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WWE NXT Report
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 5/24: Alt. perspective review of NXT Week 12, overall show Reax

May 25, 2011 - 11:08:46 AM
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NXT_Red5_15.jpg
WWE NXT alt. perspective report
May 24, 2011
Live in Spokane, Wash.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor


Set-up: Last week was the first "NXT: Redemption" elimination, sending Jacob Novak home. Tonight's episode will hopefully clear up two major questions: will the "redemption points" be reset, and when will the next elimination be? A third, less important (but probably of more interest) question comes up, too: with Novak gone, will William Regal find a new way to express his color commentary genius? It's been amazing there haven't been any of the lame challenges lately. Sadly, NXT currently has more wrestling per hour than any other WWE show (except Superstars) and gives more time to any given wrestler on any other show, with the exception of John Cena.

Here are the Rookies (and their pros), with the last recorded redemption point counts.

Titus O'Neil (Hornswoggle): 19
Darren Young (Chavo Guerrero): 7
Jacob Novak (JTG): 6
Byron Saxton (Yoshi Tatsu): 4
Lucky Cannon (Tyson Kidd): 0
Conor O'Brian (Vladmir Kozlov): 0

[Q1] Coming off the credits, Todd Grisham brags about NXT's first-ever no disqualification match, with Titus O'Neil vs. Darren Young. Byron Saxton comes out and says that he doesn't need Yoshi Tatsu and cuts a sarcastic promo on Tatsu and the crowd. Saxton's dry humor works well here. He says that he is "emancipating" himself from Tatsu and declaring his independence. He says that he should now be called "Big League" Byron Saxton.

Maryse comes out and says that she isn't just a Diva, she is Maryse and she is the host of NXT. She talks down to Saxton and says that he doesn't make the rules, and introduces the show. There are a lot of catcalls in the audience. She books a match with Saxton and Tatsu as a tag team. Saxton gets mad because she won't call him "Big League" and she responds that without NXT he would be selling popcorn. She declares that they will be facing Tyson Kidd and Lucky Cannon. She also says that it is an especially important match since next week is another elimination.

Those two come out and Maryse is all over Mr. Da-Lish, who has an upgraded robe, which looks like a while version of one of Regal's robes. After they come out, Yoshi Tatsu comes out. He indicates his disappointment with her and she puts her hand in his face. This is really odd, to have a tag match where one team comes out in between the entrances of the other team.

1 - YOSHI TATSU & BYRON SAXTON vs. TYSON KIDD & LUCKY CANNON

Tatsu and Cannon start things off, and Tatsu tries a quick pair of roll-ups. The audience is hot for Tatsu and Kidd tags in. Fun, fast paced offense from Kidd, then Tatsu gains control. He goes to the top rope, but Kidd distracts the ref, allowing Cannon to cheap shot Tatsu to the outside of the ring.

[c - WrestleMania 27 DVD ad]

Back from break, Kidd still has control of Tatsu. Saxton seems eager for the tag while Kidd has Tatsu in one of his nasty-looking armbars. Regal puts over Kidd very hard, and for good reason. Kidd tags in Cannon who continues to work Tatsu's left arm. Tatsu can't get himself enough space to tag out. Cannon takes him to the top rope but Tatsu fights out of the superplex attempt. He manages to hit Cannon with the spinning heel kick from the top and crawls towards Saxton. As expected, Saxton pulls away from the tag.

[Q2] Cannon tags in Kidd, but Tatsu dodges a charge and goes to work on Kidd at full speed. He clears Cannon from the apron and nails a spinning heels kick off the ropes for two. As he prepares for the end, Saxton tags in. Tatsu gets mad and pushes Saxton, who falls down. Kidd slaps on the Sharpshooter and Saxton reaches towards Tatsu looking for help, and then taps out.

Post match, Saxton mouths off to Tatsu and says that he ruined his career, and piefaces Tatsu. Tatsu hits his kick-to-the-head finisher, knocking out Saxton. The crowd is hot for Yoshi.

WINNERS: Tyson Kidd and Lucky Cannon in 10:00.

Reax: I can't say it enough, Tyson Kidd and Yoshi Tatsu know how to put on one really good TV match. Cannon was well-protected because his wrestling still stinks. The only oddity here is that Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd are the ones getting over, not Byron Saxton or Lucky Cannon. For the first time since the season started, Cannon appeared on the screen and didn't make an impact in any way.

