“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A recap of the NXT season up to this point is shown. They show some of the great highlights from matches and backstage segments. They even managed to make the competitions look tolerable. The NXT intro video plays with the same terrible song and then we’re brought into the arena with some pyro. Michael Cole and Josh Mathews welcome us to the show. One of the rookies will be eliminated tonight.
Matt Striker is at ringside and welcomes us to this very special episode. He introduces the rookies and they line up at ringside. Striker says before one of them goes home he’d like to acknowledge what they achieved last night on Raw. We see the EIGHT NXT rookies beat FOUR WWE pros on Raw. Daniel Bryan got completely pumped up about pinning Santino Marella, someone who anyone can pin.
Striker asks Michael Tarver if he remembers saying that he deserved to be eliminated. Striker said that WWE management feels that if a superstar doesn’t believe in himself then how can anyone believe in him? Striker informs Tarver that he’s eliminated. Tarver at first smiles… then he flips out and says he was held back before leaving.
Striker goes up to Daniel Bryan and Striker reminds him that he also said he should be eliminated. Striker informs Daniel Bryan that he has been eliminated from the competition. I thought there was only one elimination per week? Michael Cole seems sad that he’s leaving.
Striker tells the rookies that WWE management threw them a curveball. Right now the WWE Pros are convening and we’ll see another Pro’s Poll tonight. One of them still faces elimination next. So Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver weren’t even eliminated by the Pro’s Poll. Wade Barrett and Heath Slater will be in action next.
Wade Barrett (5-4) vs. Heath Slater (5-3)
They lock up to start the match and Slater gets a side headlock on. Barrett whips him off but Slater ducks a clothesline, slides underneath him, and dropkicks him. Slater then clotheslines him over the top rope. Slater slingshots over the top rope but lands on his feet when Barrett moves. Barrett then clotheslines him on the outside. Barrett throws him into the barricade and puts him back into the ring. Barrett covers for a near fall.
Barrett locks on a submission. Slater sits in it for a little while but doesn’t quit. Slater fights up and looks to elbow out but Barrett knees him. Barrett sends him to the corner and runs into Slater’s knees. Slater fights back and hits a running forearm. Slater hits a clothesline and a one-man flapjack for a near fall. Barrett fights back and goes for his finisher but Slater elbows out. Slater hits a nice neckbreaker for a near fall. Slater goes to the top rope and goes for a cross-body but Barrett catches him in mid-air. Barrett gets him on his shoulders and hits his fireman’s carry front slam for the win. Chris Jericho’s music plays for him. I thought when Barrett won that competition in England that he’d get his very own music?
Winner by Pinfall: Wade Barrett (6-4)
Match Rating: * 3/4
Matt Striker is backstage with Michael Tarver. He asks if he thought the ruling of his elimination was fair. Tarver asks if he knows what it’s like to live in his car, not know when the next meal is coming, and if he can support his children. Tarver thinks the ruling was fair but not the contest. Striker asks why he didn’t partake in the challenges and if he thought it would get him noticed. Tarver says he’s made a living by taking crumbs and making a feast. There’s no way you could put him in a crowd of people and not notice him. Striker asks him what’s next and Tarver walks away. Striker wishes him the best in his future endeavors.
The Pro’s Poll will be revealed tonight and another rookie will be eliminated.
Skip Sheffield (1-5) vs. Darren Young (7-2)
William Regal is at ringside with Sheffield while the S.E.S. is absent.
They lock up and Sheffield powers Young into the corner. The Goose backs him up and Young comes out swinging. Sheffield reverses a whip and hits a nice back elbow. Young comes back with some punches in the corner and goes for the ten punches. Sheffield ducks under and crotches him on the second rope. I haven’t seen that counter in WWE before! Sheffield rips him off the turnbuckle and covers for two. Sheffield clubs the back and covers again for a near fall. Sheffield applies a neck vice and is looking for the submission. Young fights up and attempts to elbow out so Sheffield slams him down for a near fall. Sheffield locks on a chin lock and is still looking for the submission.
Young fights up and punches but Sheffield knees him again. Sheffield hits a nasty body slam but misses a big splash. Sheffield runs into a boot and an inverted atomic drop. Young repeats the move and hits a clothesline. Young has a whip reversed but he hits a big diving shoulder block for a two count. Young goes for his finisher but Sheffield gets away. Sheffield hits his nasty sit-out jawbreaker for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Skip Sheffield (2-5)
Match Rating: * 1/4
Still to come tonight is the elimination by the Pro’s Poll.
The Smackdown Rebound airs. It’s Drew McIntyre getting stripped of the Intercontinental Title and being fired by Teddy Long. A tournament for the Intercontinental Title was held and the finals are this Friday. Kofi Kingston will take on Christian to determine the new Intercontinental Champion.
The announcers run down the Over the Limit card. It’s not looking too bad.
Matt Striker is backstage with the recently eliminated Daniel Bryan. Striker asks him if he thought the process by which he was eliminated was fair.
DB: Absolutely. I never make excuses, ever. If the pro’s think that I’m one of the worst guys on the show and they think I should be eliminated, then eliminate me. I’ll find a way to make it somehow.
MS: Do you regret leaving the independent scene, where you were a big fish in a small pond, to ultimately drown in the sea that is the WWE?
