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WWE NXT Report
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 3/22: Alt. perspective review of NXT Week 3, overall show Reax, who should be cut first?

Mar 23, 2011 - 10:30:57 AM
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NXT_Red5_12.jpg
WWE NXT Alt. Perspective report
March 22, 2011
Columbus, Ohio
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor


"NXT: Redemption" rolls on. Last week, Titus O'Neil swept the challenges and picked up four "redemption points" while Lucky Cannon simultaneously annoyed his Pro (Tyson Kidd) and threatened to block Yoshi Tatsu from hitting on Maryse. This week will most likely be saturated with video packages since it is WrestleMania season.

The highlights of the season (so far) are watching Lucky Cannon's development as a heel, Maryse coming into her own, and William Regal at the announcing booth. The low points are Jacob Novak polluting computer screens, the "prize" of the winner going on to NXT 6 and picking his Pro, and the overall premise of NXT.

Rookies (Pros)

Byron Saxton (Yoshi Tatsu): 0 points
Conor O'Brian (Vladimir Kozlov): 0 points
Darren Young (Chavo Guerrero): 3 points
Jacob Novak (JTG): 0 points
Lucky Cannon (Tyson Kidd): 0 points
Titus O'Neil (Hornswoggle): 5 points

[Q1] As usual, Todd Grisham introduced Matt Striker and Maryse in the ring, then Maryse introduced all of the Rookies by herself. William Regal says that Darren Young has impressed him the most, and that Lucky Cannon's change is welcome. Striker reiterates the rules of the season. The first challenge is a dissing contest. Maryse messes up and says that Jacob Novak is the leader, then apologizes to O'Neil for messing up.

Round 1

Jacob Novak tries to talk himself up and calls Saxton "average" to lots of boos. That's rich coming from Novak. Saxton points out that Novak's trunks look like diapers and gets a good pop. Saxton wins; Regal says that winning that contest was like being the best looking guy in prison.

Conor O'Brian casts some lame insults on Titus O'Neil. Maryse begs O'Neil to show her some personality. O'Neil responds with some lame "big nose" jokes as Grisham asks if there can be two losers. Maryse hints to the crowd that Titus O'Neil should win, and he gets the cheers. Regal says, "You cannot take away the leprechaun vote."

Darren Young and Lucky Cannon are to face each other next. Young rips Cannon for his outfit and says that he needs to worry about him, not Maryse. Cannon with a cheap heat promo referencing the Buckeyes, then says that Maryse is the only things that matters. He approaches her but she denies him. Lucky is getting a huge "you suck" chant. Maryse shuts the crowd up, and the crowd votes for Young. Regal says that this is a win for Cannon because he got a reaction.

Round 2

Byron Saxton makes fun of O'Neil's barking, and says it would be better if anyone in the crowd watched NXT 2 and remembered him. He gets cut off before he can move to Young.

O'Neil makes fun of Saxton making fun of Tatsu.

Darren Young points out that O'Neil will be 42-years-old next week. He then says he looks better than Saxton. Regal says that they should be intimidating each other, not making lame jokes. He's right.

Saxton gets little reaction, O'Neil gets a small pop, Young gets a slightly bigger pop. They re-poll the audience, and Darren Young barely wins. He celebrates on the ropes like he just won something meaningful.

The points for the match were unannounced, but Grisham says that Young is now in the lead.

[Q2]

[c - ad for WWE Magazine]

There's a video recap of last week.

1 -- DARREN YOUNG vs. TITUS O'NEILL

O'Neil quickly takes over with power offense, but telegraphs a back body drop, letting Young get revved up. This is a relatively fast paced match despite the size of both men. O'Neil shows some fire driving Young into the turnbuckle, then drops right hands on Young. Young with a side headlock, then O'Neil with a backbreaker for two. Young puts O'Neil in the corner, then O'Neil misses a corner charge. Hornswoggle attacks Chavo, Young gets thrown into Chavo knocking him from the apron, and O'Neil hits him with the jumping spinebuster off the ropes. Very, very excellent final few seconds there.

