Well whadda ya know I've decided to take time off from my busy schedule (insert air quotes) to recap NXT. Now unfortunately since WWE unceremoniously scrapped all storylines on NXT and turned it into Superstars with yellow ropes there isn't as much to write about in a recap like this as there would have been a few months back. But there is good news and that is that the New NXT is starting to air next week so we'll finally be getting storylines featured on Wednesday nights again...just involving completely different people than we're used to. But hopefully those people get some proper exposure on the new 3-hour Raw. But anyhow here is what is probably going to be the final NXT Redemption.
Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins def. Derrick Bateman & Percy Watson:
Hawkins pulls double duty this week though which match was better is no competition. Nice technical opening there with some variations in the typical chain wrestling you'd normally see. The faces were in control for really long, which I'm not sure how I felt about. I would have liked the first sequence of Bateman in then Watson in to have some back and forth stuff instead of just them in control. I expected Bateman to be the one isolated by the heels so I was surprised when he tagged out so quickly after being worked on by the heels. Watson livened things up with some real nice dropkicks and a creative way to get Reks and Hawkins out of the ring. I honestly thought things would be over back then but the match continued, which I'm grateful for. Again the faces were in control a lot and that's not a good thing. I'd have preferred to have Reks and Hawkins already working over Watson when they came back from the break. Nice turnbuckle spot to eventually take control and pretty standard heel stuff when it came to working over Watson. Surprisingly most of the stuff was clean and I was expecting some typical dirty tactics from them. Nice touch. Hawkins hit a really well done enziguri too. Now while the heat was well done, there didn't seem to be much psychology to it other than "keep Watson from tagging for so long", one moment they'd be working the back and another the neck. However the hope spots were well done and I really enjoyed Bateman's hot tag, busting out a flashy neckbreaker and another move I don't quite know the name of (you commentators are meant to help me cover for that sort of thing!). Good to see the heels win since the faces controlled a lot of this match and almost a clean finish too with only minimal cheating. Good strong win for Reks and Hawkins and good enough tag match. 7/10
Kaitlyn def. Natalya:
If Natalya had not defeated Alicia Fox a few weeks ago and Kaitlyn herself a few weeks before that then I'd be a little more annoyed about her losing this match. She is definitely the best wrestler in the women's division and should not be jobbing so often. I sincerely hope it's her that gets a push for Layla's title once she's finally done with Beth. Now then we had ourselves a really nice match here. I thought it was an improvement over their previous one and Nattie's bout with Tamina last week. It's funny to think that only a little over a year ago was when Kaitlyn started regularly wrestling on the roster and all we saw her in was two minute tag matches with the one-off Superstars thing. Now thanks almost entirely to NXT she's been able to work longer matches and develop herself. I'd say she can now be counted on to have good matches with just about anyone. She's worked well with Maxine and Tamina who are both as green as she is, and here she worked as well with Natalya. If you ask me, it looked like an even match-up. We had a fairly slow pace going on but it didn't sag. Natalya dominated as per usual though she also added a bit of comedy which I'm not sure is a good fit for her. That kind of thing only seemed to work on her when she was face and now she comes across as sort of a pantomime villain. I'd prefer for her to be more straight up evil than goofy. Kaitlyn looked solid with just about everything she did - dropkicks, crossbodies, various pins. There were a lot of near-falls that made this match entertaining. When I heard Kaitlyn won with a roll-up in the spoilers I was annoyed but in the match it wasn't too bad since it wasn't a school girl or small package. Solid Divas' bout and hopefully Natalya can find herself challenging Layla in the near future. 7/10
That Bo Dallas vignette didn't inspire much excitement in me. He's solid in the ring and pretty athletic but his voice is too robotic. Someone needs promo training which hopefully happens on the new NXT.
The Richie Steamboat vignette was a lot better. It was short and to the point and he sounded very natural. He's one to watch on the new NXT.
I find it really funny that when the Usos debuted they made it their raison d'etre to avoid the stereotypes associated with Samoan wrestlers and now...well...their entrance speaks for itself. Though the Wild Samoan is a much better character than "generic heels that don't want to be Wild Samoans" really. It's really weird to see Michael McGillicutty trying to do Johnny Curtis's weirdness because it is not natural. McGillicutty is going in quite the wrong direction in trying to give himself character if you ask me. The "verbal taunting" as Josh Matthews put it was more akin to the kids' taunts from Sleepaway Camp (read: the kid actors in that movie were baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad). At least he's got wrestling to fall back on because I think I preferred him when he didn't have a personality. The Usos on the other hand I can't say enough good things about. Their over-the-top stuff is believable and their chemistry as a team is better than anyone else on the roster. I was overjoyed when Johnny Curtis was tagged in so I wouldn't have to see the "Genesis of McGillicutty" unfolding before our very eyes. And when he was tagged back in he went after Jey Uso's right leg when it was the left one that was supposed to be injured. And you were on such a roll with the Tyson Kidd matches. Some creative stuff from Curtis and McGillicutty for the heat at the very least and that slingshot axe handle to the leg was one of my favourite spots of the match. Good use of quick tags too. There was definitely some sense of desperation in there that there wasn't in the other tag match, the feeling that Jey Uso really had to tag out and shake off the heels. William Regal said it best on commentary and this was tag team wrestling as it should be. Good match breakdown at the end and solid ending. Definitely the better of the two tag matches due to having better psychology and a teams that had better chemistry with each other. I feel the Usos could be really over if they got a push for the Tag Team titles. 8/10
So an average night on NXT. Nothing was bad though the show was a shell of its former self. I just hope all these guys and girls get opportunities to do stuff on Raw and Smackdown that has meaning other than appearing in pointless backstage segments and squash matches. As for the new NXT I can't wait because they have a nice group of talented guys and girls down there that I can't wait to see get proper exposure. Bobby out.