The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT: 09.04.13

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 09.04.13 Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Tom Phillips & Alex Riley Bayley & Charlotte v. Alicia Fox & Aksana Yes, it’s FOXANA. Aksana offers a hug to superfan Bayley to start, and of course gives her a sucker punch. Backbreaker gets two. Aksana drops elbows for two. Fox in with a dropkick for two as A-Ry regales us with tales of his early days in the WWE locker room and his advice for new wrestlers. Frankly, taking career advice from Alex Riley doesn’t seem like a good idea unless you want to be a C-show commentator. Aksana with a chinlock and a Nash choke in the corner, but Bayley hugs her into a belly to belly to escape. Hot tag Charlotte, who does a Flair Flip and goes up, only to get slammed off just like dad. Bayley tags herself back in and they argue over it, which lets Alicia whip Bayley into the corner, but Bayley gets an ugly rollup for the pin at 4:32. Well that was ugly, but Charlotte’s literally had something like 3 matches in her career so I can give it a pass. Glad to see them putting the newcomers over. *1/2 Meanwhile, Alexander Rusev plots revenge on Mason Ryan. The plan: First they win, then they go to SIZZLER. Corey Graves v. Rick Victor Graves is right pissed and attacks to start, stomping Victor down and putting him down with an elbow for two. Graves takes him down with a facelock, but Victor throws forearms to retaliate and they slug it out. Graves with a suplex for two. Crossbody, but the ribs are taped and thus this proves to be a stupid move. Victor goes to work on the ribs and drops Graves on the top rope, as we take a break. Really? Are they afraid of people changing channels on Hulu? Anyway, back with Victor stomping a mudhole in the corner, and he adds a gutbuster for two. Victor drops knees on the ribs and goes to a chinlock as the crowd’s not really feeling this one. Victor pounds the ribs again for two and goes to another chinlock. Note to Alex Riley: You don’t have to relate EVERYTHING to your limited experiences as Miz’s bag-carrier and curtain jerking babyface. Graves makes the comeback and puts Victor down with a knee and a short clothesline. The partners get involved for distraction and Victor tries a gutbuster, but Graves rolls him up into a small package at 10:55. And Graves steals his half of the tag belts back as well, so logically you put the Ascension over when the do the title match. Decent but dull match. ** Meanwhile, Summer Rae continues her mean girl abuse of Sasha Banks. Meanwhile, Paige is not particularly afraid of Sasha or Summer. Next week: The title match. Alexander Rusev v. Mason Ryan Now, Rusev already broke the board with Ryan’s name on it in the pre-match skit, and now he does it again. Am I to believe this is some sort of MAGIC BOARD? I hope someone got fired for that blunder. Mason Ryan is, how to say this, 17 sizes smaller here. Not that I’m insinuating anything, but let’s just say that if he was walking around backstage at RAW, HHH would probably make fun of him for losing so much weight. Plus he’s got long greasy hair now. It’s a weird change for him. Ryan tries and fails to overpower Rusev, and walks into a leg lariat that gets two. Rusev drops headbutts and puts him down for two. Blind charge misses and Ryan slugs him down, then puts him down with a big boot and cleans house on the other heels. This allows Rusev to drop Ryan and finish with a camel clutch at 4:00. That’s kind of a career low for Mason Ryan. * Sami Zayn v. Jack Swagger Zayn puts Swagger down with a dropkick and chops him down for two. Swagger bails and Zayn teases a dive, but flips back into the ring instead. Big reaction from the crowd to that one, but Swagger gets a cheapshot and takes over with knees in the corner. And we take a break. Back with Swagger hitting a suplex and choking away on the ropes, but Zayn suckers him into a charge and puts him on the floor. Zayn follows with a BEAUTY of a dive, and back in for a high cross that gets two. Sunset flip gets two. Swagger powers him down with a throw for two, and then tries an Oklahoma Stampede, which Zayn turns into a powerbomb for two. Swagger grabs the ankle and then hits a Doctorbomb for two. The straps come down and it’s another anklelock, but Sami makes the ropes after freaking out the crowd. Swagger stomps him down while Zayn sells the ankle, but Zayn blocks the Swaggerbomb and comes back with the running boot in the corner for two. They slug it out and Zayn goes up, but Swagger crotches him and tries the superplex, but Zayn powerbombs him off the top and gets two. Dammit! He had me sucked in with that one, too. This brings out Bo Dallas to “cheerlead”, and Swagger grabs the ankle again for the submission at 15:15. How is Zayn not on the main roster yesterday? What more can he possibly need to “develop”? ***3/4 The Pulse Another round of logical, weekly booking topped off by Sami Zayn having a crazy good match AND building towards the storyline of his challenge for the NXT title. What a great show this is!

