NXT Season 1 with KB
So I’ve done the second and all of the third season of NXT so I figure why not do the first also? There are fifteen episodes here and I’ll be doing two in a row each time to get through this faster. It’s hard to believe that this was over eight months ago. You know the story behind it I’m sure so let’s get to it.
Since it might have been awhile, here are the Pro/Rookie combinations.
Wade Barrett – Chris Jericho
Daniel Bryan – The Miz
Skip Sheffield – William Regal
Darren Young – CM Punk
David Otunga – R-Truth
Heath Slater – Christian
Michael Tarver – Carlito
Justin Gabriel – Matt Hardy
Date: February 23, 2010
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews
It’s so weird seeing this theme song and these guys that are now champions as brand new stars. Also Sheffield’s pro was supposed to be MVP but was changed to Regal at the last second for no apparent reason. How was this only eight months?
The rookies are in the back and Miz walks up to them, calling out Daniel Bryan. He talks about how Bryan is a star in the minor leagues and that you need to be prepared for everything. Miz sends him to the ring and says give the people a reason to watch. He’s even going to let Bryan come out to his music. Oh and he needs to have a good catchphrase.
Striker is the host.
Bryan apologizes to the fans he has around the world, wishing his pro was Regal, his mentor. He starts talking about how NXT is the next evolution of wrestling but here’s Miz to interrupt him. Bryan tells Miz to watch what he says or he’ll submit him right now. He says he was going to get on a reality show and act like an idiot but that’s been taken already.
Miz wants a catchphrase for him so Bryan debuts tap or snap which fits perfectly for him at the end of the day. Miz slaps him and leaves, saying Bryan failed.
During the break Striker talks to Bryan who says he slaps harder than Miz.
Carlito/Michael Tarver vs. Heath Slater/Christian
We’re told of Bryan vs. Jericho tonight. Oh yeah. It’s THAT match. Carlito introduces us to Tarver who we get a profile on, which is the whole 1.9 seconds thing. He likes to punch a lot apparently. Slater’s profile plays up the rock star concept. Slater gets a rollup on Carlito seconds in for two. He shows off a bit and plays to the crowd who doesn’t seem to care.
No Christian yet as Carlito has Slater in a chinlock. Pro vs. Pro now as we hear about Christian qualifying for Money in the Bank. That’s the Mania version and not the pay per view of the same name. Sunset flip gets two for Christian and here comes Tarver. Slater takes out Carlito and the Killswitch ends Tarver to give Christian the first win in the history of NXT.
Rating: C. Totally basic tag team match here with faces vs. heels. It wasn’t anything great but considering what they had to work with here this was rather good. I liked Slater back in the day and this was no exception. He wasn’t anything great but he always had energy out there and this worked fine. Decent tag match overall.
Punk and Truth are giving their rookies pep talks.
Darren Young vs. David Otunga
Young and Punk were the comedy team of this season and it worked ok at best I thought. Punk, still with hair, says he doesn’t know why he’s here and doesn’t know who Young is. No profile on Young but Otunga talks about being better than everyone else as he’s from Hollywood. He mentions being engaged to Jennifer Hudson.
He definitely had the talking ability and the charisma but just never could do it in the ring. The tear away pants are still a cool thing for Otunga. This is perhaps the fastest match in the history of the show as Otunga hits his weird spinebuster like slam to end it in less than forty seconds.
Raw recap which is of Batista beating the hell out of Cena in their match where if Cena won he got a world title shot at Mania. Wow that graphic of those two at Mania still looks awesome.
Jericho and Barrett come out with Barrett having the black coat with the flower in it. Jericho grabs the mic and says he wants Barrett to give him the introduction he deserves. Barrett sounds like a British Rocky to a degree. He kisses Jericho’s ass for a bit but Jericho actually cuts him off and introduces him instead.
Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho is World Heavyweight Champion here. In a weird error, Bryan’s graphic lists him as being from Vegas but the announcer says he’s from Washington. Odd indeed. Bryan can’t get a handshake to start. Jericho slaps him and it’s on. They trade dropkicks and we go back and forth a bit. Keep in mind the idea here is that this is Bryan’s debut so you have to factor out that he’s US Champion as this is being written.
Barrett cuts a quick promo here where he kisses Jericho’s ass a bit more but doesn’t say what he’s actually learning. Bryan throws some kicks and goes for the knee. Daniel controls here as Cole begins his indy bashing stuff and his war against the internet. Bryan speeds it up and knocks Jericho to the floor.
And there’s the highlight reel moment of the first season as Bryan DIVES through the ropes but Jericho catches him in a belly to belly to slam his back into the edge of the announce table which must hurt beyond belief. Back in the ring Bryan gets a leg lock and Jericho is in trouble. Codebreaker out of nowhere though and Bryan is down. Walls end it soon after.
Rating: B. All things considered, this was mind blowing. Factoring in that this was his mainstream debut, this can only be classified as a success. Solid match here either way and that counter spot was great. Seeing a guy like Bryan giving Jericho a legit scare here with a nice leg lock thrown in was something no one expected. This was great all things considered.
Post match Miz runs down and beats up Bryan.
Striker is with the other rookies and nothing of note happens.
A recap of the show takes us out.
Overall Rating: B. This was more or less the Daniel Bryan show but it worked very well. The concept became clear and you got three different types of matches with a squash, a decent tag match and a very solid main event. This worked very well and set the stage for the rest of the show. You really couldn’t tell much about the competition in the early weeks but it would change quickly once some people left. Solid premiere though and it worked great.
