Predicting the Future of WWE’s Newest Young Stars

April 16, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Is it my imagination or has NXT sprung a leak?

First, it was Alexander Rusev who finally, after weeks of video and entrance teases, made it all the way down the ramp to the ring on Raw Monday night and made mincemeat out of Zack Ryder.

Then Paige, the NXT women’s champion, showed up on the same program and did something that no other Diva on the main roster had done in the previous 300 days – defeat AJ Lee for the WWE Divas title.

On that same program, we saw video promos heralding the return of Bo Dallas and the arrival of Adam Rose. Dallas, as you recall, made his WWE splash last year in the Royal Rumble by eliminating Wade Barrett and holding his own in the ring. Rose, a rising NXT star, likely will be on the main stage sooner rather than later.

And if you read other Internet reports, more NXT stars ready for main-scene action include Sami Zayn and tag team The Ascension.

WWE usually trots out new talent in the weeks following WrestleMania to gauge how the WWE Universe will relate to them, not to mention them to the WWE Universe. It’s WWE’s version of Major League Baseball’s late season when young stars at the lower levels are brought up to fill spots left by injuries and other assorted vacancies. While it is unlikely that all who come up over the next few weeks will actually stick around for longer than a cup of coffee, a few do, in the words of Zeb Colter, “sneak across the borders” from the developmental territory into the big time.

I cannot say right now how Rose, Zayn and The Ascension will do at this level because I have not seen them enough to fairly judge them. I just have to rely on the assessments of those who have forgotten more about pro wrestling development than I ever will know.

But based on what I have seen from Paige and Rusev on Monday night, and Dallas last year, it is a safe bet to say that Paige and Dallas could have the longest staying power of those three.

Rusev is a throwback to the old Iron Curtain muscle characters like Ivan Koloff and Nikolai Volkoff, plus he wrestles without boots, which conjures up images of Jimmy Snuka, Argentina Rocca and Kevin Von Erich. But his character seems destined to be too one-dimensional with his low center of gravity and glacier-like speed. Plus, his partnership with the blonde Lana reminds us too much of Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from the “Bullwinkle” cartoons. One might expect him to get on the mic and say something about “Moose and Squirrel.”

Paige has the potential to be a star and bring back some life into the lackadaisical Divas division. But the fact that she came in from NXT and walked right into the Divas Championship has to not be setting well with some of the more established performers in the division.
Dallas has the greatest potential for stardom of the young talent so far, but it may not be as the face he is in NXT. Remember that Dallas’ real-life brother is Bray Wyatt, leader of the evil Wyatt Family cult stable. I would not be surprised to see WWE Creative eventually come up with a plan to make Dallas the fourth member of that stable…eventually moving him up to become Bray’s right-hand henchman.

It will be fun to watch all these new stars develop in the coming weeks.

Bill Atkinson is a contributor to Camel Clutch Blog and the owner of WrestleWatch, a family-friendly wrestling web site. Follow Bill on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963 and visit WrestleWatch at

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WWE NXT Arrival Was The Best Show In Years

February 28, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

I wrote a blog last night criticizing the WWE decision to heavily promote NXT on the WWE Network. While I still stand by the fundamental idea of the blog I will admit one thing. NXT Arrival was the best WWE show I have seen in years.

I can’t recall a time in recent memory where I have watched a show like NXT Arrival and marked out as heavily as I did. Quite honestly it was probably back when I was calling matches on the independent wrestling scene for CZW or the first couple of Ring of Honor shows. Nothing I have seen since then has had the energy, passion, and fun-factor of NXT Arrival.

Let me make something clear. I don’t think that the WWE could ever survive in its current model by producing an in-ring product like NXT Arrival on a week-to-week basis. I get the fact that this is something that appeals more to a hardcore fan base and the business of WWE is family and entertainment. But damned this was one hell of a show!

Going back to my Pro Wrestling Radio show that I used to broadcast on terrestrial radio, I would say weekly how TNA needed to develop this kind of product. I always thought that while the WWE couldn’t run a business like this, there was a secondary market for it. WCW had the right idea with cruiserweights until Eric Bischoff ruined it. I admitted then and will admit now that it would take a little time to get the style over but this is the kind of alternative that should be offered to the WWE. Now it’s offered by the WWE.

I think that the WWE could mix some of this style into their current product. There is no reason a Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro match couldn’t take place on a pay-per-view, SmackDown, or RAW. Quite frankly I see no reason that this match shouldn’t be booked on WrestleMania. Fans are now educated to the rival and they could back and watch their previous matches on the Network. The only reason that this match shouldn’t take place on Mania is that it would blow everything else out of the water. Otherwise I see no reason this match can’t be booked on Mania.

Could this style work at the top? Anything is possible. Tastes were changed slowly as Vince McMahon went with Bret Hart in the early 1990s after close to a decade of muscular monsters with little emphasis on ring-work. I think the business model is different and you need that cartoon-aspect to the business today a lot more than you did in the 80s. That said, it would be an interesting experiment to put the title on Cesaro and allow him to have matches like this on top. Heck with pay-per-views going to the Network, why not try something different?

My biggest concern is that by exposing NXT to the entire WWE Universe you are not giving these kids time to learn and develop their characters and style. I stand by that. As spectacular as the show was, the WWE are now boxed into corners with everyone on the show. How do you take a guy like Adrian Nevelle or Zayn, bring them up, and give them completely different gimmicks? You can but it won’t work. The anonymity is lost and thus multiple opportunities will be missing for these talents.

I also want to go out of my way to praise Cesaro. What other full-time WWE star would go down to the developmental company and work such a hard match a month before WrestleMania? I can’t think of many guys on the roster who would do that. There is also the mentality of an established star giving so much to a developmental star is not good for business. Cesaro is a pro and his selfless performance against Zayn is one of the most commendable I have ever seen.

Regardless of the future I just wanted to write a blog applauding NXT Arrival. I haven’t had that much fun watching a wrestling show in years. For those of you that complain about the WWE product, John Cena, TNA or want something different, this is your show. Pandora’s box is officially open and while I disagree with it, I will certainly enjoy every second of it.

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Is WWE NXT Arrival A Mistake?

February 27, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

One of the big selling points in promoting the WWE Network was the presence of NXT. The development center will be welcomed with a special and more attention than it ever received which may or may not be a good thing.

I don’t want to focus on the event itself. I want to take a look inside the idea of NXT and NXT Arrival. The WWE needed original programming on its network. It looked internally and took a program it had already been producing and repurposed it. While NXT has been available on Hulu, it was never pushed by the company up until now.

I saw this as a huge problem from the start. My argument was that the company was taking all of this green talent and exposing them before they were ready. Were they already exposed to the Hulu audience? Yes but that was not the WWE Universe. NXT is now being pushed to the entire universe, the same audience that watches the major league WWE productions. It is a different ballgame.

