WWE NXT report
October 26, 2011
Taped 10/25 in Houston, Tex.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
Pre-show thoughts: You know what is truly sad? I now currently look forwards to NXT: Redemption more than I do Raw. As bad as NXT is, it still feels fresh, and that the storylines are actually moving somewhere and have a bit of forethought. Plus, there are fresh faces, and non-main event acts get more than 30 seconds of airtime. Hopefully there’s more Derrick Bateman and Maxine (those two work really well as an on-screen couple), Kaitlyn, A.J., Tyson Kidd, Yoshi Tatsu, and Percy Watson this week. Titus O’Neil I can do without.
Darren Young – suspended
Lucky Cannon – released
Jacob Novak – released
Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks
[Q1] Matt Striker is in the ring with Derrick Bateman, Maxine, and JTG in one group and Percy Watson and Titus O’Neil in another group. He says that “only two Rookies remain,” implicitly saying that Darren Young is gone. Derrick intros himself and kisses Maxine. Titus makes another fish reference about Maxine. Why is he so hung up on her lips? She’s a gorgeous woman. Titus says no one cares about Bateman. It’s the “talk the talk” challenge.
Bateman makes fun of the Texas accent and suggests that “real football” comes from Dallas. Bateman makes a Johnny Curtis quality joke and accurately points out that Titus will try for a cheap pop with his local references and pink trunks and making fun of Maxine, but he won’t cater to the audience. That’s funny because last season he did. He says he caters to an audience of one and kisses Maxine again.
Titus brings up his pink trunks and says that he lost two grandmothers to breast cancer and says that he thinks the audience is fine with that. Titus reminds the audience that NXT: Redemption started in Houston, and brings up that he has 45 redemption points and says he won’t let Bateman stand in his way. Derrick tries to interrupt but Titus cuts him off. Titus asks the audience to do the dog bark and they all do.
Striker polls the audience and makes it sound like this is for the win (but that’s not clear). Titus wins, of course, and Striker says that he has won the challenge (not the competition). Titus says that since he’s won every challenge, he will issue one of his own, Titus challenges Derrick to get a better looking girlfriend, and Percy challenges JTG to dress more up-to-date and less wanna-be hood. JTG cheap-shots Percy and Striker breaks it up. He books Derrick Bateman versus Titus O’Neil in the main event, and JTG against Percy Watson, for the opening. Jack Korpela says you have to love the unpredictability of NXT. I guess he’s right, Teddy Long has trained everyone to think that all such opening segments end up with a tag match scheduled for the main event.
1 – PERCY WATSON vs. JTG
Regal applauds the beginning of the match and says he is tired of hearing the Rookies talk nonsense and delivering bad promos. Basic wrestling with Percy controlling JTG.
[ c – Survivor Series ad, focus on The Rock ]
Watson with a nice throw off the break, and the announcers says he was on top all during the break. Watson attacks JTG’s back, then face, and JTG hilariously groans, “Oohhh, my back! Ooohhh, my face!” That may be the only time JTG has every entertained me. JTG finally feeds Watson his knee as Watson comes into the ring, and then runs him over outside. JTG rolls Watson in and makes the cover for one. JTG with a spinning neckbreaker that gets two. Regal says he hates praising JTG and then knocks the talking segment again (with good reason). Korpella with a great point that the difficulty of the talking segment shows how hard it is to be a “Superstar.” I’m not sure if he came up with that on his own or through the magic headset, but I would like to see WWE reinforce that point more often.
JTG off the top turnbuckle, but Watson steps back and turns it into a facebuster on his knee. Regal keeps hammering home the idea that Watson needs a mentor, Korpella says Regal should do it but Regal says it wouldn’t work. Watson back on the attack with the dropkick and a shoulder tackle, and his leaping, turning splash for two. Watson fires up. Watson with his finisher (fireman’s carry to a flapjack) that Korpella calls the “Persecution.” That feels really wrong for a face character.
WINNER: Percy Watson in 10:00. Perfectly fine match. They did the right thing by limited JTG’s traditionally boring offense, and letting the face win after slowly wearing down the opponent with offense. It’s so rare to see the wrestler with the most offense actually win a match now.
[Q2] Backstage, Hawkins (with a cane) is talking to Kidd and complaining about a suspension. They see Striker and Hawkins asks him about it. Striker tells him that he can’t just leverage the walkout on Raw into a takeover on NXT and says he should be grateful it was only one week. Kidd says Matt should watch how he talks to a guy carrying a big stick. Striker says he respects Kidd’s work but not his friends, and books Kidd vs. Jey Uso.
[ c – Raw with the Muppets ad ]
The Usos come out for Jey’s match. They’ve got new music. Kidd has new, bright red trunks.
2 – JEY USO (w/Jimmy Uso) vs. TYSON KIDD (w/Curt Hawkins)
I suspect Curt’s cane will come into play here to give Kidd a dirty win…
Kidd with early offense and just dominates the larger Jey, but Jey turns it around with heavy punches in the corner. They trade offense in the corner and Jey gets the better end of it, and manages a two count. Kidd with a kick to a telegraphed back body drop and a dropkick for two, then puts Jey in the corner again. Regal praises the Uso’s work ethic while Tyson dominates. Korpella rightfully asks why Curt is ringside when he is suspended. Korpella and Regal are talking Twitter, ugh. Jey back on offense.