NXT – April 18, 2012

Date: April 18, 2012
Location: 02 Arena, London, England
Commentators: William Regal, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re in Regal country tonight and after a good show last week, hopefully this time things pick up even more. We’ve had some stories on the show lately and they’ve been done well with the long backstage segments. For the first time in a long time I’m actually looking forward to this show. Let’s get to it.

The opening video now has a recap which is the exact same format of Glee. I think that’s Bateman narrating. It covers the whole Stolen Striker story. This even has the bell and the title in lower case letters.

Percy Watson vs. Johnny Curtis

Regal gives us a quick story about hang gliding naked and being in jail for two days, getting here just in time. The announcers are talking about Glee now as Maxine sits in on commentary. Watson hits a leg lariat for a quick two. Maxine blames Curtis for being the mastermind for the whole Striker caper. There’s no relationship between Curtis and Maxine. Curtis makes his comeback but walks into an armdrag.

That gets Watson nowhere so it’s right back to Curtis choking away. The majority of this match is about Maxine and the plot which she denies connection to, meaning the camera is on her for most of the time as well. Regal talks about going to the Himalayas and how they can pick up a mountain gazelle for its hair and how it was made into something he’s wearing today. That’s a bigger lie than anything Maxine has said today.

Curtis hooks a chinlock as this is getting more time than it probably should given the guys that are in there. A jawbreaker gets Watson out of the hold and he speeds things up. A dropkick puts Curtis down as does the jumping clothesline. Heisman gets two and the Persecution gets the pin at 8:19.

Rating: C-. I’m really hoping this commentary with Maxine/Regal is leading to SOMETHING with Watson as he’s having the same match every week and there’s nothing coming out of it that I can see. Watson is athletic but he needs some reason for us to care about him which he doesn’t have at all right now.

Post match Regal calls Curtis to the back. Curtis has to sit in on commentary with Regal during Maxine’s match, which is next.

Maxine vs. Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn has new music. She grabs two quick rollups for two and a backbreaker for the same. Maxine comes back with a neck crank and some chest slaps. Curtis talks about playing as Regal in WCW/NWO Revenge which is a cool thing to hear. Kaitlyn breaks out of it and hits a cross body for two. Maxine sends her into the buckle and a dragon sleeper with a body scissors gets the submission at 3:33.

Rating: D+. They look good and that’s about it. Maxine is one of the few Divas with an actual personality and it helps her a lot. That and she’s not just another blonde. The match was nothing that good but it was better than most of the 40 second matches that I’ve gotten used to lately from the girls.

Post match Regal says he doesn’t believe either of them about Striker, so Maxine is required to be his manager or they’re fired. He has a contract to make it official. They go to sign it and Regal handcuffs them together. That’s from the arrest story he told to start the show.


Striker is looking in a mirror and has Hawkins’ cane. There’s a showdown tonight.

Raw ReBound is about Punk vs. Jericho.

Reks and Hawkins are yelling at each other in the back and say they’re done. Maxine and Curtis come in and yell at each other as well because they’re stuck together. Watson comes up and laughs at them. Bateman comes up and finds it hilarious. Kaitlyn thinks Maxine should be used to handcuffs. Comedy ensues.

Here are Hawkins and Reks who say that Regal doctored the footage which said it was them that kidnapped Striker. Striker pops up and says that he’s not 6’3 and 300lbs but he’s been accepted. He calls the two guys chavs which will make sense if you’re from England but the name fits. Striker talks about being chloroformed and beaten. The people don’t believe the lies and everyone knows it was them. Hawkins says so what so Striker swings the cane at both of them. Regal stops them and says right now it’s Reks vs. Hawkins, loser gets fired.

