“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The NXT video plays and we’re brought into the arena with some really impressive pyro. Michael Cole and Josh Mathews welcome us to the show. There’s only five weeks left until the first elimination is announced. Michael Cole calls this “put up or shut up” time.
Matt Striker is on the stage and he introduces the NXT rookies. They come out last to first according to the Pro’s Poll. Striker mentions again that the winner will not only be the next WWE breakout star, they will get a World Title shot on a Pay Per View. Striker says that Darren Young wasn’t happy about being number eight but another guy not happy with his ranking is David Otunga, who ranked fifth in the poll. Striker congratulates him on doing something about it as he hosted Monday Night Raw last night. Raw was entertaining but he had a shot to win the Unified Tag Team Titles with John Cena but he walked away. Why?
David Otunga said he was the host of Monday Night Raw and as the host he could do whatever he wanted. Otunga had a decision to tag Cena’s baby hand and taken the Miz’ head off and they’d celebrate together as champions, but the problem is together. Otunga says he’s the A-List and he doesn’t share the spotlight with anyone. Otunga did the smart thing and did the favor for the Miz, an NXT pro. The Miz can help him win NXT. Then he’ll get a title shot and the spotlight will be on him. Striker said you can’t argue with that.
Striker goes to Daniel Bryan and asks if he deserves first place. Bryan says he doesn’t know and asks if the Miz deserves to be a pro. Does David Otunga deserve to be the guest host of Monday Night Raw? Does Michael Cole deserve to take Jim Ross’ place as a commentator? Bryan says no, that he doesn’t deserve to be number one but he’ll do his best to be a WWE Superstar. Striker says he admires him being humble but since he’s number one the answer should just be yes.
Michael Tarver is put on the hot seat now. Striker says we haven’t heard much from him during this competition so he asks if Daniel Bryan deserves to be number one. Tarver says absolutely not. What he deserves to be, just like everyone else, is a target. He needs to get out of his way. Up until this point he’s played by the rules and waited for his opportunity. Now he’s taking his opportunity and he rips the mic out of Striker’s hand. Tarver says he doesn’t care who you are or married to, he’s the most dangerous man in NXT, period.
Striker says there are some interesting personalities up here. Striker says whoever finishes last in the Pro’s Poll in the coming weeks will be eliminated. In order to see if they deserve to be WWE Superstars they’ll test their physical and mental abilities with weekly challenges. As many of us are painfully aware, including Josh Mathews, this is a keg. Striker shows the keg and says it’s filled with liquid, weighing over 160 pounds. The challenge is the rookies will have to carry it around the ring and past the yellow line. Whomever does it in the shortest time wins the challenge. Daniel Bryan is up first. If you drop the keg at any point, you are disqualified.
Daniel Bryan: 24.9 seconds
Wade Barrett: 14.7 seconds
Justin Gabriel: 13.6 seconds!
Heath Slater: 12 seconds!
David Otunga: 14.1 seconds (Slater is still the leader)
Skip Sheffield: 12.4 seconds
Michael Tarver: DISQUALIFIED! He tripped!
Darren Young: 13.6 seconds
Heath Slater wins the competition with the best time of 12 seconds. The crowd is mixed with him. Striker asks him how he feels. Slater says he’s been telling us he’s going to blow our minds and he will. Slater now has an opportunity to main event the show tonight against this guy: KANE! Kane comes out and goes face to face with Slater. Kane makes the ring posts explode before laughing at Slater and walking away.
Did you know that on WrestleMania Sunday, the number one searched keyword on Google was “WrestleMania.”
The Raw is David Otunga Rebound plays. I thought the guy did a great job.
Matt Striker interviews Skip Sheffield about losing the keg carry. Sheffield says he should have won and the contest was rigged. Sheffield says he’s the NXT’s biggest thing. Sheffield says the people and the universe aren’t ready for him. Since nice guys finish last he’s not being a nice guy anymore. Striker says that’ll take him places. We’ll see Daniel Bryan, the number one pick, take on Darren Young, the eighth pick, next!
Daniel Bryan vs. Darren Young
They circle the ring and go to lock up but Young clubs Bryan down. Young sends him into the ropes and hits a back elbow. Young gloats and charges Bryan, who throws him out of the ring. Bryan hits a baseball slide and jumps off the apron with a flying knee. Bryan sends him in the ring and hits a missile drop kick for a two count. Bryan applies a double chicken wing with a bridge before turning it into a pin for a two count. Bryan goes into the ropes and catches him with a back slide for a one count. Bryan does it a second time for another one count.
Young comes back with a kick before sending Bryan into the corner. Bryan back flips over him, ducks a clothesline, and gets a sunset flip for a two count. Young gets a cover of his own for a two count before Bryan turns it into another pin for a two count. Young gets up and just slaps the taste out of his mouth. Bryan slaps him right back. Young then gets a big cradle, using all his body weight, to pin him. That was a good match until that lame finish.
Winner by Pinfall: Darren Young
Match Rating: *
Kane will take on Heath Slater in the main event. Bryan leaves the ring disappointed.
