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WWE NXT Report
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/9: Alt. perspective review of NXT Week 23, overall show Reax

Aug 10, 2011 - 11:27:42 AM
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NXT_Red5_67.jpg
WWE NXT alt. perspective report
August 9, 2010
Taped in Sacramento, Calif.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor


Does anyone else find it amazing that NXT: 3 (the Divas season) now has more of Rookies on WWE TV than any other season besides NXT: 1? That's right! Aksana, Kaitlyn, and A.J. are all appearing on the main roster now. It's a shame that Kozlov was let go, as I was really hoping to see him and Aksana do some Boris and Natasha bits, or perhaps hit each other with shovels for the great glory of the "double double E."

In any event, last week's NXT had a few surprises, like Matt Striker returning to the ring, and no match between Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd. No worries, though, it looks like there could be another match between the two this week based on Kidd's promo last week. I've realized that the Tatsu-Kidd feud is the strangest one in pro wrestling right now. You've got what amounts to the consistently best series of matches in a feud on free TV between TNA and WWE, combined with it being a feud of two people who are virtually non-existent on the main shows, and throw in the fact that it's the most ridiculous feud since Hornswoggle-Chavo. Add in the "action figure on a pole" match (which was actually quite good), and you know why Shane McKinley doesn't bother with an "Absurdity" article for NXT - the material writes itself.

Derrick Bateman and/or WWE have me pretty irate this time around. He took a character than endeared himself to the audience, and trashed it... all for what? He's like the anti-Lucky Cannon. Cannon took a lame, boring character (now that I think about it, Cannon's old persona is the same as Andy "Silent Rage" from "Tough Enough") and made himself insanely entertaining. Bateman took an entertaining character and made himself this heelish, half-indecipherable moron. Like a thinking-man's Ultimate Warrior.

The NXT roster of Rookies (and their Pros):

Titus O'Neil (Hornswoggle)
Darren Young (Chavo Guerrero)
Derick Bateman (Daniel Bryan)
Conor O'Brian (Vladimir Kozlov)
Lucky Cannon (Tyson Kidd)
Byron Saxton (Yoshi Tatsu)
Jacob Novak (JTG)

[Q1] Matt Striker starts the show with a bowl full of eggs, he says it is called "bobbing for redemption." Darren Young comes out to interrupt and says he is tired of the challenges. The crowd boos. Striker says he's just doing his job, and the crowd cheers. They are cheering to see an egg eating contest? Young rips Striker on the mic, and Striker says that Young spends too much time in the past and says that it's why Young probably won't win. Young agrees that he needs to think about his future, and punches Striker down. Young challenges Matt Striker to a match.

Grisham throws to Tyson Kidd in the back, saying that he's facing Justin Gabriel. Kidd cuts a promo talking up his past. It's a bit of a clunky delivery, but at least he's getting some TV time and a chance to improve. Then again, as C.M. Punk pointed out on Raw, that didn't save Chris Masters.

[ c - Summerslam ad, focused on Cena-Punk, WWEShop.com ]

Tyson Kidd comes out, then Justin Gabriel to new music (he donated his post-Corre music to Otunga/McGullicutty). This should be a good match, but it's a little hard to understand why it is happening.

1 -- JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL

Some good chain wrestling starts the match, with Gabriel getting the overall advantage. Odd spot where Kidd tried doing an armdrag into an armbar and it didn't come off quite right. Kidd slows the pace with a headlock and the crowd rallies behind Gabriel. Kidd abuses Gabriel in the corner. Gabriel mounts a comeback. Kidd whips Gabriel into the corner hard, Gabriel responds a bit later using a huracanrana to send Kidd through the ropes, Kidd crotches him just as he tries a moonsault to the outside. Kidd takes advantage and they cut to commercial with both men down on the outside.

[c - "The Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century" DVD, "Be a S.T.A.R."]

[Q2] Gabriel and Kidd are mixing it up in ring back from the break. Kidd with a two count after a dropkick to the seated Gabriel. Gabriel with a headlock and trash-talking. Gabriel finally forces his way out and sells being starved for air. Gabriel whiffs a dropkick and goes on the attack. Kidd misses the springboard legdrop and Gabriel gets the space he needs to stage a comeback. Gabriel speeds things up with a variety of strikes, and puts Kidd in the corner. Kidd fights out but eats an enziguiri for his efforts. Gabriel goes to the top rope, but Kidd rolls out. Kidd leaps feet first through the ropes to knock Kidd down, then with a corkscrew plancha. Gabriel with a springboard crossbody, countered by Kidd with a roll-up for a nearfall.