Curt Hawkins vs. Tyler Reks

Oh and Striker is guest referee. He just happened to be wearing a referee shirt under his jacket. Reks says they’re friends but in the middle of it Hawkins decks him. We take a break with Hawkins on the floor. The bell rings when we come back and Hawkins is sent to the floor again. Reks pounds on him as Regal talks about throwing a ferret in a bucket with a rat. Reks misses a top rope shoulder and Hawkins takes control.

Off to a chinlock as the fans make Reks the face by default. A kind of suplex gets two and Hawkins guillotines him on the top rope. He spends too much time yelling at the people though and Reks hits a pescado to take him out. Downward Spiral gets two in the ring for Tyler. Hawkins tries what looked to be a suplex of some sort but Reks gets behind him and a rollup pins Hawkins at 5:30.

Rating: D+. I’m glad one of them is gone as this isn’t an interesting pairing at all. The heel team of them didn’t work either and I don’t know of a single instance where I cared about these two at all. Not a good match either although Hawkins isn’t terrible I guess. At least the match was short though. Striker didn’t mean anything at all in this match.

Striker punches Hawkins post match.

Regal fires Reks post match as well because he wants to.

Overall Rating: C. Hokey smoke FOUR PEOPLE left the show tonight. Considering there hasn’t been anyone gone in months, this is catching up for lost time to say the least. I’m very glad that they’re actually changing some things for once as now the only rookie left is Bateman, assuming Titus and Young don’t stick around anyway. I can’t imagine them hanging out on Smackdown that much, but at least we might get some fresh blood here. That’s a huge step in the right direction for this show and that’s a good thing.

Percy Watson b. Johnny Curtis – Persecution
Maxine b. Kaitlyn – Dragon Sleeper
Tyler Reks b. Curt Hawkins – Rollup

Remember to like me on Facebook at:

And follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

Percy Watson b. Johnny Curtis – Persecution
Maxine b. Kaitlyn – Dragon Sleeper
Tyler Reks b. Curt Hawkins – Rollup

NXT – April 11, 2012

Date: April 11, 2012
Location: Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia
Commentators: William Regal, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s that time of the week again. After last week’s disappointing ending to the Who Stole Striker story, it’s time for more Regal vs. Hawkins/Reks, because that hasn’t been done to death yet around here. We’ll also see Maxine trying to get her hooks into Regal, which is probably an idea they came up with in FCW and are using here. Let’s get to it.

Percy Watson vs. Johnny Curtis

Maxine comes out with Curtis and Watson isn’t pleased. He thought they weren’t together anymore but Regal cuts off his complaints and tells Maxine to stay away from the ring. Maxine sits next to Regal and he can’t speak as well all of a sudden. Watson speeds things up after a slow start with a one footed dropkick where he lands on his feet. That was pretty cool. They fight over a top wristlock and Watson takes over with an atomic drop and a legdrop for two.

Maxine is whispering into Regal’s ear as Curtis takes over with right hands. He sends Percy’s shoulder into the corner and out to the floor as we take a break. Regal is now off commentary and talking to Maxine. Curtis controls with a wristlock but Watson comes back and rams some shoulders into Curtis’ ribs. Regal is frustrated that he isn’t focused on his job as Curtis hits a cool move by dropping a leg on the arm of a standing Watson for two.

Back to the arm hold and Watson can’t break out of it. Elbow to the arm gets two. Josh doesn’t seem to get what’s wrong with Regal. Regal tries to focus and talks about Curtis a bit but still isn’t all there. I’d assume this is connected to whatever the list of stuff Regal is into that Maxine and Curtis were supposed to get their hands on last week or the week before. Watson starts his comeback with his usual strikes and the dropkicks as Regal leaves with Maxine. Belly to belly puts Curtis down and Watson is distracted by Regal leaving, allowing Curtis to roll him up for the pin at 8:13.

Rating: C-. This was ok but Curtis is just such an uninteresting character, as is Watson. Watson’s character basically is that he’s an athlete while Curtis is weird. The weird part is fine when he’s talking, but in the ring it doesn’t really do anything at all. The match was more about Regal and Maxine, which is ok because it gives us some intrigue. He looked distracted when they left so something is up.