Date: March 2, 2010
Location: Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews
Well it’s the second episode. I wouldn’t expect much in the ways of intros to these shows as it’s not like much changes, especially since I’m doing two at a time here. Let’s get to it.
We open to a recap of the first show which you can read about above this.
After the theme song it’s time for a match. That works.
David Otunga vs. Darren Young
Rematch of last week’s show which lasted 40 seconds so I’m thinking this will go a bit longer. Striker tells us that the pros can’t vote for their own rookies in the polls. Punk telling Gallows to kick away the pants Otunga left on the stage is a nice touch. Otunga throws Young around with power stuff early on and hits a big old clothesline in the corner.
Young could have been bearable if his hair was reasonable. The fans are behind Otunga who I think was supposed to be heel at this point. Granted the Pros probably had a lot to do with that. Young gets booed out of the building when he puts David on the floor. After a break Young is still in control. Punk looking bored out of his mind is great stuff.
This is rather slow and meandering with nothing special going on at all. Also I question giving these guys nearly ten minutes out there at this point but that’s the point of the show I suppose. It’s been more or less all Young so far other than the opening. They collide and Young hits the floor. Apparently all the muscles that Otunga have are good for something. Punk grabs the foot though and Young hits his full nelson release thing to get the pin.
Rating: D+. Not much here as the match went on a bit too long. There was a point here though and the story from last week helped a lot as you have Punk going from doing nothing to doing something to help Young here. This wasn’t much though as it was really dull at various parts. Could have been far worse though.
Otunga shoves Truth after the match.
Profile on Bryan which is nothing you haven’t heard before. Bryan in a suit is odd to see though. He says he wants to be in the main event of Wrestlemania. That’s the right thing to say if nothing else.
The trainer is looking at Bryan’s ribs and Miz comes up to get on his nerves. Barrett vs. Bryan is next, which today could main event Raw.
During the break Otunga says Truth should have helped him but Truth gets in his face and it’s on. Otunga shouting THESE ARE VERSACHI TRUNKS is funny stuff.
Jericho introduces his new protégé, Wade Barrett. His profile is about him being a big guy and making money as a bareknuckle fighter. You really can see the star in him.
Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan
Jericho is on commentary, making this AWESOME, which I type as Miz’s music hits. Bryan has taped ribs from the Jericho suplex last week. Jericho says Barrett is like an eagle. Could this mean an alliance with Swagger??? I forgot how the camera angles switched around like this all the time on this show.
Miz and Carlito are watching in the back. Jericho keeps applauding everything that Barrett does which is a nice thing to see. Bryan gets a running knee to take down Barrett on the floor but falls on his face when attempting a springboard move. Not sure if that was planned or not due to the ribs. Wasteland ends this soon after.
Rating: N/A. Nothing special here but it did the stuff it needed to do. You had Jericho playing the coach role to perfection and Barrett looking awesome. Bryan’s ribs were hurt so the lack of being able to do much was the right thing to do I think. This worked fine for what it was but in two minutes there’s not much you can showcase.
Jericho beats Bryan up and puts him in the Walls post match.
Raw Rebound is all about Shawn vs. Taker and DX losing the tag titles due to Shawn’s obsession with Taker. Oh and Sheamus beats up HHH for which we didn’t get an explanation. We recap Christian/Slater winning last week in their fairly good performance together.
Slater brags to Christian about how awesome last week was. Christian says don’t get overconfident as Otunga and Bryan looked great too last week.
Gabriel, looking like an idiot, says he couldn’t have a better pro than Hardy. Who could have imagined that Gabriel would be a champion at this point while Hardy is unemployed?
Regal/Sheffield come to the ring and we take a break.
Ad for Mania. I still love that I Made It campaign. It was awesome.
Profile on Sheffield who was far better as his Ryback Terminator thing back in OVW. And he says that infernal catchphrase of his that makes me want to smack him.
William Regal/Skip Sheffield vs. Matt Hardy/Justin Gabriel
The rookies start us off. Power vs. speed never stops working for me and this works just fine. Fujiwara armbar by Gabriel and here’s Hardy. Poetry in Motion to Sheffield as we take a break. Regal is in when we get back against Gabriel. Regal sends both Gabriel and Hardy to the floor as not a lot is going on in this match.
Sheffield is giving Regal advice which is rather amusing. Back to the power guy who struts before hitting a splash on Hardy. The fat of his stomach helps protect him I guess. Hardy gets beaten down for a good while. I’m sure he’ll blog about it later on and make a video under a false name.
Regal keeps the tag to Gabriel and yells at Sheffield to stop doing stupid stuff. Twist of Fate out of nowhere sets up the debut of the 450 which blew the LD to pieces when it hit. The match was boring but the ending more than made up for it I think.
Rating: C. The length hurt it here but the idea was to show that Gabriel could hit one big move and it worked very well. That’s still one of the best moves in the company nearly a year later and it worked very well here. Not a great match and the tag from last week was better, but this was a good debut for both of the rookies here.
Striker is in the back with the other rookies and Carlito comes up. He takes a bite of the apple and spits it on Slater, setting up next week’s match.
Overall Rating: B-. It’s a step down from last week but this can almost be considered a companion piece to the previous one. This was all about getting the rest of the guys out there and that was definitely accomplished. You get a little personality from everyone and the matches worked well. We set up a little something for next week so I’d definitely say this show worked. Not great but a solid followup indeed.
Date: March 9, 2010
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Matt Striker
Still waiting on getting close to the first elimination as Bryan is still more or less the only guy that has shown us anything at all although he has a 0-2 record. Obviously things would get better rather soon but they’re a bit slow here still. Let’s get to it.