Kidd with a Sharpshooter attempt, Gabriel blocks. Kidd starts chocking Kidd with his arms and legs, but Kidd gets the rope break. Kidd is worn out from the hold, so Gabriel goes up top for the 450, but Kidd crotches him. Kidd kicks Gabriel in th back of the head from the apron wile Gabriel is on the turnbuckle, then snaps off a huracanrana to send Gabriel to the mat for a two count. Regal calls Kidd the star of NXT: Redemption and he may well be right.

Kidd sizes up Gabriel and kicks the leg. Gabriel reverse Kidd's charge into a side slam of sorts for two. Gabriel with forearms, but Kidd with a single leg takedown into a single leg Boston Crab. Gabriel almost reaches the ropes but gets pulled back in the middle, then reveres into a roll-up. Gabriel hits the 450 splash from more than halfway across the ring it looks like, which was nuts.

WINNER: Justin Gabriel in about 18:00. This was an insanely good match, most likely the best match of the week, unless Punk-Cena delivers.

[c - Summerslam ad, WWE Magazine]

2 -- MATT STRIKER vs. DARREN YOUNG

Striker comes out with a much better outfit than last time. It looks like he may be returning to a regular schedule? Young slaps Matt, who comes back on a hard offense. Some sweet offense from Striker. Young with a neckbreaker on the apron. Young with the headlock, then slides Striker into the ringpost. Young trash talks but Striker catches him with a roll-up for two. Young with a scary looking Northern Lights suplex for a two count.

[Q3] Striker is bleeding from the nose and fighting out of holds, but Young with knees to the gut. Striker with a Gory Bomb, but can't capitalized. Young misses an elbow drop and a shoulder tackle in the corner. Striker wearing a lot of blood but it's not slowing him down. Young hits his finisher for the win.

WINNER: Darren Young in 5:00. Striker's offense was fast-paced, innovative, and interesting. The blood added a lot to the match. Young looked boring and clunky. The match was supposed to put Young over, but it just exposed his shortcomings, because a guy who's been in the ring only once in the last few years looked great in comparison.

[c - Summerslam ad, Orton-Christian]

They played the movie-ad-like video package for Cena-Punk. It's actually more like the packages on old Super Bowls.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan interrupts Bateman's video game session. Bryan says that he's been avoiding Bateman because he's been making a fool of himself, and says that he'll be alone until he gets his act together.

[c - ad for the WrestleMania 27 special on NBC]

O'Neil comes out with A.J. and Hornswoggle, who play up their relationship.

3 -- TITUS O'NEIL vs. DERRICK BATEMAN

O'Neil quickly gets control and does some seal calls... I mean, barking. Bateman with a quick spinning neckbreaker. Bateman with some offense of his own, nothing special. Dropkick to O'Neil in the corner for a two count. Bateman with the chinlock and clubs Titus when he tries to make the comeback, and goes to a headlock again. Regal says that Bateman's holds are poor, and he's right.

[Q4] Titus powers out and delivers a backbreaker and then the clotheslines and scoop slam. Barking gets the crowd happy, but Bateman with a chop block. O'Neil counters a sunset flip and sits on Bateman for the win.

Post-match, Bateman attacks O'Neil then goes after Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle slips through his legs and Bateman walks into Titus's sit-out slam. Hornswoggle goes up top for the Tadpole Splash.

WINNER: Titus O'Neil in 4:00. Boring match.

Final Reax: This show was absolutely ridiculous in terms of story, but featured an outstanding match (Gabriel-Kidd), another decent match (Striker was much better than Young), and a lame match. There continues to be little focus on actually reaching the end of the show or pretending that anything matters, but as a vehicle to get Rookies and some Pros (like Tyson Kidd) a chance to learn how to cut promos and work in the ring, it's fine. The opening match was well worth the price of admission, as is every match Kidd's been in this season.


We suggest these recent related articles...
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/21 - Week 112: Tag Tournament continues, Women's champ Charlotte in action, Triple H makes announcement for "Takeover 2," Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/14 - Week 111: Neville defends NXT Title vs. Breeze, tournament continues, #1 contender to Women's Title; Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/7 - Week 110: Rose finds his way into Zayn vs. Kidd & Gabriel issue, Overall Reax
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