WWE NXT on WWE.com
December 8, 2010
Dayton, Ohio
Report by: Enzo Mendicino of Wrestleview.com

The cast of Season Four of WWE NXT:

— Rookie: Johnny Curtis. Pro: R-Truth.
— Rookie: Byron Saxton Pro: Chris Masters.
— Rookie: Brodus Clay. Pro: Ted DiBiase.
— Rookie: Jacob Novak. Pro: Dolph Ziggler.
— Rookie: Derrick Bateman. Pro: Daniel Bryan.
— Rookie: Conor O’Brian. Pro: Alberto Del Rio.

Yes, “Wild & Young” is back. And we’re off to an inauspicious start. Smackdown announcer Todd Grisham introduced the show for his first appearance on NXT. Already in the ring was Matt Striker to introduce the NXT Season 4 Pros.

Out first was R-Truth, who rapped to his old theme song. Truth stood on the stage and said what’s up is Johnny Curtis. They made their way to the ring before WWE cut to Grisham and Josh Mathews at the announce table. Ted DiBiase and Maryse were out next to introduce big Brodus Clay. Chris Masters, in jeans only, gave an intro for Byron Saxton. Mathews noted Saxton was ECW’s color commentator for a cup of coffee.

The next half of the intros started with Dolph Ziggler cutting a Chris Jericho promo. Ziggler brought out Jacob Novak. Mathews said Novak is an “outdoor sports enthusiast.” Grisham noted a lot of people think Novak looks like Mathews. U.S. champion Daniel Bryan was out next to introduce his “oh so manly” Rookie…Derrick Bateman. They shook hands and Mathews said the man likes creative writing. For the heat portion of the segment, Ricardo Rodriguez came out on stage to personally introduce Alberto Del Rio, who emerged from his Mercedes before Ricardo introduced Conor O’Brian. It sounded like Conan O’Brien. Mathews said he’s a loner destined to succeed in WWE.

The camera panned the individuals assembled in the ring. Striker introduced the show with the usual rules of competition. The winner will receive a championship match. No mention of it being on PPV. Johnny Curtis was first to talk. He said he won’t deliver a generic interview. He gave a shout-out to his fourth grade gym teacher. Maryse comically held her eyes before rolling them. That was great. Brodus Clay rapped that he’s coming to this competition to dominate. Byron Saxton, with a high school-quality goatee that needs to be shaved, said he’s here to complete a journey of becoming WWE’s next breakout star.

Novak was next asking if the fans played board games. He said his board game of choice was Monopoly because you got to own the competition. He said he will own the entire board of NXT. Bateman was next. He said he’s honored to debut in his home state of Ohio. Bateman said the debut of NXT Season 4 will live in infamy because he’s arrived. Conor O’Brian was next with some weird accent. O’Brian said he’s been made fun of his entire life because he looks like a rat. He was so over the top with his facial expressions that it was unintentionally comedic. He said he’s winning NXT and that takes the cheese.

Alberto Del Rio interrupted and said that was boring…like Daniel Bryan. Bryan mocked Del Rio with his eyebrows before telling O’Brian that it’s okay – he does look like a rat – but Del Rio is just jealous because he has the ring announcer and the car, but doesn’t have a title. Del Rio called him Stuart Little. Striker had to stand in-between them, then he booked a tag match to start the new season.

Grisham and Mathews recapped the opening segment before feeding to a video package on Byron Saxton, Mathews’ ECW broadcast partner. Saxton talked up himself, then they aired some old footage of him running a kids wrestling promotion, then as a local news anchor. ECW was briefly back on the air with footage of Saxton ringside with Mathews at the end of the brand. He said he does not lose.

Johnny Curtis vs. Jacob Novak in the first match of NXT Season 4.

-Commercial Break-

Match #1: JOHNNY CURTIS (w/R-Truth) vs. JACOB NOVAK (w/Dolph Ziggler)

Mathews noted the situation on Raw where Wade Barrett was given an ultimatum from Nexus to re-hire John Cena or be exiled. The announcers said Curtis is the favorite this season as he worked from behind with Novak working as the heel. Curtis landed a dropkick, then came off the top with a leg drop. It was good for the pin and the win. The crowd cheered while Ziggler rolled his eyes.

Winner: Curtis (1-0) in 4:00

Grisham and Mathews fed to a video on Brodus Clay. Clay was shown at FCW before they rolled footage of him growing up in Pasadena, California. Clay said that before he pursued his dream of getting into WWE, he was protection for Snoop Dogg. Clay said he is the next WWE breakout star because he is the who, what, when, where, how of the competition.

-Commercial Break-

Capture The Flag Competition

Striker introduced Capture the Flag with an obstacle course setting. Poor Brodus is at a disadvantage here. Curtis was the first man up. Curtis awkwardly ran up the entranceramp and finished at 28.6. O’Brian was next. Someone in the crowd audibly said, “Rat man!” O’Brian struggled to get the ladder in the ring, but scored a 28.2 time to take the lead.

Contestant #3 was Brodus Clay. Clay charged the ladder and worked his way up the ladder in the ring to capture the flag. He charged the entrance stage, but finished at 33.5. Byron Saxton was next. Saxton tip-toed down the ramp and approached the ladder before slowly setting it up inside the ring. Saxton celebrated grabbing the flag, but fell off the ladder. Saxton slowly walked out of the ring and finished at 56.8.

Contestant #5 was Novak. No heat on this as Novak got the flag and gracefully made it up the stage to finish at 26.9 to set the new mark. Bateman was last. Alberto Del Rio added his own commentary as Bateman climbed the ladder. Bryan led the crowd in a “Bate-man, Bate-man” chant. The official time on Bateman was 27.3. The clock operator seemed to add an extra second. Mathews noted the questionable clock work as Del Rio told Bateman he’s a loser. So, Novak earns the immunity point.

Winner: Jacob Novak

-Commercial Break-

Randy Orton returned, dropped Michael Cole with the RKO, and Orton vs. Miz in a tables match was set for TLC. … Back on NXT, Mathews and Grisham plugged Orton vs. Miz, Mysterio vs. Del Rio, and Kane vs. Edge as the top matches at TLC.

Ted DiBiase and Maryse tried to have a civil discussion about their issues, but Brodus Clay interrupted. DiBiase said they need a moment. DiBiase told Maryse it’s an opportunity not only for Brodus, but for him. She smiled and told DiBiase to buy her another fur jacket. DiBiase told Clay they need to turn his size into power. Maryse thinks he needs a makeover. DiBiase yelled at her, then told him it’s his competition to win. Clay said he has a lot of questions, then DiBiase walked off with him, leaving Maryse behind.

Byron Saxton was rubbing himself with moisturizing. Chris Masters walked in and said that’s so funny because he tells everyone that moisture is the essence of beauty. He told Saxton he thinks he’ll be money, but he has some workout tips to share. Saxton said he doesn’t need those tips. They had a mini-posedown contest. Saxton blew off Masters since he has a photo shoot. Masters said he kind of likes this kid.

Daniel Bryan and Bateman came to the ring ahead of a break leading to the main event.

Match #2: U.S. champion DANIEL BRYAN & DERRICK BATEMAN vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO & CONOR O’BRIAN

Grisham made a “Late Night with Conor O’Brian” joke and said he got it out of his system Week 1 so he doesn’t have to say it ever again. Del Rio worked over Bateman early on before bumping Bryan off the ring apron. O’Brian then executed a foot stomp to the head as Grisham segued from an immunity points discussion to a question of whether Mathews received his flu shot this year. On-stage, Maryse and DiBiase were huddled up while Ziggler picked up a conversation with Maryse.

Suddenly, O’Brian and Bateman dizzied themselves. Bateman stumbled over to Bryan for a tag, then Bryan proceeded to airplane spin O’Brian for about 30 seconds. Bryan sold dizziness, then instinctively started a babyface clap. Bryan dumped O’Brian to the floor, then knocked Del Rio off the ring apron. Bateman tagged in and flew through the ropes with a suicide dive on Del Rio and Rookie. The babyfaces were in control going to break.

-Commercial Break-

Back from break, Bryan was perched up top to deliver a double axe handle smash on O’Brian. On stage, Maryse picked something off DiBiase’s shirt before they cut back to the ring where Bryan smashed O’Brian with rapid-fire kicks. Del Rio then cheated to give his team control working over Bryan. Grisham noted “Del Rio” means “The River” in Spanish. He segued into a comment that O’Brian would be “up the river without a paddle” without Del Rio. Team River continued to work over Bryan. Suddenly, Dolph Ziggler told the crowd, “This match sucks.” That was apparently in response to the crowd chanting that Del Rio sucks.

Bryan came flying out of the heel corner with a roundhouse kick on Del Rio, which led to Bateman tagging in and cleaning house on Del Rio. Bateman walked into a boot to the gut, but came back with a boot and a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall. The action broke down with Bryan clearing O’Brian on the outside. Back in the ring, Bateman airballed a cross-body press and Del Rio slapped on the cross-arm breaker. Bateman immediately tapped out.

Del Rio didn’t let go immediately, giving Bateman some extra punishment in the first Rookie hazing moment of NXT. Del Rio and O’Brian then celebrated in the ring while Bryan checked on Bateman. Mathews and Grisham signed off as the show went to a final shot of Del Rio and O’Brian celebrating on the way out of the ring.

Winners: Del Rio & O’Brian (1-0) in 12:00


Enzo’s Thoughts

Match #1: JOHNNY CURTIS (w/R-Truth) vs. JACOB NOVAK (w/Dolph Ziggler)
Neither wrestler showed much of an “it” factor. Curtis is being presented as the babyface favorite, so we’ll keep an eye out on whether WWE protects him throughout the season.

Match #2: U.S. champion DANIEL BRYAN & DERRICK BATEMAN vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO & CONOR O’BRIAN
Fine match. Similar to The Miz standing next to Alex Riley, Bryan will benefit from the juxtaposition of being a Pro standing next to a Rookie.

The commentary is safe, Grisham is almost self-parodying himself as an announcer with his cutesy lines, and it’s clear this NXT Rookie cast is like the A-level or AA-level of the developmental system, with the wrestlers higher up the ladder in Triple A saved for future methods of introduction. Bateman has some potential, though. He’s similar to Percy Watson as the high-energy babyface, but he already seems more polished in the ring.

That’s all for now, see you all next week.

I hope you all enjoyed my recap if you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach me at:

MSN/Hotmail: enzomendicino@hotmail.com
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