R-Truth/David Otunga vs. Daniel Bryan/The Miz
Miz has three belts still at this point. Remember back in the old days when the tag titles were represented by two belts? Last night on Raw apparently Truth and Miz got into it as ShowMiz is fighting Truth/Morrison at Mania. It opened the show and was a glorified squash so there you go. Miz has a pep talk for Bryan before we start. If Bryan loses he gets thrown off the show apparently.
BIG Daniel Bryan chant as we’re in his own state as he starts with Truth. Otunga is from Chicago. You learn something new every day. He says Google Me in his interviews. I got results like MobileMe, some Youtube videos and nothing else special at all. Nothing Otunga related at all though, not even Jennifer Hudson. Miz comes in to work over Truth. Sunset flip by the Zookeeper gets two.
Not much going on here as the crowd is a bit restless. I can’t blame the pros for taking most of the ring time though as they’re definitely the ones that are supposed to be better at this point. Semi-hot tag to Otunga as he cleans house. Bryan tags himself in and hits a kind of odd looking top rope dropkick for two. He gets a long heel hook on Otunga but as A-List is in trouble Miz tags himself in. Bryan and Miz get into it and Truth drills Miz, allowing the spinebuster thing to end Miz. Nice ending.
Rating: C-. Not a particularly good match here but again we push the Miz/Bryan feud which is fine. Miz was white hot at this point and would somehow get even hotter in the months to come. This was fine for what it was as you push your two angles a bit at a time and get an ok match out of it too. Can’t beat that.
We recap the Slater vs. Carlito apple spitting thing from the end of last week’s show.
Striker asks Miz if he let Bryan down. The look on Miz’s face is hilarious and he snaps but here’s Bryan to say all of Miz’s partners have carried him. Bullshit but whatever.
Profile on Gabriel which has nothing special about him but rather just saying all of the basics about him.
Gabriel kisses Hardy’s ass a bit as Barrett, his opponent for later, and Jericho come in. Both rookies say nothing special at all. Matt fails at humor.
Heath Slater vs. Carlito
Carlito says Slater should be grateful for having an apple spit in his face as it made him famous. I’d call that a stretch to put it mildly. We take a break after about 4 seconds of contact. Back with Slater in an armbar as we see a replay of Carlito spitting apple but Slater ducked. Is that like the Puerto Rican version of the Muta Mist?
Slater sends him to the floor as the curly haired wonder is a bit confused. Carlito gets a big boot to take over as not much is going on here. Granted that’s Carlito so are you expecting much else? Sitout spinebuster from the Pro gets no cover because Carlito is a little stupid man. Backstabber is blocked into a rollup for two. A second rollup gets the pin though. Riveting.
Rating: D. I get the concept here but damn man Carlito was boring beyond belief. Slater was ok but he still has next to no charisma of his own. This wasn’t the worst match I’ve ever seen but at the same time there just wasn’t anything special going on at all. Far too many dead spots in there and the fans clearly weren’t that into it. The ending was good though.
Profile on Young who is still boring. Nothing of note said here at all.
Punk is with the SES and says that with the help of them Young managed to get his first win. Young comes up to ask why he can’t live his own life. Punk says he can lead a horse to water but he can’t make him drink. Why would you lead a horse to water if you have a horse? Why not ride the horse to the water instead? I’ve never gotten that.
Be Yourself is one of the theme songs of Mania. Wasn’t that the theme song for a Diva Search like years ago?
Raw Rebound and we run down the Mania card.
Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel
Speed vs…..whatever Barrett is here. Jericho yells at the announcers that Barrett is showing Jericho’s influence. Barrett wears his jacket over his shoulders because in case he needs to get in a fight he needs his arms free. Cole explains the differences between all of Barrett’s flowers. The first meant he was sorry for beating his opponent later tonight and the second was for the love of his winner’s check.
USA chant and Matthews points out how stupid it is. Cole thinks maybe it’s for Matt. If you’re cheering for the manager, what does that really say about your match? Barrett dominating fo the most part here as we’re running out of time. Jericho shouts to the announcers about how he’s working the back because JERICHO works the back. Jericho really is stealing the show here which is the point I guess. And then Gabriel shoves him off the top and hits the 450 for the win. I think that was all the offense Gabriel had.
Rating: D+. Again not much at all here with Barrett dominating but Gabriel winning off his one move at the time. This wasn’t much at all and while it was ok for the most part, the ending kind of made you say that’s it. This could have used another two minutes or so to flesh it out but it wasn’t horrible. Barrett looked good.
Overall Rating: C. This was a big step back for the show I think as we know who everyone is but now we have to see them in the ring more often. It’s not a bad show but there isn’t much here at all going for it really. The Slater/Carlito match was pretty bad and the other stuff didn’t help at all really.
They got most of the guys on the air this week though which is good, but they’re in the weird transitional period where nothing is really happening yet but they’re past the introductions. Not much this week but nothing horrible at all. Just an hour long wrestling show featuring rookies and pros and not much more.
Date: March 16, 2010
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Matt Striker
CM Punk/Darren Young vs. Matt Hardy/Justin Gabriel
As the first team is making their intro Striker tells us that the first Pro’s Poll is in two weeks. Awesome. Hopefully Punk/Young win. I don’t think I could take a blog from Hardy about it. Young and Gabriel start us off. The fans chant for Punk despite him being a big heel here. Ok now they’re chanting Hardy. They get their wish as the released one comes in to a nice ovation.
Slingshot sunset flip by Gabriel gets two. We hear the third nickname of Young in the match as I guess they’re already realizing he’s hard to market. Punk started tormenting Rey on Smackdown apparently so there’s the start of the majority of his summer. Big spin kick takes Young’s head off as they’re tagging in and out rather quickly. Young sends Gabriel to the floor as we take a break.