Hawkins and Reks talk to Maxine in the back who is minus Regal now. She talks to them and asks if they did that thing. Reks isn’t sure what they she means but apparently Regal is going to be talking to them soon. She doesn’t get Striker back until they know she didn’t screw them over. Why does she want Striker back? They leave and Maxine pretends to cry when Bateman and Kaitlyn pop up. Maxine cries on Bateman’s shoulder and asks for help with Reks/Hawkins. He says he’ll do it because she’s the worst thing that ever happened to him. He and Kaitlyn leave and Maxine smiles. This is a confusing story.

Tamina comes out of a dressing room and runs into Titus. She yells at him for leaving Young last week but Titus has a peace offering: a coconut tree. She seems legitimately pleased and kisses him on the cheek. Tamina walks off and runs into Young who doesn’t seem happy with Titus giving her a gift. Young walks up to Titus and Titus says he was just proving he was better than Young again. Titus leaves and Young is mad.

Back to Kaitlyn and Bateman with the one with better legs saying that she misses the old days of NXT. Bateman disagrees but they hear screams from a closet. They open it up to find Striker bound and gagged holding Hawkins’ cane. Bateman wants to get him to the doctor but Striker says he’ll handle this. He leaves while Bateman and Kaitlyn shrug.

Raw ReBound is about Cena and Lesnar.

Regal comes up to Reks and Hawkins, saying he’s underestimated them. He squeezes their necks and wants to know where Striker is. They don’t know and Regal says if anything is wrong with Striker, there will be serious consequences. Regal leaves and they go to find Striker. They open the closet and find that he’s gone. Are we supposed to believe that a guy that was kidnapped in whatever city has been in the same closet for a month now? Anyway Maxine comes with Curtis to laugh at them.

Michael McGillicutty vs. Tyson Kidd

Regal is back on commentary and is all messed up still. We get a quick recap which is based around Kidd not being a Hart and this is the rubber match in the feud. Regal seems back into it once the bell rings. Kidd works on the arm to start and arm drags him to a stalemate. He keeps making McGillicutty miss by using his speed, including sliding between his legs to clothesline him to the floor. Kidd dives over the top but crotches himself on the ring skirt. McGillicutty sends him onto the announce table as we take a break.

Back with McGillicutty holding a chinlock as Regal talks about leopards. Kidd gets up quickly but a shot to the back of the head puts him right back down. As he did earlier, Kidd speeds things up and has better success. An armdrag puts McGillicutty down and then fires off the strikes. A dropkick to the side of the head gets two. A Sharpshooter is countered but Kidd comes back with a Blockbuster for two. I could go for seeing that move becoming someone’s finisher again. Kidd kicks him in the head and tries his springboard cross body but Michael dropkicks him out of the air for two.

McGillicutter is countered into a backslide for two. Saito Suplex puts Kidd down and McGillicutty hooks a Sharpshooter on Kidd. Tyson makes the rope so McGillicutty tries the PerfectPlex, which should have been his finisher since the day he debuted. Kidd reverses it though and sets for the Sharpshooter. Instead of that though, he puts his foot above McGillicutty’s shoulder and leans forward, wrapping his feet around Michael’s head and pulling back on his arm as he leans back. It’s like a triangle choke but with their legs intertwined and it gets the tap out at 9:24.

Rating: B. This was an entertaining match with a cool finish as Kidd goes up a level to beat McGillicutty. Regal talks about Kidd doing submission training with Bret every day off he has which plays into this as well. This was a very solid ending to this feud and hopefully Kidd can get actual TV time soon instead of being the best wrestler on NXT.

Overall Rating: C+. I certainly got my wish about this show: Tonight’s episode was certainly not boring. I’m not completely sure it made sense, but it definitely was not boring. However, we got a very good main event (by NXT standards) and some plot twists that have me wondering what’s coming next. That alone is good enough to make this a good show and I’m curious as to where this is going.

