“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video recaps the events of last week’s show. Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver were eliminated at the beginning of the show by order of WWE management. Tarver went nuts and Bryan announced that Bryan Danielson would make a return. Skip Sheffield was eliminated at the end of the show by the Pro’s Poll.
The NXT video plays and we’re brought into the arena with some pyro. Michael Cole and Josh Mathews welcome us to the show and announce we’ll see another elimination tonight.
They throw it to Matt Striker who introduces the WWE Pros. Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy, Christian, CM Punk, William Regal, and The Miz. Where’s Carlito and R-Truth? Striker asks them to explain exactly what they’re looking for in the WWE’s next breakout star. The Miz says he’s looking for someone who has the potential to gain a larger audience than what WWE already has. Miz gives a great response about the “it” factor.
William Regal is looking for adaptability. To be a WWE Superstar you have to be able to adapt. He’s made a career of it. One minute he can be funny and the next he can be jumping down someone’s throat. The in ring skills have to be there, as well as interview and personality.
CM Punk says he’d love to explain what he’s looking for but his moral compass dictates that he doesn’t have to speak to the people here. Not only has he lost his appetite but he’s also lost his will to be in front of them.
Christian says he’s looking for someone to capture the imagination of the WWE Universe. He wants to see someone step up and take the competition themselves. He’d hate to agree with the Miz but he’s looking for someone to show him the “it” factor. He’s seen the “it” factor in some and in others he’s seen nothing, including one person that’s still left in the competition. William Regal asks when Christian will show “it.” He’s been waiting ten years. Christian says he’ll beat him a bunch of more times in a row to prove it.
Matt Hardy reiterates what everyone else has said. Not only do they have to be a great athlete, they also have to be able to talk and have the “it” factor. He’s also looking for someone who fits in with the WWE Locker Room.
Chris Jericho gets a tremendous reception from his Canadian fans. Jericho says he’s looking for someone to make him want to put money down to watch them perform. Except for one person no one else in the competition has made him want to part with his money. Jericho says he’s the reason the crowd bought tickets tonight and he’s looking for a rookie to make him do the same thing he did for them. Matt Striker says it’s time for our first contest.
Darren Young makes his way to the stage and looks at his pro CM Punk. Young will be in action next.
Darren Young (7-3) vs. Wade Barrett (6-4)
The announcers recap when Darren Young and Wade Barrett got into a big fight over Young saying he wants to win more than he does.
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee, is officiating this bout. Barrett talks a little trash and Young takes him down, grounding him with punches. Barrett gets him off and rolls out of the ring. Young gets on the apron and Barrett sweeps his feet. Barrett drives him into the apron and puts him into the ring. Barrett wipes him out with a big boot for a near fall. Barrett knees him in the back and applies a surfboard stretch. Young fights up but gets powered down. Young is able to avoid an elbow drop and mounts a small comeback.
Young blocks what would’ve been a nasty right hand and hits one of his own. Young avoids a clothesline and hits a flying shoulder block. Young hits an inverted atomic drop, some more right hands, and a body slam for a near fall. Barrett hits a jawbreaker but Young comes back with a forearm smash. Young goes for his finisher but Barrett muscles out. Barrett goes for his Young grabs the ropes. Young goes for a tornado DDT but Barrett places him on the apron. Young snaps him off the ropes and goes up top but Barrett crotches him up there. Barrett then pulls him off and hits his Fireman’s Carry Front Slam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Wade Barrett (7-4)
Match Rating: * 1/4
Chris Jericho celebrates with his rookie as CM Punk looks like he could care less.
A video plays showing what the pros think of David Otunga. Everyone agrees that he has the “it” factor but his in ring ability isn’t there. CM Punk says he thinks he’ll hurt himself and Christian says he’s here on free pass (Jennifer Hudson).
Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan are in the ring with Matt Striker. They play a video showing how they got eliminated last week. Striker says they’ve had a week to think about what happened and he wants to know what their thoughts are. Michael Tarver says he was told that everyone would be judged by a Pro’s Poll. Instead he got eliminated by WWE Management. He wonders who they are. Tarver thinks they’re pencil pushers who are easily intimidated by someone like him. That’s probably why they didn’t have the decency or professionalism to personally eliminate him.
Striker says he didn’t participate in any competitions and essentially voted himself off after saying he should be eliminated. Tarver asks if eight limousines pulled up and all but one were the same color, which would you notice first. Tarver says he was told to make it you have to stand out and he did. Tarver claims he was intriguing and everyone remembered him. Striker stops him before he can continue.
Daniel Bryan is asked for his thoughts on people saying he’s his own worst enemy. Bryan says the truth is he was eliminated by WWE Management and not the pros. When he came to WWE he heard about the politics and the horror stories, like how Vince McMahon likes big guys and guys they made themselves. He was a self made man, not invented by the WWE machine. With them having stock holders he’d think they’d want someone who can make them the most money. They don’t have the ability to judge by prejudice who they think can be stars. Bryan says he’s the best person for the job.
