Superstars had actually been on a roll of late of good matches, not just because of the stars in them but because they were actually good, so it helped me look forward to this episode. I was even more excited by there being four matches because I like wrestling! Then they gave me Jinder Mahal vs. Yoshi Tatsu, which hey, what a surprise, ended in a Camel Clutch. Damn it!
4. Tensai vs. Alex Riley
The only reason this moved up onto the list and I didn’t give it to some random commentator or fan in the crowd is Alex Riley. The man’s come a long way and didn’t get squashed by Tensai in under a minute. Of course some of the moves he did get in were no-sold by Tensai, but we can’t expect a good match out of Tensai. I’m not even blaming the man’s abilities (I don’t know what they are beyond hissing and not getting knocked down) but the way he was packaged. Riley deserves better than this, though. Right when Riley was coming into his own and should be brought back as a contender again WWE decided they would much rather focus on some guy who has had a chance, left, come back again. “Why doesn’t anyone like our new guys?” Um, hi, have you seen your roster pushes lately? I like how it keeps biting you guys in the ass, though. Makes me smile.
3. Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox
Eh-hem. Got a little ranty there for a minute. Okay, so, Phoenix, to me, is overrated as a wrestler. She’s prettier than most well muscled women in her class but that’s all she has going for her. Her moves look as choreographed as they are and you know when she’s not going to get a move to work because she’ll do a move that isn’t in her repertoire. This match actually made it to 3 this week because of Fox. Fox is typically botch-tastic and instead this week looked like the coordinated one.
2. Scott Stanford
I will not rant on this one. Much. Maybe. We all know my favorite part of Superstars is Scott, there’s no question about it. Josh has a few quips, but they are far and few between and between Striker and Stanford Mathews just can not keep up and sits there staring. I can almost see his eyes glazing over. Scott, on the other hand, had to commentate through Tensai and Riley and Phoenix and Fox and never does he lose his enthusiasm or good cheer. He has to be as bored as we are sometimes during these matches, but you wouldn’t know it to hear him. He’s a consummate professional. So why did I put him at 2? Mostly to be fair to the fans and to give this match the attention it does deserve.
1. Drew McIntyre vs. Christian
Before you whine that this match should have been the main event of Smackdown remember that on Smackdown the main events have not been ending cleanly lately. There’s a thousand commercials in-between as they try to make it long, or seem long, and they have Booker T and Michael Cole to commentate alongside Mathews. Instead this match gets to be the main event of Superstars where it actually has time to be a great match and doesn’t have to rely on disqualifications or anything else they want to throw at them. While Drew was going to lose from the very beginning this might have been the best match I’ve seen this week, and I’ve already seen some great matches. McIntyre and Christian should be a main event match and even if it’s just on Superstars, you deserve to treat yourself to their abilities.
We are reaching the end of the NXT that is being taped during Smackdown. What will happen to that extra hour? Will it be shorter shows now? How will we see Full Sail’s NXT? And what about FCW? A few of those guys seem to think it is just being completely abolished. As usual, watching NXT leaves more questions than it gives any sort of answers and Vince continues to flip us off. Which is why I have a certain number 4.
4. Maxine on Commentary
Maxine’s being on commentary during the Kaitlyn vs. Tamina match was a big flip off of our own, of the writer’s own, of the NXT superstars own right back at Vince. Kill the storylines, fine, but we’ll make sure there is some sort of interaction between these superstars other than being randomly thrown in the ring together, or at least seemingly random in the 6 Man match. Maxine’s weakest point is her commentary, probably because she’s much better being sensual or angry than she is speaking with a clear head, but she still holds her own and chats up Regal while Mathews sits there and botches line after line. It’s as close as we are getting to storylines until Full Sail and I thank whoever thought this bit of brilliance up for at least trying to give us something.
3. Kaitlyn vs. Tamina
Regal comments on how strong both of these women are and that they can deadlift over 300 lbs. Either way, these two women have come a long way and Kaitlyn’s submissions are looking impressive. The match is nothing new for either, though, and it drops it a bit.
