“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video recapping last week’s episode plays. Heath Slater won a Keg Carrying Contest. His prize was he got to face Kane later in the night. Needless to say he was not victorious but he put up a good fight.
The NXT video plays and the first international edition of the show opens with Michael Cole and Josh Mathews welcoming us to the show. Matt Striker, the host of NXT, is in the ring and he welcomes the NXT rookies to the ring. They walk out according to their rank in the Pro’s Poll.
Matt Striker says he is noticing the pressure getting to them now that we’re four weeks from elimination. Striker says that Michael Tarver called himself a pit bull and then was disqualified from the challenge before losing a match. Tarver says he is the pressure and he’s getting to the rookies. Tarver said, “Whether I win or lose, I will not lose.” What?! Even Matt Striker called him out on that ridiculousness.
David Otunga is asked how he felt he did while facing John Cena on Raw last night. Otunga says he wrestled the champion of WWE and he doesn’t see any of the other NXT rookies doing that on Raw. Striker mentions that was a good point.
Striker goes over to Justin Gabriel and says he beat Otunga last week just like John Cena did last night. Striker asks him how he thinks he would fare against John Cena. Gabriel says to give him a match against John Cena and we’ll see.
Striker goes over what the winner of the NXT competition will get. Not only will they be the next breakout star of the WWE but they will also face a world champion of their choosing on Pay Per View! Striker says last week they tested their physical abilities, but it takes more than that to make it. They need to verbalize their feelings and connect with the audience. It’s not only an American audience. They will compete on a global challenge. Last week’s challenge was won by Heath Slater and the crowd boos. Tonight their mentality will be tested. Striker says the judges will be the live crowd in London. Whoever wins will really be able to standout. Whoever wins tonight will have the opportunity to create their very own entrance theme rather than use their pro’s music.
Striker pulls out some cards with topics on them. The rookie will be given the topic and they’ll have 30 seconds to say something creative about it. Daniel Bryan is ranked number one so he’s first. He steps up to the podium and has thirty seconds to talk about “passion.” Wow… he tanked on that. Striker interrupted him and Bryan barely had time to say “I love England.”
Wade Barrett’s topic is “blasé.” Barrett says there’s nothing blasé about him unlike the rest of the rookies. Barrett says he’s the best and he proves it week in and week out. Barrett cut a great promo here saying he’s the best success story in WWE.
Justin Gabriel is next and he must talk about “flowers.” Gabriel introduces himself and says a lot of flowers grow in South Africa. Gabriel says he’s not a big fan but he likes the rose. The crowd starts booing him and he can’t even find the words to finish. That was sad.
Heath Slater’s topic is “cereal.” Slater talks about Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, and Cocoa Pebbles. Slater says he doesn’t eat cereal because his body can’t take it. Slater finishes by asking what kind of topic “cereal” is.
David Otunga’s topic is “sleep.” Otunga says he doesn’t get much of it because he’s always trying to stay one step ahead of the other rookies. Once he wins the competition he can sleep a little more.
Skip Sheffield’s topic is “rainbows.” Sheffield doesn’t speak on it for one second. Instead he rips off Steve Austin (as if he hasn’t done that enough already) by asking the crowd if they want some “pep in their step” to give him a “yup, yup, yup.” I really thought he was going to say “hell yeah.” That didn’t impress me (not that anyone besides Barrett has) but the crowd liked it.
Michael Tarver is asked to speak on the topic of “itchy.” The crowd chants something at him (I think “Who are you”) and he doesn’t speak. He walks away from the podium and lets the time expire.
Darren Young’s topic is “toothpaste.” Young says that’s something a lot of people in England don’t use. He asks if that’s PG. If there’s a place he’d rather not be its right here. Michael Tarver rips the microphone out of his hand and says if he had anything to say he’d say it. Tarver says the crowd doesn’t deserve it.
Matt Striker asks them to pick a winner. It’s a tie between Skip Sheffield and Wade Barrett. They’ll both get a topic and the crowd will make the final decision. Sheffield’s topic is “bubble gum.” Sheffield goes off topic and says he won the keg carrying contest and the crowd boos. Sheffield says he doesn’t chew bubble gum and that’s that. Yikes…
Wade Barrett will talk about “wind.” Barrett says if Sheffield had anything other than rocks for brains he’d talk about the topic. Barrett talks about the wind of change coming through the WWE and its him. Barrett says he’ll be the first ever English WWE Champion. The crowd loved it and he wins. He was legitimately the best out of the garbage topics given out. Barrett will get his own entrance music next week.
Tonight’s main event will be Wade Barrett taking on Christian.
The Raw Recap airs. I thought Jack Swagger was a Smackdown superstar? They then run down the Extreme Rules card.
Footage from last Friday’s Smackdown airs with Darren Young reversing his decision to join the Straight Edge Society. The S.E.S. attacked him until Rey Mysterio ran down and saved him from getting his head shaved.
The S.E.S. is backstage with Darren Young. Young apologizes and says he thought he was ready. Punk says if it wasn’t for Mysterio sticking his nose in his business he’d be bald. Luke Gallows says he manhandled him like a “punk.” CM Punk hilariously took exception to that. Punk says it took guts for Young to do what he did and Gallows says, “Yeah, rookie.” Punk asks Gallows if he can beat Young and he says he can. Punk says if he beats Luke then last week is forgiven. If Luke wins then they’ll shave his head tonight. Oh God please win Luke Gallows!