Johnny Curtis b. Percy Watson – Rollup
Tyson Kidd b. Michael McGillicutty – Leg Trap Triangle Choke

Remember to like me on Facebook at:

NXT – April 4, 2012

Date: April 4, 2012
Location: Orlando Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, William Regal

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re done with Wrestlemania now and NXT is still going. Tonight we’re supposed to find out what happened to Striker as I think we’ll get the list of demands from the kidnapper. I would complain about Striker being on the Wrestlemania pre-show doing commentary, but I don’t think enough people know about the angle going on here anyway. Let’s get to it.

Tyler Reks vs. Percy Watson

Reks and Regal have been having a Twitter war and Regal apologizes because it’s been bullying on his part for how dominant he’s been in it. Reks takes him to the mat but Watson wrestles out of it. A one footed dropkick sets up an armdrag to send Reks to the outside. We actually get a Percy Watson chant. Back inside Tyler pounds him down and stomps Watson in the corner.

Reks keeps him down with knees and chinlocks. This match is going by quickly but I can barely remember anything about it. I don’t know what it is about Reks but he’s very forgettable. Watson gets his feet up in the corner to stop Tyler’s offense, allowing Josh to say that Percy is building momentum. Watson uses those good jumping abilities for some clotheslines but won’t cover. It doesn’t really matter though as he rolls up Reks out of a backdrop for the pin at 6:09.

Rating: D+. I have no idea what they’re going for with Watson as he’s been having the same match for months now. I think they’re trying to push him as a Shelton Benjamin type incredible athlete but it’s only kind of working. Watson needs a story to keep people interested in him, and that’s not going to happen here because his name isn’t Derrick Bateman.

Reks and Hawkins get ready to beat up Watson but Regal says cool it. If they attack Percy, they’ll be suspended for six weeks.

McGillicutty comes up to Natalya in the back and says if he beats Bateman tonight, he gets a rematch with Kidd. He hits on her and Natalya cuts him off. This goes nowhere but at least there’s no Natalya “comedy”.

Natalya vs. Kaitlyn

New music for Kaitlyn and Kidd is on commentary. Nattie takes her down and Kidd says there’s nothing going on with them. Bridging rollup gets two for Natalya. I think Natalya is a face here but I really have no idea. Kidd admits that he isn’t a Hart, which ticked him off when McGillicutty rubbed it in his face weeks ago. Natalya works on the arm and uses more holds on whatever part of the body she picks. Kaitlyn’s first offense is a cross body but Natalya laughs it off and the Sharpshooter gets the submission at 3:30.

Rating: C-. This was a squash for Natalya as she picked apart Kaitlyn with ease. I’m so glad they’ve dropped that idiotic gimmick she’s been using for the last few months as she’s very talented and can make even someone like Kaitlyn look good. I’m still not sure if she’s a face or a heel though, but I doubt WWE has put any thought into it either.

Young says he doesn’t need Titus’ help with Tamina. He’s gotten her a coconut tree. Tamina and Alicia come up and Young hits on her with some really corny lines and she walks off. Young: “Tamina where you going? I’ve got reservations at McDonalds!” That’s the first funny thing Young has said in almost three years.

Titus O’Neil/Darren Young vs. Usos

Young and Jimmy start things off with Young grabbing a headlock. Jimmy speeds things up and Young tags out. Titus kicks Jimmy’s head off in a great looking shot. Back to Young for about two seconds before O’Neil comes back. They tag again and then a fourth time in the span of about fifteen seconds.

A fifth tag results in a belly to back suplex by Young for two, followed by a chinlock. Jimmy gets up and comes back with a powerslam and there’s the tag to jey. Titus comes in as well and everything breaks down. O’Neil yells at Young and walks into the Samoan Drop and Jey hits the Superfly Splash (cross body according to Josh) for the pin at 4:20.

Rating: C. Pretty good fast paced match here and hopefully this wraps up the Tamina/Young story because stories like that one are so repetitive on this show that they lose any interest at all. Hopefully the Usos get another tag title match soon and maybe even get the belts as they’ve got nothing left to do here.

Raw ReBound is all about Lesnar’s return.

