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WWE NXT Report
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 1/4 - Week 44: Regal back on commentary, love triangle latest, which Rookies remain?, Overall Reax

Jan 5, 2012 - 8:35:53 AM
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WWE NXT Results
January 4, 2012
Taped 1/3 in Little Rock, Ark.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor


I'm looking forward to the new year of NXT. I am curious who will truly debut first, though, Brodus Clay on Raw or Derrick Bateman on Smackdown. I have made one New Year's resolution, which is to evaluate the wrestling product as if the people I am talking about are in the room with me. I feel like it's not helpful to just call out someone's "boring offense" or "plodding pace" and it probably doesn't engage the audience, either. Without further ado, let's see what Week 44 of NXT holds (other than the promised Bateman-Curtis match).

Rookies:

Derrick Bateman
Titus O'Neil
Darren Young

NXT Regulars

Matt Striker
William Regal
Josh Mathews
JTG
Yoshi Tatsu
Tyson Kidd
Trent Barreta
Justin Gabriel
The Usos
Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks
Tamina
Kaitlyn
A.J.
Percy Watson

[Q1] Matt Striker starts the show in the ring and greets the crowd. He promises that NXT will be exciting in 2012, and, as a special gift to commemorate the upcoming 100th episode, he introduces Michael McGillicutty, who he says is a big breakout star. My New Year's resolution is already in jeopardy. William Regal is back to announcing, and he explains that he was in the hospital (or perhaps a family member was). Glad to know that he is back.

Striker congratulates McGillicutty on his success and offers a handshake. McGillicutty turns down the handshake and says that he has arrived. He says that NXT sucks, says that NXT did nothing for him, and talks up his history with the Nexus and as tag team champion. He says that no one will stop him from being successful.

Alex Riley then comes out to a decent pop. Riley acts excited to be back on NXT and good support from the live crowd even before he pulls out the local reference and shakes Striker's hand. He talks up NXT and says that McGillicutty shouldn't be running down the show or Little Rock. He says that being in Nexus and ganging up on people doesn't make him a Superstar, speaking from his own personal experience. He says that in-ring is the only way to earn respect, and challenges McGillicutty. McGillicutty pie-faces Riley and Riley tackles him, and they start rolling around the ring while Matt yells for a ref (by name, no less) to come down to start the match. The ref breaks them up and rings the bell.

Reax: McGillicutty's promo felt a bit forced, but Riley really brought it on the mic. The brawl after the promo wasn't really justified, which was the same problem last week with Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. All the same, Riley is proving, yet again, that he is good on the mic and can get the crowd behind him despite his lack of recent TV time.

1 - ALEX RILEY vs. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY

Riley uses his speed and strength early on to dominate the match and clears McGillicutty from the ring. McGillicutty cautiously re-enters the ring and puts a boot to Riley's gut to take control. Riley bounces out of the corner to turn it around, mounting a very fast attack. Faceplant in the corner gets Riley two. Riley telegraphs a back body drop letting McGillicutty throw him outside the ring, then McGillicutty dodges Riley's dropkick when he goes through the ropes, and sends Riley back to the outside.

[ c - WWE Magazine ad, Raw ad focused on the Jericho return ]

Riley and McGillicutty are brawling out of the break and McGillicutty sends Riley to the ground for two, then presses the attack further. Regal is just so good on the mic to enhance the in-ring talent. He calls McGillicutty a "wrestler" and directly compares him to his father, Mr. Perfect. McGillicutty is retaining control with a slow pace. Regal's filters are totally off as he starts talking about how his experiences in territories and WCW prepared him for WWE while new talent doesn't have that opportunity and is forced to learn in front of the big crowds and TV audience. Riley with a slam to get some separation, then clotheslines and a spinebuster to get the crowd wild.