DB: That’s funny because Daniel Bryan never wrestled on the independent scene. I don’t know: if you go on YouTube all you ever see is Daniel Bryan in WWE. But there was this guy, man, he was out there kicking people’s heads in. People called him the best wrestler in the world. The best technical wrestler in the world. He was a champion in Japan, Mexico, and Europe. Do you know what his name was? You might know this guy.
MS: What’s next for this guy?
DB: For Daniel Bryan? I don’t know, man. That might be the end of him. He’s eliminated from NXT. He can’t even beat rookies. He can take Batista to the limit but he can’t beat rookies. Daniel Bryan might be done but Bryan Danielson; God knows what’s going to happen to him.
MS: Bry, best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
That was awesome!
Did you know that NXT has been the #1 Tuesday telecast on SyFy since its premiere 11 weeks ago? Ouch SyFy.
David Otunga (4-4) vs. Justin Gabriel (5-2)
They circle the ring and lock up. Gabriel executes a fireman’s carry takeover and a back heel trip. Gabriel dropkicks him and knees him in the corner. Gabriel goes for a springboard but Otunga sweeps his feet, landing him on the top rope midsection first. Otunga gets a near fall for that. Otunga knees him and hits a flapjack for another near fall. Otunga shoulders him in the corner and locks on an abdominal stretch. Gabriel gets out with a takedown and ducks a clothesline.
Gabriel comes back with some kicks but Otunga blocks a whip. Otunga sends him to the ropes but Gabriel is able to roll over him and hits a roundhouse. Gabriel forearms him down for a near fall. Otunga rolls to the apron and blocks a suplex. Otunga then suplexes Gabriel onto the top rope. Otunga hits his nasty spinebuster for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: David Otunga (5-4)
Match Rating: *
David Otunga mouths some trash to the camera, directed at his pro R-Truth. We’ll find out who will be eliminated next.
The rookies are lined up ringside with Matt Striker. Striker says their minds must be racing with the events of the night. He reminds them how much they’ve sacrificed. Striker says one of them will win NXT and earn a title match on PPV. The rest of them will be eliminated.
Striker asks Darren Young who should go home. Young says he’s said since day one that he stays ready so he doesn’t have to get ready. Young says Wade Barrett. Heath Slater says David Otunga should go because he doesn’t belong here. Justin Gabriel, who has immunity for this week, says he doesn’t care who goes home but would like to see David Otunga go because he gets on his nerves. Skip Sheffield is asked and he says David Otunga should go because he doesn’t belong here with the rest of them. David Otunga says all of them should be eliminated because none of them match up to him. Otunga then answers Heath Slater should be the first to go because he’s a wannabe (I wholeheartedly agree). Wade Barrett says it doesn’t matter but if he had to say one man he’d say David Otunga.
The Pro’s Poll is going to be revealed now. The order is as follows:
#1 Wade Barrett (6-4)
#2 David Otunga (5-4)
#3 Justin Gabriel (5-3)
#4 Heath Slater (5-4)
#5 Darren Young (7-3)
#6 Skip Sheffield (2-5)
Skip Sheffield has been eliminated from the competition. Either they didn’t know or he’s a great actor because he’s got some tears in his eyes. Sheffield says for the past twelve weeks he’s been misguided. The people haven’t seen the real Skip Sheffield. William Regal isn’t to blame because he told him the right things from the beginning and he should have listened to him. Everything happens for a reason and he will be back.
The five remaining NXT rookies are reminded that there will be another Pro’s Poll and one of them will be eliminated. The final four will be determined next week.
Quick Match Results
Wade Barrett (6-4) def. Heath Slater (5-4)
Skip Sheffield (2-5) def. Darren Young (7-3)
David Otunga (5-4) def. Justin Gabriel (5-3)
Bump of the Night: Skip Sheffield’s finisher
Match of the Night: Barrett vs. Slater * 3/4
Well that was definitely a lot more interesting than watching them chug sodas. We finally get something to talk about other than how bad the competitions have been. We’ve got some positive dialogue to open up now. We had three eliminations and we saw the death of Daniel Bryan followed by the rebirth of Bryan Danielson.
The eliminations were interesting. I understood that the eliminations would come once a week and would be determined by the pros. Instead “WWE management” stepped in and called for the heads of two guys before the first elimination by the pros was even made. The Michael Tarver elimination was one that even Stevie Wonder saw coming. I’m so glad he’s gone but it doesn’t really seem like he’s going anywhere. He was crying about being poor backstage so the rumors of him being Ted DiBiase’s bit… er, Virgil, seem to be coming true. Skip Sheffield also didn’t surprise me. When trying to name the rookies it was always Skip Sheffield and Michael Tarver that I would forget so he never made any waves in my book. He looked like a slow Steve Austin anyway.
The Daniel Bryan elimination surprised me big time and after that worked shoot he gave tonight I’m so happy he was. Goodbye to Daniel Bryan and hello to Bryan Danielson. The replacement for the tremendous technical wrestler that was Chris Benoit seems to have arrived.
It seems the final four will be determined next week when the next elimination was made. When they first announced the rules the eliminations would stop with the final four and then there’d be other competitions. We’ll see if they remember that next week. Either way my interest has picked up once again for NXT.
Final Rating: ** 3/4
E-Mail – MikeyT817@hotmail.com
Be sure to check out Friday’s Smackdown recap: click here.
Thanks for reading!