Wow this match is getting more time than I expected it to. Punk in now to beat on Gabriel who is in trouble now. It’s rarely a good thing to see Hardy be the guy getting the hot tag later on. Young is in again but Gabriel misses the splash. Punk tries to steal a pin off that and the referee’s hand goes down the third time but they have to let Gabriel get out anyway.
Punk nails Hardy and it’s back to Young now. This is getting a lot of time here. Ok make that Punk. Like I said they’re tagging in and out very quickly. Hardy FINALLY comes in after Gabriel was in the ring for almost 10 minutes straight. Side Effect gets two on Punk. Everyone hits the floor and Gallows drops Gabriel before Hardy drops him. Back in the ring the GTS ends Hardy and Young gets the pin.
Rating: C+. Pretty solid back and forth tag match here with Gabriel definitely being the guy that got the most time out there to showcase himself. This worked pretty well I thought given what they had to work with. They’re going with in ring action rather than angles here which is fine. Decent match and for fifteen minutes it went by pretty quick.
Gallows destroys everyone in the match not named Punk post match.
Bryan gets Khali later.
Daniel Bryan vs. Great Khali
Khali’s music is just straight up awesome. There’s an All That shirt in the crowd and I’m jealous. Cole starts blasting Bryan. And so it begins. We hear about the Manliness Meter. Bryan counters the Punjabi Plunge into a guillotine and Khali is in some trouble. For no apparent reason he lets go and tries kicks which work somewhat ok. And then he jumps off the top rope and gets chopped in the head. Punjabi Plunge ends it. This was actually somewhat competitive but it was like 2 minutes long so no rating.
Here’s Show, Miz’s partner, likely up to no good. Chokeslam to Bryan as Khali just kind of chills there.
Sheffield vs. Barrett later.
Raw ReBound and Mania lineup kill off nearly five mintues.
Same Otunga profile from the first week.
Mania Recall which is from #14 and Rose being a prick and getting tombstoned which is awesome. Rose is hosting Raw this week.
Heath Slater vs. Michael Tarver
No pros here for some reason. Slater uses some basic intelligence to leave Tarver stunned and adds a corkscrew tope to continue his dominance. And so much for that as Tarver uses basic power to take over. The pros are in the back watching. Such loyalty from them. Cole talks about how hard Tarver has had it and Matthews could not care less. Flapjack gets two for Slater. Slater gets a rollup out of the corner for the win.
Rating: D+. Just another quick little match that didn’t mean anything at all. It was barely long enough to grade and this wasn’t much at all. Slater was someone that had everything you needed to have but at the same time no one cared and still don’t to this day. This wasn’t much but Slater’s push continues.
Tarver beats him up post match.
Sheffield and Regal are arguing.
Wade Barrett vs. Skip Sheffield
No definition of the flower this time which is annoying as I’d like to know. What else is NXT for if not botany lessons? Slim Jim is presenting Mania, making me smile at the thought of the old school SNAP INTO IT commercials. Sheffield as a face cowboy character just does not work. I mean LOOK AT HIM. Is there anyone more naturally built to be a monster heel?
We head to the floor as this turns into a power match. The pros are here this time so I guess they love their boys more than Carlito and Christian do. Jericho again yells, asking if the announcers could feel that shot to the back. This is hilarious stuff. Jericho: TALK ABOUT BARRETT! Cole: We are! Jericho: WELL DO IT MORE! Classic.
Kind of a back and forth match here as Sheffield hits a double axe for no cover. Sheffield does his annoying strut into a splash for two. Barrett pulls him off the top and Wasteland ends it. Granted it didn’t have a name yet. Cole says this is an important win. He doesn’t say why but apparently it is in fact important.
Rating: C. Not bad here and I thought it was ok. Barrett and Jericho were a riot together and Sheffield was getting a push before he got hurt recently. This wasn’t bad at all though with the power match up kind of working with Barrett outthinking the meathead for the win. You could see the talent coming through in him.
Overall Rating: C+. This was better as they focused on wrestling here, getting four matches in the span of an hour including one at nearly 15 minutes, not counting the five minute Mania and Raw stuff. This wasn’t bad at all and you can start to see the characters developing here. The poll coming up will help a lot also as we build up the show a bit. This wasn’t bad as these shows fly by which is usually a good thing and is here.
Date: March 23, 2010
Location: HP Pavilion, San Jose, California
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Michael Cole
This is the final week before the poll which is a nice thing to see as we need to get a bit closer to the ending of this show and advance things a bit. Tonight everyone is in the ring in a pair of tag matches. That works very well as they need to get everyone out there one more time. I’m enjoying getting through these so fast so this should be good. Let’s get to it.
That theme song is just awesome.
This is the show just before Mania so expect a lot of talking about that.
Heath Slater/Justin Gabriel vs. Skip Sheffield/Wade Barrett
I can always go for some power vs. speed. Slater vs. Sheffield to start us off here. It still takes time to get used to these altered camera angles. Christian heads down just after we get started here. Regal is already here. Barrett and Gabriel both come in. The Pro’s Poll will be determined by wins/losses, strength of opponents, work ethic and the “it” factor.
Big heat on Regal, defeating the point of the whole match. Josh thinks it should be Bryan and Cole thinks Slater. It’s so weird to think this was just under eight months ago. Sheffield comes in and overpowers him with a Bulldog like front face suplex. Gabriel gets the tag off to Slater who is undefeated at this point. Slater cleans house and Barrett is like OH CRUD I’m in this match and finally comes in to miss a big boot, hitting his partner. Slater gets the easy pin.
