NXT Watch (July 4th, 2012): Paige vs. Sofia Cortez

Sigh. Welcome everyone to the first NXT Watch in this “new” season six of the show. Since we last left you, nothing good has come from the formerly yellow, currently black ropes. First, the new format isn’t really my cup of tea despite the fact that I like and/or love the entire cast involved with the show. Second, my Queen of NXT Redemption, Maxine, announced that she and WWE have agreed to part ways. I didn’t know whether I was supposed to be sad at this or not, because it was her decision although it also meant I wouldn’t see her on TV anymore. Whichever way I’m supposed to feel, I’m still really bummed out about it. AJ is pretty much in the type of role that Maxine was in on NXT, almost exactly as well since she’s sort of overshadowing the men. Only AJ has added the brilliant psycho element, and is doing it on a grander stage, plus getting the (rightful) praise that I felt Maxine also deserved when she was with Johnny Curtis and Derrick Bateman. It’s a shame that Maxine won’t get to show her talents on a bigger stage, but here’s to you Mrs. Karlee Leilani Liviana Emminger Sylvestry Candy Girl Bateman Curtis Perez.

Now onto tonight’s show. We get our first look at the Divas in this new season, as Paige takes on Sofia Cortez. This sort of sounds like a dream match amongst the FCW females. I feel like if you wanted to go for a Divas match to impress new fans, these are the two women for the job. However, upon recent weeks of being introduced to this new format, I noticed that every match involving someone from FCW is treated like a squash, with one person not even getting an entrance, and then losing in a relatively quick time. This… worries me. I guess it’s good this match is taking place a few weeks in because if it suffers that same fate, at least I was able to prepare myself and not be taken completely off guard. Sigh. Alright let’s go ahead and get started.

We open this week’s NXT with the entrance of Miss Sofia Cortez, who has a kickass titantron and an upbeat Latin theme. She hops out from the back and slides into the ring… as, ugh, Paige gets relegated to the commercial entrance that I hate. Still, she looks great tonight! The bell sounds as these two lock up. Paige shoves her back early on, but Sofia applies a waist lock. Paige reverses and hits a snapmare into a headbutt, before screaming out loudly. She goes for a hip toss, but Sofia stops the maneuver and reverses it into a nice hurricanrana! Paige slides outside the ring and tries to get back in, but Sofia capitalizes with a kick and some strikes to the corner. The referee backs Sofia up, as she tells the referee to shut up and Paige starts to mount a comeback. This is short lived though, as Sofia scores with an enziguiri for a near fall. Cortez then locks in a submission chokehold that Paige eventually flips out of and scores with some nice chops. She attempts an Irish Whip, but Sofia reverses it and hits a huge kick, followed up with a NASTY Wheelbarrow DDT for the victory. She celebrates her win, as Paige lives to fight another day.

Thoughts: I thought the match between Paige and Sofia was great, especially with the short-ish time it was given and the format this show has taken. Make it known that I think the format now is pretty awful… not the introducing new stars part – I like that, but they’re doing it so wrong for my taste. (I’ve held this in for a few weeks since I had no NXT Watch to vent in so bear with me.) Every single match that involves someone from FCW is booked the same way. We’re introduced to someone through a video package and then they beat someone else from FCW who gets no entrance and who we know nothing about other than that they’re about to lose. Why not show videos for both people and hype them both up to put on a competitive match? It’s like watching the same match for the past three weeks outside the ones that contain WWE Superstars facing each other. This format worked for me in week one because I thought it was just going to be like that for the debut show, but now we’re three weeks down and I feel like I’ve just been watching one squash match on repeat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the stars getting more exposure, but the method of doing this is so off. And to be honest, the Divas didn’t even get a video package for either Paige or Sofia. (If you hadn’t been watching since you’re just a Diva fan etc., basically every match to involve FCW stars has featured a video on the star they intend to have win the match.) The only reason I knew Sofia was going to win was because Paige got the “commercial” entrance even though it opened the show. So people who watch this that aren’t familiar with FCW know nothing about either woman really, other than Sofia can do lucha and Paige is from England. Heck, even I still don’t really know who was heel and who was face. I think Paige was supposed to be the face since Sofia kept screaming at the referee, but we got no introduction to either so who knows? Same goes for the men. Yes, one of them gets a video package, but the others who get utterly wasted in this role like Rick Victor, CJ Parker etc. are being treated like crap. Imagine those months of Brodus Clay squashes we saw, or whichever ones Tensai would have. It’s kind of like watching all of those squashes every show outside the non-FCW matches. I don’t mean to be so harsh on the product, but they took away my favorite show to make this so I’m always going to be critical of it. Even then, I love FCW and their talent so I was still excited.

