[Q1] Matt Striker and William Regal start the show in the ring. Striker says that tonight will feature Tyson Kidd and Percy Watson against Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis. Striker recaps why this same pairing was nixed a few weeks ago, and throws it to Regal to explain the details. Regal says that he does not think that Watson attacked Riley last week, and despite his suspicions, McGillicutty has alibis for the two attacks. At the suggestion of John Laurinaitis, he has hired a new security company to handle things backstage to keep the peace. Striker calls out the security team.
Oh look, it is Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins wearing suits. Regal calls for security to remove them. Hawkins and Reks gloat as they tell him that their new job is the security team. Regal can't believe it. Hawkins says that they are there to "serve and protect so little guys like Striker don't get kidnapped." Strikers blows a gasket and runs at them, but Regal warns him off. Striker starts to argue. Hawkins says that they are on best behavior, and have a second chance and will be having a match on Superstars this week. Regal tells them that they had better stay on the straight and narrow.
[ c - A new "Don't Try This at Home" ad airs ]
As Maxine comes out to the ring (handcuffed to Johnny Curtis), she compliments William Regal. She then acknowledges her loss on Raw (accidentally saying that it happened "last night," which is accurate as of the time of the taping, but not the time of the airing), but says that it is about working together a a team, and she holds no hard feelings against "Tammy" and falsely compliments her. She promises that she's a new person.
1 - TAMINA SNUKA vs. MAXINE (w/Johnny Curtis)
Curtis is on commentary. He says that he doubts that Maxine has actually changed. Curtis is acting a bit weird, but not in his usually creepy way. Maxine fooled Snuka to take control of the match. Maxine with a hard full nelson that looks very painful. Maxine locks on her reverse Dragon Sleeper and Snuka has to put her into the turnbuckle to escape. Snuka with a comeback. Samoan Drop and the Superfly Splash, but Maxine rolls out of the way and Snuka eats canvas. Maxine with a Dragon Sleeper on the mat, and Snuka taps.
WINNER: Maxine via submission in 3:45. Fun match. I like that Maxine continues to rely on submission holds, as it gives her a big differentiating factor as a Diva. Recently on Twitter, she put up a cryptic message about having a great superstructure, but lacking foundation. If I had a guess, that was feedback from someone in Developmental telling her that she has everything it takes to be a top Diva, but her fundamental wrestling skills need work - that would be a fair assessment. Maxine is an incredibly talented person, but she does need some tweaking on the in-ring to complete the package. Her ring stories are decent enough, it's just the general execution which is, at times, inexperienced.
Post-mast, Maxine acts all smiles and giggles, and is happy to be re-handcuffed to Johnny Curtis.
[ c - WrestleMania 28 DVD ad ]
Alicia Fox introduces a new and improved JTG. He has proper trunks, a new hairdo, a pleather vest, and real ring boots. This could be just what JTG needs to get his career back on track.
2 - YOSHI TATSU vs. JTG (w/Alicia Fox)
Early back-and-forth between the two. JTG goes on sustained offense. Tatsu's got a bad nosebleed. Tatsu makes a comback with chops then kicks. A Shining Wizard gets a nearfall. Tatsu calls for the end, but JTG ducks. JTG nearly falls over backwards, recovers, and gets in his finisher for the win.
WINNER: JTG in 3:45. JTG has done a total turnaround on his in-ring style. Regular readers will know that I've frequently criticized him for struggling with sustained offense. While this was a short match, it was clear that JTG has cleaned out the playbook and rebuilt his style from the ground up. Kudos to an experienced wrestler for being willing to make the needed changes. I am looking forward to seeing JTG in a longer match and see how this new style works in that scenario.
[ c - WWE.com ad ]
[ Raw Rebound - Mostly a repeat of the Lesnar assault on Triple H, followed by a replay of much of Paul Heyman's promo from Monday night. ]
Backstage, Curtis is freaking out over the "new Maxine." They run into Hawkins and Reks. Reks says they should work together, but Curtis says that their current situation is from working together with Reks and Hawkins. Hawkins says that they they have an "in" with John Laurinaitis, and can see them through safely "if there is an NXT left."
[Q3] Maxine questions the "if there is an NXT left" bit, and Reks says to ignore it. Reks offers them a gift, the handcuff keys which they take. Striker walks in and tells them to go find some bad guys, and they head out. Curtis acts grateful to be free of Maxine.
[ c - Over the Limit ad, Cena - Laurinaitis ]
Backstage, Kaitlyn tells Watson that the attacks backstage have been bothering her. He wants to know why he's in the middle of it. She says that it looks suspicious. Derrick Bateman appears (wearing a suit) and tells Kaitlyn to be careful around Watson because he can't be trusted. Kaitlyn tells Bateman that ever since his match on Smackdown, he's been acting like a jerk. He tells her that he was embarrassed and he's angry. She tells him that she can take care of herself and talk to whoever she wants. Bateman storms off. Watson tells her that he understands and isn't offended, and runs off to talk to Bateman. Kaitlyn talks to herself wondering why everyone near her is acting weird. There's a noise in the background and she goes running back to find out that Bateman's been attacked. He says he doesn't know who did it, and confirms that Watson didn't find him. She also finds Watson's old giant glasses from NXT 2 on the scene.
Clearly, this is more of a set-up on Waston, since he wasn't wearing the glasses, and he was wearing nothing but trunks, which don't leave room for a giant pair of Party City costume glasses. Pre-match, Willing Regal says that he highly doubts that Watson is actually involved in these attacks, and wonders why the "security team" didn't stop it.
3 - TYSON KIDD & PERCY WATSON vs. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY & JOHNNY CURTIS - Tag Team match
There is some brilliant wrestling between McGillicutty and Kidd to start the match. Back-and-forth with Watson and Curtis and McGillicutty, then Kidd tags in and lands a big dive over the ropes to fire up the crowd. He stands on the barricade to get the crowd excited as they cut to break.
[ c - Raw hype ]
Out of the break, Kidd is controlling McGillicutty. Curtis messes with the ropes when Kidd looks for a springboard move, and Curtis and McGillicutty are able to isolate Kidd for a stretch. Nasty tag team action as McGillicutty puts Kidd on the mat with a backslide, and Curtis hits Kidd with a top-rope leg drop for two. Kidd finally gets Watson in after some hard-fought separation, and Watson comes in at fast-forward speed. The Highsman gets a nearfall, but Curtis breaks it up. Kidd takes Curtis out of the equation. McGillicutty fights out of the Percycution, but misses a corner splash, letting Watson get the Percycution for the win.
WINNERS: Tyson Kidd and Percy Watson in 8:00. You know what makes NXT "must-see?" Tyson Kidd and Percy Watson in the ring! And, more and more, I'm putting Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis's in-ring work on that list, too. I really enjoyed this match, and it's worth watching just for Kidd and Watson's work. Tyson Kidd is really connecting with the crowd, too, which has traditionally been a shortcoming for him.
Post-match, Reks and Hawkins come out to take Watson away. Kidd tells them not to, so Hawkins clocks Kidd. After a brief struggle, they take Watson to the back.
Final Reax: NXT was right on point tonight. They closed out with a cliffhanger, followed up on all of the important things to follow up on, and continued development of multiple characters and stories. In my fantasy world, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler take a "demotion" to come to NXT where they can get some real ring and mic time. The only disappointment tonight was the lack of new "Rookies." I was also not a fan of John Laurinaitis having so many fingerprints on the show, from Raw replays to mentions by Reks and Hawkins. NXT has been nicely insulated from this non-sense, and I would prefer it to stay that way.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**