Rating: C+. Not bad here but really nothing all that special at all. The speed vs. power stuff is something that always works for me and this was no exception. Given there being no backstory and none of them having teamed before this came off pretty well. It was almost a Lethal Lottery kind of thing but it worked fine for what it was supposed to be.
Profile on Bryan who says he’s not a rookie and that he’s a submission guy.
We get the I Made It video package and damn it I want to watch some Wrestlemania! That might be the best advertising campaign I’ve ever seen.
Recap of Shawn vs. Taker which also looks awesome. They NAILED the buildup to Mania this year and it worked very well indeed.
We see the week calendar of Wrestlemania and I am actually fired up for this.
Recap of Bret vs. Vince. That match was perfection, all things considered. Bret putting the cast on the table was just perfect as he made a career out of playing possum and did it again.
Profile on Young who is still boring.
Wrestlemania Recall is 2005 with Mania 21 which was pretty good I thought. The Mania Goes Hollywood was great stuff too. The focus is on the first MITB match which was a cool concept indeed.
Recap of Batista vs. Cena, which did indeed work very well. The match was solid too.
Darren Young/David Otunga vs. Michael Tarver/Daniel Bryan
Before this starts we see a clip of Miz and Otunga at some red carpet thing which is kind of cool. Bryan vs. David to start. Bunch of nothing for the first two minutes or so until Tarver hits the floor and gets in the face of Gallows. Punk saunters over and is all indignant about it and the casualness of it cracks me up. Back from a break with Bryan and Young in the ring with Bryan controlling.
Off to Young and Tarver as this isn’t much at all. Considering Bryan is the only talented in ring guy out there it’s not saying much. Bryan comes in again and gets a guillotine on Young. He shifts that into something close to what we would call the LeBell Lock but Young makes the rope. Tarver argues with Carlito and can’t tag in so Bryan takes Otunga’s finisher to end it.
Rating: D-. I never once got into this match. It was their final chance to show off before the Pro’s Poll but I couldn’t get into this at all. The styles just completely clashed here and no one cared about anyone but Bryan. This wasn’t any good and is probably the worst match so far on the entire show.
Overall Rating: D. I wasn’t impressed at all here. Keeping in mind that this was five days before Mania, it’s not like any of these guys were wrestling there anyway. That being said, this was still boring beyond belief with the high point being the Mania packages. Very bad show but thankfully next week things pick up a bit as we actually advance things forward somewhat. Bad show.
Date: March 30, 2010
Location: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Michael Cole
The Pro’s Poll comes out tonight and we have two matches again. First off it’s a Pros tag team match and second we have a battle royal, where I believe the winner gets to be the guest host of Raw. The main thing tonight is the poll though so let’s get to it.
We get a quick highlight reel of the season so far and also get a quick recap of the concept of having four parts of the vote: win/loss, It Factor, work ethic and strength of opponents.
Striker is in the ring and brings out the rookies and it’s time for the poll already. With nothing else to say, here’s the poll.
8. Darren Young
7. Michael Tarver
6. Skip Sheffield
5. David Otunga
4. Heath Slater
3. Justin Gabriel
2. Wade Barrett
1. Daniel Bryan
Young says he’s on his own because his pro isn’t going to help him. Bryan says while his win/loss record isn’t great he is #1 and is there despite what Cole says about how he looks. He runs down Otunga too. Otunga says Bryan is like eating mashed potatoes. Bryan asks what does that even mean. They argue about Otunga’s jeans and Striker announces that in six weeks someone is out and after that it’s an elimination a week. He also throws out the mention of the PPV title shot and the aforementioned battle royal.
As for the poll, Bryan hasn’t won a single match but he gets #1 despite having a 0 in ¼ of the vote. In other words the best he could do is 75%. How is that good for #1?
Christian/Carlito/William Regal/The Miz vs. Matt Hardy/R-Truth/Chris Jericho/CM Punk
Raw vs. Smackdown if you didn’t get that. Jericho comes out in a suit though and apparently Barrett is going to take his place. Lots of gold here with Jericho as World Heavyweight Champion and Miz holding three belts here. Truth vs. Carlito to start us out here. Truth blasts him and there goes the apple into the air.
Jericho is on commentary here and is saying things very slowly. Truth brings in Punk to tick him off. Big chant for Punk. Jericho is just awesome at what he’s doing here. Here’s Barrett who shakes hands with Regal and then Regal tags in Christian. Off to Hardy and Christian and so much for that as we’re off to Miz and Matt now. Cole insults hockey and Jericho SNAPS.
Everyone goes to the floor as we take a break. Ah Jericho has bad ribs from the spear from Edge at Mania. Jericho says Barrett is awesome. Matt tags in Truth. Jericho: he should have tagged Barrett. Cole says Bryan is a nerd and Jericho might as well have been given keys to a candy store. He’s cracking me up beyond belief here.
We talk about Miz and how awesome he has been lately. This was right when he was about to be unchained and things would go very well for him to say the least. Miz hits that running clothesline in the corner. Josh: “Who picks Wade’s flower every week?” Jericho: “That’s a very stupid question and you’re lucky I don’t slap you in the face you jackass. Shut up and do your job or I’ll replace you next week.” Jericho is AWESOME.
Truth catches Miz coming off the top with a dropkick and brings in Punk to fight Christian. They do a very nice sequence and then it all breaks down with everyone getting in there at once. Barrett tags himself in and walks into the reverse DDT from Christian. Jericho distracts him through and Wasteland ends it.