Paige and Sofia could have had an even greater kick ass match. I know there’s video of them wrestling each other in a singles bout on an FCW house show on YouTube and it was incredible. THAT was what I wanted to see here. (I watched it before new NXT started so I didn’t know how the shows would run at the time.) They still put on a great showing, and it felt less of a squash than most of the males have, but it was still about two minutes and neither really got any introduction or hype unfortunately.

Personally, I absolutely despise squash matches. Why do I want to watch a match if I know the winner going into it? I hate when they debut someone and put them in squashes for weeks, or months, and I hate watching the matches here where we know who’s going to win before it even gets started. The stars of this show are getting exposure, but they can do so much more that fans who don’t see FCW aren’t getting the opportunity to witness. I get having a squash match here or there, but I would only do that for someone who you’ve been building up for weeks like Bray Wyatt or Seth Rollins before he debuted. And at that, put them against someone who I believe in the role. I don’t know if whoever controls NXT now didn’t watch FCW or something, but I don’t buy Rick Victor, who is pretty much one of the main eventers in FCW and just won the World Title (albeit he lost it shortly after) as someone who loses matches in three minutes. I don’t buy CJ Parker that way, nor do I buy it with Jason Jordan or Mike Dalton or Paige. Maybe I’m kind of biased since I’ve seen what they’re capable of through the FCW TV show, but I don’t know. I wasn’t even really excited to watch this week’s episode, and it seems like I lose excitement over it as the weeks go by which sucks because I’ve been begging WWE to put FCW on a more global stage for a while. I feel like this should be more of an NXT Redemption mixed with FCW, in that the matches should go long (I mean FCW runs the same time as NXT and they can have 4 seven minute matches just fine.), mixed with backstage segments like in Redemption’s heyday. But alas, that’s officially enough ranting. I think I’ve gotten everything out that’s been held up inside the past few weeks.

To end this NXT Watch in a somber note, as opposed to an angry one, please enjoy this random tribute to Maxine I found on YouTube. She will always be on top, even if it’s not in a WWE ring.

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/StephMCK2 StephMC

    OMG I was looking for this everywhere! I love Paige ^

    • Piledriver’ Tavios

      *high fives* I love her too. I guess im a sucker for heels. :/

      • https://twitter.com/#!/StephMCK2 StephMC

        Haha me too! :D Paige is amazing x I just wish both divas had separate promos and it was good that JR talked a little bout Paige’s background in wrestling

        • ssilva872

          The match was short but sweet. I hope they can wrestle more in the future [although knowing the spoilers we'll see]..

          I loved that wheelbarrow DDT by Sofia! I hope she [and Paige] get called up soon although for poor Paige it might be a while due to not being 21.

  • DIVASKO

    Maxine =(

  • NT86

    Decent little match and great, hard-hitting strikes from both! Paige and Sofia Cortez are the best Diva prospects in FCW and hopefully they get a call up by the end of the year, especially since there may be Divas going in the next batch of releases by the company.

    Paige would be a good heel and Sofia has the look which WWE would like, she could be either face or heel.

  • defineinsanity

    I’m going to wear black for weeks :C mourning the fact WWE lost one of it’s most talented diva!

  • jayjayholler

    I already miss Maxine :(

  • WWFoverWWE

    It was a good match, but didn’t really have an entertaining factor. I liked the DDT finish though.

