon unique to the WWE? Is it just inherently harder to be an interesting good guy than an interesting bad guy?

On the subject of heelish things, Bray Wyatt claimed he was an “Eater of Worlds” after soundly defeating Yoshi Tatsu tonight. His twitter profile picture also happens to be this:

Interesting. In an attempt to top Wyatt’s evil ways, the Shield cheated in the main event. “How does one cheat in a lumberjack match?” you might be asking. Well, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, having defeated the likes of Kane, Big Show, Sheamus, John Cena, Ryback, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and the best wrestler ever, saw 12 jobbers surrounding the ring and rightfully destroyed them in order to give Rollins an assist behind the ref’s back.

That’s pretty heely.

So NXT ended up being pretty good this week, following up last week’s wicked, brutal match with quality wrestling and an Australian chick pointing at things. Next week we get a special “Championship Showcase” episode, in which I just realized Antonio Cesaro will defend a title he no longer has……..dammit, I really thought we were gonna end on a positive note for once!

…..leave your comments and recipe ideas below, please. I need new things to eat.

Twitter.com/LonestarTJR