The idea of NXT is a developmental company. The WWE will sign wrestlers and send them to NXT to get them ready for the big show. Some of the talent already came in seasoned, yet the WWE feels the need to change their style and until their previous style is completely gone, they will remain in NXT. Some of the talent have worked none to a handful of matches and are being trained from the ground up. Those are what I would refer to as Triple H’s gambles.

The whole advantage of NXT is to take your talent and keep them away from the core audience until they are ready. NXT is a place that allows the talent to learn and hone their craft. Heck some talent are just sent down there to be repackaged like Bray Wyatt after a failed first shot as Husky Harris. The key is anonymity and unfortunately that anonymity is gone.

If NXT is going to be pushed as a weekly television product to the same audience who is watching RAW and SmackDown, than what is the point of NXT? No longer can a rookie pay his or her dues and show up to the main roster with a clean start. Fans will now see these superstars from the second they enter the company whether they are ready or not and that is not a good thing.

I have heard some theorize that this is WWE’s attempt to take over the independent wrestling scene. I don’t know if I believe that as I don’t see NXT expanding, especially with all of the money invested in Florida. I think this is simply a short sighted business move to reallocate one of the company’s resources. While the savings in cost of taking an already produced product and repurposing it are minimal, the bigger costs to the talent are huge and should not be taken lightly. If these guys and girls were ready for this kind of attention, they should be out of NXT so I have to assume that if they are there, they aren’t ready.

How can anyone be developed at this point? Would Bray Wyatt have worked if fans saw him crafting the good and bad of this gimmick for months prior to his arrival? Can anyone come up from NXT and get a fair shot on the main roster without some kind of prejudice? I don’t think they can and that is not a good thing at all.

The only benefit besides the finances is the chance that the WWE finds lightning in a bottle. What if someone like a Prince Devitt signs and comes to NXT who is ready for the main roster and develops an early following? This gives fans the chance to get behind someone at the beginning and invest emotionally into their roller coaster ride to the top. If done right, there could be huge money in telling the story of someone who came from NXT to WrestleMania. There is always that shot but those opportunities aren’t going to come along often.

I am happy for the talent whom work so hard down at NXT to get the opportunity to show their stuff. I am also fearful for that same talent for the same reason. NXT on the WWE Network is a novel idea, but sacrificing your next generation of stars in exchange for cheap programming may be one of the most miscalculated blunders since the XFL.

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WWE Wrestler of the Week: January 25th-31st, 2013

February 01, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Welcome back to another edition of WWE Wrestler of the Week! This is the final winner for the month of January. This week not only included the regular WWE television programs, but the Royal Rumble pay-per-view as well. This week’s winner made history at the Royal Rumble and reminded us of a storyline from 1993 too. The WWE Wrestler of the Week is NXT Superstar Bo Dallas.

I would like to give an honorable mention to the runner-up for this week, The Rock. Although it was predictable and expected, The Rock did end CM Punk’s 400-plus day reign as WWE Champion. The Rock cannot win the WWE Wrestler of the Week due to only participating in that one match, but it was obviously a big one. WWE also decided to end the pay-per-view with the WWE title match as opposed to the Rumble match. I wasn’t surprised, but was hoping for the Rumble match to finish the show.

Back to Bo Dallas.

Bo Dallas made history this past Sunday at the Royal Rumble, as he is the youngest participant ever in the Royal Rumble match. He is the first professional wrestler born in the 1990s to enter the Rumble match.

Bo Dallas began his week winning the NXT tournament at the Royal Rumble fan fest to earn a spot in the Rumble match. He was very impressive as most were probably not expecting Dallas to win. Dallas went on to enter the Rumble match at number 16 and lasting over 20 minutes. He had one elimination that may ultimately lead to his first feud in WWE. Dallas eliminated WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, who returned moments later for revenge.

One night later on Monday Night Raw, Wade Barrett was able to choose his own opponent. Bo Dallas was chosen and reminded of us of an episode of Raw from 1993. That year, Sean Waltman made his name known with a victory over Razor Ramon. He would later be named the 1-2-3 Kid as a result of his surprising victory and push. Dallas was also able to walk away with a victory over the Intercontinental Champion.

Bo Dallas comes from a legendary wrestling family. His father is Mike Rotunda who was I.R.S in the WWF during the 1990s. His grandfather is Blackjack Mulligan and uncles are Barry and Kendall Windham. His brother is Bray Wyatt, previously Husky Harris who is also an NXT Superstar. Dallas and Wyatt were tag team champions while in WWE’s developmental territory, FCW.

Bo Dallas has had a great start to his WWE career. Each NXT Superstar that has been promoted to the main roster has been successful. Each one has also been introduced in a different way. The Shield attacked Ryback at Survivor Series, Big E Langston became Dolph Ziggler’s bodyguard, Brad Maddox was a referee and now Dallas is a new version of the 1-2-3 Kid.

If this week is any indication, this will not be the last time Bo Dallas is the WWE Wrestler of the Week.

Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out

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WWE NXT September 20 Results & Report

September 22, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE NXTHello people, and welcome to the rant. Before I get into it, Night of Champions happened… Have to say I wasn’t a fan of it. I’m not even talking about HHH going over Punk, which I was all right with. Yes, it makes no sense for HHH to go over; but I’m satisfied with the fact that it took a Truth Hurts, a Jackknife Powerbomb, and several Pedigrees to finally put Punk away. What I do have a problem with is Beth Phoenix jobbing to someone that makes no sense for her jobbing too, and John Cena winning the belt yet again. You telling me that with everyone they have on the roster on RAW, they have no one else to give that bloody title to for more than a month? Oh, I digress…

The show opens up with Percy Watson in the ring in a full on business suit. Oh boy, does this really mean that Percy is “back on WWE NXT?” Why won’t this show end? Percy Watson welcomes us to NXT, and welcomes his guest who is dominating NXT and will win it all… JTG. No I’m just kidding, its Titus O’Neil of course… who comes out to different music than Percy… So for those keeping score: Maxine, Percy, Derrick Bateman, and now Titus all have their own theme music. Meanwhile, Darren Young still has nothing.

Titus is out, and he reminds me why I hate that dog bark. Afterward, him and Percy discuss how Titus has pretty much been wiping out the competition, which is true. This “competition” should have ended eons ago. You guys aware that from the last elimination to the present has surpassed the length of all other NXT seasons before it? What’s the hold up? Titus says after he wins NXT, him and Percy will go on to become the Tag Team Championships… wait, how does Titus getting a shot at a WWE contract ensure that Percy will too? Did Percy get a job with WWE? The heck did he do to get a job ahead of Titus? Other than that, I’m fine with this. Titus and Darren are actually a pretty decent tag team.

JTG and Darren Young come out to interrupt because they’re jerks. This pretty much makes it official; JTG is now Darren’s Pro. They talk about how its actually Darren’s show, which really doesn’t make sense as he’s done nothing but beat up announcers. After some bragging from JTG and Darren, Titus responds with a quote that reminds us all why he should never be allowed to hold a mic. And I quote:

”Last time I saw you guys, the Usos were bringing the wood to your asses!”

