“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
Footage is shown from earlier in the day of Matt Striker running the obstacle course the NXT Rookies will compete in tonight. There’s a balance beam, a high wall, a push up spot, and a tire track. They’ll be competing for immunity as polls open tomorrow for who will be the next rookie to be eliminated next week.
The NXT video plays and we’re brought into the arena with some pyro. Michael Cole and Josh Mathews welcome us to the show. They talk about this being the last chance the rookies have to make an impression.
MVP is in the ring with the VIP Lounge set up. MVP says normally he’d have the champagne flowing but tonight he’s being serious because he has an issue to address with his guest tonight, “Showtime” Percy Watson. Watson comes out and he looks timid once in the ring. MVP cuts to the chase and says what he attempted to do last week didn’t take courage, guts, or spirit. It did take initiative. MVP wanted to smash his glasses on his face but he thought about it and realized that they’re a lot alike. The MVP that debuted a few years ago would’ve done the same thing. He’s come a long way and he’s learned a lot. The question is did Watson learn anything.
Watson says he respects MVP and he’s learned a lot. Watson says the go-getter in him took over and he apologizes. MVP asks if he learned a lesson and Watson says he did. MVP says its water under the bridge.
Matt Striker’s music hits (really?) and he comes to the stage. Striker says with the NXT Poll coming next week there will be an elimination. Striker tells them to say why Watson should be number one. MVP says you have to have athleticism and charisma. He has them all. MVP then asks the crowd if he’s the next breakout superstar and they give a mixed reaction. Watson says he’s a heavy hitter, a go-getter, and not a quitter. He’s worked hard to get everything he’s got just like the crowd. Striker cuts him off mid-promo (annoying) and “Dashing” Cody Rhodes’s music hits to cut Striker off. He comes out with Husky Harris.
Striker asks Rhodes why Harris should be number one. Rhodes says he needs grooming advice but admits he’d be a great representative for the crowd. He weighs 300 pounds just like most people. However, unlike most people, he’s a powerhouse. Harris says WWE has been filled with body builders and he is not that. Harris mixes up his words and says the only thing is he’s real. MVP says “real fat”. The two teams will face next.
A video plays for Lucky Cannon. The pros like his potential and his ability in the ring. The drawbacks are he’s just an Average Joe in a competition full of standouts. They do like that he’s willing to pay dues and he’s on the right path.
The WWE Pros are on the stage ready to observe the match.
MVP & Percy Watson (1-2) vs. Cody Rhodes & Husky Harris (1-2)
Harris and Watson lock up and Harris quickly takes him down with strikes. Harris sends him to the ropes and takes a shoulder block. Watson hits an arm drag and keeps the arm bar on. Harris fights up and wrenches the arm. Watson takes him down and locks on a Fujiwara Arm Bar. Harris fights up and MVP is tagged in. MVP punches him a bit before bouncing him off the turnbuckle. Harris reverses a whip but MVP slingshots over and hits a clothesline for a near fall. Watson is tagged back in and he quickly has a whip reversed. Watson hits a shoulder block again for a one count.
Watson wrenches the arm but Harris knees him and tags in Rhodes. Rhodes elbows him in the back of the head and powers him to the corner. Rhodes sends Watson to the corner but Watson slingshots over and hits an arm drag. Rhodes quickly fights up and gets Harris back in. Harris head-butts Watson and sends him to the ropes. Watson surprises him with a dropkick and Harris rolls out of the ring. Watson follows them out and they engage in a pull apart brawl. The referee restores order as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes knee Watson in the midsection. Rhodes viciously stomps him down. Watson comes back and hits a body slam. Rhodes quickly comes back with a forearm smash and a nice front suplex. Rhodes talks trash to MVP and tags in Harris but the referee didn’t see. Rhodes steps on Watson’s face and tags in Harris. Harris hits a three point tackle in the corner and gets a bear hug locked on. Harris hits a short-arm clothesline for a near fall. Harris hits a big body slam and drops an elbow. Harris is totally winded. Watson kicks him away and tags MVP. Rhodes is tagged as well.
MVP hits a back body drop and a clothesline. MVP hits a throat thrust and a face buster. MVP knocks Harris off the apron and hits the BALLIN Elbow Drop. MVP hits Harris with a big boot and runs into a back elbow from Rhodes. Rhodes hits a springboard kick to the head and tags in Harris. Harris hits his awesome Senton Splash for the win over MVP!
Winners by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes & Husky Harris (2-2)
Match Rating: * 3/4
A video plays for Michael McGillicutty. Some Pros think he has the best chance of winning the competition. They talk about his enthusiasm and he’s close to perfect. Rhodes says he’s not bringing any “ruthless aggression” with dropkicks and arm drags. That’s a tremendous point. John Morrison says he hasn’t seen much in terms of personality and speaking. Morrison should worry about himself… The Miz says just because daddy was great doesn’t mean he will be. He has to earn it.
