This was honestly an incredible episode of NXT and I can’t say there was much downside to it. There was downside to it, but the downside didn’t get to speak during his interview part and that made me happy. The other part that sort of doesn’t get any love, deservingly, is the Kassius Ohno sparring session. There wasn’t really any sparring it was Kassius Ohno beating up Oliver Grey (who wasn’t introduced, if you didn’t know who he was you have to listen closely to Regal to hear him mention the name at all).
1 and 2 this week were easy, 3 and 4 were hard because there were three options. The part I left off was only left off because I typically will give the nod to the wrestling over a promo because this is a wrestling show. The Leo Kruger promo video, though, was reminiscent of a Disney bad guy… but scarier. His voice, the way he delivered, reminded me of a cartoon, but picturing the man, in the dark, anywhere, coming for you… chills. So he may not have made the Top 4 this week, but Leo Kruger gets a big, huge, honorable mention.
4. Paige vs. Alicia Fox
Paige can work well with anyone. Fox of late seems to have found her stride and is doing moves better suited for her abilities. There was roughly 22 minutes of wrestling this week (which is about the length of a typical Smackdown, put that into perspective) which meant everyone but the sparring match had enough time to actually shine. Paige is beautiful and talented and Alicia Fox looks as if she enjoys every moment of being in the ring. Fun to watch and listening to Saxton and Regal go back and forth on commentary for this one added to the momentum.
3. Rick Victor vs. Seth Rollins
This match started off a little slow in the in-ring area. Victor was more about developing the bonds of his character, which was fine with me, but once he had Rollins never seemed to gain momentum. Victor perfected his character in the first minute or so and was ready to go, Rollins spent that time sort of ho-humming and waiting. It was still a good match, but it almost felt like Rollins hadn’t put his heart in it. It’s a shame, because this probably could have been better.
2. Conor O’Brian vs. Jimmy Uso
Yay! No contrived ending this time. O’Brian won and it didn’t seem forced. Saxton’s commentary was entertaining as he sounded as if he was standing, yelling at Jimmy Uso to look out. Unfortunately Jimmy Uso did not look out and O’Brian caught him just right and ended the match. This match was the shortest actual match of the evening, but at just under four minutes it gave the men the time they needed to establish a good match, good character, and great story-telling.
1. Trent Barreta vs. Johnny Curtis
This just might end up being match of the week for me. Trent Barreta makes his triumphant return and never seemed to miss a step. I was afraid of what this match would actually entail just because I’m used to Curtis wrestling more like McGillicutty than I am his wrestling in a swift pace. I worried for nothing. Curtis kept up and dominated in portions while Barreta just kept moving. Curtis does a cartwheel over Barreta at one point that if the quality of the video I watched wasn’t so bad I would plaster that cartwheel over everything. Best match this week, best match in awhile. It’d be hard to top.
Thanks as always to @lindseyhxx who generously allows me to use her photos for the NXT blogs. Follow her on twitter and check out her Sunset Flip Photography and the incredible photos she takes, and not just of NXT.