Yeah, swirl that around in your heads for a second. Anyway, The heels try to jump the faces, and that fails badly. They’re sent out of the ring, and we have our main event for the night. But first, because they’re only two Divas on NXT, here’s yet another match between Maxine and AJ.

AJ vs. Maxine

They show a replay of last week, and I must apologize for calling that Double Underhook Sitdown DDT a Batista bomb last week, my bad.

This match is definitely a lot better from their previous match up. She’s no Trish Stratus, but Maxine is developing very nicely. It’s hard to believe that she was in that match with Kaitlyn that was one of the worst Diva’s matches ever. She’s actually developing into quite the bruiser, and I’m becoming a fan.

As for AJ, she may in fact be developing into the next Trish Stratus. She is awesome in the ring, and if WWE can get over the fact that she isn’t a model, she could become something really special. However, this is WWE after all where they have Beth freaking Phoenix jobbing to Kelly Kelly; so I’m not holding my breath.

End comes as AJ squirms out of Maxine’s finisher (The Maxim?) and nails a shining wizard for the win.

Winner: AJ

We get shown a graphic confirming that Darren/JTG vs. Titus/Percy is our main event for tonight. You realize that Titus and Darren have fought in some form 368 times now?

We then get shown a RAW Rewind with the Hugh Jackman happenings. Jackman is by the way, my new favorite Raw Guest Host of all time now. It was perfect: I actually really like Jackman, he didn’t take himself too seriously (in fact, he was pretty funny), and he didn’t dominate the show. On top of this, he used his appearance to get someone over (Zack Ryder). Bravo Jackman, Bravo.

We cut to the back with a very upset Maxine walking and bumping into Hornswoggle. She sees Hornswoggle with a love letter, and insults the leprechaun. She then mentions that she saw Titus and AJ hanging out together for the entire week that Swoggle was gone. Swoggle’s face shows some anger… that means he’s actually buying this. Yes, Hornswoggle actually thinks he can believe the heel that has said on numerous occasions that she wants to break those two up… yup, Hornswoggle is smart.

Maxine walks off and interrupts Derrick Bateman talking to Tyson Kidd. Tyson walks off thanks to this, and Derrick is visibly upset as he was gaining knowledge from the Hart Dungeon… which to be fair, if I was a wrestler, I’d be upset about too. Maxine yells for letting her lose, and that he’s blowing it. Wow, Maxine is a pain in the butt. I wonder why Derrick puts up with her. They then proceed to viciously make out… yeah, that would be why.

Derrick Bateman vs. Yoshi Tatsu

This match up by the way, this was the only new match up this week as the rest were all rematches. As far as matches go, this was fine. Derrick Bateman continues to impress me, while Yoshi continues to annoy me. He just seems to find more and more Japanese stereotypes to rip-off. This week, its knife-edge chops. That’s basically his whole side of the match. Chops in the ring, chops on the floor, Chops from the top rope… I hate Yoshi.

End come when Yoshi hits the “I’m Japanese, therefore all my kicks are Bruce Lee like” for the win… or it would have been. Tyson runs in and proceeds to monkey stomp Yoshi into next week!

Winner: Yoshi by DQ

Tyson then does me a favor and hits his finisher on Yoshi, and continues to manhandle him. Gee, I wonder if this will result in yet another match between the two?

AJ in the back now looking for Hornswoggle Titus bumps into her, and congratulates her victory. He then wishes her luck on… patching things up with Hornswoggle? Wait, why does she have to patch things up? Hornswoggle is the one who left her for 2 weeks without calling her. Why does she have to make up to him? Is someone who’s going through a rough patch with his girlfriend writing this week’s episode? Anyway, AJ thanks him for the advice (for some reason) and hugs him. Unfortunately, Hornswoggle is there and immediately assumes this means AJ is cheating on him, and leaves in disgust. Its amazing how NXT makes me dislike people even more.

Titus O’Neil & Percy Watson vs. Darren Young & JTG

Again, while matches on NXT are repetitive, I can’t discount them for being bad. The four actually work really well, and gel to make a great match. As much as I dislike Titus O’Neil, I like him as a tag team with Percy. They have great size and teamwork. Granted, Titus’ moveset is still garbage as I swear he did every variation of shoulderblock known to man. However and too his credit, when he wants to he can explode with a really impressive offensive power move set. Percy continues to impress me as well.

Darren and JTG really work well as a team. If this keeps up, we may have a new Cryme Tyme. Which is a good thing as we need as many tag teams as possible. This is definitely the match to watch this week, and was worthy of the main event spot.

End comes as Darren surprises Titus by clipping his leg, and picking up for not his finisher. Its like he was going to do the Double Knee Driver, but then thought “Nah, one knee is fine.” At any right, it’s enough to beat Titus.

Winner: JTG & Darren Young

The heels celebrate… till the Usos run in and jump them. The announcers make this big deal about how the Usos have made a statement to Teddy Long about getting a title shot… how? They beat up a jobber and someone who isn’t technically employed by the WWE. How does this translate to a statement?


Wrestling-wise, it was an excellent show. I can’t really say there was a bad match on here, but it’s just that NXT really needs to finish. Just give the victory to Titus, and be done with it. The fact that they need to bring back more and more old Rookies is getting ridiculous. Please NXT, just end.

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WWE Friday Night SmackDown September 16 Results – Edge Appreciation Night

September 16, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Edge Appreciation NightWelcome to the 9/16/11 edition of Friday Night SmackDown! as we head into Night of Champions. Normally, I would order the NoC PPV, but this year’s card just isn’t doing anything for me. Not even the greatness of CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio are a big enough selling point for me. Looks like I’m waiting until at least Survivor Series before I buy another PPV.

Anyway, the show starts off with Justin Roberts introducing Edge back to SmackDown!, as the show is in Toronto, Edge’s hometown. Rehabilitation doesn’t appear to have been as kind to Edge as some others. His arms are looking rather skinny (skinnier than normal), while he’s getting some pudge around his face and gut. Not a lot, but it’s showing. The crowd goes nuts for Edge, and he says misses that, and that it feels good to be in a WWE ring, and even better to be in his hometown. Edge has done fun things since retiring, like shooting a TV show, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss wrestling. He misses the competition and the friendships, as well as music and pyro going off every time he enters a room. Edge says, at the risk of sounding cheesy, he misses all the fans. This gets a “Thank you, Edge” chant. He’s hosting The Cutting Edge tonight, with guests Mark Henry and Randy Orton. Cody Rhodes’ music hits.