Bateman and Percy tell Kaitlyn they still think she’s awesome. Maxine pops up on her phone shouting about needing something. She’s eating a doughnut when Curtis comes up. Everyone else leaves and Curtis says he’s got a message from the kidnappers, saying meet us in the basement. Bateman is still there apparently and says this is getting weird. Curtis: “That’s my line.” Bateman: “That was my fiance.” Maxine and Curtis leave when Kidd comes up to talk to Bateman. He wants Bateman to be ready for his match tonight. Not much to say by Kidd but I’m liking these rapid fire backstage scenes.

Curtis and Maxine are in the basement/boiler room when Reks and Hawkins pop up and Reks chokes out Curtis. Hawkins: “Reks and I are the kidnappers.” They did this to get Regal off their backs and they’ll frame Maxine/Curtis if they don’t get Regal off Hawkins/Reks’ backs. They leave and Curtis says it gets real weird next week. Dang it they had a good story going and they use it on the same people AGAIN.

Derrick Bateman vs. Michael McGillicutty

They exchange chops to start and then they exchange harder chops. Regal talks about Maxine’s mother coming up to accuse him of having an affair with Maxine at Wrestlemania. There’s no followup there. It just happened apparently. Bateman sends him to the floor and hits a flip dive from the apron to the floor as we take a break. Back with Bateman still in control.

McGillicutty gets in a knee to the ribs and takes over. Off to a chinlock which Derrick breaks, only to be sent into the ropes again. Dropkick gets two. We get the sequel to the chinlock but Bateman breaks it up again. A Russian legsweep sends the back of Michael’s head into the middle buckle and both guys are dazed. Now Bateman goes after the knee and hits a move that I don’t think would really hurt.

He gets McGillicutty in a DDT position but shoved McGillicutty forward. I think it was supposed to slam Michael’s head into the mat but it didn’t come close. There wasn’t a cover so it doesn’t matter but it was really different. Bateman hits the flipping neckbreaker that Morrison used to use for two. He really likes those falling forward moves. Derrick goes up but misses a top rope crossbody. McGillicutty tries a Sharpshooter but Bateman breaks it up. It doesn’t really matte though as the McGillicutter gets the pin at 8:30, earning McGillicutty a rematch with Kidd.

Rating: C. This was ok but I think it was more lengthy than good. I really don’t like Bateman’s in ring style as he uses some very weak looking moves such as the falling bulldog and that ridiculous looking reverse DDT. The match was ok and it sets up another step in the McGillicutty vs. Kidd feud which is good, but at the end of the day it’s another respect feud.

Overall Rating: C. This show had some ok stuff on it as far as the in ring parts, but I’m really disappointed in the culmination of the Striker kidnapping thing. Hawkins and Reks are so uninteresting as heels because their story has basically been this: they whine, Regal does something, they whine some more, Regal does something else. Nothing ever changes from that and it gets really boring really fast. And that’s what we get after a few promising weeks. I can’t say I’m surprised though, because this is the land of broken hopes.

Percy Watson b. Tyler Reks – Rollup
Natalya b. Kaitlyn – Sharpshooter
Usos b. Darren Young/Titus O’Neil – Superfly Splash to O’Neil
Michael McGillicutty b. Derrick Bateman – McGillicutter

Remember to like me on Facebook at:

NXT – March 28, 2012

Date: March 28, 2012
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Josh Matthews, William Regal

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Who would have thought that when we started this season that it would run through Wrestlemania 28? That’s the point we’re going to reach unless there’s some divine intervention and this season ends after today. Now the good thing is they have an angle that has a mystery to it after last week with Striker disappearing. Let’s get to it.

Hunico vs. Derrick Bateman

Bateman controls to start but gets backdropped into the corner as Hunico takes over. Elbow drop gets two. Oh make that one. Regal explains why Camacho hangs out with Hunico, which is apparently due to a gang attack that Hunico bailed him out of, resulting in a stab wound which is why Hunico wears a shirt in the ring. See how easy a story that was to explain?

Bateman gets beaten down for awhile until he comes back with a cross body. Hunico hits one at the same time though and both guys are down as we take a break. Back with Hunico chopping and pounding on Bateman. His shirt is torn now too. Hunico goes up but jumps into a dropkick as Bateman gets a breather. He launches Hunico over his head and into the buckle chest first.

