Good news, everyone! NXT seems to be caught up in the momentum of post-Mania WWE and looks to be introducing some new characters in the coming weeks. With Darren Young and Titus O’ Neil moving up to Smackdown and Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks straight up getting fired (more on that later) there are definitely some spots open for talent from FCW to come in and fill. Names like Seth Rollins (Current FCW Champion and former ROH Champion) Kassius Ohno (former ROH tag champion Chris Hero), Dean Ambrose (Formerly and currently fucking awesome) and either of the Rotundos top my list of people I’d selfishly like to come to NXT but
we’ll see who actually shows up. It could just be Eli Cottonwood. (In all fairness to Eli, he’s actually gotten paired up with the former Husky Harris, in a role that suits him well.)

Matt Striker opened up the show by telling the audience what I just told you: new talent is coming, Young and Titus are moving on and Hawkins and Reks are fired. William Regal is actually out scouting that new talent this week and since Josh Matthews is still injured from his encounter with the giant albino guerilla named Brock Lesnar, Striker will be tonight’s commentator, with assistance from various WWE superstars. Taking over Regal’s matchmaking duties, for one night only, is Hornswoggle. Yes, I said Hornswoggle.

Horny comes out in his new Funkasaurus tracksuit and hat, grabs the mic and reveals to me why the WWE probably chose to keep him a silent character for so long. Woah, I guess that’s kind of mean. Let me try that again; it amazes me how the WWE continuously finds ways to force Hornswoggle onto their programming while
at the same time struggling to find things to do with so many of the talented men and women under their employment. Dammit, my Hornswoggle bias is showing. Hmm. I’ll just move on. Hornswoggle sets a tag match main-event between the team of Percy Watson and Tyson Kidd against Johnny Curtis and Michael McGillicutty. He then summons his buddy Derrick Bateman, who’s got something to say.

D-Bates says he’s happy that Young and Titus are moving up to Smackdown but notes that he beat them in a match in order to be on an episode of Smackdown a while ago. That reward obviously never happened. Suddenly JTG, who hasn’t been seen in months, floors Bateman from behind and starts complaining to Hornswoggle about
never being on NXT. Bateman starts to fight JTG and Hornswoggle makes the match official.

Derrick Bateman vs JTG:

Bateman immediately and forcefully dropkicks JTG as soon as the bell rings and this match is on! JTG eats short arm chops and the crowd “Woos” along with them. Bateman clotheslines JTG over the top and tries to follow up with an apron dropkick, but eats nothing by floor. With that spot JTG takes control and starts beating down Bateman, slapping on a chinlock and talking some smack. Believe it or not, the crowd actually chants “Master Bateman!” You figure it out.

JTG hits his cut-throat neckbreaker and gets a two-count. Bateman still won’t submit to JTG’s follow-up rest hold. As the match starts to get a little more competitive a couple big moves start popping out, till Bateman yanks JTG in and destroys him with a Mantasm. I couldn’t call it a facebuster because it looked like JTG took the move with the top of his head. Ouch. His do-rag got knocked right off! Needless to say, that’s it. Match over. Derrick Bateman wins. 

Thanks for coming JTG.

Maxine and Johnny Curtis Vignette:

Curtis and Maxine show up backstage and are immediately confronted by Scott Armstrong, WWE referee. Armstrong, despite Maxine’s seductions, enforces Regal’s ruling and handcuffs the two of them together. Apparently this ruling is just limited to the arenas NXT is filmed at. Hornswoggle pops in and informs Maxine that
she’s in a tag match with Natalya against Tamina and Kaitlyn.  

Vignette-a-thon:

Tyson Kidd is backstage and on the phone, wishing a speedy recovery to his second tag team partner. Yep, Justin Gabriel is injured. It’s too bad that this tag team idea of Tyson + other speedy wrestler keeps getting shot down thanks to bad luck, but at least that means more Tyson Kidd singles matches. Percy Watson pops in and they talk about their upcoming tag team match. Tyson jokes that Watson shouldn’t feel too good about it considering the injuries his teammates keep having. Percy points out that he’s in the same boat with Alex Riley getting Tensai’d. At that point Kaitlyn comes in and compliments Kidd on his recent matches and his new submission finisher. Kaitlyn asks him what he’s going to call it and Kidd says that he’s thinking of letting the WWE Universe decide its name. (You can send him suggestions on Twitter if you want). Natalya comes in and boy is she jealous of Kaitlyn. Natalya says that Maxine was right about Kaitlyn and that she’s a snake.