Rhodes comes out with his bag boys. He says he wants to give credit where credit is due, as he was sure Edge was going to come out to talk about his appearance on Haven tonight. Cody says it sounds to him like Edge is sucking up to the people in the crowd. He thought Edge was above that. Rhodes says that Edge is maybe just like all of the blank and hopeless faces in the crowd that are in need of paper bags. Edge says maybe Rhodes needs to quit bitching and moaning about everything and blame himself for all of his problems. Rhodes calls Edge bitter, and the last time he saw Edge, he walked out of Wrestlemania as World Champion while Rhodes “wallowed in tragedy at his blemished exterior”. Rhodes talks about winning the IC title, getting rid of Ted DiBiase and beating Orton on Monday Night RAW. His voice is cracking like a kid going through puberty. Rhodes calls Edge a tragedy. He gets a paper bag from one of his tea baggers, I mean bag boys and gives it to Edge. Rhodes wants Edge to take the bag home and put it in his office as a reminder of what SmackDown! has become-the new home of the new face of SmackDown!, the Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes. God, I hope he’s not the new face of the show. Edge thanks Rhodes for the offer, but says if Rhodes is the new face of the show, it needs a paper bag way more than Edge. Edge says it doesn’t make sense how someone as charismatic as Dusty Rhodes could have sired Cody. Edge says if he doesn’t leave now, he’s going to fall asleep in the ring. Edge begins walking to the back as Rhodes continues to scream on the microphone.

Rhodes says no one is better than him, and he’s going to enhance everyone’s life right now by handing out more bags to the crowd. Someone in a bag mask then hits Rhodes. Turns out it’s DiBiase. DiBiase jumps the guard rail and slams Rhodes into it. In the ring, DiBiase punches Rhodes a few times before hitting a really high Dream Street. I’m guessing we’re getting a face turn here? DiBiase decks one of the bag boys, grabs a bag and goes to Cody Rhodes, but Rhodes has escaped and is walking back up the ramp. I like DiBiase and all, but this music has got to go.

Up next. Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan one more time.

MATCH 1: Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan
This is still Hunico playing the role of Sin Cara here. You’ll need to know that in a few minutes (if you’ve already read spoilers, you know what I’m talking about). Bryan comes out second to a pretty damn loud pop. Bryan starts with a running knee and a corner dropkick. Bryan with some punches to the head and abs, followed by some stomps and a European uppercut. Bryan’s wrestling like a heel here. I love it. Cara flips out of a corner whip, but Bryan nails him with a forearm. Bryan goes for the suicide dive, but Cara slides back in with a dropkick to the knee. Cara with stomps now before hitting a legbreaker and a kick to the back of the left knee. Cara’s working over the left leg here. Cara goes for another legbreaker, but just throws Bryan over the top rope instead. Commercial.

Despite WWE being sponsored by Light Strike for months now, this is the first actual commercial I’ve seen for these products. I haven’t even seen these things in stores yet.

Back from the break, and Sin Cara has a modified figure-4 on Bryan. I’m sure there’s another name for this move, but I don’t know it off the top of my head. Bryan gets out by just laying in some nasty forearms to the face. Cara gets a kick to the knee and a running boot to the head. Cara flips out of a corner charge and hits a springboard headbutt for 2. Cara goes for a spinning toe hold, but Bryan boots him off. Cara tries for a Lionsault, but lands face-first on Bryan’s extended feet. Bryan with forearms and some kicks to the head for 2. Bryan lays in some kicks to the chest in the corner and then hoists Cara to the top rope. Cara slides out and crotches Bryan before turning him into the tree of woe and laying some kicks in. Cara refuses to get out of the corner, getting himself disqualified.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Daniel Bryan. Cara hits a corner dropkick before the music plays. Out comes the real Sin Cara. They circle each other in the ring. The actual Sin Cara has more muscle and is slightly shorter, for those of you wondering. Fake Sin Cara slides out of the ring as the music continues to play. Aside from the BS ending (the DQ, not the face-off), this match was pretty decent.

We get a recap of 2 weeks ago when Mark Henry attacked Orton in the cage.

Rage looks friggin’ SICK. Just saying.

In Teddy Long’s office, Zack Ryder asks if he thinks Mark Henry and Randy Orton will be able to control themselves on “The Cutting Edge” tonight. Long invokes the “no-contact” policy again this week, telling Ryder to pass the message on to both Henry and Orton. This leads to Aksana offering to massage Teddy Long. Long says maybe a quick one. She begins to rub his shoulders before Long bends over to get his lower back rubbed. Trish Stratus walks in. Long says it’s not what she thinks. Trish says she’s going to go now. I’m all for Trish Stratus on my screen, but are you telling me that’s the best they could do?

MATCH 2: AJ (w/Kaitlyn) vs. Beth Phoenix (w/Natalya)
Poor AJ. Yes, she’s skinny like most of the other divas in the WWE, but unlike them, she has actually trained for wrestling her entire career and can work. Beth gets AJ in a tie-up and backs her into a corner. AJ tries for a body scissors but it’s immediately turned into a back suplex. Phoenix presses AJ up in the air a few times in a gorilla press before dropping her face-first on the mat. AJ gets a few kicks and punches in before eating a big boot. Phoenix with the Glam Slam, and this one’s over.

WINNER: Beth Phoenix. Nothing against AJ, but this is exactly how Beth and Natalya need to be booked-squashing the hell out of everyone else. Phoenix gets a mic and says on Sunday, the clock will strike midnight because all of the little Cinderellas in the WWE will have an unhappy ending to their little fairytale.

This commercial for Night of Champions still shows Ezekiel Jackson as IC Champion. You think someone at WWE would have fixed this, especially since he hasn’t been champion for over a month now.

We get a highlight video package for Sheamus, complete with the new version of his entrance theme. It’s a pretty solid package.

Backstage, Trish Stratus is putting some kind of yoga gloves on Edge’s hands. Christian walks up. He says it’s nice for Trish to show up when she has something to sell before calling her selfish. Christian says maybe Edge cost him the World Championship at Summerslam, maybe he didn’t. Either way, Edge was telling the truth. They hug. Christian says before “The Cutting Edge” segment, maybe Edge could go into Long’s office and get him one more title match. Edge gives him a dirty look. Christian asks Edge if that means he doesn’t deserve another match. Edge starts to call Christian a little bitch, but Christian cuts him off before storming out. Zack Ryder walks up and begs Edge to tell Randy Orton and Mark Henry about the “no contact” rule tonight before running away while saying “Woo woo woo. You know it”. Trish asks if that was just the Internet Champion.

MATCH 3: Wade Barrett and Christian vs. Justin Gabriel and Sheamus
We get a recap of Sheamus taking out Barrett and Christian after the match last week. Sheamus is still using his regular theme. Not sure when the new one makes its official debut. Before the match starts, Sheamus grabs a mic. He has a couple of common Irish pleasantries for Christian and Barrett. He says he has nothing nice for Christian, as Christian’s face looks like a horse’s arse, and Barrett’s about as thick as a bag of horse manure, and half as useful. Then he recites a poem about how he couldn’t find an Ax or a Smasher, so he got himself a “450 splasher”. I love Demolition references. Seriously, I do. Gabriel starts off with Barrett. Gabriel with an arm bar. He flips out of a hip toss attempt into a sweep. Barrett punches out of an arm wringer before throwing Gabriel over the top. Gabriel lands on his feet and leapfrogs over Barrett off a springboard, but turns around into a scrapbuster for 2. Christian tags in and lands some stomps, followed by an uppercut. Christian with mounted punches and a foot choke. Gabriel reverses a suplex into a small package for 2. Christian clotheslines him back down before tagging in Barrett. Barrett with stomps in the corner. Gabriel reverses a suplex attempt by Barrett into another small package for 2. Barrett gets a clothesline before going to a reverse chinlock. Gabriel fights out with elbows and some kicks. He misses a roundhouse, leading to a release flapjack by Barrett for 2. Christian tags back in and chokes Gabriel over the middle rope. Gabriel comes back with some kicks, but eats an uppercut. Christian with a hard whip into the corner. Commercial.

