This week's episode opened with the standard NXT intro video and a crowd shot of the small crowd at the taping. Ringside, Jack Korpela and William Regal introduced the show before they were interrupted by "Showtime" Percy Watson. Showtime was sporting a flashy suit and a bright smile as he made his way into the ring, where couches were assembled on a red carpet. Apparently Showtime has his own show. Showtime noted this is NXT: Redemption and he is of course Percy Watson. And this is Showtime. He said he wants to start by bringing out a man who has taken over this season of NXT. Of course, he was referring to Titus O'Neil.
Titus, also dressed in a sharp suit, emerged from backstage and made his way into the ring. Showtime asked "coach" Titus what's going on. Titus noted Percy has his own show now. He said this has been a long 29-week season. Regal added his own thoughts under his breath. Titus said he looks forward to them working together, but right now, he needs to focus on winning NXT. Titus said after he wins this season, they take a run at the Tag Titles.
On cue, JTG interrupted, flanked by Darren Young. JTG told them to pump their brakes. Young interjected that he's a great tag team specialist. After Darren sold himself short, JTG added he's a tag team specialist. JTG and Darren talked up a tag victory over Matt Striker and Regal last week, which drew a bright smile from Regal. Titus noted last week's show concluded with the Usos putting the wood to JTG and Young. JTG called the Usos haters. In fact, everyone on NXT is hating. Showtime then pointed to the wardrobe selections, with Titus telling JTG to pull his pants up. Showtime told Young his time is about up, too, on NXT. He told them to step or show them something. A brawl ensued with Showtime and Titus clearing the heels from the ring. Where's Teddy Long when you need him to book the tag match? Korpela played matchmaker and announced the match himself.
In-ring: Back from break, A.J. came out to the ring. Korpela noted A.J.'s in a good mood this week, but she wasn't in a good mood last week when Hornswoggle went missing and Maxine claimed Swoggle was hanging out with the Bellas. After Maxine beat A.J. last week, A.J. gets the re-match here. Maxine came out and Regal offered some terrific items on Maxine's faux background. Just hearing Regal say "pickpocketer" was great.
1 -- A.J. vs. MAXINE
Still no word on Hornswoggle's whereabouts. The announcers said wrestlers have to leave their personal business in the background when competing in WWE, so A.J. needs to ignore Swoggle's situation. So, he's been "missing" for seven days and no one seems to care? Classic NXT storyline. Regal engaged the viewers with a monologue as Korpela seemed to be intently listening to Regal. Maxine lost control of the match and A.J. scored some offense, but it wasn't good enough for the win. A Shining Wizard was good enough moments later, though, and A.J. picked up the win, to the delight of the kids in the crowd.
WINNER: A.J. at 5:14. Even-Steven the last two weeks and still no sign of Swoggle.
Tonight: It's Showtime & Titus vs. Young & JTG.
Raw Rebound: Last night's show with focus on Hugh Jackman, the promo exchange with Ziggler & Vickie, Jackman and Zack Ryder backstage, and Ryder's victory over Ziggler complete with Jackman cold-cocking Ziggler with a right hand.
Backstage: Maxine found Hornswoggle in the hallway. Swoggle had a love letter for A.J., which Maxine didn't appreciate. Maxine then tried to plant a seed in Swoggle's head that A.J. was fooling around with Titus. Swoggle walked off, selling confusion. Bateman and Tyson Kidd then walked down the hallway and Maxine stopped Bateman to demand an answer on where he was during her match. Maxine told Bateman he needs to focus on the big picture: separating A.J. and Swoggle.
In-ring: Yoshi Tatsu's music hit to bring out the new dark-side Yoshi, but still with the same happy fun-time, jump-around theme music. Yoshi quietly made his way to the ring and removed his mask to reveal his darker look. Derrick Bateman, with Kidd, came out next to face Yoshi.
2 -- DERRICK BATEMAN (w/Tyson Kidd) vs. YOSHI TATSU
Yoshi dominated early on, then Bateman smeared Yoshi's facepaint on Yoshi's chest to try to get in his head. It only intensified Yoshi's attack, causing Bateman to retreat to the outside. Yoshi followed up and ripped off a series of chops, but Bateman ducked a final chop and crotched Yoshi into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Bateman wore down Yoshi as Kidd shouted encouragement from ringside. Bateman struggled to apply an abdominal stretch, then Yoshi countered it and Bateman found himself on the floor again. Back in the ring, Bateman accepted another round of chops followed by a corner boot. Yoshi followed with a running roundhouse kick, but Bateman kicked out of a pin attempt. Yoshi then went up top and landed a cross-body splash for another two count. Yoshi tried another pin following a big martial arts kick, but Kidd broke up the pin, drawing a DQ. The kids shrieked as Kidd attacked Yoshi and put the boots to him.
WINNER: Yoshi via DQ at 6:41.
Backstage: A.J. was walking down the hallway looking for Hornswoggle. Trent Barreta didn't have an answer, then Titus O'Neil walked up to A.J. and said they're going to avoid Maxine's mind games and win one for Hornswoggle. Titus walked off to get ready for his match, then Swoggle walked into the shot. He saw A.J. and Titus together and acted concerned following Maxine's words earlier in the show. A.J. tried to make things right before they cut to break.
In-ring: O'Neil's music to bring out the Redemption Points leader. The Titantron had the spelling wrong, reading "Titus O'Neal." C'mon, folks. Titus and Showtime made their way to the ring before JTG and Darren Young emerged for the main event.
3 -- TITUS O'NEIL & SHOWTIME PERCY WATSON vs. JTG & DARREN YOUNG
The faces quickly took control of the match, working over Young. Titus displayed his power offense while seemingly toying with Young. More work on Young, who finally drove Titus to the heel corner to bring in Jimmy the Gimmick. Gimmick was quickly dropped with a shoulderbreaker by Titus, then Titus flung No Days Off clear over the top rope to the floor.
[Break. Raw plug: Conspiracies, Texts, Miz & Truth fired, and chaos. Has the COO lost control of WWE? Next Monday, can Hunter regain control of Raw or will the King of Kings's reign...collapse?!]
Back from break, Regal continued to marvel at Titus flinging Young over the top rope. The faces were still in control of the action, of note. Gimmick decided to bail from the ring again, so Showtime picked him up and threw him back into the ring after Regal asked him to smash his head in. The heels finally cheated to take control at 6:30 and began working over Showtime. It was so unrealistic watching JTG wear down the much larger and more physically imposing Showtime.
At 11:00, Showtime finally reached out and made the tag to Titus, who cleaned house. The action broke down moments later and Showtime went flying to the outside. JTG was then knocked to the outside. Suddenly, Young clipped Titus and set up for a gutbuster across his knee. Young made the cover and it was good for the win. Post-match: Young and JTG celebrated the victory before the Usos stormed the ring and took out the victors. The Usos then went to opposite corners and delivered dual Superfly splashes. Cue up the Usos's theme music and Regal called them future tag champions to close out this week's NXT.
WINNERS: Young & JTG at 11:56. Why are the Usos on NXT again? Where's Striker to get an interview? When is this show going to end? Multiple Choice - are they waiting for Maryse to return, the end of the year, NXT to return to television, or all of the Pros to be released?
Follow along with PWTorch columnist Greg Parks's live NXT tweets @GregMParks.
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