Rating: C. Only not bad here as this was too long to really get good. At over sixteen minutes and with so many people in there it’s kind of hard to get behind it. Jericho absolutely STOLE THE SHOW on commentary though and was hilarious the whole time. Barrett gets the win and everything worked pretty well here. Not bad but too long and not incredibly interesting.
Raw recap which is Shawn’s retirement. Damn I want to watch Mania now. He gets a song too which is somehow worse than Tell Me A Lie.
Josh and Cole debate the poll standings.
Winner gets to host Raw and all eight rookies are the participants. Slater at least plays to the crowd a bit. Better than nothing. Everyone goes for Barrett as soon as the bell rings and he’s out in seconds. We come back from a break and Young is out as is Sheffield. Tarver, Slater and Bryan go out within 5 seconds of each other so it’s Gabriel vs. Otunga after about 45 seconds aired.
Basic speed vs. power thing here with Gabriel hitting the 450 that doesn’t help that much but you could argue that it hurts him. Instead of going for the kill Gabriel stands around with even Cole and Matthews getting on him. Otunga rakes his eyes and throws Gabriel over the top to win. This was, shall we say, uneventful.
Rating: D-. Yeah this was bad. Like I said within a minute that we saw six people were out. That’s not exactly something you can get into. Nothing special here at all.
Otunga says he told you so. He wants 427 green M and Ms in his dressing room.
Overall Rating: D+. Well the wrestling was pretty bad but this wasn’t about the wrestling. The idea here was to advance the season a lot which they definitely did. Where they messed up was waiting six more weeks before truly advancing it further. This was just ok and kind of dragged a bit. Nothing special here at all.
Haha, oh my Jericho on commentary on that match was amazing. Best bit was something like the below (think it was Matthews but could feasibily have been Cole where I've indicated Matthews)
Matthews: So who did you vote for in the pro's poll Chris?
Jericho: Wade Barrett
Matthews: Um...you weren't allowed to vote for your own rookie
Jericho: I can do what I want, I'm World Champion
WAG. Miss him.
Thanks to BC for the sig!
Date: April 6, 2010
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews
It’s show #7 and there’s not much to say here. I’d assume we have some challenges tonight and that’s about all there is. With the new poll out there isn’t much else to say so let’s get to it.
I still love that theme song. It’s so strange thinking that Miz has now cashed in the MITB case which he didn’t have at this point and is world champion. In other words in 7 months he’s had Tag, US and the World Titles plus MITB. That’s insane.
Striker brings out the rookies from last to first. See above to see said order. Nice pop for Gabriel. Nicer one for Bryan. He talks a bit about the rookies in general before focusing on Otunga. He and Cena had a tag title shot when he was hosting Raw and he walked away from it. Otunga says he did it because he didn’t want to share the spotlight. It was also a favor for Miz because he’s an NXT Pro and maybe he’d get a favor from Miz and get his own title shot later. Makes sense actually.
Striker asks Bryan if he deserves to be in first place. He asks if Miz deserves to be a pro or if Otunga deserves to guest host Raw or if Cole deserves to take JR’s place as a commentator. Bryan doesn’t deserve to be #1 apparently.
Tarver says Bryan shouldn’t be #1. He needs to get out of Tarver’s way because he’s taking his opportunity. This is more Tarver insanity.
Striker mentions the weekly challenges and we start with the keg carry challenge. Bryan goes first and gets a time of 24.9 seconds. He was rather slow.
Barrett goes second and gets 14.7 which is about a second after he actually crossed. Cole: Don’t worry, the internet fans will still say Bryan won. Cole is reaching his form here and it’s funny stuff.
Gabriel is third and gets 13.6. Nice job.
Slater touches the barrel early which breaks the rules but whatever and FLIES around the ring, getting 12 seconds.
Otunga does it in sunglasses and stumbles a bit at first, getting a time of 14.1.
Sheffield takes time getting the barrel on his shoulder and they screw him over too by adding half a second to his time once he crosses the line and he finishes with 12.4.
Tarver drops the keg and is disqualified.
Young gets 13.6 and breaks the keg so Slater wins. His reward: a match vs. Kane. Fun times all around.
Raw Rebound talks about how Otunga left Cena laying and then Batista invoked his rematch clause for the last man standing match at Extreme Rules.
Sheffield says the keg carry was rigged. He says nice guys finish last so he’s not going to be a nice guy anymore. This lasted about 9 seconds.
Daniel Bryan vs. Darren Young
Bryan gets a baseball slide and takes down Young with ease. The top rope dropkick gets two. Cattle Mutilation gets a nice pop with zero recognition from the announcers. Cole says Bryan is a tool for the Daniel Bryan Manliness Meter. Sunset flip gets two and we get a pinfall reversal sequence. After Bryan DOMINATES for about a minute and forty five seconds, Young sweeps the legs and gets a rollup for the pin. That was his only offense the whole time. Hate endings like those.
Justin Gabriel vs. Michael Tarver
No pros with any rookie so far. Tarver overpowers Gabriel to start and locks on an abdominal stretch. Gabriel fights back with kicks and plays to the crowd a bit. He goes for the 450 but it’s blocked, he knocks Tarver down and then hits the 450 for the pin. It’s as uneventful as it sounds.
The WWE Draft is coming. I don’t remember anything about that but I don’t think much happened.
Wade Barrett vs. David Otunga
This is the next to last match so no Sheffield match tonight. Otunga starts off trying to work the arm but it’s not working for the most part. They exchange some forearms as Barrett is somehow the face here. This isn’t very good to put it mildly. Barrett is doing ok at best but Otunga is straight up limited in the ring.