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Back from the break, Barrett lands a hard kick to Gabriel’s head, followed by a backbreaker for 2. Barrett gets a stomp to the head before tagging in Christian. Christian does a corner whip, but Gabriel leapfrogs out and hits an STO before tagging in Sheamus as Christian tags in Barrett. Sheamus with a couple of axe handle shots before hitting a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. Sheamus with a running knee lift. He goes up top, but Christian holds his foot. Barrett lands some punches before getting headbutted back down to the mat. Sheamus hits the flying shoulder block. He goes for the Celtic Cross on Christian, but Christian slides out. Sheamus clotheslines him to the floor. Barrett goes for Wasteland, but Sheamus slides out and hits the Brogue Kick. Sheamus tags in Gabriel, who hits the 450 splash and gets the 3.

WINNERS: Justin Gabriel and Sheamus. After the match, Christian tries a sneak attack on Sheamus, but Sheamus sees it coming, so Christian slides back out of the ring before walking away. Not a bad match. Everyone here looked good. I could see either side here forming a regular team, too.

We get a recap of what happened last week between Mark Henry and Randy Orton. You know, Henry assaulting Orton despite the “no contact” rule in effect? Yeah, that.

MATCH 4: The Great Khali vs. Heath Slater
Khali is sans Jinder Mahal this week after what happened last week. I could care less about either of them. Anyway, considering the opponent is Slater tonight, I’m sure you can figure out who will win here. I don’t think Slater has won a match since splitting with Gabriel. Slater starts off with a kick to the left leg, followed by another one and some punches. Khali comes back with a clothesline. He slams Slater into the corner as Mahal comes out, speaking Punjab. Khali with another clothesline as Mahal is distracting him. Slater gets a shot to the back, but Khali no-sells and goes for the Punjabi Plunge. Mahal attacks him from behind, leading to the DQ.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: The Great Khali. Mahal and Slater begin to double-team Khali, but he no-sells that and knocks both down. He hits Slater with a brain chop after knocking Mahal to the floor. Khali then gives Slater the Punjabi Plunge. Khali is supposed to be the face in this segment, but if you were going just off crowd reaction, you wouldn’t know it; the crowd here couldn’t care less about any one of these guys.

We get a video recap for the HHH/Punk feud. I’m sure Punk will lost to Paul Levesque-McMahon here, but I don’t think there’s anyone out there who will disagree with me that Punk has completely owned the verbal aspect of this feud.

MATCH 5: WWE Tag Team Co-Champion Evan Bourne (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. R-Truth (w/The Miz)
You know, both of these teams were just thrown together, but so far, they both work well. R-Truth just called himself “The Suntan Superman”. Haven’t heard him use that one in years. R-Truth starts with a boot to the gut, followed by the boot out of the corner that sends Bourne to the floor. Truth throws Bourne back in for a 1-count. Kingston and Miz are on commentary. Truth with a reverse chinlock. Bourne fights out with elbows, but Truth goes for a suplex. Bourne knees his way out and hits a jumping knee to the face for 2. Bourne with some kicks and a very low hurricanrana. Bourne goes up top for Air-Bourne, but Truth rolls out of the way. Bourne lands on his feet, but Truth hits What’s Up for the 3.

WINNER: R-Truth. I like Justin Henry’s name for the What’s Up-The Moment of Truth-much better. This match was short, but it served its purpose in giving the challengers for the tag titles at the PPV some more momentum. Miz and Truth need a team name. I’ve heard “Awesome Truth” thrown around, which is fine, but it needs to be made official.

WWE RAW recap video time.

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Back from commercials, and it’s time for “The Cutting Edge”. Edge reminds us of what happened earlier with him and Cody Rhodes, and how Rhodes said he was pandering. Edge says what Rhodes doesn’t realize is how important Toronto has been to him. He sat in row six at Wrestlemania IV, and won his first championship-the IC title-in Toronto as well. He says he knows how important championships are, and is happy to have the guests on tonight that he does. Mark Henry comes out first, followed by Randy Orton. Orton trimmed down his douche beard. Good for him. Edge reminds Henry and Orton of the “no contact” rule in place tonight. Edge says to Orton that the rule is probably a good thing for him, as Henry has been tearing through everything and everyone lately. Edge asks Orton if he honestly thinks he can beat Henry this Sunday. Orton says Edge is right in that Henry has demolished a lot of people, but when it comes to him, the only time Henry decides to put his hands on Orton is after a match, so he hasn’t proven anything. Orton says maybe Henry’s absolute best isn’t good enough, and that’s why he hasn’t won the big one yet. Orton doesn’t think he can beat Henry; he KNOWS he can. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Edge says Orton is telling the truth and calls Henry’s career disappointing. Edge says despite Henry’s size and devastating style, he’s never won the WWE or World title. Maybe it’s because of fluke injuries or bad timing or maybe he just doesn’t have the desire. Maybe Henry isn’t good enough to get to the top level.

Henry says the only reason Edge will walk out of the ring on his own power is because he’s right. For 15 years, he’s seen men smaller and weaker than him become champion, including Orton. What people have told him was to always smile and show his personality. Henry’s done smiling and showing personality. He’s here to destroy and take the World title. Henry says it’s taken him 15 years to get to this point, and come Sunday, he will be the World Champion. Orton says the match this Sunday will be symbolic of Henry’s career. He might look impressive and come close, but he’ll still be what he’s always been-a 400-pound, 15-year “world’s strongest failure”. Edge reminds them there is no physical contact during “The Cutting Edge”, but this is the part of the show where he says that “The Cutting Edge” is officially over. Orton immediately lays into Henry with punches. Long brings out practically the entire SmackDown! locker room to restrain Henry. He throws them all off before laying into Orton. They hold him back, allowing Orton to jump over all of them and hit Henry with some punches. Now they’re all restraining Orton. He fights his way out, but runs immediately into a World’s Strongest Slam. Henry then lays into the rest of the wrestlers in the ring. Hey, there’s Johnny Curtis! Remember him? Me either. Henry hits Orton with a jumping splash before he starts throwing wrestlers out of the ring. He then hits another jumping splash. Henry throws more wrestlers out, including Derrick Bateman. So…he’s part of the SmackDown! roster AND NXT? Henry hits Orton with another WSS. Henry holds up the World title over Orton.

End of show.

You know, the way Mark Henry has been booked these last few months has been the absolute perfect way to book him. Having said that, it’s going to be hugely disappointing when he loses on Sunday yet again. Love or hate Mark Henry, you have to feel for the guy. After 15 years, he’s only had two championships, and neither one of them are in existence anymore. Hell, the first one-that being the European Championship-wasn’t even won; Jeff Jarrett handed it over to him after winning the IC title.

Anyway, not a bad show this week. I’d say the best overall match was Sheamus/Gabriel vs. Barrett/Christian. Bryan/Cara was good too, save for the ending.

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Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.


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WWE NXT September 13 Results & Report

September 15, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE NXT September 13Howdy y’all, and welcome to the rant. This week’s WWE NXT rant takes place in Toronto, Canada. Or, as WWE likes to call it, Bizarro Land. See they call it that because it’s the only place where Cena gets booed… wait no, its really not. Well, it’s definitely the only place that cheers the heels… no. Wait a minute, we cheer the heels a lot in the states as well… Kind of a double standard you have there WWE.

We start the show in the ring with Matt Striker. He says typically he’d be starting the show off by introducing us to a challenge… that is a lie, we haven’t had a challenge on the show in months. This by the way, is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. Striker then goes on and on about a hockey term for a loser (Goon) and says this is perfect description of JTG and Darren Young. Oh, I get it. Because we’re in Canada, he’s doing a hockey term.

Darren and JTG out, which begs the question: Why are JTG and Darren a team? The whole JTG interfering thing really makes no sense. As team Young Gs walk to the ring, Regal leaves the booth and enters the ring. Regal’s full of funny comments tonight, as he starts us off by asking either Striker or Darren to translating what JTG said as he came down to the ring (I don’t know, something about us hating?) Humorously, Darren has no idea either.

Darren explains that this is a matter of respect for them, and that they are upset that a retired old man and a Never-Was are disrespecting them. Regal warns him against calling him an old man, as it will make them look bad when they lose to one. Say what you will about Regal, he still makes an entertaining promo. He ends it by suddenly screaming that he’s “straight up gansta tripping!” and then that’s it. Funny as it was out of nowhere.

We cut to a shot of Derrick Bateman and Tyson Kidd in the back walking. Derrick assaults a wall as we are told they will be in action against Titus O’Neil and a mystery opponent. Considering that Tyson is in Canada, I don’t like Derrick’s chances of a victory.

Derrick Bateman & Tyson Kidd vs. Titus O’Neil & Percy Watson

First I notice that Titus has his own theme music finally. It sounds like a slowed down version of Lex Luger’s theme music from Wrestlemania X. It’s all right; I’ve definitely heard worse for theme music. Second is Percy Watson… who’s gained twice the body mass that he had in season 2of NXT. Percy is not quite as goofy, though I admit that we don’t hear him cut a promo on this night. But physically, he looks as big as Titus. So they kind of look like Doom out there together… a big, goofy, zany version of Doom.

Story of this pairing is that they became friends on Season 2, and that Titus called him up and asked if he’d team up with him against Derrick and Tyson. Time out… that’s all it takes to get a match in WWE? An employee just asks you to wrestle? Not even, cause keep in mind Titus is technically fighting for an opportunity to be employee with the company. So Percy literally skipped the who NXT process by doing this… oh god, please don’t tell me Percy is on NXT now, and we’ve gone from having 2 finalists to having 4 again (5 if you count Maxine).

The match itself is okay. Percy and Titus obviously have teamed up before and they had some interesting moves. I also come to realize that if Titus dropped the stupid dog bark and mooching off Hornswoggle, I maybe okay with his existence. Percy has really gotten good. There was this one spot where he literally jumped 10 feet into the air to hit Tyson with a dropkick as he leapt off the top rope. Percy and Titus definitely have an interesting power and speed combination, and could become something good with some more seasoning and if Titus stops acting like a complete idiot.

Unfortunately, this team still needs a tag finisher, as the match ends with in standard Titus fashion; casually hitting the Clash of the Titus on Derrick Bateman for the win.

Winner: Percy & Titus

It was okay, though it still bugs me that Tyson has lost again in Canada. However, the point of this match was to show off the potential for Percy and Titus; and I have to agree its there. These two could be a nice addition to a FINALLY growing tag division. Hopefully they grow into the position.

We are then shown that tonight AJ will face Maxine, and this takes us to a little backstage segment with AJ on the phone leaving a message for Hornswoggle. Apparently, Swoggle has been gone since last week. She tells him to call her, hangs up, and bumps into Maxine. AJ thinks Maxine kidnapped Hornswoggle, which makes sense considering he’s been kidnapped twice this season. Maxine reveals that she doesn’t have him, and that he left to the Bella Twins to Palm Springs. Man, that’s an image I did not need. AJ doesn’t believe her of course, so Maxine shows her a photo. She says she doesn’t believe it, and runs off. Afterward, Maxine admits that Photoshop is awesome.

Maxine vs. AJ

I wasn’t a fan of this match. Maxine really loves rest holds, and it showed in this match. The fight was pretty much “Maxine with a power move, into a rest hold, flippy moves by AJ, and repeat.” This one should be skipped, and its definitely not as good as their first one.

Maxine wins with a Batista Bomb.

Winner: Maxine

Titus runs out to check on AJ because he’s a desperate Rookie looking for votes in anyway he can. Cole is out now, and he gets very loud boos still. Please don’t be announcing you’re wrestling again.

William Regal & Matt Striker vs. Darren Young and JTG

You guys need to see this match. First of all, the match was pretty interesting. You had 4 guys with 4 very different styles, and they actually meshed pretty well. On top of that, you got Cole ripping apart this match hysterically! He rips into Matt Striker for being in the ring still, Young for hanging onto the fact he main evented Summerslam, and JTG for being JTG. By the way, Jack Korpela has no business going toe to toe with Cole on the mic. It’s not even fair.

The match is pretty humorous. There was even a spot where Striker and Regal used JTG as a battering ram on JTG. It was a really fun tag, and the one thing on here that’s worth a watch. End comes as Darren goes for what looks like an inside cradle, but turns it into a Double Knee Driver for the win. Nice!

Winner: Darren & JTG

So JTG and Darren are celebrating their victory… till the Usos enter the ring and take out the heels. Oh no, have the Usos been demoted to NXT now too?

Honestly, this NXT was okay. The tag matches were all good, and the main event was so over the top, it was awesome. The Diva’s match wasn’t great, but I didn’t hate it. Okay show, and worth a watch.

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WWE NXT September 6 Results & Report

September 12, 2011 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

William Regal WWE NXTHey guys. My apologies for my absence last week; but last week was just a recap show talking about the best NXT alumni in the WWE right now. In summary: Keep an eye on Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Alex Riley, and AJ. There you go, I saved you 48 minutes.

Our show this week opens with a recap of Darren Young beating up Matt Striker after Striker tried to make peace. They make sure to show Regal then running in and chasing off Darren Young as we cut to the opening. We come back for the first disappointing thing of the night, as Jack Korpela has replaced the departed (to ESPN) Todd Grisham. I have nothing against Jack, but I was hoping Scott Stanford to be the replacement. He’s not terrible, but its like they gave the job to a five year old child who just so darn happy to be there. Okay, maybe he was a little bad, but give him a break. He’s new.

Darren out to start our show with generic music. He comes out and says NXT is done, which humorously gets a loud ovation. Unfortunately, he was referring to how the competition is over cause Darren has proven without a shadow of a doubt he’s the best…. How? I mean seriously, all he did was beat up an announcer. For crying out loud, he’s celebrating like he just ended the Streak!

Darren thanks Regal for coming into the ring last week, cause he would have killed Striker. No seriously; he was going to commit murder. Well, Orton hands out concussions like candy, so why not?

Regal comes into the ring… to be a nonsensical hypocrite. First he chastises Darren Young, saying that beating people up is no way to get ahead in the wrestling business. What? He also later tells Darren Young that villains don’t bully people…Its there that I start to wonder if old age has finally gotten to Lord Steven Regal. So Ric Flair and the Horsemen weren’t villains? Though his comment about having a body like a badly made bed was funny.

Darren tells Regal to shut up and to stop hogging his spotlight. Regal responds by telling him he doesn’t need it, he gets his own just fine. He warns Young that he has no idea what he’s getting into if he challenges him. Darren responds to this warning to not challenge him… by challenging him to a match. Smart guy, that Darren Young.

Regal accepts by telling him he’s doing this not for himself or revenge. He’s honestly doing this to teach Darren a lesson in respect. Nice segment in all, set up the match for later nicely, and explained both guys’ reasons for being there.

We come back for our weekly dose Titus O’Neil! :(

Titus O’Neil & AJ vs. Derrick Bateman

I really hate this Trio. Could WWE make it anymore obvious whom they want to win NXT? Plus the trio is just so ridiculous. You have Titus who’s just there to leech off his Pro. You have AJ, who’s in love with a midget and slapped Maryse so hard she got a hernia. And Hornswoggle, whose only crime is that he’s the most annoying thing the company has every produced. You almost feel bad for him, as he’s with 2 people who he thinks are friends but are just using him- oh my god! I’m sympathizing for Hornswoggle!

I don’t mind Bateman and Maxine, as they are getting better the longer they are allowed to be together. Derrick plays the guy who loves sex so much he’s willingly being used, and I buy Maxine as the controlling female. Plus to Maxine’s credit, her in-ring has really improved. Do I wish they were fighting somebody else, yeah. But that’s the breaks.

Annoying thing about this match is Titus dominates every time he’s tag in. No joke, whenever he and Bateman are in there, he’s just mauling him. Thankfully, Maxine and AJ are a little more balanced. Maxine has become quite the powerhouse, and holds her own with AJ nicely. AJ, to her credit, is really good. She reminds me of female X-Pac; which I mean as a compliment. Heck, she even does his patented spin kick like him as well.

This one doesn’t last that long. Titus gets his 20th hot tag, and goes to town on Derrick. After Maxine spoils a pinfall attempt, her and AJ fight on the outside. Derrick tries for a rollup but Titus just rolls through and hits Clash of the Titus for the victory

Winners: AJ & Titus

This match was good when AJ and Maxine fought, but the “Titus = Cena” parts of it weighed it down. Why is Titus the only face again? Oh yeah, WWE wants him to win. Can we just skip to the part where he wins ands ends NXT already?

We then go to the back were Derrick and Maxine argue about the loss. They have one of the most comical fights I’ve ever seen a couple have. They talk about how Derrick could have beaten Titus if he watched more Roadhouse, how Bateman spends too much time giving his hair a perm instead of training, and whether Maxine is “real”. Finally they decide to focus their attention on getting Hornswoggle and proceed to make out. I liked this segment, as it explained Maxine and Bateman’s relationship pretty nicely. They are using each other to get revenge on Hornswoggle… and for sex. The thought of sex frightens Jack Korpela by the way… which is sad.

Regal heads to the back to get ready, and Matt Striker replaces him. Tyson Kidd makes his way to the ring to cut a promo, and oh my god, what happened to his tongue? I don’t know what happened, but Tyson has a huge lisp right now. Jack Swagger is in the back going “Damn, that’s a big lisp.” I’m sorry, but wow its distracting.

Tyson points out the obvious, in that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who is behind these strings of attacks that he’s been hit with… I still can’t believe they had Tyson job to Trent Baretta in Canada. Trent Baretta? Really? I apologize, I got off topic there.

He rambles on and on about his lineage, and how that makes him the best wrestler on the roster… while ignoring the fact that his win-loss is worse than Yoshi Tatsu’s. He then challenges Yoshi to a match.

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Now sometimes in the life of a professional wrestler, one needs to re-invent himself. One’s persona can get stale, and it’s important to basically hit a reset on yourself to reintroduce yourself to the new crowd, and even better your career. Look how good that heel turn went for R-Truth. So Yoshi Tatsu had a really good chance here to do this… and trust me when I say he flushed that opportunity down the toilet.

So Yoshi comes out, and he’s dressed like a Jonin from Naruto. His theme music starts with that weird Japanese symbol and some ominous music before leaping right into that weird Super Mario music of his. His blonde highlight in now red, and he walks to the ring instead bouncing around like an imbecile. He takes off his ninja garb and now half his face is painted like a kabuki. So in summary, his reset was to become more of Japanese stereotype than he already was. No joke, the only thing he could do at this point to become more of a stereotype is join the Yakuza and ride a tentacle monster from a hentai to the ring.

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Tyson Kidd

This feud has pretty much turned into the reason to watch NXT. You know, so when your talking to your friends and they start to laugh at you for watching the show; you can at least say “Well, Yoshi and Kidd had a really good match.”

So yeah, for those who never heard me talk about these two in the ring; great chemistry, very innovative moves, and very faced paced action. In fact, I’d say its thanks to these two guys are the main reason HHH sees money in the cruiserweights again. However, and this will always be the problem with it, it’s a story about two grown men fighting over a toy. Its so stupid it makes this great match look like garbage.

Nice back and forth here; its definitely worth a watch. End comes as Yoshi blocks a frankensteiner from the top rope and counters with an off the top rope spin heel kick. Now this is one of Yoshi’s finishers, and something he’s done a million times on NXT. However, the announcers decide to sell it like they just saw Hogan slam Andre.

Winner: Yoshi Tatsu

End result? I somehow dislike Yoshi even more. Which takes us to our Main Event.

William Regal vs. Darren Young

Prowrestling is the only sport were old dudes can destroy someone twenty years younger than they are and several times stronger than them. This was pretty much a squash match, a pretty frustrating one at that. Don’t get me wrong I love Regal and all, but how does this help Darren? This is what this show is supposed to do, right? Showcase the young guys and make me buy that he deserves a spot on the main roster? You don’t do this by having him get beat up by a guy who typically jobs on the main roster, and also is an announcer. Makes no sense.

Regal has the Regal Stretch locked on and Darren is about to type. Suddenly JTG tries to run in… for no reason really. Striker starts cursing and takes out JTG because Announcer/Wrestler rule. Regal gets up and causally hits the Knee Trembler for the win.

Winner: William Regal


This show was lousy this week. Two matches that felt like a squashes and one good match… that we’ve see 20 times now. This one really made me wish that this season would just wrap up. We’ve known for months that Titus will win this one, and it’s just delaying the inevitable. If anyone from WWE is reading this, please just end this season!

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WWE NXT August 23 Results & Report

August 25, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Derrick Bateman NXTWe start the August 23 WWE NXT show with an apology on my part. For whatever the reason, couldn’t load the episode in time for the broadcast. As a result my review starts violently during an in ring promo between Darren Young and Matt Striker.

Using my incredible powers of deduction, it looks like Darren is there to continue to harass Matt Striker. As I ask myself why Darren Young believes attacking an announcer is bringing him closer to his dream of being a WWE Superstar, Striker calms him down, and says there’s no point in continuing this feud. Matt admits he came at Darren with everything he had last week, and Darren beat him. He even comes out and says that Darren is better than he is. It’s actually pretty funny as Striker seems to want this feud to be over as much as me.

Young however says that’s not enough, and he wants him to admit that Darren Young is the future of the WWE, and that Striker is a washed up loser who never made it in the WWE. Striker calls Darren a man who spent the last two years working out and getting stronger, and meanwhile he (Striker) has been doing nothing since he stopped being a wrestler. He again states that he’s the better wrestler and asks that they just move on. Darren really doesn’t want to negotiate this and once again makes his demands to Striker. Striker finally says okay and calls himself a washed up wrestler, and says after this no one doubts that Darren Young has the best chance of winning NXT… how do you figure? They were good matches yes; but in the end, Darren beat up an announcer. Pardon me if I don’t see how that makes him the next breakout star just yet.

Matt Striker then extends his hand, and says there ya go, you’re the man. He then asks one final time if they can let this go. Darren answers him by kicking him in the stomach and proceeding to beat the tar out of Striker. This continues… till Lord William Regal jumps in and chases off Darren Young… really? They’re going to have him go from one announcer feud to another? This leading up to a big match against Justin Roberts as revenge for getting Daniel Bryan fired? Should I just call him the “Announcer Killer” from now on?

We then go to the back to see Tyson Kidd in the back suddenly upset. Some jerk apparently got a hold of his bags and scattered it all over his locker room. I don’t understand why he’s upset. Considering this is WWE, he got off pretty lucky if the only thing to happen to him was someone emptied his bags. However, as he sets up his suit bag again, he notices the Japanese kanji scattered all over it. Spooky. Nice to know the broad Japanese stereotype is returning soon.

Tyson Kidd vs. Trent Barreta

I was a little concern for Tyson at first. When he came out, I swear the crowd was dead. They only picked up a bit when it was announced he was from Calgary. However, as the match progressed, it became pretty loud. Good on Tyson, cause he deserved the reaction.

I haven’t seen too much of Trent Barreta, aside from people insisting that he’s a great wrestler. Going into this match, the only thing I was aware of was that his tights sucked. Really man? Flowery tights? And he’s seriously wondering why he’s a jobber right now? But I have to say, he’s very talented. He did some moves I really wasn’t expecting and if pushed right, and getting some different tights, he could really become something one day.

This match… this was one of the best matches I’ve ever seen. No joke, this match was better then it had any right of being. This match felt like I was watching something from ROH; it was that good. I FINALLY saw what the big deal was with Tyson Kidd, as he looked exactly like Bret Hart fused with Rey Jr. out there. The action was so back and forth it was amazing, and the crowd was eating this up. I may have witnessed the match that finally propels Tyson higher in the card. Its one of the few times I agreed with the announcers; in 5 years, Tyson is going to be someone to look out for.

Trent looked good too. He reminded me of a young Jeff Hardy, before he started to flush his life down the toilet. One spot that I thought looked awesome was he actually jumped off the second rope and hit a Whisper in the Wind to Tyson on the floor. Trent could be someone to look out for as well.

Seriously, check out this match. It has quite a few false finishes as well, including a Sharpshooter counter and Trent escaping the Canadian Maple leaf. The match actually did a good job of making Trent and Tyson look credible. This match should have been on RAW, and not lost on this show.

The crowd is hot for it too, as Tyson is getting cheered out of the building. However… Japanese Kanji appears on the screen. This distracts Tyson, and the crowd starts to boo as they know what this means. Trent takes advantage of the distracted Tyson and nails a tornado DDT for the win.

WINNER: Trent Barreta

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This made absolutely no sense. Tyson has been putting together awesome match after awesome match… and jobbing each time. He takes on Trent, jobber to the stars, and he’s in freaking Canada! So you think okay, he definitely getting this one…. Why would you do this WWE? The crowd boos this hardcore, as that’s what you do when you want to give a guy’s hometown the finger. Its amazing that despite being the heel, Tyson is getting a lot of cheers just for his work rate. It just didn’t make sense to me as it took the crowd out of the rest of the show. Very confusing…

Apparently, the main event tonight is a replay of Punk vs. Cena, which means another snow day for me… seriously, maybe they should just relay RAW at this point?

We get a small replay of the happenings of last week with Bateman, Maxine, AJ, Hornswoggle, and Titus. They pay special focus to Maxine taking out AJ. They then announce that tonight its AJ vs. Maxine in the main event. This leads to Bateman and Maxine in the back as they stretch/cuddle? Bateman says that together they’ll be more powerful than Hunter and Steph, more controversial than Edge and Lita, and bigger than Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire (I admit, this got a chuckle out of me). Maxine is ready to take out AJ, but she is worried about Hornswoggle interfering… which in all honesty is a fair concern.

Bateman says not to worry, as he’s got a master plan to get the Leprechaun out of the way. Maxine promises him a prize he’ll really like if he does that. Spoiler – its sex.

AJ vs. Maxine

This match was okay, though really it was AJ carrying Maxine a bit there. I will give Max some credit though, she’s improved a lot from that time she was a part of one of the worst matches ever put on in the history of NXT.

Ugh. Well she’s put on some actual muscle and is a pretty hard-hitting chick in that ring. It’s a nice back and forth till finally… Derrick reveals his master plan for taking out Hornswoggle. That plan? Beating the living daylights out of him and making him humble. Really all he does is shove Swoggle to the floor. Though, Hornswoggle sells it like the Hulk shoving down a normal person, so it actually looks pretty gruesome. This distracts AJ enough so Maxine can roll her up for the victory.

WINNER: Maxine

Max and Derrick celebrate, as Titus suddenly runs out… for the save? Hate to break it to him but the beat down was finished when he came down. Even Regal was wondering where the heck he was. Way to be, Titus.


The show wasn’t bad, mainly due to almost zero Titus O’Neil. I would recommend the Tyson/Trent mach very highly, as that match really surprised me with how spectacular it was. Definitely check that one out, as Tyson continues to impress me every time I see him.

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