2. 6 Man Tag Match
Justin Gabriel makes his return on NXT after his injury by teaming up with Percy Watson and Derrick Bateman against everyone’s favorite NXT heels Michael McGillicutty, JTG, and Johnny Curtis. Curtis asked they not call him creepy, then came down to the ring looking… well, creepy. For as long as the match was it started off slow and didn’t really pick up until those last couple of minutes. In those last couple of minutes it was fast paced and frenzied, but in a way that makes you laugh and enjoy the ride. Bateman jumps out and body surfs, or planks, on two of the guys and Gabriel takes the win without using a 450 Splash, which totally earned him points with me. I think wrestlers should have multiple finishers, and Gabriel still had great movement on this new one. But, poor JTG was pinned (and bleeding) and it made me a little sad.
1. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins vs. The Usos
Someone might be mad at me later, but this match had the most cohesive movements and consistency. The Usos, who are good for being related to Rikishi and being brothers, looked up to par in this match-up and I can’t help but think it’s because of Reks and Hawkins. Have Reks and Hawkins had a bad match since their return to NXT in September? While everyone comments about their wearing “Hart” colors (because hey, there’s no way color schemes have ever been repeated in the WWE ever, it’s not like everyone doesn’t wear black and red…) they are missing the match. When Reks and Hawkins step out my attention is immediately drawn to them and I can’t help but cheer, in my living room, when I’m by myself with the cats and scaring them. A lot of back and forth in this match and it was the least predicable of the matches since Reks and Hawkins won! Yeah, in case you can’t tell, this was my favorite match of the night, and might have been my favorite match of the week so far.
Left off of the list this week, and just barely, is Kassius Ohno’s promo where he calls Cesaro’s bag from last week a purse. This was Ohno’s best promo yet and solidifies my ongoing love for him as a man who grows every time I see him on the FCW screen. Also left on, for a much bigger reason, is the recap of the newcomers to FCW by Briley Pierce and Colin Cassady. While Cassady looked better than he has yet he and Pierce trying to portray their thoughts with a New York/Mafia accent fell flat as neither seemed to fit the part they were going for.
4. Bo Rotundo vs. Seth Rollins
These men are incredible athletes. Unfortunately they do not prove to be incredible wrestlers in this match. This match instead of being an testament to wrestling skill like Jim Ross suggests is more of a show off of gymnastics and Bo’s desire to bump like Ziggler. Facing off together these two have no true direction and it simply leaves you wanting more. I don’t want to take away from the athleticism that these two men have, but it does not carry over into wrestling ability, at least not in this match.
3. Jason Jordan, CJ Parker, Mike Dalton vs. Alexander Rusev, Jiro, and Garrett Dylan
All right, Jordan, Parker, and Dalton make sense together because they have similar abilities, seem to be in a similar position within FCW, and work well together. I want to know who came up with Rusev, Jiro, and Dylan as a trio, though. I have nothing against Rusev, Jiro, and Dylan but that was a pretty random “leftover” group. Still, all six men do their best to put on a good showing, but let’s face it, this match was about Jordan, Parker, and Dalton getting their time to share, and boy do Parker and Dalton get that in this match. Okay, so Parker does have a moment of super-power, but he and Dalton show off their wrestling skills while Jordan tags along and tries in the short amount of time he’s given. They could have done a lot more with this match, but it was still great to see these men all out there.
2. Paige vs. Raquel Diaz
Raquel is having a hard time when she’s on her back and spinning her legs. I think she’s trying to do a twist and get up but she hasn’t done it quite yet. That’s my only complaint about this match. Raquel and Paige meet in the ring with an equal amount of attitude and a growing dislike for one another while Sofia bounces around outside the ring and does her best to distract Raquel. Unfortunately the distraction works in the favor of the wrong diva and Raquel retains the title, but I sure hope this means more from these women against one another. There’s an immense amount of talent here.
1. Leo Kruger vs. Aiden English
Oh, FCW writers, you want to give me more of these men! Well okay, I will allow it! Aiden quickly moved up from my, “I haven’t seen him do anything,” list to my, “Wow, okay, color me impressed,” list. Kruger and English put on what is easily the best match of the night, and could already win best match of the week depending on who gets to wrestle on NXT. These men tell a great story of talent and brutal awareness of their strength and shortcomings as they go against one another. I could handle more of this.
