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

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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

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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

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