    That was a great tribute. Goodbye Maxine :(

  • Mr. AJ Lee

    When I read the spoilers for this match when they frat came out i was EXTREAMLY excited. Wanted to see these girls go at it ever Sence they were both hired. And btw I can’t find the Paige vs Sofia Fcw live event match anywhere. Anyways I was excited and now I’m disappointed. These girls could have done A LOT better. It feels like the match was rushed. And there were moments where the match was bad. Which is terrible cause I KNOW these girls r amazing. I’m hoping the other NXT diva matches r not going to b like this. Anyways. Side note I LOVED that finisher Sofia used. I was wondering if he was gunna use her kick finisher. But I’m glad she went with the new one

    • Bobby

      Trying to find it myself again, but no luck. It might have got removed which I hope not, but my friend is the one who showed me it before and she’s going to check later tonight to see if she can find it. Wish I would’ve saved the link >.<

      • Mr. AJ Lee

        thats perfectly fine. I’ve seen them wrestle each other briefly in the Paige vs Sofia vs Audrey match. And I think in the #1 contenders match for the divas championship match with the envelope on the pole. Both matches were live events. If u so happen to find it I would love to know

  • Peter

    That’s a sick finisher! They should be already in the main roster replacing kelly kelly and rosa. (not in their roles)

    I like them, Paige could easily be paired up with Sheamus and Sofia would be great as a heel in the division. They really need them!

  • YouCanLookButYouCan’tTouch

    The match was pretty decent,even though it was short.I enjoyed the aggression from both ladies.These two are definitely great at strike attacks.lol.I loved Sofia’s DDT finisher.I do wish they were given more time to really showcase more because all we saw was just a little preview of what they have to offer.Hopefully they’ll be given more time if they face off again.BTW,I don’t like the new NXT stage.It kinda reminds me of TNA’s.Don’t get me wrong,I love TNA’s stage,but it just doesn’t fit with WWE in my eyes.

  • GailKim95

    I have loved Paige ever since i saw her title match against Jenny Sjodin in Pro Wrestling EVE so i really wanted to see what Sofia could do because i have never really seen what she is capable of so i was a little happy it was one sided because it gave me a chance to see Sofia. That being said these two could have had a great match and it seems the typical WWE format is creeping into the last stronghold of female wrestling in WWE and it sucks. The DDT was innovative and sick and goodbye Maxine. You were great

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/JayJay2307Q?feature=mhee KellyKay23

    Aaaaaaawwww I miss her sooo much!!!!!! Great match. Short but exiting IMO! I LOVE YOU MAXINE

  • lareeDDT

    It was good! But I think Paige could have sold better!!

  • BAD KHARMA

    I love both girls, but I will not over rate this match, the match was extremely rushed and sloppy at times, but I know this girls can do better!

    But that end was SICK :D

    About Maxine, I don´t really miss her, I ´ve never been a huge fan of her, at least wrestling wise (she killed on backstaged segments!)

  • shameronstar

    This 2 minute match seemed different than the usually because they seemed like they were really trying to hard each other and it looked like a bout between actual “wrestlers”!

    • shameronstar

      *I meant hurt not hard and by the moves they were using and how they were using them Layla and the Glamazon better watch their backs!

  • theprincedann

    honestly my first look at both these girls and already i am a huge sofia fan! wow.

  • EVEROCKS

    that tribute to Maxine was awesome, made me sad :/ lol by the way great match between Sofia & Paige

  • JJ

    Personally love the new NXT. Love the feel of it, and look forward to the next tapings when they can get down to business now the introductions are done.

    Thought the match was a little awkward, but some good moments. Loved the ending, and Sofia finally showed some charisma when she shouted at the ref. I still think that’s what she needs to work on most; she acts too small-time for WWE. Paige seemed a little off in general. Of well, everyone has their off days.

    I’m loving Audrey Marie’s involvement with Bray Wyatt in his hype videos. The more I think about the two of them together, the better it is. Audrey is naturally so sweet and innocent, and that can work so well with a Preacher Man who exploits that. The way she was resting on the tree was perfect; just lazily listening as Bray spouts his rubbish! I hope she’s with him full time.