I was really torn on what to give number four this week. The top 3 were secure, but I had a tag match featuring four guys I adore or Big E Langston vs. Seth Rollins in a match that was decent, but I’ve seen both do better. Big E Langston and Seth Rollins didn’t make the cut, but they do get an honorable mention. Big E, for being such a large and in charge man, seems to want to actually wrestle. He goes for his opponents like he wants to take them to the mat and I like that! Seth Rollins has some quick skills but I think he needs a different finisher, something almost more fitting to his moveset. Still a good match.
4. Jake Carter and Corey Graves vs. Kenneth Cameron and Conor O’Brian
I love all four of these men, hands down, no questions asked. Character, skill, look, they have it all. So why did this almost not make the cut for the final four? Too short. It really didn’t give enough time to show off any one person’s skill. Why did it make the cut? No, not because I do this little squeal every time the Ascension music hits or because the dark bad boy looks of Carter and Graves make me forget my own name, no. It was because of the clever finish. Ascension had to lose sooner or later, and they lost in a perfect way that did not make them seem weak, just overwhelmed. It keeps the tag titles on Carter and Graves and gives the dark demons something to come back for later. Beautifully done. Oh, and just because, Conor O’Brian’s coat gets an honorable mention.
3. Raquel Diaz, Sofia, Paige
Raquel Diaz is now full on Valley Girl. I thought I would hate this, to be honest, but she pulls it off with a certain spark that makes you want to laugh, which it is clearly meant to do. Paige and Sofia come out and accuse Raquel of having once wanting to have been an anti-diva, but Raquel’s response to this is, “Ew.” I keep forgetting about Paige’s beautiful accent until I hear her voice. I also never realized how short Sofia was compared to the other two. She has so much energy and talent that she just seems larger than life somehow. The three put on quite the amusing little promo making a match for the next week. Can’t wait!
2. Brad Maddox vs. Richie Steamboat
These two men look like estranged brothers and it bothers me they are feuding with each other. Yes, I know, silly reason, but Maddox really does seem to be the wilder version of Steamboat. Speaking of wilder, whatever Maddox has been doing of late seems to have carried over into the ring and he has this pent up anger that he seems to be releasing out on Steamboat. Steamboat, though, carries his own. The weak point of the match is that it was predictable once Maddox had the first pin. The match was a 15 Minute Championship match, and ended up being 1-1, Steamboat unable to get that second pin before time ran out. It means Steamboat retains his championship, but why not just let Steamboat actually win? It seems he’s just barely holding onto the title in too many of his matches and shouldn’t be so overdone.
1. Bo Rotundo vs. Kassius Ohno
Bo’s ability to take a spill is starting to reach Dolph levels. Bo’s not as natural at it and it’s still obvious at times that he’s doing the over-bump as opposed to a solid flow through the fall. He’ll get there. He’s another that needs to change his finisher, but we do not see his finisher this episode, though he stills wins the match for a shot at Rollins’ title. Kassius Ohno is beaten, but not cleanly. Earlier in the episode Cesaro gave a promo announcing it will be the last time we see him on the show only for him to rush out during this match, strike Ohno with his bag, and knock him down for Rotundo to steal the pin and the win. Amazing moves from Ohno. Every week I get to see a little more of why he was beloved through the IWC and he’s one of the first where I have said early on, “Yes, I totally see it.”
I’m going to get in so much trouble this week.
4. Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater
I like Ryder, I was a fan of his when I first saw him on ECW when he was still rocking the one pant leg on his attire. As he grew I enjoyed him more. Even as he became a walking-catch-phrase I enjoyed him. But as someone else pointed out, he’s the lowest rung guy to have entered the Five Moves of Doom territory which made this match have not only a predictable ending, but a predictable story. Slater takes it all like a champ and Scott does his best to commentate some livelihood into it, but even Ryder seems to be frustrated as he does his, “What?” when it’s only a 2 count and instead of looking a the ref, or Slater, or anyone else, he kind of stares at the tron. People are losing interest in Ryder, but I fear it might be because he’s lost interest himself.
3. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. JTG and Michael McGillicutty
Again, a terribly predictable ending, but the storytelling and match choreography is not as predictable. Kofi does his, “Boom! Boom!” and JTG makes fun of it outside of the ring with McGillicutty laughing beside him. McGillicutty and JTG actually have great chemistry as a tag team and move like they have been working with each other for months as opposed to having had a one-off sometime months ago. McGillicutty does a baseball slide and a flip to Truth that left me impressed and JTG gets a chance to not just be a comedic act in the ring. R-Truth is great, he has fun, but Kofi is the same ol’ same ol’. Luckily, Scott’s commentary keeps the slow parts of the match lively.
