Well, not even a little plot actually gets through on this episode, and that’s mostly because Regal is absent. What a difference a commentary team makes. I like Striker, but he and Mathews continue to not really bring much in commentary to NXT (or their portion of Superstars for that matter). Striker spends the episode getting his lines wrong or being in what seems to be a nasty little tiff with Mathews, and Mathews does his robot thing.
4. Percy Watson vs. JTG
I really wanted to put this higher because JTG is amazing. He carries this match. But, that’s why it’s number four. A match between two men should not be about one man doing all of the work. If I had made this about individuals as opposed to matches, JTG would have been second after Reks, but it’s about the match, and while JTG dominated this match, Watson did nothing special and continues to make me question if he’s grown any since his return to NXT.
3. Tamina vs. Natalya
This is one of those rare times where Chris and I differ on opinions. He thinks Tamina’s a bit stiff, I like the way Tamina wrestles. Is she has experience as Natalya, definitely not. Is she still green, absolutely, but Tamina has something about her that shines in her matches. Tamina and Natalya put on a beautiful display in this match and Natalya shows off different ring gear, though she needs new boots if she will continue to wear this.
2. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd vs. Heath Slater and Johnny Curtis
Kidd typically makes not only the number one on my NXT list, but he usually makes it to match of the week. This week there was something greater. However, Gabriel and Slater were the ones to shine in this match. Kidd did his best, as he always did, but seemed content to let his team partner get a time to shine after being gone for awhile. Curtis does his best at looking “weird” not creepy, and broods in the corner before going out to get pinned. He is incredible, but this match was about Gabriel, and Gabriel isn’t doing the 450 Splash so I am celebrating.
1. Tyler Reks vs. Jey Uso
Of the two Usos, Jey is the better wrestler. So throwing him in the ring with Reks almost guaranteed an excellent match. I also was excited to hear Reks’ music again because, hey, it’s been awhile. Reks embodied his solo persona once again, more of a dominant monster during the match than the nearly playful Reks that wrestles with Hawkins. Reks still has that interaction with the crowd but there’s this difference in him as a solo performer. Jey Uso and Tyler Reks put on a fluid match that made me smile the entire time!