Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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NXT Watch: Nice Guys Finish Last

Welcome back to another riveting edition of the NXT Watch, where this week we see two former rookies, AJ & Maxine, square off one on one in an attempt to top their match together from Season 3, as they headline tonight’s show. Can AJ seek revenge for the surprise attack from last week? Or will the strong minded Maxine show that she has come back with a legitimate purpose? Let’s find out!

After a recap of last week’s events, we head backstage where Derrick Bateman is seen giving his soulmate, Maxine, a massage before her match. He states that they are the hottest couple in the WWE, and that after he wins NXT Redemption, they will be more powerful than HHH and Stephanie McMahon, more provocative than Edge and Lita, and even bigger than Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire. Maxine quickly interrupts him and proclaims that before any of that can happen, she must first get rid of AJ, although she’s a bit worried about Hornswoggle due to how sneaky he can be. Derrick says not to worry, as he has a surprise for Hornswoggle, which sparks Maxine to enlighten him that she also has a surprise for him later tonight, and proceeds to make out with him a little on the side.

We return to the arena by the sound of the highly controversial theme song of AJ. Our plaid loving diva makes her way out to the ring, Hornswoggle not far behind. Out next comes Maxine, who debuts both a titantron and theme song in her second week of being back. The dynamic duo of she and Derrick Bateman step out from the back, as he bends down on his knees and she transmits a kiss from her lips to his using her finger in an interesting show of affection from the heel (as noted by the ‘heel’ on her shirt) couple. The bell sounds and we kick things off in this main event contest.

AJ quickly takes Maxine down with a spear, followed by a few shoves of the head into the top turnbuckle. A clothesline almost gets her a pinfall, but Maxine runs outside the ring and screams to Derrick that she’s not okay. AJ Shoves her down and then throws her back into the ring, but not before exchanging a quick glare to Bateman. Maxine kicks AJ in the head as she enters the ring, garnering a two count. From there, she applies a headlock, followed by a few elbows to the shoulder. Locking her hold back in, AJ starts to fight out, but Maxine takes the advantage with a kick to the stomach/knee to the face combo for a near fall.

Maxine begins to taunt Hornswoggle and grow frustrated with AJ’s lack of staying down. An ‘AJ’ chant erupts, as Maxine locks in a grueling submission hold. She then sends AJ into the corner and snaps off a suplex for a two count. Maxine’s frustration continues to grow with every close pinfall, as she tosses AJ into the ropes and begins choking her relentlessly with her knee, and then foot. She demands AJ give up, and continues to just beat her down mercifully with kicks and a hair toss for a two. AJ with a quick small package for a near fall of her own, followed by a double clothesline. Maxine goes for the pin, but AJ kicks out.

Maxine applies a chin lock, as another AJ chant begins. AJ tries to fight out, but Maxine is too far in control. AJ runs off the ropes, but Maxine drills her in the skull with a boot to the face. Maxine asks the crowd if this is what they want, and goes to pick AJ up, but is punched in the face until she falls back into the ropes. Duck of a clothesline, followed by a sick spin kick. Once Maxine reaches a vertical base, AJ follows up with a Clothesline, this time connecting. AJ picks Maxine up and goes to irish whip her into the corner, however Maxine reverses it, only AJ comes back with a reverse diving crossbody for a close count.

AJ takes control with a dropkick, but out of nowhere Derrick Bateman then shoves Hornswoggle to the floor. This takes AJ off her game, allowing Maxine to quickly roll her up for the three count! The lovers celebrate in the ring, until Titus O’Neil runs them off to the outside. The two couples then exchange glares, as Maxine can be seen screaming at a fan who tries to slap her hand on the way out.

Thoughts: Another awesome week of NXT action. I thought the match was really entertaining, and one of the better divas matches in some time. AJ seems to connect with a crowd, as she got at least 3 chants during the match, which is pretty unheard of these days. I was really impressed with Maxine, as this was, in my opinion, her best match to date. One thing I noticed was how she continuously played to the crowd so much during the match, which not many divas do, and thus it helps her to stand out in even more ways than she already does. Thoroughly enjoying the feud between the two divas and their soulmates, and I hope to see even more of it. NXT gives them a plethora of time to entertain, and they’ve capitalized on it two weeks in a row now.

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