    • theprincedann

      He has just been announced as now out of action for 6 months, to have surgery on a damaged shoulder. Looks like she is gonna have to find someone else. :L

  • Like Mike

    I honestly didn’t like the match as much as I thought I would. I think my main gripe is that Paige didn’t sell some of the moves very well. Like I thought the selling of the sick DDT from Sofia was kind of cartoonish. Which I know wrestling is suppose to be a big shabang, but it just came off as weak to me.

    I did however like some of the hard hits, and really dug that slap from Paige to Sofia. Not a bad match by any means, one of the better divas outings in recent memory with the same time frame. I love Paige, but I think her selling could use some work.

  • Jhonmarco

    A hard-hitting match no doubt, but really had no solid story to it and flowed really weird. I felt both just got some moves in with no storytelling in there. The hard strikes were great though, these 2 are easily some of the top talents employeed by WWE.

    I hope for a better match with more time and a story to it next time. I’m sure both can deliever. I’m also really hoping fans don’t overhype this due to some indy girls getting in the ring.

  • LadyGoDiva

    I’ll be honest I’m very disappointed that the match was so short because I was excepting it to be a long very entertaining match.I really hate squash diva matches now I just wish to see one long match that doesn’t end in a rollup or ends up being a two minute match.Thats all I want WWE can yu give me that?

    Luckily there were some good spots and moments espically the end I’ll say that Sofia had a nice way of ending the match.But since this is the first match from the “new” nxt I kinda hope that we’ll see more.

  • Raekon

    Two great divas with very little time in a match that doesn’t do them much justice cause both are great performers and can do better than that in the ring.

    I really dislike the new nxt because there are:

    – no storylines anymore
    – going the old WWF ways in which the jobber was already in the ring, had no entrance, waiting to get pinned by the one that entered.

    Spoilers here or there, everyone knows immediately that the guy/girl without entrance will lose and that takes A LOT away from the overall feeling.

    Was happy when that was dropped out for many years now and then BAM!
    They started doing it when Brodus Clay, Ryback and Tensai started, only to extend it to the “New NXT”.

    Honestly? I LOVED the old Nxt much more.
    The new one is like a degraded Superstars 2.0 or a slightly upgraded FCW when it comes to the video quality and feeling of it.

    I hope next weeks match is longer.

    • Raekon

      What I missed to say was that this was a heel vs heel match and for that matter it was good.

      Would still have loved to see more from both girls though.

  • MattyM

    I liked the match given the time they had also i almost shed a tear on the Maxine tribute video

  • PeriodPalace

    even tho te match was short they both seemed like complete pros in the ring

    • SweeneyTodd

      No surprise. Paige just 19, but nearly contested in 250 matches. Sofia (with interruptions) in the business since 2005.

  • Litax3

    Hi guys, i’m new here well not really i created the account months ago but i’m really just starting to use it more now that i have time to watch WWE, TNA, and indy matches btw I’m Mesha
    i can’t help but think she (Maxine) should have waited one more year, because i refuse to believe WWE would not have given her the title. But then I say, she wasn’t happy so she left and I ultimately respect her decision. The Queen of Mean Maxine you are missed [awesome video]

  • Rhawk

    I cant believe people are already complaining/disliking a show which has only started for 3 weeks now in terms of there being ‘no storylines’ or ‘longer matches’! These matches for the next few months will be to get over the more important talents from down FCW to a more national audience. And in terms of storylines, what did you expect, we all cant start a program with golden gems like Claire Lynch. ;-)

    • ANatural36

      First of all I completely agree with you, people need to give it more time and stop trying to compare it to the old NXT it’s a new season with new faces, new format and only time will tell what this new NXT can bring to us and LMAO I’m still boggled how they are portraying this women who they had to go out of their way to hire to be a recovering addict due to give birth to a possible crack baby who may be the bastard child to AJ Styles… Yet Sarita,Rosita, and Winter have no storylines lol

    • Bobby

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up on it or anything and I see where you’re coming from. I just don’t understand why we can’t be introduced to all the new faces instead of just one in each match. We essentially know nothing about any of these new people, and it’s kind of like saying “hey pay attention to this one and forget the other” when I think it should be about focusing on both.