Top Four Reasons – NXT 1/11/12
While in December I was mostly out of commission I have returned during this new year with a new outlook. Even if that new outlook still means that Derrick Bateman might be my favorite wrestler and Scott Stanford my favorite commentator. What the new outlook really means is… you need a new outlook on what you’ve been missing. This brings about the return of my top 4.
4. New Opening of NXT
Why is a new opening worthy of the top 4? This opening embraces what I have been arguing NXT has been trying to do all along: become less of a competition show and more just another good place to showcase talent. It is more evident by the fact that The Usos, Tamina, Trent Barreta, and Tyson Kidd are in the opening along with the “rookies” Derrick Bateman, Darren Young, and Titus O’Neil. The new opening embraces the storylines and talent. My complaint about the opening: Darren Young should be the Superstar shown when the word “young” is sung. I mean, how hard is that to get right?
3. Superior Commentary
It is no secret that Scott Stanford is my favorite commentator. Barring this fact he tends to be put together with Josh Mathews, who is a robot and borrows all of his good lines from other commentators. NXT has William Regal and Matt Striker this week. If you have not grown to love William Regal on commentary you just have not been watching NXT and FCW. I can not say I am surprised to hear you have not been, but it is time to stop being led astray. William Regal does well as a stand-alone commentator, but paired with Matt Striker he brings back some of the old spark in Striker that Striker loses with others. Only Regal can break out lines like, “I think it is an absolute travesty I have to be anywhere near JTG,” “If I was you I’d look in the ring, Sunshine,” and “I really hate it when people interrupt me,” the last when Tony Chimel was trying to announce Johnny Curtis and Regal had been talking about Riley.
2. Every match
Yes, I said every match. In a one hour show there were four matches. Alicia Fox vs. Maxine; Trent Barreta vs. Tyler Reks; The Usos vs. JTG and Tyson Kidd; and Alex Riley vs. Johnny Curtis. NXT is the one place right now where the divas are not treated like a joke in the WWE. Fox and Maxine put on a great match where beforehand Fox had announced about her former rookie Maxine, “I tried to sell her on eBay so many times.” People like to hate on Tyler Reks because of his dreds, which seems like an asinine reason to dislike someone, but this is how fans are made or broken, sometimes it is the little things. However Reks and Barreta put on an entertaining match that is all because of a very hilarious feud. JTG is another one who gets random hate and when Superstars were being released last year 90% of the audience said next would be JTG. JTG is 27 and was saddled with a character that is not to be taken seriously. It does not undermine the talent this man actually has and working with Kidd and against the Usos you can see that very talent. Last is the biggest heat magnet lately, Alex Riley against a man most of you only know from his Smackdown promos, his bad Smackdown debut, and relative disappearance. Alex Riley of late has become less a botch master and more a slower wrestler who thinks about his moves before potentially killing his victim, er, opponent. While they might not have had the best match of the night it was still entertaining with a story witnessed in the ring.
1. Derrick Bateman
“But Solace, he didn’t even wrestle a match this week!” I know! And doesn’t that mean his being number one is that much bigger? A man who did not even wrestle still had character! Derrick Bateman right now is NXT. He has the best storyline going and is about the only man in the company who pulls off being a face without sounding repetitive, or boring. Bateman has more charisma in his little toe than most men can dream of having in their lifetime. Who else could scream, “Curtis!” and while being hilarious, not be too over the top you can not take him seriously? Or tell his ex-fiancée, “This doesn’t concern you, Toots,” and still be angry as he lets Curtis know he has a surprise waiting for next week. Oh yes, Derrick Bateman alone is reason to watch NXT, but NXT offers you so much more.
When was the last time in a little under an hour on Raw you had four matches (that were not squashes!), four promos, and great commentary? Tell me!