Wade Barrett vs. Christian
Chris Jericho and Heath Slater are at ringside.
They circle the ring and Christian gets a waist lock. Barrett counters into a side headlock before being whipped off. Barrett shoulder blocks him down and goes into the ropes to eat a dropkick. Christian gets a side headlock on and Barrett gets out with a back suplex. Barrett executes an awesome slingshot backbreaker and Jericho goes to commentary to talk about how awesome that was. That got Barrett a near fall. Barrett stomps away and chokes him on the ropes. Barrett backs up and charges but Christian pulls the top rope down, sending him over. Christian then hits a springboard body splash over the top. We’ll take a break here.
We come back from the break to see Christian punch Barrett. Christian then runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall. Christian is sent into the ropes for another backbreaker and another near fall. Christian counters out of another backbreaker but has a whip reversed. Christian hits a forearm smash and hits a reverse DDT for a near fall. Christian then chokes him on the ropes for some retribution. Christian goes to the top rope and hits a nice cross-body block for a near fall. Christian goes to the top again and jumps but Barrett ducks and hits a big boot for a near fall.
Barrett sends him sternum first into the corner and shoulder blocks the back. Barrett charges but Christian moves and kicks him in the face. Christian hits a flying back elbow and looks for his finisher. Chris Jericho tries to interfere and it almost works as Barrett sets up for his finisher but Heath Slater interferes as well. Christian counters into the Kill Switch and takes the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: *
Chris Jericho yells about the interference as they walk away. Christian celebrates in the ring with his rookie.
We see a video of David Otunga being featured on Access Hollywood. They show the whole segment. He looked good on the show.
The Miz is backstage with Daniel Bryan and he chastises him for his ridiculous promo. Miz calls him the Susan Boyle of the WWE: a lot of talent but no star power. Miz says the only reason he’s number one is because of him. He’s 0-7 on the show and would be nothing. Miz tells him to stop being cocky and listen by taking his star power and charisma. Miz yells at him to win and be a star. That was an awesome segment.
Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal
For any fan of Bryan’s ROH days then this is a dream match for you.
They lock up and Regal wrenches the arm. Bryan twists out of it and hits a dropkick. Bryan hits a big forearm smash in the corner and hits a beautiful full nelson suplex for a near fall! Bryan kicks him viciously in the corner before being backed up by the referee. Bryan walks into a forearm smash and Regal works on him before being put in a guillotine choke. Regal counters out with a fisherman’s suplex and hits the Knee Trembler for the win. Maybe one day we’ll actually see this match with the time it deserves.
Winner by Pinfall: William Regal
Match Rating: *
The Miz quickly runs in and smashes Regal out of the ring. Miz picks Bryan up, who’s bleeding from the mouth, and gives him the Skull Crushing Finale.
Darren Young will take on Luke Gallows next. If Young loses then he can say bye-bye to his hair.
Darren Young vs. Luke Gallows
Gallows immediately beats him down with punches and kicks. Gallows sends him into the ropes and avalanches him. Young soon blocks a punch and tries a comeback but Gallows uppercuts him for a two count. Gallows punches him and rips off the headband. Gallows sends him into the corner and kicks away. Gallows whips him to the other corner but Young moves. Young tries a cross-body in the corner but Gallows hangs him up on the ropes. Gallows hits a fall away slam and a short-arm clothesline for a near fall. Gallows goes for another fall away slam but Young counters into a pin for the win. Damn!
Winner by Pinfall: Darren Young
Match Rating: *
Darren Young celebrates and CM Punk comes in to raise his arm in the air. Luke Gallows doesn’t look happy about this as Punk and Serena walk out on him.
Quick Match Results
Wade Barrett won a promo contest
Christian def. Wade Barrett
William Regal def. Daniel Bryan
Darren Young def. Luke Gallows
Bump of the Night: Christian’s body splash over the top rope!
Match of the Night: Christian vs. Wade Barrett * ½
This just wasn’t a good NXT episode. I thought the contest tonight was lame. I’d have rather seen them cut promos putting themselves over rather than a promo on random topics like “cereal” and “bubble gum.” Wade Barrett did a great job with it but his random crap was better than the other’s. I’m curious to see what he’d do with bubble gum. He’s got some skills, though, I’ll admit it.
I thought Christian and Barrett had a terrific match tonight. Barrett in particular looked good, pulling out a series of nice, difficult moves. I was impressed and I don’t think this loss will hurt him at all.
I was disappointed with the Bryan/Regal match. That’s one match up I, myself, have been dying to see and they got just over a minute. They pulled out some nice moves in that minute but it just wasn’t enough. I really don’t know what they’re doing with Bryan. It still seems like they’re going the Rey Mysterio underdog type route with him and that’s not what he needs. If he’s a submission specialist then more emphasis should be on that. Maybe they’re doing what they did with ECW: kill his fan base that wasn’t created by WWE.
I was hoping we’d see Darren Young go bald tonight but I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer for that. That would’ve been a nice birthday present.
Final Rating: **
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