On This Day: December 21, 2011 – NXT: Back When This Show Just Had Potential

NXT
Date: December 20, 2011
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Matt Striker

We’re at the next to last show of the year on this season and it’s becoming pretty clear this is going to go on to the beginning of the WWE Network. Therefore, there’s almost no point to paying attention to this show. However, if I was going with that philosophy I would have been out of here months ago. Let’s get to it.

This 4pm thing is ridiculous. It’s 6:40 and I’ve been checking on things every 20 minutes or so and it’s just now up.

Here’s Bateman to open things up. During Bateman’s entrance we recap the Percy Watson show from last week. He says he’s here to win and win back the Courtney to his Kurt and the Bonnie to his Clyde (aren’t both of those men dead?). Striker says they have to work together and be partners here. Curtis shows us a still of him kissing Maxine and then offers a handshake.

Usos vs. Derrick Bateman/Johnny Curtis

The Siva Tao makes me want to invade a small country. Bateman starts and the brothers take turns beating on him. Once he finally gets a bit of a break though, Curtis tags himself in. It doesn’t go very well for him either though as the Samoans hammer away. Curtis gets a hard clothesline for two and the fans aren’t really interested. He goes over to tag in Bateman but Derrick walks away. It doesn’t take long for the Superfly Splash from Jimmy to get the pin at 3:37.

Rating: D. The match was pretty much nothing but that was the point. The Usos are light years better than everyone and that’s been obvious for months, so I’m getting tired of seeing them wasted in stuff like this. Curtis is about as uninteresting as anyone I’ve seen in years, but it’s just NXT so it’s not so bad.

Trent Barretta asks Yoshi to watch his back against Hawkins tonight since Reks will be out there. Yoshi says sure but after Trent leaves, Yoshi gets jumped by Hawkins/Reks and locked in a utility closet.

Curt Hawkins vs. Trent Barretta

Striker goes on a rant against Hawkins and Reks for making fun of legends on their Youtube show. If he doesn’t like them, why does he keep booking them on NXT if he has matchmaking abilities? Hawkins takes over to start and hits a slam for two. Hawkins keeps beating on him and heads to the floor to yell at Striker who yells right back. Trent fights back and the fans are SILENT. A running knee gets two for Trent. He goes up but has to kick Reks down, allowing Hawkins to finish Trent with a move that starts as a reverse neckbreaker, but he spins forward to slam Trent’s face into the mat for the pin at 4:45.

Rating: D+. I like Barretta but he couldn’t overcome the boredom of the crowd here. Nothing special at all but I guess it sets up drama between Yoshi and Trent which is the latest place they’re going here that has nothing to do with NXT but they have to fill in an hour either way. Also, who comes up with these dull finishers? All these face slam moves are getting old.

Kaitlyn vs. Maxine

Maxine’s outfits really aren’t PG. Kaitlyn dominates to start and shows off her range of offense, going big with a legdrop. Maxine fights back and chokes away. This is the usual boring stuff from the Divas. Maxine hits her in the chest and hooks a standing guillotine choke. Kaitlyn fires off some but Maxine keeps beating her down. Cue Bateman who says he’s been looking everywhere for Maxine. The distraction lets Kaitlyn roll her up at 3:03.

Rating: D. Other than the chest strike thing, this was rather dull. Somehow this was WAY better than the Raw and Smackdown Divas who are just awful at this point. It’s amazing what happens when they’re down in FCW with trainers and get to actually practice a bit isn’t it? This was nothing special though.

Bateman begs forgiveness and sings the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling but gets blasted by Curtis. Maxine walks out on both of them.

Percy Watson vs. Tyson Kidd

Good to see Kidd back on the show though. Percy starts off with his power game and he hammers Tyson into the corner. The referee tells him to get out of there and Percy actually says yes sir. Very nice to see some manners. Just because you’re in combat and trying to get a full time job, there’s no excuse for rudeness. Kidd takes over and uses his feet to take over. Off to a dragon sleeper which Percy escapes pretty easily. He fires off some dropkicks and adds a belly to belly for two. They go to the corner and Percy gets guillotined on the top rope. That and a springboard elbow drop are enough for Tyson to pin him at 4:03.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t bad and it’s nice to see Tyson back on screen. He would have been the prime candidate for an NXT Title if they’d ever just get to one. Either way, this was fine for power vs. speed and that’s all it needed to be. Watson is kind of floundering and I think a heel turn might be in the cards for him.

Same video on the Tribute to the Troops from Monday.

Bateman and Curtis almost get into a fight in Striker’s office so he makes a match between them for next week.

Titus O’Neil vs. JTG

Darren Young is on commentary and his arm is in a sling. Titus uses the power game to start (common theme tonight) as Young says that he’s better than anyone on Raw or Smackdown. Titus throws JTG to the floor and barks. He gets crotched on the ring skirt though and JTG takes over. To the chinlock! Titus powers out of it and hammers away, hitting a powerslam for two. Clash of the Titus ends this at 3:55.

Rating: D. Not much here but it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t particularly good hence the grade, but the point of this was to have Titus look dominant before the post match shenanigans with Young happened. JTG just doesn’t work as a heel because of his size and that he’s more annoying than menacing.

Post match Darren stares Titus down as JTG trips Titus up. Darren rips off his sling as his arm is fine. The post match beatdown ensues.

Overall Rating: D+. You know, this show has potential. They got it back to being like an old school territorial show and I can live with that. If there was a title on this show and you keep in mind that the stakes are as low as you can have while still having stakes, you can enjoy this show. Not a terrible show and if they can keep this style, I could see this show becoming almost ok.

Results
Usos b. Derrick Bateman/Johnny Curtis – Superfly Splash to Curtis
Curt Hawkins b. Trent Barretta – Neckbreaker into a face slam
Kaitlyn b. Maxine – Rollup
Tyson Kidd b. Percy Watson – Springboard Elbow Drop
Titus O’Neil b. JTG – Clash of the Titus

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