2. Scott Stanford
Speaking of Scott. Yes, he’s number two this week, but in my heart you know he’s number one, but this week a match won out. Scott has great one-liners, as usual, and explains about his learning exactly what a “Honky Tonk Badonka donk” is as well as explaining that the reason Slater was eliminated first in the last battle royale is because no one wanted to take on Khali and that he was willing to do it, though in retrospect it might not have been the best idea. Scott lends his voice and storytelling to Superstars, as usual, and he awakens the two matches he sat in for. But one match stood out on its own…
1. Antonio Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd
Yes, Cesaro won. Yes, it was predictable. Yes, I like Kidd more. BUT, and it’s a good one, this was an incredible match. Kidd can’t put on a bad match (when he’s not told to take the squash) and this time they are given the opportunity to use up their abilities on one another. Kidd makes Cesaro look good and Cesaro seems to either take things more seriously now that he’s been brought up, or his skill has grown in spades in just a few short weeks. Either way, this match shines out through the others. And Cesaro was accompanied by Aksana, which is always a plus.
And I’m blaming the fact that Scott didn’t wear a tie this week for the reason he is at number two.
Scott’s best lines of Superstars:
“The freshness of JTG with the ground and pound stylings of McGillicutty.”
“Truth working on getting Lil’ Jimmy a Championship belt.”
“JTG, he wouldn’t be a dinosaur, he would be a flynosaur.”
“That’s gotta do it! JTG to pick up the win here on Super- No!”
“Honky Tonk Badonka Donk.”
“You know, Flo Rida talks a bit game, I don’t know if he’d actually want to step into a WWE ring with Heath Slater.”
“So you don’t get Beyonce one night, you use Heath Slater.”
“You know what show I haven’t been on? Are You Serious with you and Road Dogg.”
“Broski Boot into your living room!”
Once again NXT has forgone plot of any kind and become NXTStars instead of what we had grown to love, which was a show about stories and the wrestling ability. Chris swore up and down because Drew finally gets to be used in the store and it’s when it’s gone away from storylines, leaving WWE with the continued stigma of never allowing us to have conclusion. Le sigh. However there were some decent matches on this episode! And some not-so-decent ones.
4. Heath Slater vs. Percy Watson
Look, I’ll be honest. I almost left this off in favor of just putting William Regal’s commentary at number four, and I know the fandom is wondering why the Hell I didn’t. Sadly, I’m going to say the reason people don’t want me to: Heath Slater. Despite an obnoxious personality he’s a good wrestler and he made Watson look good. When Watson originally showed up way back when to one of the original seasons of NXT I liked him… for an episode. Then his Eddie Murphy impression got on my nerves so badly I couldn’t handle him anymore. Then he returned sans glasses and I was a bit renewed in liking him. Then his wrestling decided not to develop any further. He’s not great, Slater is better, and that’s why Regal’s commentary nearly took the spot.
3. Maxine vs. Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox has very little depth perception, a common problem with the divas, but Maxine does not. She comes out and has the facial expressions, the moves, and tells a story of anger and loathing as she goes after Alicia. With no storylines in NXT any longer until the new format it means they need to do it in the ring and on commentary. Regal and Maxine take it away on this one and Maxine wins again with a sleeper. I do adore she plays around with her submissions as well. Especially since there was no way Fox was holding Maxine up the way other divas have been able to.
2. Johnny Curtis and Drew McIntyre
Again with Khali and Ezekiel Jackson! This time it’s Curtis and McIntyre tortured by whoever’s idea, though I refuse to blame the NXT writer I fell in love with (creatively!) back in September when Reks and Hawkins first came back as a tag team. However, Curtis and McIntyre have a lot of fun with this match, despite the fact that they are going to lose horribly. It’s just a shame they waited so long to move Drew over, now that the storylines are gone. If anyone could have given him some screen time it would have been NXT, and if anything could have drive NXT’s viewership up, it would have been Drew McIntyre.