I guess the point of that segment was “Diva Drama”, which Percy and Tyson mentioned at the end of it. While I don’t feel I’m the person to analyze and discuss how the WWE presents women on their programming, segments like these do make me question what they’re doing.

After the commercial, Scott Armstrong takes the handcuffs off of Curtis and Maxine backstage. Natalya enters and runs down Maxine, calling her a mutt. However, she admits to wanting to take Kaitlyn down a peg so they agree to team up with that goal. The ladies leave and Armstrong tells Curtis that he’s gotta accompany Maxine to the ring, which I’m fairly certain he was doing with some regularity anyway.

Natalya and Maxine vs Tamina and Kaitlyn:

Tamina now has a “Ta-Mi-Na” chant built into her entrance music. During her entrance they also play some clips comparing her and her father doing the Superfly Splash. I don’t know how far it’ll carry but it feels like Tamina is starting to get some attention from the company and some momentum with the audience.

Natalya vs Kaitlyn ends up being a nice physical matchup, as always, but the story here is that both heels want to beat the snot out of Kaitlyn. That means an extra nasty abdominal stretch from Natalya and a guillotine choke from Maxine. Natalya actually tags in to break that submission hold and get some extra punishment in, which ends up being a bad decision. Natalya can’t put Kaitlyn away, despite a nice Michinoku Driver, and when both women tag in their partners Tamina runs away with the match. After some, um, creative offense, Tamina heads up top and nails the Superfly Splash for the win. Tamina and Kaitlyn win.

After the match Matt Striker gets on the mic and insults Maxine, telling her to sit at the commentary desk but not put on a headset “We don’t want to hear from you”. After all, women are best seen and not heard, right WWE? *Fart noise*  

Percy Watson and Tyson Kidd vs Johnny Curtis and Micheal McGillicutty:

Before the match Percy Watson was attacked backstage by an unseen mystery assailant (Percy
thinks it was Micheal McGillicutty) taking him out of the match. Hornswoggle makes things even by removing McGillicutty, who instead joins Striker on commentary.

Guess what? Kidd vs Curtis is a good matchup on paper and plays out just as well as I thought it would. Easy MOTN; watch it. Curtis does his usual and usually excellent routine of picking apart his opponent’s body part and also threw in some nice bombs to counteract Tyson’s late match offense as well. Kidd did his thing, keeping the fans happy with exciting offense and living up to his reputation as the WWE’s most talented low-card wrestler. Tyson won with the sharpshooter triangle choke after a very nice match. Tyson Kidd wins.

….and all the while Michael McGillicutty grunted and stewed at ringside. This feud ain’t over and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Wrap-up:

You know, despite being filled with quite a bit of Hornswoggle and horrendous commentary (thanks Matt) tonight’s episode of NXT was actually pretty good! Solid wrestling matches on a wrestling show will do that and so will the feeling of forward momentum. Since NXT is a show moving forward with new talents on the way and a constantly progressing set of storylines and feuds, a little bit of leprechaun silliness or even questionable messages about women in wrestling won’t hamper the overall enjoyment value of the show.

Bateman seemed to have a little extra zing in the ring this week and I think the crowd gave that energy back to him in kind. Perhaps there’s a bit of truth behind what his character was saying this week about others moving on to Smackdown ahead of him. If not, it’s a good story to tell on TV anyway. As to who actually hurt Percy Watson backstage I’m guessing it will turn out to be Hawkins and Reks because that’s just how wrestling works. If you’re curious, the WWE did film a vignette of them interrupting an interview with Abraham Washington and trying to get the WWE.com guys to let them into the backstage area to talk to John Laurenitis. Security was called and they were forced out of the tour bus area. It wasn’t included on NXT’s broadcast and was only shown
on the WWE website but yeah, they’re totally not fired.

I’ll give this week’s show a 5.5/10. Which new superstars do you think will be introduced on NXT in the coming weeks? Leave a comment below and let your voice be heard!

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