Hunico pounds down on him again as Regal is talking about WCW. He seems to think it was funny and I can’t say I argue. Bateman tries to suplex Hunico in from the apron but Hunico falls on top. Bateman rolls through for two but stops to go after Camacho. The distraction allows Hunico to hit his modified Angle Slam (it’s the Angle Slam but he hooks the other guy’s head, almost like a torture rack) for the pin at 7:00.

Rating: C-. I wasn’t really all that into this. I’ve been liking Hunico more lately but this was a miss for him. Granted that could be because Bateman is a waste of time and space but maybe that’s just me. Nothing that great here as they went back and forth, but there wasn’t much selling in between.

Video on Rock vs. Cena from Once In A Lifetime, which wasn’t bad.

Video on HHH vs. Taker, which I think is the same one from Raw.

Video on Punk vs. Jericho, which I don’t think has aired before. It’s about Punk’s rise to the top of WWE over the years and then shows Jericho exposing Punk’s family history.

Maxine is on a phone and wants a list next week. Curtis comes up and apparently the list is about Regal, who is into some freaky stuff. This is news? Maxine gets off the phone and Curtis says that the company has been trying to keep Striker’s whereabouts on the DL. It happened on NXT. How much more DL can you get?

Maxine yells at him because Curtis hasn’t found out anything about Striker. Watson and Riley pop up and Watson yells at her for taking the spotlight during his match by rubbing Regal’s feet. Maxine asks how mad Watson is at her in a strange bit. They go down the hall and run into Natalya and Kidd. They’re talking about the economy. Ok then. The walk continues and they run into Gabriel. I think they’re looking for who stole Striker.

Now they run into Titus and leave, but the camera stays on Titus. Young comes in with a flower pot which Young says is for Tamina. O’Neil says take her to McDonalds. Young says he lies, cheats and steals in the ring but he can’t do that with Tamina. I’m not the biggest Eddie fan ever, but NO WAY does Young deserve to be able to say that.

Curtis and Maxine pop up again and accuse Titus of the kidnapping (they haven’t actually said those words yet, but rather “it was you” every time). Titus tries to kiss her for some reason but Curtis pulls her away. Young and O’Neil leave and Maxine gets a text. The kidnappers say that after Mania, she’ll give them what they want and they’ll get Striker back. LONG backstage segment here but it covered a few things which is good.

Video on the Divas tag, I think from Extra. I have no issue looking at Maria Menunos.

Titus O’Neil vs. Jey Uso

Young and Jimmy Uso are on commentary. So I’m assuming we’re not going to talk about the Striker stuff on commentary are we? Josh points out that the Usos aren’t that successful when they’re in singles action. Jimmy says that’s true, because they’re a team. Simple yet true. This is your usual power vs. speed match with Titus controlling early but Jey taking him down. He goes up but Titus rolls to the floor before the jump and we go to a break.

Back with Titus hammering on him, using the clubbing forearms. Jey gets in a shot and comes off the top with a cross body for two. Titus runs him over with another clothesline for two. Off to a chinlock to eat up some time as Jey comes up with exactly the same kind of offense you would expect from him. The Umaga attack hits in the corner as does the Samoan Drop. The Superfly Splash hits knees though and the Clash of the Titus ends this at 6:22.

Rating: C-. I wish I could care about this feud, but it’s just not happening. The problem in modern WWE for guys like the Usos is that the tag titles are never defended and the champions are basically jobbers when you need to get bigger names over as singles guys. Titus is a heel now but he’s the same guy he’s always been, just with a sneer now. Nothing match but technically it was fine.

Tamina comes out to check on Jey and glares at Young for some reason.

Overall Rating: D. The problem here is that this show was a commercial for Mania with a backstage segment and about 15 minutes of wrestling to fill in some gaps. That’s totally understandable as well as no one is going to care about anything with four days before the biggest show of the year. Not a good show or anything, but this had zero expectations coming in so it’s fine.

Hunico b. Derrick Bateman – Spinning Torture Rack Slam
Titus O’Neil b. Jey Uso – Clash of the Titus

Remember to like me on Facebook at: