Date: August 9, 2011
Location: Power Balance Pavilion, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Todd Grisham, William Regal
It’s week….sweet mercy it’s week 23 of this show. This show started over five months ago. Think about that for a minute. What were you doing five months ago? This same stuff has been going on that long. The NFL season doesn’t run as long as the fifth season of this show. There hasn’t been an elimination in over a month. It might seem like I’m rambling here to fill in space. That’s because I am, as there’s nothing else to talk about regarding this season. Let’s get to it.
There’s a challenge ready to go in the ring and Striker gets cut off by Young. It’s something to do with eggs and spoons and finishing lines. Young says he’s not doing it and I think I know where this is going. Young says that Striker is just a wannabe while Young is a superstar. Uh…right. The obvious match is made.
Kidd says he’s facing Justin Gabriel tonight. Oh great now we’re bringing in MORE people to fight against people that have nothing to do with the contest anymore. Kidd isn’t afraid because he’s a pro. He also compares himself to British Bulldog and Bret. Ok then.
BUY OUR PRODUCTS!
Tyson Kidd vs. Justin Gabriel
Regal points out that he wrestled Gabriel’s father in South Africa. Also Gabriel was the first rookie to pin a pro. That pro: William Regal. They hit the mat quickly and fight for control. Kidd takes him down and fires off some kicks. We get a Lance Storm reference as Kidd has been training with him recently. Kidd keeps his advantage as we go to a break. Regal stutters a lot as Gabriel counteres an Asai Moonsault.
After telling us to buy the latest top stars of whatever decade DVD and that bullying is bad except when it makes money for the company, we’re back with Kidd holding a chinlock. Kidd fires off some strikes and here’s another chinlock. With Gabriel draped over the bottom rope, Kidd tries a slingshot legdrop but lands on the apron due to Gabriel moving. Here’s the comeback and a spinwheel kick takes Tyson down. Roaring Elbow gets two. Kidd avoids the 450 but Justin doesn’t crash. Kidd goes to the floor and Gabriel hits a kick through the ropes and a corkscrew plancha.
Gabriel tries a springboard cross body but Kidd rolls through for two. They go to the mat again and get into a weird position. Justin grabs some kind of chinlock with his knee up but Kidd makes the rope. Kidd gets out of the way of another 450 and crotches Gabriel. Big kick sets up a springboard rana for two.
Gabriel grabs a sunset flip for two and we get a double leg nelson analysis from Regal. Kidd picks the leg and it’s off to a half crab (taken from Storm according to Regal). Justin rolls through into a pinning combination for two. Kidd gets his head taken off and Gabriel goes up but Kidd is in the middle of the ring. This isn’t a problem though and the 450 ends this at 14:45. That was impressive.
Rating: B. Very good match here as it was almost like an old WCW Cruiserweight match. The 450 to end it looked very good also as it was definitely the furthest he’s ever gone to hit it. The main issue with this match: WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH NXT??? This doesn’t have anything to do with the rookies and the show is halfway over now and we haven’t even seen two of them. Wait why am I complaining? This was better than anything this show has done in months.
Darren Young vs. Matt Striker
Striker has tights with his name on them now. I’m so glad he didn’t have those last week. Striker takes him down and hammers away almost immediately. Regal says he trained Striker (partially) on one of his off days. Dave Taylor is the one that really trained him though, also according to Regal. Young takes him to the apron and gets a neckbreaker out there which gets two back inside.
Off to the chinlock and then he rams the arm into the post a few times. Young snaps off a belly to belly suplex and Striker lands on his head. Young hooks an armbar because he’s worked on the neck so far and he’s pretty stupid. Striker is bleeding from the nose and grabs something like a Gory Bomb. And never mind as Young grabs a fireman’s carry and drops backwards to drive both knees into the ribs for the pin at 4:50.
Rating: C. Pretty decent match as Young has about his 5th different finisher in about a year but whatever. I’m not sure I get the booking here. Why have Striker come back just to lose? What does it mean for Young that he can beat a guy that has had one match in four years? Striker looked decent and the blood helped it a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a bit shaken up either.
We get the same long recap of Punk vs. Cena from last night.
Daniel Bryan is actually here and talks to Bateman. Bateman is playing some video game against Cena. Bryan turns off the TV and says that Bateman has been making a fool of himself lately. Until he figures that out, he’s on his own. That means we have one pro left of the three and he’s a leprechaun.
Titus O’Neil vs. Derrick Bateman
The bell rings and the crowd goes SILENT. Titus hammers away early on but Bateman gets something like a standing blockbuster for two. Dropkick to the ribs gets two. Off to another chinlock which is broken up by Titus. The crowd is just not caring at all. Backbreaker puts Bateman down but Titus can’t follow up. Bateman picks him up and falls down, letting Titus get the pin at 3:30.
Rating: D. What was the point of this again? I guess they didn’t have time for the full Punk vs. Cena segment from last night so we got a quick match instead. I wouldn’t get used to this as the rookies are a special attraction anymore it seems. Titus looked weak here and this was mainly more about Bateman looking lost without Bryan, because he’s had so much experience with him since the comeback right?
Post match Bateman goes after the Leprechaun but gets taken down and there’s a Tadpole Splash.
Overall Rating: C. That’s on an NXT scale, not a regular one. Yeah the wrestling was better, but we had three matches: One was a pro whose rookie is gone vs. a former NXT rookie, a rookie vs. a host and two rookies fighting again. One match actually means anything and that’s about it. What is the end game of any of this? The crowd going SILENT for rookie vs. rookie stuff is a very bad sign and it just needs to end already.
Justin Gabriel b. Tyson Kidd – 450
Darren Young b. Matt Striker – Fireman’s carry into a gutbuster
Titus O’Neil b. Derrick Bateman – Pin after Bateman fell during a slam