“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The NXT video plays as Michael Cole and Josh Mathews welcome us to the show. David Otunga will take on his pro R-Truth tonight.
Matt Striker asks the crowd to welcome the NXT rookies who are ringside. Striker says this is it. For the past eight months they’ve busted their humps to impress the pros and the crowd, and now the time is upon us. Next week the Pro’s Poll will be revealed and one of them will be eliminated (Please, please, PLEASE Michael Tarver!!). Striker reminds us that David Otunga won the “Seal the Deal” Challenge and chose to face his pro R-Truth tonight.
For the past few weeks they’ve had matches against one another and tested their mental abilities, but to become a WWE Superstar you have to overcome obstacles. Tonight we have the Obstacle Course Challenge. They’ll start hand over hand on the monkey bars, climb the suspended ladder and ring the bell, make their way around ringside and through the crowd, drink a soda, come back to the ring, juggle for five seconds, come over to the baseball bat and do the dizzy bat challenge, and then push the cart over the line (I wonder if that’s how Verne Gagne trained his wrestlers…). The winner of the course will receive an immunity pass which is important for whoever is ranked eighth.
Daniel Bryan, whose ribs are taped up from Batista’s assault, is first. Bryan is slow to get over the monkey bar and the suspended ladder. It takes him a full minute and a half to drink the soda. That’s pathetic. Now he makes his way to the ring to juggle. What if you can’t juggle? Not everyone is Dave Stephens. Bryan finishes at 2:45.5. That’s the time to beat.
The Miz’s music hits and he comes out, asking if Bryan is kidding him. Miz says anyone could’ve done better than him on the obstacle course. Miz says not to use the Batista match as an excuse. He’s representing him so he has no excuse. Miz announces that Michael Tarver will face him tonight and they’ll put their winless records on the line. Miz says he needs to win or he’ll most likely be eliminated. That match will be next.
Daniel Bryan (0-9) vs. Michael Tarver (0-7)
My favorite referee in the world, Charles Robinson, is officiating. Bryan gets a waist lock on and Tarver backs him to the corner, elbowing him in the ribs. Tarver kicks him in the ribs and clubs the back. Bryan all of a sudden goes for a Mexican surfboard but instead smashes the knees. Tarver absolutely no sells it and whips him hard to the corner. Tarver sends him to the corner again and runs into the boots. Bryan then explodes out of the corner with a flying kick. Bryan can’t capitalize so Tarver attacks the ribs and body slams him for a near fall. Tarver locks on a chin lock as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Bryan elbowing Tarver. Tarver ducks one and hits a swinging back suplex for a near fall. Bryan turns a whip into a knee to the ribs and kicks Tarver in the back a few times. Bryan kicks him in the ribs a few times and looks to be gaining momentum. Bryan hits a big forearm in the corner and a nice suplex for a near fall. Bryan goes for an arm bar but Tarver lifts him up and slams him down. Tarver hits a reverse powerslam and picks up the win. That’s pure garbage.
Winner by Pinfall: Michael Tarver (1-7)
Match Rating: *
Carlito instructs Tarver to pick Bryan up and Carlito hits the Back Stabber. The Miz just stands there and watches.
We see highlights of Darren Young trying to sell programs last week. He publically stated he’d face CM Punk. We now see him backstage with the Straight Edge Society and they look none too pleased. CM Punk asks what he’s sick of. Sitting under the learning tree of CM Punk? Young says he’s just trying to make an impact and a statement. Punk says he won’t make a statement at his expense. Punk says he needs to figure out who he is and win the obstacle course. If he doesn’t then he’ll make the decision for him.
The Obstacle Course continues. It’s Heath Slater who is up. He has to beat 2:45.5, Daniel Bryan’s time. Slater does it quickly and beats Bryan’s time with 1:36.9.
Darren Young comes out and he’s set to go. Young falls off the monkey bars and has to start over. Young really struggled with the suspension ladder. Everyone has struggled drinking the soda. That’s definitely something you need to be a Superstar… Young doesn’t beat the time yet he continued anyway. Young slipped going over the barricade and couldn’t juggle the two balls. He still beat Daniel Bryan’s time, which is something Michael Cole nearly wet himself over. I’m so happy the eliminations start next week. Too bad announcers aren’t eligible…
Justin Gabriel is up for the obstacle course and he absolutely smokes the challenge. He gets it at 1:29.0.
David “A-List” Otunga is up now. He struggles on the monkey bars but recovers nicely. Otunga stumbled on the juggling and failed to beat the time. He’ll face R-Truth right now.