It looks like Jey is trying to wrestle a tag match – he looks for a hot tag that isn’t there, and then tries the “Alley-Us” double team move for no reason (which Kidd slips out of). It makes Jey look really incompetent. Jey superkicks Tyson and then goes to the top rope for the Superfly Splash. Hawkins tries to distract him with the cane, but Jey doesn’t notice. Kidd gets the knees up and then does his spinning neckbreaker finisher for the win.
WINNER: Tyson Kidd in 8:00. Kidd looked great, as always, but Jey looked lost without Jimmy. Kidd’s upside is unlimited if he can tighten up his promos a bit.
Post-match, Tyson tries to put Jey in the Sharpshooter, but Jimmy makes the save. Curt hits him with the cane and then a hobbling shoulder tackle (he has a broken foot). Tyson mounts Jey for punches while Curt taunts Jimmy with the cane, but Yoshi Tatsu runs in a clears the ring. Six-man tag match next week? The Uso’s new music plays even though Tatsu made the save. Throwing to commercial, Korpella says that the O’Neil – Bateman match will have “huge implications” for who wins this season. I like this talk of ending the season!
[ c – WrestleMania 28 ad, with emphasis on Cena – Rock ]
[Q3] Backstage, Kaitlyn and A.J. talk about how excited they are for an upcoming match. Tamina appears behind them. Kaitlyn says that she is “surprisingly stealthy for such a… umm… tall person.” Great delivery. Tamina says she is too good for NXT. There is just something so refreshingly fun about seeing A.J. and Kaitlyn together.
[ c – “The Reunion” DVD ad ]
Kaitlyn has some music now; it sounds like a cross between Kelly Kelly’s and Eve’s. Tamina is already in the ring, telegraphing a win for Kaitlyn.
3 – KAITLYN vs. TAMINA
Tamina dodges a lock-up attempt and shoves Kaitlyn down. They trade blows and Kaitlyn gets a dropkick and a hip toss, then a splash the in the corner and knees to the gut. Tamina shoves her off and hits a monster superkick. She taunts and eventually covers for two. Tamina with a sloppy hold. Kaitlyn escapes and tries a roll-up for one. Tamina with a clothesline and gets mad at the ref because it’s just two. Tamina pushes Kaitlyn around a bit, then moves to another submission hold. Kaitlyn fights out but Tamina puts her back down. Tamina with a fireman’s carry, but Kaitlyn shimmies down her back and rolls her up for the win.
WINNER: Kaitlyn in 3:00. Tamina’s offense looked typically sloppy. Kaitlyn was fine with her limited time to shine.
[ c – “WWE Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart,” Smackdown hype with the Big Show – Mark Henry rivalry ]
Back from break, A.J. is on commentary. I’m actually looking forwards to this (I usually do not like guest commentary), because A.J. just has a natural charisma to her that is very enjoyable. A.J. says that she is supporting Titus because he doesn’t have a Pro. Bateman comes out with Maxine. Regal, Korpella, and A.J. are having a really natural feeling conversation. Maxine joins them in the booth.
4 – TITUS O’NEIL vs. DERRICK BATEMAN (w/Maxine)
Bateman outwits Titus on the first lock-up. Maxine’s happy that Derrick shaved his mustache. Korpella wants details on the rivalry between Maxine and A.J. Bateman dominates Titus and Maxine says she hates when women act like girls (or is it the other way around?). Titus is now showing off his usual offense. Maxine insinuates that A.J. was in an relationship with Titus and Hornswoggle at the same time. Derrick goes to the announcer table but Maxine encourages him back. Titus rolls Bateman into the ring, but Bateman drop kicks him back to the outside when he comes in. Maxine points out that Titus has been calling her fish lips but his mouth looks like a horse’s with big teeth. Fair enough. Bateman re-lives last week with a missile dropkick from the apron to Titus on the outside and the same intense look as Maxine praises him.
[Q4] Bateman rolls Titus into the ring and makes the cover, which is good for one. Bateman abuses Titus in the corner. Maxine denies that she’s with Derrick for personal gain. A.J. says Maxine is only with Derrick to get onto NXT. Titus makes a comeback and does a shoulder breaker, then a pair of shoulder tackles, a running clothesline, and he grabs the ropes and barks. O’Neil to the top rope but Derrick dodges the shoulder tackle and rolls Titus up for the win.
WINNER: Derrick Bateman in 8:00. Good match, but the bickering between the ladies got a little but too heavy. I would have liked to hear either Maxine or A.J. on commentary by themselves.
Post-match, Bateman tells Maxine that this is the greatest day of his life. He says he conquered “my biggest foe, from big-teeth heaven, the fraudulent Titus O’Neil,” but ever since he saw Maxine in NXT 3 he knew he loved her. He says he does everything for her. He has a question for her, and drops to one knee. He asks her to marry him. She looks torn and slaps the taste out of his mouth. But, then she starts kissing him like a crazed person. Titus cover’s A.J.’s eyes as they go at it. Maxine says yes, and Derrick Bateman picks her up and they celebrate. Please, no more NXT weddings! The look on Maxine’s face is odd.
Final Reax: NXT: Redemption is clearly wrapping up, but when? They are clearly leaning towards Bateman as the winner, giving him wins when they say that wins matter, lots of mic time, and de-emphasizing O’Neil. I am always in favor of more Kaitlyn and A.J., they are like the anti-Lay-Cool, a team with great personality chemistry. The Bateman – Maxine relationship is fascinating to me. The way they kiss, look at each other, touch each other, etc. leads me to honestly believe that this is not a work, or they are putting on a really outstanding performance. Maxine’s character is bizarrely cruel in her love, which is also a unique view. All the same, I look forwards to this season of NXT finishing up, though I have great fears for NXT 6.