Matt Striker thanks Saliva for “Time To Shine,” the official theme song of Extreme Rules. WWE loves Saliva.
Justin Gabriel vs. Michael Tarver
They showed videos from Gabriel and Tarver, respectively. Gabriel mentioned advice his late father gave him and Tarver talks about being unhappy with being ranked seventh.
They lock up and Gabriel quickly takes him down with an arm drag. They lock up again and Tarver powers him to the corner where he delivers some big knees. Tarver sends him sternum first into the corner before stomping the ribs. Tarver hits a body slam and gets a one count. Tarver locks in an abdominal stretch. Gabriel fights back but gets clubbed down. Tarver sends him to the corner but Gabriel slingshots over him. Gabriel hits some stiff kicks to the leg before taking him out with a roundhouse kick. Gabriel hits a spinning clothesline and cross-bodies him in the corner. Gabriel hits a cross-body and goes to the top rope again. Gabriel goes for the 450 but Tarver pushes the legs out. Gabriel punches and snaps him off the top rope. Gabriel hits the 450 Splash for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Justin Gabriel
Match Rating: *
The WWE Draft happens on April 26.
David Otunga vs. Wade Barrett
They show a video with Otunga saying that the pro’s are threatened by him, hence the reason he’s number five. A video with Barrett airs, with him saying second place is the first loser.
They lock up and Otunga gets a side headlock. Otunga wrenches the arm and eats a forearm. Barrett head-butts him and sends him to the corner before following up with a big boot. Barrett stomps him down and stretches him on the ropes. Barrett works on the lower back before taking a forearm. Barrett quickly knees him and throws him out of the ring. Barrett sends him into the apron and puts him in the ring. Barrett stretches him out some more in the ring. Otunga tries to fight up but gets slammed down. Barrett then misses a knee.
Otunga sidesteps Barrett and punches. Barrett goes for a slam but Otunga counters into an inverted atomic drop. Otunga hits a nice shoulder block and a back elbow. Otunga hits a body slam for a near fall. Otunga blocks a suplex with an inside cradle for a two count. Otunga hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Otunga gets on the second rope and Barrett rips him off. Barrett then hits his fireman’s carry front slam for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Wade Barrett
Match Rating: *
Heath Slater is shown warming up in the locker room. He’ll face Kane next.
Edge will take on Chris Jericho this Friday on Smackdown. The winner will face Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Kane vs. Heath Slater
Footage of the abysmal Kane vs. the NXT rookies is shown from Friday. That was horrible.
Slater ducks away from Kane and kicks him in the face. Slater drop-toe-holds him into the corner and punches away. Slater hits a missile dropkick that doesn’t take him down. Slater hits a cross-body for a one count. Slater punches at Kane and runs into a big boot. Kane throws him out of the ring and follows. Kane uppercuts him down and sends him into the apron. Kane sends him into the ring and puts him in the corner. Kane punches away and stomps him. Kane hits a snapmare and applies a chin lock. Slater fights up and elbows out. Slater goes for a sunset flip for a one count.
Slater charges right into a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Kane chokes him on the second rope and punches him. Kane hits another snapmare and hits a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. The story is Slater refuses to quit. Slater punches and runs right into a NASTY clothesline! Kane goes to the top rope and hits his clothesline. Kane hits a big uppercut and stands over him. Kane whips him into the corner and hits a clothesline. Kane sends him to the other corner and runs into a kick. Slater then runs right into Kane’s giant hand and takes a Chokeslam for the loss!
Winner by Pinfall: Kane
Match Rating: *
The announcers put over the Heath Slater was impressive and brave as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Heath Slater won the keg carry contest (12 seconds)
Darren Young def. Daniel Bryan
Justin Gabriel def. Michael Tarver
Wade Barrett def. David Otunga
Kane def. Heath Slater
Bump of the Night: Michael Tarver tripping with the keg
Match of the Night: Kane vs. Heath Slater * ?
This was another fun episode of NXT. I really enjoyed the keg carry competition tonight. I actually found myself rooting for guys. In my mind, anything that gets me that into a show is a definite positive. I love these challenges and the prizes at the end for the winners. If it wasn’t my job to recap the show I would just tune in any way to watch. I can’t wait to see what happens next week.
I thought Kane did a good job with Heath Slater tonight. Kane’s always been good about making other guys look good while still staying dominant. He’s one of the best big men ever in my mind. I’m still not a real fan of Heath Slater but he was good in this.
The rest of the show was good. The matches were short but the prize is a contract for Raw so the length is good. The undercard matches only average about one to three minutes on Raw anyway. They’re off to a good start!
I wonder if Michael Tarver was supposed to trip or what. That certainly looked real. I feel bad for him because he cut a pretty good promo tonight. Oh well, I don’t think he has a chance anyway.
Final Rating: **
E-Mail ? MikeyT817@hotmail.com
Be sure to check out Friday’s Smackdown recap: click here.
Thanks for reading!