Thank the lord baby Jesus and all his baby disciples, this is the last episode of this version of NXT. Starting next week the WWE will begin airing its already taped “Full Sail University” episodes featuring a mix of FCW and WWE talent under the NXT brand. I’ve heard good things about those shows and am excited to see some of the best that the FCW roster has to offer. You can find the spoilers online if you want but tonight’s episode of NXT aired short introductory vignettes for Bo Dallas (Bo Rotundo) and Richie Steamboat (Son of the Dragon), promoting both as high energy babyfaces. I also picked Seth Rollins (ROH’s Tyler Black) out from the announcement video, amongst many other FCW wrestlers. Bottom Line: the new season of NXT will start next week and I’m sure as hell ready to watch it.
Oh yeah, how’re you guys doing? It’s been a few weeks. I’ve fed seals and hippos and am now quite a bit closer to several notable independent wrestling companies. I wonder if that will come up ever……..on to NXT!
Derrick Bateman and Percy Watson vs Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks:
One positive aspect of these past few weeks of cut and dry no-promo shows is that the wrestlers have been able to let their matches breathe a bit. That can be (and has been) a bad thing when said wrestlers just don’t have anything new to show us and good when they do. Luckily tonight’s episode is populated with wrestlers that for the most part can fill time without tapping out my attention span. The four men in this match do exactly that the latter, but while their match is improved because of its greater run-time it never quite kicks things into overdrive. Tyler Reks, of all people, seems to be the one benefitted most from the extra space and peppers the match with both the zippy little offensive moves that Curt Hawkins never bothers to do and basic taunts to get the audience to make some noise. The match formula itself is pretty basic (face in peril, faces come back, other face in peril, faces come back, finish) but enjoyable and results in a couple fun little spots, like when Watson sends both Reks and Hawkins to the outside and tags in Bateman so he can jump on team D-bag. At the end of the day Reks ended the serviceable match by planting Derrick Bateman with a maneuver I always find tough to call. Basically Reks lifted Bateman up into an Argentinean Backbreaker hold and then flipped poor Derrick over and DDT’d him from about six feet off the ground. Ouch. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks win.
Natalya vs Kaitlyn:
I like this matchup because I know when these two ladies get together that they’re going to employ more pinning moves than the average match. I don’t know if you want to call it technical wrestling but I dig it. There were some slight awkward moments where a brief pause slipped in between moves but overall Natalya led Kaitlyn to a pretty good match. Natalya solidified her role as the heel pretty early on when she shoved Kaitlyn to the mat and loudly (and somehow calmly) stated “I hate you!” After a nasty bow and arrow submission from Natalya onto Kaitlyn and a few pinning combinations, Kaitlyn ended up with the three count, much to Natalya’s surprise and anger. Kaitlyn wins.
Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis vs The Usos:
Warning: Gushing Imminent!
Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis pick apart an injured body part like a meat slicer chops perfectly measured pieces of salami for my sandwich. Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis target an injured body part like a pack of a wolves target a sleeping baby deer with a broken leg. Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis and their dissection of an injured body part make almost everyone else in the WWE who isn’t a former ROH Champion look like a moron when they put on a rest hold or haphazardly work somebody’s arm. They are just that freakin’ good at what they do. Their work on Jey Uso’s leg in this match was amazing and vicious and everything that is good about wrestling. All four men and especially Jey and Johnny made this one look like a fight for survival at times, which really helped the Usos’ eventual comeback hit with some impact. Jey sold the whole time as the usual Uso ending sequence of superkicks, samaon drops, and superfly splash capped up a very enjoyable match. The Usos win via superkick/superfly splash combo on McGillicutty. MOTN, watch it!
It was nice of NXT to end its current season on a solid episode. Granted, it didn’t quite resemble the skit filled, entertainment heavy show NXT became in season 5, but this might have been my favorite of the castrated place-holding episodes taped after the “Full Sail” episodes started filming. It helps when you don’t use the Great Khali and I haven’t covered the show in a couple weeks. I’ll give the tonight’s episode a 5/10.
I suppose since this is the last episode of the season I’ll say something about it. I liked what season 5 became, a low pressure showcase for some of the WWE’s most underutilized talents. This was the show that gave us several amazing Tyson Kidd feuds, excellent backstage vignettes and storylines featuring Derrick Bateman, Maxine, Johnny Curtis, Kaitlyn, Titus O’ Neil, and Darren Young and was overall a healthy hour long televised wrestling program. I wasn’t really a fan of certain talents or the format that they graced us with in the beginning of the season but I will look back fondly on NXT 5 as a whole, almost solely because of the wrestlers that carried the show’s storylines week to week amongst its seemingly never ending season. #YellowRopesForever indeed.