David Otunga (4-3) vs. R-Truth
R-Truth pretends to shake Otunga’s hand and instead slaps him in the face. They lock up and R-Truth gets him in the corner. R-Truth breaks and backs up. Otunga kicks him and sends him shoulder first into the ring post. Otunga levels him with a shoulder block for a two count as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Otunga kick R-Truth in the ribs for a near fall. Otunga slaps R-Truth and he slaps back. Otunga stops him and continues the assault on the ribs. Otunga applies a textbook abdominal stretch. R-Truth gets out and reverses it before shoving him down. R-Truth kicks him in the ribs. R-Truth has a whip reversed so he slingshots over, splits under a clothesline, and hits a jumping heel kick. R-Truth goes into the ropes and hits the Lie Detector for the win. You’d think they’d stop going with the clothesline every time he slingshots over…
Winner by Pinfall: R-Truth
Match Rating: *
Wade Barrett is up for the obstacle course. He fails a bunch of times at the monkey bars and walks off. He’s disqualified.
Skip Sheffield is up now. He’s way too big for the suspension ladder and slowly gets to that bell. Sheffield nearly won but missed it by two seconds. Matt Striker incorrectly announced him as the new winner.
The NXT rookies are at ringside and they watch Michael Tarver who is the last one to go. Tarver falls off the monkey bars twice and slowly goes up the suspension ladder. Tarver runs through the crowd and goes to drink the dreaded soda. Tarver can’t down the soda and looks like he’s going to be sick. This guy is definitely going down next week. He’s already lost as he tries to down the soda. Charles Robinson then disqualifies him for not finishing the soda.
Justin Gabriel is the winner. Justin Gabriel says he’s happy and says he’s glad David Otunga didn’t win because he’s getting on his nerves. Gabriel says that his ego outweighs his talent. David Otunga is asked for a reason he should not be eliminated. Otunga says he checked with Nielson and the ratings are up when he’s on the screen. Otunga says it wasn’t right that he had to compete in the obstacle course and then wrestle right after.
Michael Tarver meanders his way back ringside and he says he should be eliminated. Tarver says as long as he’s gone the “walking dead bodies” are safe. Tarver says he’s tired of waiting for a chance to prove himself. He had to beat the crap out of an injured, overrated Daniel Bryan to do it. Tarver says he’s the most dangerous rookie in NXT. Ok…
Skip Sheffield is asked for a reason he shouldn’t go home. Sheffield says he’s the NXT’s biggest thing because he gives his all to the good people. Sheffield says that Michael Tarver should be eliminated. Tarver yells and asks what he’s done and Sheffield replies that he’s done a lot more.
Heath Slater says that Michael Tarver is going home next week. Striker then runs over to Otunga and Gabriel, who are having words. Otunga calls him “Justin GAY-briel” and says he got lucky that the last time they faced his pro wouldn’t back him up.
Wade Barrett says that Michael Tarver should be eliminated and he’s not going to miss him. Barrett says he’s the only man in the competition.
Daniel Bryan is asked who should go home next week and Bryan admits that he should since he hasn’t won a match. Darren Young is asked who’s going home. Young says he wants it more than any of the rookies and goes down the line saying it to their faces. Barrett slaps the microphone out of his hand and they fight at ringside. The referees break them up as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Michael Tarver (1-7) def. Daniel Bryan (0-10)
R-Truth def. David Otunga (4-4)
Justin Gabriel won the Obstacle Course Challenge
Bump of the Night: Young falling over the barricade
Match of the Night: Tarver vs. Bryan *
Well all I can say is thank god that the eliminations are next week. I just can’t take one more week of these “challenges.” Huh, challenges: now there’s a laugh. What does an obstacle course that involves drinking a soda and playing dizzy bat have to do with wrestling? I’m sure Verne Gagne, when he was training Ric Flair, Iron Sheik, Jim Brunzell, and many others, didn’t have them run an obstacle course that involved juggling. I’m also sure that he didn’t force them to cut promos on rainbows and bubble gum. I’m also almost positive he didn’t make them sell programs at his AWA shows and declare a winner based on how many programs they sold. The challenges have taken the focus completely off what should be one of the only things that should prove who they are as superstars: how they perform in the ring. I think for the next season of NXT they need to have a better focus for these challenges other than lame county fair games.
I really liked the end of the show when everyone was bickering about who should be eliminated. I have a funny feeling that everyone picking Michael Tarver will give him another week with us. I’m pretty sure that he’ll be gone next week (and not a moment too soon) but I have a funny feeling they’ll pull a swerve and keep him around for a bit. We’ll see but I personally don’t think he has what it takes to be a superstar.
The first elimination is next week and they’ll continue eliminating someone each week until they get down to the final four. The best of NXT is yet to come. I suggest you definitely tune in next week or DVR it.
Final Rating: **
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Thanks for reading!