Alex Riley takes on Lucky Cannon next.
Lucky Cannon is without Mark Henry tonight. Wade Barrett hit his finisher on Mark Henry and messed himself up as well as Henry.
Striker asks Cannon to tell the crowd why he should be number one on the NXT Poll. Cannon says he’s not going to convince anyone he’s the best because it’s only an opinion. He’s been having the time of his life coming out each week to entertain us. Cannon says it’s a dream and he doesn’t want it to end. For giving him this he says “thank you”. Cookie cutter face promo.
Alex Riley says losers always whine about their best. Riley says he doesn’t like the crowd and they don’t like him. The competition is about who’s going to run the company. If they care then do the right thing and vote for him. The Miz takes the microphone and says the WWE Universe has no idea what they want with voting Kaval and Percy Watson in the top two. The Miz knows what we want. Alex Riley will be number one because the future WWE Champion told us to.
Lucky Cannon (2-3) vs. Alex Riley (2-2)
Riley kicks and punches away at Cannon. Riley sends him to the corner and misses a splash. Cannon punches away but Riley ducks. Riley goes for a back suplex but Cannon flips through and hits some clotheslines. Cannon sends him to the ropes and hits a big boot for a near fall. Cannon goes to the top rope and misses a cross-body big time. Riley lifts him up and hits a nice neckbreaker for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Alex Riley (3-2)
Match Rating: 1/2 *
The Miz gets in and fakes hitting Cannon with the briefcase before leaving. The Miz then changes his mind and smashes Cannon with the Money in the Bank briefcase. The Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on the briefcase before leaving. There’s a huge dent in the briefcase from that. The referees check on Cannon as The Miz and Alex Riley leave.
The Raw Rebound airs with John Cena assembling an army to take on the Nexus at Summerslam. That army includes Bret “Hitman” Hart!
The announcers remind us that voting will open at noon on WWE.com. Vote for your favorite rookie.
Striker asks John Morrison and Eli Cottonwood why he should be number one. Morrison says he was flying home from last week’s show and he was at the airport when the entire NXT roster walked by. Morrison heard a kid ask his mom who Cottonwood was. Morrison says people want to watch him. If he keeps improving then he could be the long term investment on NXT. Cottonwood asks Striker who he’ll vote for and intimidates him. They should never, EVER let Cottonwood speak. That’s an abortion.
Lay-Cool is asked why Kaval is number one. They say he has passion, heart, skills, and smarts. He also has them and that makes him almost flawless. Kaval says we should vote for him because he has the confidence in his abilities to go toe to toe with anyone, like Evan Bourne, Randy Orton, or Rey Mysterio. Nice!
The obstacle course is next. It can’t be any worse than last season’s abortion.
Whoever beats the obstacle course in the shortest time gets immunity. Striker asks why Michael McGillicutty should be number one. Kofi Kingston says he’s not the biggest or strongest but he is the hungriest. There is nobody in the competition hungrier than him. He was born to do this and most importantly he has the support of the crowd, the “McGillibuddies”. BRUTAL. McGillicutty talks about his “perfect” record so make the “perfect” choice: him.
If you fail on any obstacle you must go back and complete it.
Michael McGillicutty: 26.7
Alex Riley: He failed on the balance beam and finished at 40.3. Riley was not happy.
Eli Cottonwood: Brutal; just stumbling and bumbling. He was DQed for not finishing the balance beam.
Lucky Cannon: 28.2
Kaval: Close; couldn’t push the crate. 29.1
Percy Watson: 31.5
Husky Harris: Stopped half-way through and destroyed a hurdle. 50.3. He could care less: I love it!
Michael McGillicutty has earned immunity for next week. Voting starts tomorrow and someone will go home next week.
Quick Match Results
Cody Rhodes & Husky Harris* (2-2) def. MVP* & Percy Watson (1-3)
Alex Riley (3-2) def. Lucky Cannon (2-4)
Bump of the Night: Cannon taking the Skull Crushing Finale on the briefcase!
Match of the Night: Rhodes & Harris vs. MVP & Watson * 3/4
Wow: WWE actually put together a reasonable obstacle course. There was no soda drinking or ladder climbing. Real obstacles, like hurdles and a balance beam. That was way better than last season’s obstacle course. I really liked how some of the guys performed. Michael McGillicutty won but the guy who got the worst time was the one to watch and that was Husky Harris. He just sauntered through it slowly and could care less. This guy has a tremendous presence. He might go home next week but we haven’t seen the last from him. He’s something to watch. He just has to pace himself a little better during the matches. He wrestled in a 10 minute tag match and looked like the Ultimate Warrior after making his entrance: completely winded.
This was a good edition of NXT to build towards next week’s elimination special. Everyone performed well (except Eli Cottonwood) and I was entertained. What more can you ask for from WWE?
Final Rating: ** 3/4
E-Mail – MikeyT817@hotmail.com
Be sure to check out Friday’s Smackdown recap.
Thanks for reading!