“We Are Wild And Young”
Matt Striker joins Josh Mathews on commentary, replacing the absent William Regal.
Tyler Reks vs. Jimmy Uso
We got a good back and forth match between the two. Jay showed some good power action with a dose of high flying. Both men when for high risk moves, and it would be Reks who would capitalize on the last mistake for the pinfall.
Winner: Tyler Reks
* ads *
Percy Watson vs. JTG
Percy and JTG wrestled a decent match, but did not get over with the crowd in any way. Striker on commentary talked about the tremendously horrible Blaxploitation martial arts film “The Last Dragon” in reference to JTG. As a JTG chant starts, Percy would turn the tables for the win.
Winner: Percy Watson
* ads *
Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya
Both women are smiling to start the match in a stalemate. The match moves into holds and matt wrestling between the two. Natalya gets the advantage often, but uses it to mock Tamina. Josh no-sells Striker’s pulling out references no one gets. Striker is quite angry by this on commentary. Natalya is unable to get the sharpshooter on Tamina and falls out of the ring. When Natalya gets in the ring, Tamina hits a samoean drop and follows up a Superfly splash for the win.
Winner: Tamina Snuka
Cole Miner confronts the Green Man and gets sauced.
* ads *
Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater and Johnny Curtis
The Match starts using a traditional tag formula where control ebbs flows between both teams featuring each wrestler on offense and defense. We get some big spots by the faces as we head into ads.
* ads *
After returning from ads, the heels take control of the match and put Tyson Kidd as the face in peril for a length of time. Justin Gabriel works the crowd in preparation of a hot tag. We get a few hope spots and some hot tag teases before it takes place. Once it happens, the Faces go on a roll quickly for the win. Tyson and Gabriel debut a team finisher, called the Blockbuster. Gabriel holds the victim as Tyson perform a hurricanna-looking move from the top rope.
Winners: Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel
For about a month in story, Matt Striker was held and beaten by Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins. Weeks removed from that saga, Matt Striker is now talking about the skills and respect for Reks.
Am I surprised? No. The goal of NXT here is to put everyone over. The past few weeks Regal has done the same, though not to the extreme that Striker has taken it this week.
I am realistic, however. WWE right now is producing seven hours of new content for TV. Here’s the breakdown of that seven. Raw and SmackDown both are two hour shows adding to 4 of 7 hours. These four hours are the bread winners in WWE. The last three hours are in FCW, Superstars, and NXT. NXT and Superstars make money overseas despite only aired on WWE.com. FCW runs on the Brighthouse Network in Florida, but no were else, officially.
We know that one of the changes to this seven hour format is that FCW will be rebranded as NXT and filmed at Full Sail. This is a good move as it condenses the developmental ladder. Damian Sandow, is a perfect example to justify this new condensed developmental structure. What is to be expected is that existing NXT contracts will be filled by this new FCW-NXT show. Brighthouse will transition to the new Show as well.
With FCW-NXT Merging, it pops an hour out of the Seven. We know where this is going already. It’s Raw’s new third hour. On business level, a third hour on Raw is money. Much more money. And because of the hour moving there, this is why everyone is getting a thumbs up from commentary. They’re all going to be needed on the main roster.
Despite understanding the preceding explanation of what changes are taking place, it is the sudden change from woven storylines to a Superstars-like show has been shocking. All storylines just went cold turkey suddenly and nearly with no warning. Again, while I understand, I lament the loss of the weaved storylines. It made NXT unique and for many a guilty pleasure to watch.
Well, no one can say it wasn’t “fun.”