WWE NXT Report JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 9/6: Alt. perspective review of NXT Week 27, overall show Reax
Sep 7, 2011 - 10:48:52 AM
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WWE NXT alt. perspective review
September 6, 2011
Taped in Toledo, Ohio
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
While technically this is Week 27 of the endless "NXT: Redemption" saga, last week barely even counts, considering that it was just a few match replays, some Matt Striker in-studio commentary, and a video package on Alex Riley (which was not new) and Brodus Clay (which was new). One interesting things is that an article on WWE's website mentioned Maxine as a "not-quite-Diva-yet" and also name-dropped Naomi, also from NXT3. It would seem that Naomi could be put on this season's show soon. That would be great, because she was definitely the most athletic and probably the best in-ring performers from NXT3. Kaitlyn (the NXT3 winner) is kind of floundering, no doubt due to her lack of experience, while A.J. and Maxine are getting a bit of shine.
Hopefully, this week will deliver what I hoped for last week: the return of Yoshi Tatsu with new packaging (or another Japanese wrestler), an excellent Tyson Kidd match as he continues to defend his unofficial title of the reigning NXT Pro Champion, and a reboot of the announcing booth, preferably with either Scott Stanford, or Booker T (so long as Booker T gets booted from Smackdown). Perhaps Maryse will be back from surgery, too. And, just maybe, there could be another match with the excellent Matt Striker. Perhaps Striker and William Regal against Darren Young and Derrick Bateman? Perhaps they can sneak the "real Sin Cara" on so he can learn to wrestle?
NXT Rookies (and Pros):
Titus O'Neil (Hornswoggle, with A.J.)
Darren Young (Chavo Guerrero)
Derrick Bateman with Maxine (Daniel Bryan, currently "on strike) Conor O'Brian (Vladimir Kozlov) Lucky Cannon (Tyson Kidd) Byron Saxton (Yoshi Tatsu) Jacob Novak (JTG)
[Q1] The show starts with a video package summarizing the Matt Striker-Darren Young feud, culminating with William Regal entering the picture. This signifies good things. They also trimmed the credits of all the "dead weight" cast members. And... we get Jack Korpela. I'd prefer Scott Stanford, but Korpela isn't the end of the world.
Darren Young comes out to intro the show. Young says that NXT is over and he should be the winner, and also claims that Striker is gone for good. He thanks Regal for keeping him for going to far with Striker. Regal grabs a mic and enters the ring. Striker puts over Young but says that he can't stand watching Young beating up on people like Striker. Regal says he doesn't need Young's spotlight, the crowd knows him. He says that he has a "body like a badly made bed" which is so sadly true. But he says that Young has no clue. Young challenges him to a match and Regal accepts. He says that he accepts to do Young a favor and teach him a lesson, not for himself or Striker. Young leaves the ring.
They advertise A.J. and Titus O'Neil versus Maxine and Derrick Bateman.
[c - "Inside Out"]
Video package recapping the whole O'Neil/Hornswoggle/A.J. - Bateman/Maxine feud, as A.J., Titus, and Hornswoggle come out.
Bateman and Maxine both have new outfits, as they make their way to the ring.
1 - TITUS O'NEIL & A.J. vs. DERRICK BATEMAN & MAXINE - Mixed Tag Team match
The match starts with Bateman teasing Titus and running to the corner, but when Bateman comes out, O'Neil punishes him with power offense. Regal and Korpela talk up Titus, and Bateman tags in Maxine. A.J. gets a good amount of quick offense in, she really seems like a Gail Kim in training. Maxine turns the match around by booting A.J. in the stomach when she comes off the ropes. She slows it down with the Orton Chinlock. Maxine with a more brawling styling, but A.J. dodges a big boot attempt and Maxine gets caught on the ropes. The two ladies tag out and Titus goes to town on Bateman with high speed. He steals Batista's rope shake and hits a shoulder breaker. Maxine breaks up the pin but A.J. clears him out. Bateman walks into the sit out slam for the loss.
WINNERS: Titus O'Neil and A.J. I have to say, A.J. is getting pretty reliable in the ring. Titus is slowly winning me over, when he comes off a hot tag he's actually quite exciting. Imagine Randy Orton's traditional scoop slams and John Cena's shoulder tackles in fast-forward and you get the idea.
[c - Night of Champions ad based on Cena-Del Rio, Raw hype with Triple H]
Backstage, Maxine is nagging Bateman, but he blames her. He says they should have watched Roadhouse, not Dirty Dancing, she says that he should have not spent his time perming his hair. He says "this" (pointing to his hair) is natural, she points to her body and reminds him that it's natural. Thy makeup and Maxine says they need to get Hornswoggle (didn't we see this already this season?) and start to make out. Regal heads backstage to prepare for his match.
[c - "Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator" DVD ad]
Tyson Kidd comes out for his obligatory match. Matt Striker is on commentary with Korpela. Well, if Kidd isn't facing Tatsu, he will be distracted by Tatsu, I'm calling it now. Kidd has a mic. He says he's tired of Tatsu distracting him during his matches. He challenges Tatsu. He gets interrupted by the music and Japanese character, and then the Tatsu music hits. Tatsu comes out with a mask and long, flowing jacket, and with a serious stride. He takes the mask out, and it's Tatsu with half his face painted like a kabuki puppet, the the blonde in his hair is now red.