[Q2] McGillicutty with a Saito suplex for two. Regal, on a roll, says that he got that from his father and grandfather, who wrestled with Saito in the AWA. McGillicutty heads tot he top rope, but Riley crotches him and meets him up top for a superplex for a nearfall. McGillicutty looks stunned coming out of the cover, letting Riley pick him up. McGillicutty slips out before Riley can hit the Final Score, but Riley then dodges McGillicutty's running neckbreaker finisher and lifts McGillicutty up for the Final Score and the win.

WINNER: Alex Riley in 9:00. Riley's offense was hard-hitting and fast-paced. I really like his in-ring potential. McGillicutty needs to work on picking the pace up. William Regal was the real star here, as he said a lot of things that I assume violate a number of "WWE taboos." What was great about it, though, was that he did it all to enhance the in-ring talent in a way that I didn't hear much from the announcers in 2011.

Next, Mathews uses a video package to recap the Derick Bateman-Maxine situation.

Backstage, Bateman is talking to Kaitlyn, begging her to tell him that Maxine is nuts. Of note, Bateman is wearing an "I read with leather occasionally" t-shirt, which intrigued me enough to Bing it, with only one result (an NXT write-up, go figure). Kaitlyn tells him to get back in the game and says he needs a clean break. Maxine and Dirty Curty come out of the background and Maxine says that she knows what he is up to with Aksana. He says he doesn't know what she's talking about. She says he needs to stop playing dumb and Kaitlyn interjects with her unique sense of humor. He says he can't wait for Maxine's relationship with Curtis to fall apart and he won't accept her when she comes crawling back. She denies that she'll be back and kisses Curtis. Bateman and Maxine leave and Kaitlyn gives Curtis a nasty look, then he propositions her, too.

Reax: Good gracious is Johnny Curtis superb in his role. He's such a sleazebag, but doesn't need to stoop to stereotypes. All four really did a good job in this segment, but Curtis is excellent. Kaitlyn cracks me up when she lets her natural personality show through.

[ c - "The Best PPV Matches of 2011" DVD ad, WWEShop.com ad ]

2 - KAITLYN vs. MAXINE

Quick lock-up yields a tie. They reset and lock up again and Maxine throws Kaitlyn's face into the turnbuckle. Kaitlyn with a wristlock and, sweet goodness, picks Maxine up with one arm straight up and holds her in mid-air while holding the wristlock and tosses her into the turnbuckle. Regal with another story about one of Maxine's various relatives. Maxine with a knee lift, but Kaitlyn with a body slam and a leg drop for two. Kaitlyn throws Maxine down again and covers for one. Kaitlyn tries a bodyslam, but Maxine turns it into a Dragon Sleeper, and Kaitlyn eventually taps. Maxine doesn't release the hold until her music hits.

WINNER: Maxine via submission in 4:00. Hey, I liked this match. I like Maxine's style combining power and submissions, and I think that Kaitlyn's combination of size, power, charisma, and good looks will take her far. There were some sloppy spots in the match, but they both tried really hard to tell a story of contrasting styles in the ring.

On the way to a commercial, Josh Mathews says that "Derrick Bateman is one of two remaining Rookies." What? Where did Titus O'Neil go? He's not "eliminated" on the NXT page. When Young took his Wellness Policy violation, they acted like he was gone without eliminating him, then he came back. I wonder what happened to O'Neil. The WWE page doesn't show anything about him other than an article from late December talking up his charity work.

[ c - WWE 12 ad ]

Raw Rebound, looking at the Cena-Kane situation.

[Q3] Back from break, Yoshi Tatsu and Trent Barreta are playing "WWE '12." Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks then interrupt to make fun of them. Barreta says they shouldn't argue and Reks no-sells the offer and struggles with a controller. It turns out that Tatsu covered it in super glue and it is stuck to Reks's hands.

[ c - Royal Rumble ad ]

Reks is still stuck to the controller as they come to the ring. I hope the poor guy doesn't need to do anything important soon, like eat or use the bathroom...