Barrett misses a knee drop as we talk about Otunga’s barber. Otunga’s tights start riding up as he hits a shoulder block to take down Barrett. Ah there we go he fixed them. Small package, and a bad looking one at that, gets two on Barrett. Barrett knocks Otunga off the top and then Wasteland ends it. Short and pretty painful.
Rating: D. Pretty bad match for the most part but the right guy won. Otunga was trying I thought but he never has looked comfortable in the ring. He’s solid on the mic and he has the it factor but the wrestling isn’t really backing that up. Granted the same thing was said about Dusty Rhodes and he did ok.
Kane vs. Heath Slater
Very little transition between these matches at all. On Smackdown Kane challenged all of the NXT guys and destroyed them. Slater unloads with everything he’s got and gets his head kicked off as a result. Kane basically spends about three minutes destroying Heath who gets in a few little things here and there. Slater gets a boot in and then gets chokeslamed to end this.
Rating: D+. This was a glorified squash as Slater had offense for about thirty seconds and then it turned into Slater vs. a former world champion monster. It was exactly what you would expect it to be and it didn’t really go anywhere past what it was supposed to do. Nothing great but it wasn’t supposed to be I guess. Not quite sure what they point was here though as we know Kane is better than all of them so why nail it in even further?
Overall Rating: D+. Pretty bad here as we’re into the challenge era now. The lack of pros is probably due to Mania being two days before this which is kind of odd anyway but whatever. There were probably too many weeks between the poll and the eliminations as we’re just filling time now. This was a pretty weak show and didn’t have much going for it whatsoever. Back in about five minutes with the next one.
Date: April 13, 2010
Location: 02 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Michael Cole
It’s week 8 here and the guys are in London this week. Other than that we’ll probably see more challenges. Also the pros are here this week. There’s nothing else to say about it so let’s get to it.
We open with Striker bringing down the rookies. There’s a podium in the ring. They’re coming in from last to first again this time. Striker talks to Tarver and points out his failures last week. He says the pressure isn’t getting to him but he’s the pressure and whether he wins or loses he will not lose. Sure why not.
Otunga says he wrestled the WWE Champion last night. The fans remind him that he tapped out.
Gabriel says he’s not sure how he’d do against Cena.
The challenge is the talk the talk challenge and the winner gets their own theme song.
Bryan goes first with the topic of passion. “Passion…hmm…let’s talk about the Daniel Bryan Manliness Meter.” The fans boo him a bit until he shouts I LOVE ENGLAND. Yeah this wasn’t funny.
Barrett goes second to a nice pop. His topic is blasé. He says he certainly isn’t blasé and has said all along he’s the best. This was very good and was cheered throughout.
Gabriel’s topic is flowers. He says he’s from South Africa which is booed out of the building. He doesn’t say anything for about ten seconds as the crowd got to him. Understandable.
Heath’s topic is cereal. He lists off cereals and is booed loudly also. Then he lists off types of milk. This is bad.
David gets sleep. He doesn’t get much sleep because his mind is always racing and he’ll sleep when this competition is over. Second best by far and away. Not great but it made sense.
Skip gets rainbows. He plays to the audience the whole time and doesn’t finish his time or talk about rainbows at all. The fans cheered at least.
Tarver gets itchy. And he says nothing at all. Literally.
Young has toothpaste and goes with the British stereotype of having bad teeth. You come up with something better.
Tarver grabs the mic and says that Young and Striker don’t know what they’re talking about and blames Brittney Spears for this whole problem. This guy is awesome.
Barrett and Sheffield tie. They both have thirty seconds to talk about something. Sheffield gets bubblegum. He mentions some kinds of bubblegum and then complains about the keg carry. Barrett gets wind and we get the winds of change promo which is still freaking sweet.
Raw recap is about Orton vs. Batista and Cena keeping Batista down while he counted to ten. I liked that actually.
We get a clip from Smackdown of Punk trying to put Young into the Straightedge Society but Young can’t do it. In the back Young apologizes to Punk. Gallows vs. Young tonight. If Young wins he’s forgiven for changing his mind but if he loses his head is shaved.
Christian vs. Wade Barrett
Barrett pinned Christian two weeks ago in the 8 man tag match. Christian gets an early dropkick to put the big man down as Wade seems a bit unsure of himself in what is probably his biggest match to date. How weird is it to think that Barrett has had more major matches in his rookie year than Christian has had in his whole career?
Jericho is out next to the announce table and yells about how he’s taught Barrett to speak. Christian gets a plancha over the top as we take a break. Back with Barrett in control and Jericho yelling a lot. Carlito and Tarver are watching in the back. Christian in control now with basic stuff. Cross body gets two.
Barrett takes over with a big old boot for two. Again, when all else fails, KICK THEM IN THE FACE. There’s the jumping back elbow that I’ve always liked from Christian. Jericho gets up and distracts Christian so Barrett can get back up. Wasteland is blocked by Slater of all people and the Killswitch ends it. They change control way too fast too many times in this.
Rating: C-. Nothing great or anything but for what it was supposed to be this was fine. Barrett looked dominant at times and gave Christian some issues but at the end of the day the veteran took care of him. Barrett shouldn’t beat the second best pro of the year so the ending is the right call.
Otunga was on Access Hollywood with the rather attractive hosts. Basically this is about him being in his underwear on national TV. Otunga comes off as likeable and intelligent here.
Miz goes off on Bryan again. Bryan is the Susan Boyle of WWE. Yeah Miz actually said Bryan has talent.
Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal
Damn he just can’t catch a break can he? Regal trained Bryan and the red trunks Bryan wears are in honor of Regal. Nice touch. LOUD Regal chant starts up. Bryan unleashes the strikes and gets knocked down with ease. Guillotine choke out of nowhere has Regal in trouble. And never mind as he suplexes out of it. The running knee ends it in less than two minutes.
Post match Miz drills Regal in some hot heel on heel action. Skull Crushing Finale for Bryan. Cole: I don’t like a lot of what Miz does or how he runs his mouth all the time. WOW.
Luke Gallows vs. Darren Young
Gallows jumps him to start as we have like three minutes left. He completely dominates for about two minutes before Young gets a rollup to end it. More or less the same thing Bryan did last week. Punk raises Young’s hand post match.
Overall Rating: C-. This was more of a storyline show this week and that’s fine. They’re trying to keep things going until we get to the first elimination which can’t come soon enough. They need to trim off some of the fat here and they need to do it fast. This wasn’t bad but it’s more of the same for the most part. The highlight is definitely the Winds of Change promo though which is still good. Not bad but nothing great at all.
Date: April 20, 2010
Location: Mohegan Sun Hotel & Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews
It’s the 9th show as I’m finally back to this after doing a ton of No Way Out stuff to catch up. This week it’s the joust because that has SO much to do with wrestling right? As usual there isn’t much to say about these shows other than let’s get to it.
The rookies are already in the ring as we start and seem to be in random order. The first elimination is in three weeks. Striker introduces the joust concept which is called Rockem Sockem Rookies. The winner of the tournament style competition gets a feature on WWE.com. If I remember these right they go very fast. Oh ok the rookies were in order of where they would be competing, which is set up like the NCAA Tournament (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5).
The first is Slater vs. Otunga with Slater winning rather easily. I’ve done one of these before and they’re rather fun actually. Sheffield vs. Barrett is second. In a kind of confusing one here, Barrett jumps at Sheffield with kind of a flying tackle but he left the platform first, eliminating him. Bryan vs. Tarver goes to Bryan as Tarver throws his stick down and lets Bryan knock him off with no resistance. Young beats Gabriel in like 2 seconds.
Slater vs. Jericho is the main event.
Video on Batista vs. Cena in the Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules on Sunday wastes some time.
Profile on Barrett with various stars talking about how he’s the best package on NXT so far which is pretty much true.
The Draft is this Monday.
David Otunga vs. Justin Gabriel
Otunga gets a headlock to start and uses his vast array of power stuff to get his ass kicked. He hooks in what is kind of like a weak Tazmission but shifts it over into an armbar of sorts. There’s alleged trouble between Otunga and Truth. Gabriel gets a bit somersault senton to the floor which we don’t see. That’s what replays are for I suppose. Gabriel goes up for the 450 off a Russian Leg Sweep but Otunga moves before it’s launched. Instead a sunset flip ends Otunga when Truth won’t grab his hands. No rating as this was really quick.
It’s time for the semi-finals of the joust with Bryan vs. Young and Sheffield vs. Slater. First up Sheffield puts out Slater. Young beats Bryan as Bryan loses his balance. Cole rips into him because Bryan loses a lot.
Here’s Tarver who says if silence is golden then his words are invaluable. He’s here to beat people up not to dance on a balloon. He challenges anyone, rookie or pro, to come out here and stop him. Sheffield comes out and we’re getting a match. Wait actually as here comes Darren Young and the SES. Punk says Young is in the finals of the stick fighting thing. That’s funny stuff. It’s a triple threat now if you didn’t get that.
Michael Tarver vs. Darren Young vs. Skip Sheffield
The big power guys go after Young early but Young gets Sheffield out to the floor for a bit. Young clears the ring as we take a break. Back with the alleged black Cena (I still don’t get that) getting beaten down from both guys. Tarver keeps yelling a lot at Young and gets on my nerves quickly.
We get down to the brawl with the big men as Young is down on the floor for awhile. Sheffield gets a splash but Young makes the save at two. Off to Young vs. Tarver for awhile now. Darren controls and goes up but Gallows shoves him off and takes out Sheffield. Tarver is too stupid to do anything about it and walks into that release full nelson slam to end it.
Rating: D+. Nothing special at all here but at least it wasn’t that long. Young was just so freaking boring and Tarver was just so freaking stupid that somehow Sheffield is far better by comparison. This was a pretty weak match but Young got a win against big odds which is probably the best choice they had.
Profile on Slater with most people saying he has a lot of potential and energy but not wanting to really say anything is great about him.
We recap Slater costing Barrett a victory over Christian.
Sheffield wins the rematch with a bit of difficulty. Both guys go down at the same time but the referee says it was Sheffield anyway. Oh damn it we’re going to have a rematch. The fans are so thrilled about this they’re in pure silence. Thrilled silence. Sheffield wins again.
Heath Slater vs. Chris Jericho
Slater hammers away to start as this is likely going to be short due to the amount of time left in the show. Jericho takes over due to high levels of awesomeness. Lionsault misses and Slater gets a neckbreaker. That doesn’t really get him anywhere as Jericho goes for the Walls. He gets cradled though and Slater gets the huge upset win. No rating as this was maybe three minutes long, but HUGE credit for the surprise here as it didn’t seem possible coming in but it came off very well.
Jericho breaks a lot of stuff as we end the show. Referee: “Chris it was three!” Jericho: “YOU’RE STUPID! YOU’RE STUPID!” Funny stuff.
Overall Rating: B-. Not a bad show at all here. None of the matches were particularly great at all but there’s nothing particularly bad at all either. The joust was rather idiotic but at least there was some heads up competition in that. This wasn’t a terrible show but it was fun for the whole hour which is the whole important thing here. Not bad at all and I liked it.
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|