WWE NXT Report JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 2/29 - Week 52: "Big Announcement" is new GM Regal, Maxine vs. Kaitlyn main event
Feb 29, 2012 - 11:45:19 PM
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WWE NXT Report
February 29, 2012
Taped 2/28 in Seattle, Wash.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor
Opening Thoughts: I have been pretty interested since I started using Twitter a few weeks ago (justin_m_james) to see how the NXT crew uses it. I can report they are very active and are willing to interact with the audience a lot, which is fun. Tonight, I am really looking forward to Tyson Kidd vs. Michael McGillicutty. McG has really stepped things up, and a good match with Kidd will go a long way to getting him back on the map, I think. I haven't read any of the early reports, but headlines that I can't help but read indicate some sort of leadership shake up, and Matt Striker has announced a "big announcement" for the one-year anniversary episode of "NXT: Redemption." Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins have been making a lot of noise on Twitter about this, as well. And, of course, I can't wait to see Kaitlyn vs. Maxine and the continuation of that situation. Could someone please buy Johnny Curtis a shirt?
[Q1] Alex Riley and Percy Watson come out for a match. This should be good, though I'm guessing they are facing Titus O'Neil and Darren Young. And, sure enough, there they are. Josh Mathews says that O'Neil and Young have "similar belief systems." Okay, so they are both members of the same religion or something?
1 - ALEX RILEY & PERCY WATSON vs. TITUS O'NEIL & DARREN YOUNG - Tag Team Match
Quick, hard, back-and-forth between Riley and O'Neil, so O'Neil tags in Young, who walks into an armdrag. Young beats on Riley in the corner a bit, but Riley slips out of the corner and lands a hard clothesline for two. Riley clears O'Neil from the apron and heads to the top, but Young kicks him in the head. Neckbreaker from Young and O'Neil comes in. Riley looks for a tag, but he's isolated in the heel corner. Young gets a two count by dropping Riley onto the ropes. Regal talks up the difficulty of adjusting to tag team wrestling to explain while Riley's on the short end of the stick; excellent way to build up the heels.
Riley comes close to tagging out, but O'Neil takes him back to the corner. Riley manages a sunset flip from O'Neil's shoulders in the heel corner, but Young blind tags in. That was a great move from two big men. Young slows it down with a body scissors and Regal says that O'Neil and Young got tips from Arn Anderson earlier today. He is so good at making the talent look good and adding back story to things.
Riley finally gets some space and Watson tags in just as Young sends Riley out of the ring. Watson to the top rope for an axehandle and rights, dropkick, and a flying shoulder tackle to get momentum. Watson is fired up and lands the Highsman for a nearfall. O'Neil jaws from the apron, so Watson knocks him down, but spends too much time gloating. Young sneaks up behind him and, after a little bit of work, hits his finisher for a clean, middle of the ring win.
WINNERS: O'Neil & Young in 5:30. Nice match that could have (and should have) gone longer. I question the booking of the finish, but that is pure personal opinion based on being in favor of Percy Watson. Watson was the standout here, as usual, but Riley's sunset flip was a real treat to see. I'd like to see Watson face or team up with Kofi Kingston or Evan Bourne.
Post-match, O'Neil gets on the mic and does a bad job of quoting the warden from "Cool Hand Luke." O'Neil says that next week he'll beat Watson one-on-one. Regal questions how O'Neil knows he will get a re-match and points out that O'Neil doesn't make matches. Foreshadowing...
[ c - "The Epic Journey of The Rock" DVD ad ]
Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, and Justin Gabriel are in the ring in street clothes and in chairs. Derrick Bateman's music hits and he comes out ready to wrestle (Bateman vs. Heath Slater was announced before the break), but he was confused at the sight of his friends in the ring. Kaitlyn tells him, "This is a safe place, this is the trust tree." Bateman points out that it is a wrestling ring and he is scheduled to face Slater. Gabriel says that he doesn't have a match and Kaitlyn says it is an intervention. Bateman is confused. He says he has a "clean bill of health." Fox says he's involved with pure evil. Bateman says she can't mean Maxine. Gabriel and Fox remind him that he used to be happy, and that she is out of control. Apparently, she beats up random crew members backstage, according to Gabriel. That gave me a flashback to Mark Henry tossing the soundguy like a rag doll, but with Maxine's face over his watermelon head. Bateman realizes it was Kaitlyn who set it up, and Kaitlyn tells him to watch the screen. There's a brilliant video package highlighting Maxine's nasty temperament and all the times she embarrassed him or slapped him or hurt his feelings. It wraps up with lots of images of her kissing Johnny Curtis.
[Q2] Kaitlyn questions if their relationship is healthy. Bateman defends things rather half-heartedly, and says that he guesses they are in love. Kaitlyn mocks the idea of her loving him. Kaitlyn says it's not love that Maxine hits him so much. Bateman gets sarcastic and demands that if she is so smart, to tell him what love is. She drops the mic, grabs him, and starts kissing him. She lets go and he falls to the mat. Maxine comes running out of the back like a cat on fire. Maxine and Kaitlyn start brawling while the others pull them apart. Hey, there's a "let's get weird" sign. Josh Mathews says that the Kaitlyn-Maxine match is actually scheduled for the main event. Let's get this straight... not only was a Divas non-title match announced the week before, but it will be the main event? Maxine gets sent out of the ring and goes to the back.
Reax: Good segment that really advanced the storyline a lot. I'd like to see where Johnny Curtis fits into this.
Backstage, Tyson Kidd is all-smiles and runs into Natalya, of all people. She tells him to not let anyone get him down. She tells him that he's a Hart. I guess she's face now? Michael McGillicutty pulls a Johnny Curtis by interrupting before sniffing around. He says that something smells rotten, and that it's not Natalya. He says that a Hart is only talking to Kidd because they feel sorry for him.
[ c - WrestleMania 28 ad, Smackdown hype: Randy Orton vs. Daniel "YES!" Bryan ]
2 - TYSON KIDD vs. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY
Kidd shucks and jives, but they trade waistlocks and then trade takedowns. Kidd acts very cocky and confident for the smaller man, and applies a wristlock. McGillcutty turns it into a wristlock of his own, but Kidd gets to the ropes and wraps McGillicutty's arm up in the ropes. Kidd plays to the crowd, but McGillcutty turns to power to get control, then moves to another wristlock. Kidd with a springboard to escape, and rolls through a wheelbarrow into a cover for two. McGillicutty tosses Kidd onto the ropes crotch-first and the crowd chants, "No more children."
The action moves to the outside and McGillicutty rolls Tyson into the ring for two. McGillcutty turns up the aggression and starts shouting at Kidd. Regal in a very insightful half-shoot comment says that a lot of folks get upset when they "have to come to NXT" and says that this is the wrong attitude to have because NXT is a great showcase for everyone. And, you know what? He could not be more right.
McGillicutty with a big chinlock and looks like he's trying to really torque it. Kidd can't get any traction until he gets boots up in a corner. Double clothesline resets the action. Kidd's speed gives him the control. Dropkick for two. Kidd with a crazy move, he jumps over McGillicutty, rolls across the back, grabs on like a crucifix, but rolls forwards and into a cover for two. Kidd to the top, but McGillicutty punches him and looks for a superplex, but Kidd blocks and knocks him off. Moonsault from Kidd for a nearfall. Kidd wants the Sharpshooter, but McGillicutty grabs the apron to block, and kicks Kidd's knees out. McGillicutty with the Turning Heads neckbreaker for the win.
WINNER: McGillicutty in 6:30. Remember last week when I said that McG had his best match? He just topped it. Give these two another five-to-ten minutes and I'll be thrilled. Kidd could have a good match with my filing cabinet, but McGillicutty really stepped up to the plate to knock it out of the park. The best thing McGillicutty's done is lose that baseball cap; it makes him so much more serious.
[ c - ad for WWE shows on YouTube ]
[Q3] Raw Rebound reviewing the closing segment of Raw. Intentional or not, Cena totally destroyed Rock in the mix, in a fraction of the time. interesting to note that they did not replay Cena's point about The Rock having his notes on his arm. I am not a fan of Cena, but I feel Rock is so obnoxious. I've noticed that a lot of folks have jumped on the anti-Rock bandwagon for what is perceived as boring, ego-pumping attitude, and lack of actual content.
Backstage, Maxine is destroying things and mistreating people. Aksana asks her what's wrong. Aksana tells her to calm down, but Maxine doesn't want to hear any of it.
Cut to Matt Striker talking on his phone backstage, acting anxious.
[ c - WWEShop.com ad, WWE 12 ad ]
In the ring, Matt Striker reminds everyone that it is the one-year anniversary of "NXT: Redemption." He brings up the NXT Curse (without calling it that) saying that they've gone through six ring announcers, "about a dozen different announce pairings" (that may actually be close to right), and about thirty new Superstars have been introduced. Through it all, there's only been one host, probably because he's the only one to take the job or perhaps the producers are gluttons for punishment. He says that he has this job because he loves WWE. He says that NXT is supposed to be where the unseen talent come to light, but lately the show has drifted. Striker takes full responsibility for letting "the inmates run the asylum."
Striker is about to make his announcement, but Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins interrupt. They make fun of him by getting camp chairs and popcorn and beverages. Striker gets tired of them and tells them to shut up and says that he isn't stepping down. He does admit that the show needs better leadership that will be respected. He also admits that he lacks the experience to control the show, and he's gotten a respected veteran to help him. Striker gets really fired up and shows a pile of passion. He says that he will still be the host, but...William Regal is now making the matches and controlling NXT. Regal comes into the ring with a dangerous smile on his face.
Regal says that he looks forward to making some exciting matches and pushing folks to their limit. He says that he has something special for Reks and Hawkins next week, and declares that next week will start a new era. He doesn't promise an end to NXT any time soon.
[ c - Raw hype looking at the GM mess and Cena-Rock ]
Kaitlyn hits the ring as Mathews intros Johnny Curtis on guest commentary. He's wearing a jacket, but no shirt, but starts to run lotion (or hand sanitizer) all over himself. Bateman is on commentary too. Bateman says that he was caught by surprise by the intervention and Kaitlyn's kiss. Bateman says he has no idea what Maxine's mentality is right now. Bateman's wearing a blazer, but no shirt. Curtis says that Maxine is in his back pocket "for disposal at any time."
Referee Scott Armstrong can barely contain the Divas pre-match. Nice to see a women's match have this much juice behind it.
3 - KAITLYN vs. MAXINE
Maxine with a quick tackle. Curtis denies being "creepy." Kaitlyn in the corner, but she dodges a charge and goes to work. Bodyslam and leg drop, and Kaitlyn moves to a body scissors. Bateman says Maxine doesn't abuse him; that it's just how she expresses her love. Maxine powers out and gets a trio of two counts. Kaitlyn with a backbreaker and moves to punch Maxine in the head on the mat. Maxine gets boots up in the corner and hits a running sledgehammer for two two counts.
Curtis shushes Mathews as Maxine works an armbar. Curtis with more double entendres. Kaitlyn turns the armbar into a full nelson and hits a sit down slam from the full nelson. Maxine gets flipped over and Kaitlyn uses her feet to pin Maxine for the win. Maxine looks incredulous.
WINNER: Kaitlyn in 4:00. Interesting match with some unusual moves.
Post-match, Maxine shoves Bateman and then shoves Curtis. She gets on the house mic and in Regal's face. She congratulates Regal and says that she looks forward to working closely with him. She insinuates that she would throw herself at Regal to get ahead. Mathews bizarrely says that Regal is now no better than Bateman or Curtis, and Regal admits that his morals are weak.
Final Reax: I really enjoyed tonight's episode. NXT is simply booked well, with storylines that have a very natural feel to them. A large part of NXT's beauty is that with no PPV matches, they are not on an artificial timeline. NXT is a great example of why WWE needs to slash the PPV count to let things breathe. I recently heard the suggestion that NXT needs a championship (never mind that the "winner" is supposed to get a main roster spot), and frankly, I think that would be a mistake.
Right now, a typical NXT has 15-20 minutes of wrestling on a 45-minute show that includes a Raw Rebound and often a few other video packages. That would be like getting 45 minutes of wrestling on Raw or Smackdown, which is rare. So, NXT is already wrestling-heavy, leaving only enough time for two or three stories to be worked with each week. Why add a permanent storyline of the championship? Look at Raw. It's a two-hour show, but the U.S. champion is forced to Superstars, if he appears at all. For Smackdown, the Intercontinental Title hasn't had a real contender in months.
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