1. Derrick Bateman vs. Jinder Mahal
USA! USA! USA! Oh yes, finally, a USA chant for a man who is actually from the US! It’s been awhile! And I’m glad it was for the man who emulates Chicks and America, Derrick Bateman. Derrick looks less than thrilled to be in this match, and who would be happy to know they are going out to lose to the camel clutch. I don’t know if you guys and gals have been paying attention, but I’m not a fan of this movie. Mostly because it’s the only one he uses. For the record, I hate Orton winning all of the time with the RKO as well, and I love Orton, so it’s not hate on Mahal, it’s the move. The first time I watched it I enjoyed Derrick, because he’s Derrick. He motivates the crowd in this match, his facial expressions tell the story while Regal compliments him on the side. When Mahal throws Derrick, and he slides, pops back up, and knees Mahal, it’s amazing. Once again the talent of Derrick comes alive. Watching it the second time I can’t help but hope that perhaps there is a higher meaning to this. Mahal is widely hated every time. Was this the help Derrick needed to get a little more over with the live crowds? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I’m hoping.
I guess William Regal is the sort of co-star for number 1 since he added life to every match. Without the storylines Regal is heavily relied upon for those thoughts and stories. It’s just a shame Mathews doesn’t play along.
Well, of the WWE shows I watched this week this one was my favorite. Yes, even after a show that had Derrick on it and another that had Scott on it. FCW was my favorite. Here’s a bit of why:
4. Brad Maddox Goes a Little Crazy
Sure, he definitely had a Dean Ambrose thing going while he ranted about Steamboat and went off the deep end, but it shows Maddox is growing. He went from bland, to a little full of himself, to crazy. If he can balance full of himself and crazy he might find a unique character that is his own. That’s what FCW is for, developing your character and your talents. Maddox is finding his groove and he does a good job this week in doing so.
3. Leo Kruger vs. Bo Rotundo
Usually I would have Kruger higher, because, well, he’s Leo Kruger. But Bo… No Bo-Bo. The man has the weakest looking spear ever. I can’t take it as a finisher against a man like Kruger. The match itself was fine, not great, but fine, but that finisher…
2. Rick Victor vs. Richie Steamboat
Now, despite an ending that irritated me because Richie should not have kicked out after Sofia jumped in and took him down while the ref wasn’t looking, this was still a great match. As Chris said, and might be true, “Victor looks like he could be another Kidd, he has the moves he’s just not as polished yet.” Yup, that’s pretty much it. Victor has the moves and every time I see him he’s growing a little in his abilities, and let’s be honest, I haven’t seen that much of him yet. Steamboat is always a pleasure to watch, and I’m not upset he won, per se, I’m upset he won when he clearly should not have.
1. Antonio Cesaro vs. Kassius Ohno
Wow. Just wow. I guess it’s to be expected since these two worked together for so long but this was an amazing match. Cesaro and Ohno proved how well they can work in the ring and while I assumed Cesaro was going to lose because he went to Smackdown, as that seems to usually be FCW’s way, I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. And Ohno did win, but only because Cesaro pulled a ref in front of Ohno, whom Ohno punched, on accident of course. Then other wrestlers ran out into the ring to break the fight up between the two. This was likely my second favorite match of the week
4. Tyson Kidd
Screw WWE for not only putting Kidd in a sqaush match against Tensai, but for putting a squash match on Superstars. “Superstars is about the wrestling!” Oh wait, squash. Okay, so it was not an out and out squash. Kidd got in some offense. But still, it didn’t last long and you knew Kidd never had a chance. Thank God for Scott, who commentates this like it’s the most exciting match he’s ever seen, as he does every match, or else I would have cried. Kidd gets the #4 spot for two reasons, though. 1) There were only 3 matches and we know who goes at #1. 2) Kidd sells this whole match brilliantly and keeps that determined look on his face, believing he has a chance, when he knows he doesn’t. Kidd’s a wrestling king.
3. Alex Riley vs. Heath Slater
Honestly, if I hadn’t known Ziggler and Swagger made an appearance on Superstars, I would have thought this would have gone at #2. Sure, there are tons of Slater Haters and people who want to say something not-so-nice to Riley’s face, but both have come a long, long, long way. Riley tosses Scott a wristband (and Josh laments that Scott always is getting things from the Superstars) and prepares for this match. The two of them wrestle like their lives depend on it and it makes for a good match. Not great, great was the triple threat on NXT and the Kassius Ohno/Antonio Cesaro match on FCW, but good enough I was entertained and did not recognize a botch. That’s still saying something.
2. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger vs. The Usos
THE USOS WON?!? After all Ziggler and Swagger put into this match the freaking Usos won. They did nothing but showcase the talents of Ziggler and Swagger and that was enough to get them to win. I don’t even hate the Usos, but Ziggler is another one of those wrestling kings and Swagger is so underrated it makes me want to scream. I don’t care why you don’t like Swagger, he can wrestle circles around most of the roster and he’s the one that gets pinned every time. Ziggler and Swagger have fun with it, though, because someone has to. It’s one of those, “Well, if we don’t have fun, we’ll cry,” because this match was awesomely tragic.
1. Scott Stanford
“Well, I’ve got a mind like a rock. … Whatever that means.”
“I had an airbrush tattoo of a butterfly on my ankle once at a state fair. Closest I ever came to a tattoo.”
You don’t know who is going to win just by listening to Scott’s commentary (doesn’t mean you don’t any, but it won’t be given away by Scott). He loves everyone in the ring and let’s you know why you should as well. Sure, he has bias towards certain guys, like Riley or Ziggler and of course Ryder, but he still makes you feel like Tensai is worthy of being a star and The Usos are the most explosive duo to face-off as a tag team. Whether it’s true or not, there’s no bias here, and he makes matches we groan at sound like they are the best thing you’ll ever watch, and at a time like this, well, we need a man like Scott.
For no reason at all, my favorite shots of Ziggler this episode:
There is a rant at the end of this blog, but first for the positivity! Sort of.
4. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins
Tonight, for seemingly no reason at ALL, Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins were scheduled to fight… The Great Khali and Ezekiel Jackson. Look, I try not to hate on someone too much, but Khali and Jackson don’t have it in the ring. They don’t have it on the mic. They. Don’t. Have it! Doesn’t mean they aren’t nice guys, but that doesn’t matter to me when I have to watch a match. So they put these two against Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins, who can wrestle circles around most people in the company and instead have to be champs and sell being beaten by Khali and Jackson. I guess I get to forgo any plot (that seems to be forgotten because our security staff is suddenly back in the ring and Regal has nothing to say about it) for this. Yay…?
3. Johnny Curtis vs. Percy Watson
I almost put this at number four, just for the fact that neither man seemed to want to be there. They did a good job, they wrestled a good match, but Reks and Hawkins put on more of a show while Curtis and Watson seemed to go through the motions. However, this was still a solid match between two talented men that flowed well and lasted about the amount of time it should have.
2. Kaitlyn vs. Maxine
We’ve seen it before. We’ll see it again. However, Maxine and Kaitlyn keep improving in the ring. Maxine comes out in a new outfit, which received mixed reviews. She’s hot, and bronzed, and just beautiful, but it’s not that sultry Maxine we’ve all come to love. I am wondering if this is her new gear for when she becomes a diva on Raw and Smackdown, which sadly would be a step down. Though after this episode…
1. DERRICK BATEMAN vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Michael McGillicutty
This match was incredible. I’m not just saying that because Bateman was in it, though watching him wrestle always helps my mood. Kidd, Bateman, and McGillicutty put on a spectacle that is again worthy of a pay-per-view match and instead is the match no one will see. Granted, Kidd’s matches are usually the best ones on NXT anyway, but Bateman and McGillicutty had a big reason for it this time. Kidd and Bateman team up, then turn against each other, and once Bateman is out of the ring he just can’t catch a break and get back into the ring for a good while. McGillicutty, Kidd, and Bateman tell a story in the ring, and someone needed to as it definitely was not the WWE this week. If you watch anything from NXT this week, let it be this show.
Now, for the ranting portion of Solace’s blog. Where the Hell was the plot? I keep getting told on twitter and face book and anywhere else I have complained that, “They’ll just pick it back up when they move. I heard it from such-and-such source.” Yeah, and those sites are always reliable, aren’t they? No, this is a big slap in the face from WWE. There are a few tapings left and we don’t get any form of plot. Reks and Hawkins’ storyline is forgotten. Bateman’s knee injury, forgotten. Everything is just a matter of good matches on this show. People do not watch NXT for just the wrestling. The reason NXT gained an audience again when all was lost for awhile was because there was suddenly a plot. Sure, it’s a soap opera-esque plot and has crazy storylines, but guess what, Raw does the same thing, or did once, and it’s what everyone kept claiming they once loved.
