This week's WWE NXT started with a video package documenting the Yoshi Figure Saga between Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd over the past several weeks on NXT. Tonight, Yoshi tries to get his figure's leg back.
Arena: Grisham and Regal introduced the show and noted they're still looking for WWE's next breakout star. Tonight, it's a Necklace On A Pole Match between Yoshi and Kidd. Plus, a look-back to Monday's Raw when Rey Mysterio became WWE champion. They're replaying Mysterio vs. Cena again later tonight.
In-ring: Hornswoggle's music hit to bring out not-Hornswoggle a/k/a Titus O'Neil. They replayed events from last week's Raw when Titus overcame Darren Young. Cue up Derrick Bateman, complete with ring intro music, to challenge Titus. Bateman was sporting red, white, and blue USA trunks to play off the Rocky movie series. The crowd wasn't amused or interested. Before entering the ring, Bateman dropped the boxing trunks.
1 -- TITUS O'NEIL vs. DERRICK BATEMAN
The announcers noted this is Titus's contest to lose as the clear frontrunner to win. Grisham noted both Rookie's Pros are not present (Hornswoggle for Titus and Bryan for Bateman) and they're hanging out backstage watching carefully. Titus dominated early on, so Bateman bailed to the floor. Darren Young then walked down to encourage Bateman to get himself together.
Back from break, Regal was trying to make sense of why Young was in Bateman's corner after Bateman cost him his match last week. In the ring, Bateman was in control trying to wear down Titus. Grisham proposed the idea that perhaps Bateman and Young are trying to take out Titus from the competition since he's the favorite. A side headlock isn't going to cut it, which Titus easily escaped. Bateman resumed control of the match, then tried to finish the match with a top-rope move, but Titus easily avoided and mounted a comeback.
Titus delivered a stiff elbow, and the ref was momentarily distracted when Bateman rebounded out of the corner, which allowed Young to trip Titus from the outside. This set up Bateman to hit a bulldog of sorts for the pin and the win. Post-match: Young celebrated with Bateman and raised his hand in victory. Meanwhile, the announcers continued to try to figure out the Bateman and Young alliance.
WINNER: Bateman at 8:28. Basic NXT match. Bateman isn't getting over as a heel and the whole storyline seems to be lost on the audience.
Backstage: Hornswoggle spotted a trail of candy leading down the hallway. He eventually found a love note taped to a curtain. It said he's in store for a Big Surprise. Out came Season 3 Rookie A.J., who planted a big kiss on Hornswoggle. Maryse happened to be standing nearby and mocked the two lovebirds. A.J. tried to stand up to Maryse, who mocked her some more. Things almost became physical before Maryse left and A.J. went back to making a pass at Swoggle.
Elsewhere: Kozlov was on top of a vending machine trying to take a picture of himself. JTG interrupted and asked what he was doing. Kozlov said he's taking pictures of himself planking. (It's all the craze on social media.) JTG said their bet was for Kozlov to become hip, not take pictures of himself planking. Kozlov took off JTG's Yankees cap and wore it himself, which upset JTG again.
In-ring: Tyson Kidd came out first for the Necklace on a Pole match.
2 -- TYSON KIDD vs. YOSHI TATSU -- Necklace on a Pole match
Kidd made an early lunge for the pole, but Yoshi yanked him down and landed a headbutt. They went back-and-forth during the first four minutes before taking the fight to the top turnbuckle below the pole. Kidd and Yoshi traded blows as if they were on top of a ladder in a ladder match, then knocked each other clear off the top turnbuckle to the floor below. They cut to break with both men selling.
Back from break, Kidd had Yoshi in a Liontamer inside the ropes. There's no rope break here, so Kidd was able to keep the hold locked in for as long as he wanted. Kidd then knocked Yoshi to the floor and tried a slow crawl to the pole, but Yoshi scrambled back into the ring to cut off Kidd. Yoshi landed multiple kick strikes to KO Kidd, then climbed the pole as the crowd roared, but Kidd crotched him at the last second. They battled up the pole and Yoshi reached up to grab the figure as Kidd executed a back suplex from the top rope. The ref unfolded Yoshi's hand and saw the figure in-hand, then called for the bell, giving Yoshi the win.
Yoshi celebrated as Regal said this (the effort in the ring, as opposed to the gimmick) is what made him proud to become part of this business. He said he hopes everyone in the back was watching to see how to up his or her game. Post-match: Kidd snapped on Yoshi, trying to take apart his left knee in the ring and out of the ring. Grisham questioned Kidd getting himself noticed this way. Kidd then wrapped Yoshi's legs around the ringpost with a classic Bret Hart figure-four. Multiple refs tried to break it up as Yoshi cried in pain. Kidd was then "rewarded" with his music playing as he flashed a heel smile toward the injured Yoshi. Kidd walked past the remnants of Yoshi's action figure before they replayed the finish.
WINNER: Yoshi at 10:16. Pretty decent gimmick match, with the crowd invested in the outcome. Kidd and Yoshi continue to keep themselves half-way relevant despite getting little TV time on the main shows.
Smackdown plug: Triple H will be on Smackdown to address the State of Affairs. ... Announcers: Grisham and Regal were shown on-camera to discuss last night's Raw, specifically Rey Mysterio having a good start to the night before facing John Cena in the main event.
Raw Replay: A trimmed-down version of Mysterio vs. Cena for the WWE Title in the main event, plus C.M. Punk's surprise return, concluded NXT. The replay interesting stayed with about 15 seconds of what happened after Raw went off the air with Punk standing in the ring holding the legit title high as Cena held the new title ringside. "The champ is here," Punk mouthed as the bonus Raw replay concluded.
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