3 - TRENT BARRETA (w/Yoshi Tatsu) vs. CURT HAWKINS (w/Tyler Reks)

Hawkins calls Barreta "stupid" for falling for a fake lock-up and heads on the attack. Hawkins's bodyslam gets two and Hawkins keeps up his attack. Mathews wishes JR a happy birthday and Regal recalls that JR interviewed him shortly after he came to the U.S. Hawkins continues to attack Barreta, who can't catch a break. Regal asks to talk about the match, not other things.

Hawkins with a suplex for two. Mathews actually no-sells the idea of calling the match instead of "story telling." Hawkins continues to dominate, and I don't think Barreta has landed any offense at all. Barreta fights out of a hold and hits a step-up enziguri. Barreta with a running back elbow, then the Gobstopper Knee for two. Hawkins slips out of a Dudebuster DDT, then trips up Barreta.

After a flip dive to the outside, Barreta rolls Hawkins into the ring and distracts the ref, but Tatsu stops Reks from interfering. When the ref tries to deal with Reks, Hawkins ambushes Barreta coming into the ring. Barreta slips out of a suplex attempt, though, and dodges a charge and immediately lands the Dudebuster DDT for the win.

WINNER: Trent Barreta in 7:00. I just love seeing Trent Barreta in the ring, and I've love even more to see Tatsu/Barreta challenge Air Boom for the Tag Titles. Again, Regal was amazing at talking up the talent. I absolutely loved when he begged Mathews to talk about the match and Mathews basically said that he's watching the match, just not talking about it. That is so counter-productive.

[ c - Smackdown hype looking at the big storylines ]

Video package talking about the Titus O'Neil and Darren Young feud. Out of the package, Mathews says that O'Neil will be cleared to wrestle next week. Earlier, he said that there were only "two remaining Rookies." Darren Young cuts a promo on Titus O'Neil, saying that he's weak and says that Bateman is about to find out that he is "Mr. No Days Off, the guy who runs NXT, Mr. D. Young." Derrick Bateman comes out all business.

4 - DERRICK BATEMAN vs. DARREN YOUNG

Young elbows out of a waistlock and lands a shoulder tackle, but Bateman hits a clothesline and a chop of his own. Bateman with a dropkick for two. Young to the apron and Bateman follows him, but gets him with a sort of drop down slam on the apron, which looks painful.

Young rolls him into the ring and gets a backbreaker, then settles into a leg scissors. Bateman elbows out, but Young gets an uppercut and puts him in the corner for more. Bateman elbows out of the corner and sends Young into the ringpost. Young rolls outside and Bateman lands a missile dropkick from the apron and fires up the crowd. Bateman rolls Young into the ring and lands a running neckbreaker for two.

Maxine comes out with Curtis and asks if she's distracting his match as he continues to beat on Young. She says that Curtis and her are getting married in Vegas in two weeks, which finally distracts Bateman enough for him to stop covering Young. Curtis kissing Maxine's hand distracts Bateman enough for Young to get his finisher for the win.

WINNER: Darren Young in 5:00. The match itself was fine, but there wasn't much room to tell a story since they just wanted to get to the angle at the end.
RegalWilliamArt_130NO_24.jpg

Final Reax: There was some stuff to like here, but the stand-out was William Regal and his return to commentary. He just pulled off the kid gloves (like they were on before) and metaphorically pulled Mathews's pants down a number of times. William Regal is everything that WWE hoped to get out of Booker T at the announce table - someone who can retain his wrestling persona while emphasizing the current talent on the roster. Regal did more for Michael McGillicutty in a few minutes than Lawler or Cole did in a year. I am glad that whatever kept him away is resolved and that he is back in action.

[Torch art credit Neal Obermeyer (c) PWTorch.com]


We suggest these recent related articles...
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 10/23: Neville defends NXT Title against Titus O'Neil, Tyler Breeze, Ascension, more; Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 10/16 - Week 122: Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd main event, Women's champ Charlotte; Overall Reax
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
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