2 - YOSHI TATSU vs. TYSON KIDD
Early back-and-forth between the two, and Korpela points out the sadly obvious, that during the last few months, some of the best matches in WWE were between these two on NXT. Such a waste. Tatsu had a new, more hard-hitting style tonight. He hangs up Kidd on the top rope, kicks him in the stomach and then ace kicks him in the back of the head, knocking Kidd out the ring.
[c - The WWE Network ad]
Back from the break, Kidd and Tatsu are going at it in high speed. They end up outside and Kidd puts Tatsu into the barricade hard. Tatsu's head is against the barrier and Kidd kicks hit hard. They roll into the ring and Kidd makes the cover for two. It's incredible, the "filler back-and-forth" between two looks like the build to the match finish for most other of WWE's wrestlers.
[Q3] Striker calls Regal the "greatest Superstar to never hold a major championship," which is an interesting compliment. Tyson Kidd with his springboard leg drop with Tatsu's head through the ropes, gets him two. To rebuild Tatsu's character, he really needs a win here. Kidd yanks Tatsu outside the ring and rams him into the apron, but when he charges again, Tatsu catches him in the face with a boot. Tatsu rolls him into the ring, and heads to the top rope, he strikes with a new move, an overhead chop from the top rope. Elbow drop gets him two, then charges Kidd multiple times with kicks. They look sick.
Tatsu is calling for the end, but Kidd kicks his legs out from underneath him. Kidd with a huge elbow from the top rope but Tatsu gets knees up. Tatsu goes to the top, but Kidd drop kicks his feet out. Kidd in on the ground and Tatsu is stuck on the turnbuckle. Kidd goes up top too, looking for the huracarana, but Tatsu clobks. As Kidd gets up, Tatsu with the spinning heel kick from the turnbuckle, goes halfway across the ring, and Tatsu gets the win.
WINNER: Yoshi Tatsu. Yet another crazy good match between the two. Stuff like this makes me glad to watch NXT, because this would get less than two minutes on Raw or Smackdown.
[c - WWE Magazine ad with C.M. Punk as the feature, Smackdown hype with focus on Mark Henry]
3 - WILLIAM REGAL vs. DARREN YOUNG
It's a good sign that Young is over as a heel when the crowd (more than just the "vocal males") cheers William Regal against him.
Young charges Regal who boots him in the face and takes him down, then with the hard knees in the corner. Young is a real trooper for taking hard strikes from Regal in this match and Striker the last few weeks too. Regal with a hard elbow to the face as Young comes off the ropes. Regal whiles Young into the ropes hard enough to send him over. Regal goes to the outside and continues to punish Young. Young gets Striker's headset and demands that Young apologize. Young refuses and Regal tosses him back into the ring. So unique. Young on the ground begging for help, obvious ruse. Regal seems torn, accepts the handshake and then stomps on Young, classic Regal.
Young finally fires up, tosses Regal into the turnbuckle, and he plays to the cheap seats. Young with chest strikes and an elbow drop for two. Young chokes Regal on the ropes. Regal fires up but Young hides in the ropes. Young comes back with a hard punch to the forehead and the ref tries pulling them apart.
[Q4] Young stomps on Regal's hands in retribution. Young with a leg scissors and chinlock to wear Regal down. Regal finally gets some offense in, but Yoing takes him down by the leg. Regal works on Young in the corner, jawing with the ref, and does his stomps on Young while arguing with the ref. Regal with the exploder suplex, then moves in for the Regal Stretch. JTG tries to interfere but Striker takes him out. Regal breaks the whole and moves to the corner, dropping the kneepad. As Young gets up, Regal lands the Knee Trembler for the win. Striker is arguing with JTG on the outside, and Striker unbuttons his shirt to join Regal in the ring, continuing his argument with JTG.
WINNER: William Regal. That was a very good match. Not only did Regal live up to expectations, but Young kept his end of the bargain, too. It looks like the next match in the series will be Young/JTG vs. Regal/Striker, which is just fine with me.
Final Reax: Lousy show in terms of "building towards a conclusion to NXT: Redemption," but a good show all the same. It's official, NXT: Redemption is no longer a contest to determine "the next breakout star," it has become a show unto itself. With the addition of Regal and Striker to the mix to round it out, and the Divas coming in, what NXT: Redemption really feels like is an independent show with extraordinarily high production values. That's not a bad thing at all. So long as NXT stays its own slowly changing universe, with occasional cameos from the outside world to give some variety, I really don't mind. I ask myself if I would rather see a potentially clunky match between two Rookies or perhaps a Rookie and a Pro that has has endless weeks of build-up and will get 10+ minutes, or a 3-minute "thrown out there" match between Randy Orton and Heath Slater. Right now, it seems like NXT is consistently providing more wrestling and usually better wrestling than Raw or Smackdown (the same can be said for Superstars); admittedly, that's mostly thanks to Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd, and lately Matt Striker and William Regal. NXT might be the "D-show" as far as WWE is concerned, but it is becoming the "A-show" if you actually want to watch wrestling.
Post-show, Howard Finkel fielded a bunch of WWE Network related questions, but all of them were softballs with easy answers (like "do you think it will be awesome?") or he declined to answer in the basis of having no information.
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