Cha-cha-cha-changes, turn and face the strange CHA-CHA-CHANG-E-EHS! Greetings folks and welcome to
another NXT review. If you’ve got your ear to the ground you might already know that changes are coming sometime in the near future to the NXT format/talent pool. Hell, everyone from William Regal to Curt Hawkins has said as much on the show and it ain’t hard to find out just what’s gonna happen via the internet. To recap the news, NXT is going to get its own tapings in conjunction with FCW at Florida’s Full Sail University starting….well today actually. However, according to my sources (shut up, I have sources!), whatever show comes out of those tapings probably won’t start for a bit. So NXT should continue to tape in front of Smackdown for a short while until the new show is up and running.
Having said that, boy is it obvious that the people running NXT had other things to work on this week and little time to give to this episode. There were no backstage vignettes what so ever. None. In fact, it almost seems like the reset button was pushed on certain storylines that were introduced during the last few weeks of NXT. Remember how Maxine was trying to act like a face diva? Yeah, that ended. Remember how Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins came back last week as a security team and took Percy Watson backstage for questioning to end the
episode? This week all three came out in two different matches with no explanation as to what happened or why Reks and Hawkins are suddenly wrestlers again. The total drop of what I considered interesting storylines (even if it is just for a week) disappointed me, though I can understand that the writing and production teams must currently be swamped with work. Still, how hard is it to tell Maxine to continue to do her own thing in the ring?
Anyway, NXT is just four matches this week with no mic time for any of the wrestlers. Let’s talk about them, shall we?
Johnny Curtis vs Percy Watson:
Oh Johnny Curtis and Percy Watson. I don’t know what it is going to take for them to get on either of the main shows but both have improved immensely since their initial runs on NXT. They’re usually a pretty good match-up but tonight something was off a bit. I’m not sure if it was a bad crowd or what, but aside from some brief chants for Watson they couldn’t seem to get much of a reaction. Watson was able to hit the Showtime Splash but couldn’t follow up with his Percy-cution flapjack finisher. Curtis slide out, threw Watson into the ropes and caught him in a falcon arrow on the rebound. That’s Johnny’s finisher and that’s the end of the match. Johnny Curtis wins.
Great Khali and Ezekiel Jackson vs Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks:
If you’re a weekly NXT viewer you might think that this match was set up as some kind of punishment for Hawkins and Reks by William Regal. Well…..that would totally have made sense, but that’s not how the WWE presented it. Regal introducing the two as surprise opponents might have been an effective way of building
up that idea but instead the match was announce through a graphic before the commercial break with no significance whatsoever. And apparently Reks and Hawkins are wrestlers again, but I said that already.
So……it’s a match featuring the Great Khali and Ezekiel Jackson. Is it a mercifully short squash match? Nope. Khali starts out strong then tags out to Zeke who gets worked over by the heel team. Zeke actually gets some chants, the first I can recall ever hearing. Finally Zeke tags in Khali, who performs the three moves he knows and kinda falls over while finishing off Reks with the Punjabi Plunge. The Great Khali and Ezekiel Jackson win.
There’s no reason for you to watch this match unless you like awkwardly long tag matches featuring wresters with all the grace and natural dexterity of a month-old kangaroo. Please WWE, put the suits back on Hawkins and Reks and get them back to what they were doing.
Maxine vs Kaitlyn:
Here’s another match that could have benefited from some build up or acknowledgement of their history. Instead it’s just a match. Maxine does bust out some nice new ring gear, which actually shows off her body a bit more than her black outfit would. Her stomach had been covered up for so long I was starting to wonder what it looked like!
This match was pretty good for these two; they’ve probably had better matches but they’ve definitely had worse ones as well. I do like how Maxine is focusing more and more on adding submission holds to her offense. There aren’t many divas that come off like submission specialists and even Natalya usually just sticks to the Sharpshooter. Despite Maxine’s best efforts, Kaitlyn countered her Dragon Sleeper into a full nelson slam and transitioned that move into her odd leg submission for the win. Kaitlyn wins via submission.
Tyson Kidd vs Derrick Bateman vs Micheal McGillicutty:
First of all, this was the match of the night so watch it. Secondly, while I love me some Derrick Bateman, he felt like the odd man out in this match-up. Obviously McGillicutty and Kidd are still in the middle of their rather intense rivalry so putting someone else in the match without any vignettes or explanation is a bit jarring but the structure of the match itself also made Bateman seem a bit unnecessary. Conversely, this match was at its
best when it found something for Derrick to do. Some early spots involving Kidd and Bateman teaming up on McGillicutty for being a cheese-head were fun, as were the later parts of the match when each wrestler was desperately trying for a pinfall. It was the middle section in which Bateman seemed to come back in only to get thrown back out or otherwise temporarily incapacitated that interrupted the flow of the match and made Derrick look like a chump. However, that’s not to say Bateman or any other relatively newer wrestler shouldn’t be placed in this type of match or in this position because that’s the only way anyone is ever going to learn anything and get better at their craft.
Annnnnyway, recapping this entire match is a disservice to the wrestlers so I’ll just go over the ending. Bateman launched Tyson Kidd “Mysterio-style” into McGillicutty, who happened to be on the top turnbuckle. As Kidd and McGillicutty knocked heads, Michael went down hard on the outside. Inside the ring Tyson tripped up Bateman while he attempted a flipping neckbreaker and slapped on the Sharpshooter. Since Bateman didn’t want to tap out to that, Tyson switched that up into his newly crowned “Dungeon-lock.” Bateman prefers his arm unbroken, so he tapped out. Tyson Kidd wins via submission.
I’d say there were two matches worth watching on NXT this week, the main event and the singles match between Maxine and Kaitlyn. Otherwise it was a very “placeholder” episode this week. As I said at the beginning of the column, the bulk of the WWE’s effort seems to be in starting up their new NXT/FCW hybrid product and I
can’t fault them for making a forward looking decision. Still, my score reflects what I see on my computer screen this week, so NXT will get a 4/10.
In personal news that you may or may not care about, I totally got that job. I was at work when I got the news and I believe my immediate response was to take a victory lap around the education department whilst holding up “Daniel Bryan Number 1” fingers and muttering a few lines from a famous Queen song about winning something. To say I’m psyched would be an understatement. Getting this job means full time work in a field I want to make my career, benefits, and moving to greater Philadelphia in a few weeks. I’ve already talked to John about it and it looks like he will be covering NXT for me while I move all my crap cross-country and set up the internet and my new apartment. I’d like to thank you all for your patience and support while I start this new chapter of my life. But that’s all in a couple weeks. In the mean-time, I’ll catch you next week for another NXT Review here at tjrwrestling.com.