Winner: Titus O'Neil. This match was a cut above the typical NXT match. I think it would have been right at home on Superstars or the Smackdown mid-card. O'Neil's finisher is excellent, and I like that he hit is "out of nowhere" with Young coming off the ropes.

[c - Hall of Fame]

WWE replayed the video package from last night's Raw with various Superstars and Hall of Famers talking up the Triple H vs. Undertaker match.

Backstage, Tatsu confronts Cannon and says that Cannon should be more respectful. Maryse apologizes for slapping Cannon. Cannon holds her hand and Cannon mentions DiBiase. She slaps him and Tatsu starts laughing. She asks Yoshi if he's laughing at her, he says no but she slaps him too and storms off. Cannon mouths off to Tatsu, who slaps him in response and storms off.

[c- "The True Story of WrestleMania"]

[Q3]

Video package on "Mr. Delish" Lucky Cannon. He talks about how being a nice guy got him nowhere. He comes off vaguely like a heel, heterosexual Orlando Jordan. Excellent video package getting Cannon over as a heel.

2. VLADIMIR KOZLOV & CONOR O'BRIAN vs. JACOB NOVAK & JTG - Tag Team Match

William Regal says that that JTG is holding back Novak. Striker comes out pre-match to announce that there will a dance-off. Regal slams the idea, I agree. JTG does a bunch of goody hand motions and they end up arguing with each other. Kozlov does his robot dance as O'Brian tries to follow along. Kozlov is surprisingly dextrous. The crowd boos JTG and Novak, and gives a huge pop for Kozlov and O'Brian. Were there any points on the line? The NXT live chat room is pretty steamed about the dance-off.

WINNER: No match.

Recap of Miz's "Miz-tory" promo from Raw and the Cena fight.

[Q4]

[c - "The Chaperone" and WrestleMania]

3 -- BYRON SAXTON vs. LUCKY CANNON

Cannon starts off strong, but Saxton returns the favor. Both men are motivated. Saxton threatens Kidd which lets Cannon hit a big boot and go into a rear chinlock. Cannon with a neckbreaker for two and then back to the rear chinlock. Regal talks up the neckbreaker as a move, a welcome thing to make even a basic move sound important. Saxton fights out but Cannon shuts him down. Kidd is actually coaching. Saxton gets some offense in, including a clothesline from the second rope. Cannon tries his reverse burning hammer, but Saxton fights out. Saxton goes into the ring post, then Cannon hits his finisher for the win. Cannon needs to learn to face the camera when he does that. Tatsu checks on Saxton, and Cannon hits him from behind, then nails Tatsu with his finisher. Big boos.

Winner: Lucky Cannon. This was essentially a squash match, and a good one at that. Saxton bumped well for Cannon, Cannon didn't botch any moves like last week, and Cannon reinforced his heel persona.

Final Reax: NXT really needs fewer video packages when WWE moves past WrestleMania season, as viewers can't even fast-forward past them online like you can on the DVR. Jacob Novak will be (and should be) the first one out, followed closely by Conor O'Brian.

It's clear that WWE is high on Lucky Cannon, and with his current overhaul in persona, it's well deserved backing. Cannon is standing out and getting legitimate heat. His in-ring work needs some fixing up, particularly his reliance upon the rear chinlock, though.

This season has become very sloppy with the "redemption points" and they don't even announce how many points events are worth much of the time. William Regal's commentary is outstanding, but perhaps a bit too honest for WWE's standards.


We suggest these recent related articles...
JAMES'S WWE NXT RESULTS 10/9: Titus O'Neil gets a real, actual main event against Sami Zayn and not a Bunny, plus Itami/KENTA, Becky Lynch, more; plus Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT RESULTS 10/2 - Week 120: Neville defends NXT Title, Charlotte defends Women's Title, Itami; Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 9/25 - Week 119: Lucha Dragons defend NXT Tag Titles, Itami vs. Ascension, Overall Reax
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