[c - the new "Be a STAR" ad]

A Raw Rebound plays, focusing on the Big Show-Kane situation with Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez, and the Ferrari. Great focus on Del Rio as a cunning heel who found a way to take down Big Show. It's amazing how a Raw Rebound can make even a lame angle look like Emmy-winning TV. Kudos to the production folks on this one.

Grisham throws to a recap of last week's shenanigans with Chavo, Darren Young, Titus O'Neil, and Hornswoggle.

Matt Striker interviews Chavo and Young. It looks like Young and Chavo are on the same page after weeks of dissension. Chavo says that Young's success is because he was listening to Chavo, and says to trust him tonight in the match.

JTG is coming out, it looks like he has a match. Against who, and why? Regal with great commentary, knocking JTG. Apparently, he's facing Conor O'Brian.

[c - "Tough Enough" ad, "That's What I Am" ad]

2 - CONOR O'BRIAN (w/Vladimir Kozlov) vs. JTG

O'Brian takes JTG down quickly and goes for an early cover. Regal keeps insisting he know why JTG is on the show again after Novak was cut last week. Quote of the night, Grisham says, "I just call the action, and I do an average job at that." Too true Todd, too true. JTG forcefully throws O'Brian through the ropes, rolls him into the ring, and gets a one count. Regal takes credit for JTG's new mean streak. JTG with a more heel style offense than he usually has. O'Brian fights back but walks into a suplex. JTG mouths off a little, calling himself the "best pro in the world."

[Q3] Basic offense from JTG. O'Brian with clotheslines and punches, but JTG puts him in the corner and gets the Mugshot. He takes a lot of time yelling at Kozlov and Regal, and when we goes for the pin, O'Brian suprises him with a rollup for the win. As they celebrate, JTG clears Kozlov away and beats on O'Brian. Kozlov comes back in to make the save.

WINNER: Conor O'Brian in 4:00.

Reax: Boring, basic match. It's hard to understand why they are pushing O'Brian by giving him a win over a Pro. Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, or Lucky Cannon need it more.

Backstage, Titus O'Neil is looking for Hornswoggle, and finds him in a piece of luggage. Hornswoggle is going to watch the match from inside the luggage.

[c - "WWE All Stars" ad]

3 - DARREN YOUNG (w/Chavo Guerrero) vs. TITUS O'NEIL -- No DQ match

Young quickly runs to the outside and O'Neil chases. Young tries to take advantage of O'Neil coming into the ring, but O'Neil gets him anyways. O'Neil keeps asking Young if he really wants to be a bully. I wonder if he's going to force Young to "be a STAR?" O'Neil moves to an abdominal stretch. Not exactly a No DQ match here. Young with some basic offense but O'Neil tosses him outside of the ring over the ringpost. O'Neil works over Young on the announcer's desk and throws him back in. Chavo looks distraught, but knocks O'Neil down when he tries to come into the ring.

[c - ad for Smackdown]

Young tosses O'Neil face-first into the apron from a fireman's carry, and rolls O'Neil into the ring. Weak side headlock from Young, then some sort of odd shaking routine on the ropes. Cheap shot from Chavo. O'Neil dodges a charging Young, you goes over the ropes and lands on the apron. O'Neil tosses Young back into the ring and hits a series of shoulder tackles. Shoulder breaker from O'Neil but Chavo breaks up the pin and starts beating down O'Neil. Chavo leaces and Young comes in. Chavo gets a chain from under the ring.

[Q4] Backstage, Hornswoggle puts on black facepaint and a red headband. Chavo wraps the chain around his fist and starts to work over O'Neil. Hornswoggle charges the ring, distracting the heels. O'Neil uses Hornswoggle as a weapon to clear Chavo from the ring and creams Young with his sit out slam. He then repositions Young for the tadpole splash, then makes the cover for the win to end the show on a happy note for the crowd.

WINNER: Titus O'Neil in 8:00.

Reax: Boring match when Young was in control. Titus O'Neil remains the most interesting, fast-paced Rookie in the ring right now. Both O'Neil and Young continue to fail to show any personality though, and this storyline is well past "stale."

Final Reax: Other than some great action between Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd, nothing jumped off the screen here. I'm actually sad that Novak is gone, because it gave William Regal some great material to work with. NXT: Redemption has actually improved to the point where it feels like a third-string show (like ECW was in its dying days) more than an FCW house show with contests.


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