But I’m not the only one who complained. Here are some quotes from forums:
“What the fuck happend to NXT?”
“The person booking this week ought to be shot. Fuck this shit.”
“Seriously though, watching NXT yesterday made me a sad panda. All the wonderful storylines and character development, flushed down the drain for something likely to be less. It’s an upgrade for FCW, but a huge loss for current WWE low-card talent and NXT fans.”
“Khali and Zeke beat Hawkins and Reks? Is like Vince is saying Fuck You to the tag team division.”
“No backstage segments, Khali being horrible all over Hawkins and Reks… Let’s hope tommorow’s tapings for the new show are promising.”
“ Latest show was a huge disappointment. I know it was the ‘last NXT’ but wrapping up storylines? Nah. We’ll just have Hawkins and Reks job to Zeke and Khali, two people who are never on the show and we won’t have any angles, any segments, any mic time, any Striker.”
And a few more. And by a few I mean a lot. So what are your thoughts on this latest (and possibly last?) NXT?
When I go to watch Superstars I usually think, “Well, I already know how the top 4 is going to go,” and I don’t stress, though there are weeks I have refrained from writing one for a lack of being able to come up with 4 things. I try not to be a Negative Nelly when it comes to blogging, it won’t really help you want to watch the show! Which is what I want you to do! This week I wondered how I was going to be able to stick all of the things into a top 4 since there were actually four matches… and Scott Stanford! We can not forget Scott Stanford.
First, let’s talk about match length. Lately I have taken to timing matches, the parts that are actually seen. So from bell to bell, not counting commercial breaks. This particular 50+ minute episode of show had 25 minutes and 54 seconds of wrestling. What the Hell? What happened to the other 25 minutes? Oh right, Raw recaps and commercials that are embedded into the file. Next week I might start timing how long the Raw recaps take. Four matches in 26 minutes? Of course this was better than the last 3 hour Raw, which had 31 minutes of wrestling, and definitely more than four matches.
Okay, now to shake off my negativity and get to the top 4!
4. Alicia Fox vs. Natalya
Alicia Fox isn’t always the best in-skill worker, but Natalya, like her boyfriend, tends to be the controlling interest in a match. Natalya also shines in her new outfit with the cape that never received as much love as it deserved! The women put on an entertaining match and Natalya gets better at the Sharpshooter every time I see her do it. These two also always seem to have fun when they are facing one another, even if they are supposed to hate each other.
3. Ezekiel Jackson vs. Drew McIntyre
I grew bored with Jackson awhile ago, like, shortly after he came back from his injury, so why does this match gets a higher spot? Well, Drew, of course. Drew’s new hairstyle probably helps this a bit, because without it being completely pulled back, and having the braids, he’s even yummier. I don’t know what they are doing with Drew, but he can still Future Shock a wrestler and make me cringe. Yeah, this match made it to three based on McIntyre. I admit it.
2. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder vs. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins w/ Scott Stanford
Oh yeah, I’m completely cheating. Scott commentated my two favorite matches of this show and I will completely claim that it was because of him that these were my two favorite matches. Sure, Reks and Hawkins are great wrestlers that can take on any tag team, even if they are constantly losing, but Scott helps! Who else has that enthusiasm in the matches, besides possibly Regal? Ryder and Santino were destined to win this match, though, and if you have already seen Smackdown you understand why, but it’s fun in the meantime. Reks also sells taking the Cobra like no one else.
1. Hunico vs. Tyson Kidd w/ Scott Stanford
Kidd is likely the best wrestler in the WWE right now, which is why he gets showcased on shows like Superstars and NXT. He has the skill and it’s better to get the chance to watch him wrestle than to throw him on some show that will have him getting squashed all of the time. Hunico proved a long time ago as the second Sin Cara that he has the skill to match Kidd, though at a slower pace. The two of them take this match to levels that the other shows should be showcasing as main events, and thanks to Scott Stanford (who explains to us the cost of the bike that Camacho and Hunico take out to the ring) it’s commentated like a main event.
See, I managed to get Scott into one and two, and slip in all four of the matches that in some way were worthy of the show that bases itself on the wrestling of the talent.