Striker reminds him that he eliminated himself essentially from the competition. Bryan says Striker should understand “blessed are the meek.” He doesn’t need to come out and tell people how good he is. When they come out and watch him wrestle they’ll know how good he is. Chris Jericho and William Regal know how good he is. Even though the Miz won’t admit he knows he’s better than him.
The Miz says he’s an indie star and hasn’t done anything in WWE. He was the first person ever to win both the United States and Unified Tag Team Championships at the same time. Bryan says if he’s so good then he should come to the ring and prove it.
Striker tries to interject and Bryan tells him he’s tired of him interrupting him. There’s only one person who refuses to acknowledge how good he is. He keeps saying he has no personality and he doesn’t have the “it” factor. Bryan looks at Michael Cole and calls him a parrot. He’s got Vince McMahon in his ear to tell the people that he doesn’t have “it.” Bryan says he has more personality in his little finger than he has in his whole body. Bryan goes face to face with Cole who backs away. Bryan says he’s a “poor man’s replacement for JR” and he slaps him down. Bryan gets him in a headlock and kicks him a few times before the officials break him away from Cole. Man that was absolutely beautiful.
A video recaps what just happened with Michael Cole and Daniel Bryan. Michael Cole is at ringside rubbing his lip. Cole asks if he can’t take criticism from him then how would he last in the WWE locker room. Cole says he may press charges.
Justin Gabriel (5-3) vs. Heath Slater (5-4)
Mr. V’s favorite referee, The Goose, has this match. Slater applies a headlock and Gabriel whips him off only to take a shoulder block. Slater goes into the ropes and Gabriel attempts a leap frog but Slater counters with an inverted atomic drop. At this moment Michael Cole walks out to go and press charges on Daniel Bryan. Josh Mathews is our only commentator and the quality just went up.
Gabriel attempts an over the top rope splash but Slater kicks him on the way down. Slater puts him in the ring and gets a near fall. Slater works on Gabriel with a grounded abdominal stretch. Gabriel fights out with knees to the temple but Slater quickly rebounds. Gabriel is sent to the ropes and he back flips over Slater. Gabriel hits a roundhouse kick and a spinning clothesline. Gabriel has a whip reversed into a flapjack for a near fall. Slater runs into some boots and Gabriel charges into a Double A Spinebuster for a near fall. Slater picks him up and Gabriel hits him with a variety of nice kicks. Gabriel charges him in the corner but gets put on the apron. Gabriel kicks him own and hits a picture perfect 450 Splash for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Justin Gabriel (6-3)
Match Rating: * 1/2
Matt Hardy gets into the ring and celebrates with his rookie. Christian doesn’t look happy with what just happened. Christian still goes over and shakes Gabriel’s hand.
Skip Sheffield is backstage with his thoughts on why he was eliminated. Sheffield says the pros viewed him as a threat. They were intimidated by his size, physique, and intensity. Just like on Survivor they eliminated the strongest guy.
Michael Cole is back with Josh Mathews. Cole says he won’t let that creep stop him from doing his job. They run down the Over the Limit card.
A video is shown with the pro’s talking about what they think of Darren Young. They don’t like the haircut and his glittery hair band. They’re still looking for something from him is the general consensus.
Matt Striker is with the WWE Pros. He asks them to tally up and they’ll reveal the Pro’s Poll next.
The NXT Rookies are ringside with Matt Striker. Striker reminds us that the winner will not only be the next breakout star but will also get a title shot on PPV. The Pro’s Poll is as follows:
#1 Wade Barrett (7-4) (Last week: 1)
#2 David Otunga (5-4) (Last week: 2)
#3 Heath Slater (5-5) (Last week: 4)
#4 Justin Gabriel (6-3) (Last week: 3)
#5 Darren Young (7-4) (Last week: 5)
Darren Young is eliminated from the NXT competition. Young is given the microphone and he goes up to the pros to tell them that he has respect for them and that’s the difference between he and the other rookies. Young says this is not the last we’ll see of him. The crowd chants the Goodbye song to him. Striker says the competition will truly intensify. Our final four is here. The show ends with the video of Daniel Bryan beating up Michael Cole.
Quick Match Results
Wade Barrett (7-4) def. Darren Young (7-4)
Justin Gabriel (6-3) def. Heath Slater (5-5)
Bump of the Night: Gabriel getting kicked during an over the top rope vault
Match of the Night: Gabriel vs. Slater * 1/2
One word sums up this edition of NXT: satisfying. There’s something in me that just wants to see Michael Cole get beat down every time he opens his mouth and tonight I got my wish. That was by and far the best segment in the very short history of NXT. This show has had a lot of glitches and some failures but one thing they’ve really done well with is the worked shoots from the rookies. I like how they allowed Danielson to go out and pull back that iron curtain to confirm some things that is well known, at least to the IWC. You can definitely tell that Vince McMahon wants this show to succeed based on the way he allowed Bryan to criticize him. That was some really good stuff.
I liked that they had the pros come out and tell us what they’re looking for in the competition. We heard some good responses and I like how they kept them out all night to watch. My only question is how could they keep David Otunga at number two when they didn’t observe him at all tonight? We didn’t even have an interview with him. That was the only questionable thing. I was also a little disappointed to see Darren Young go. I’ll admit that I’m not his biggest fan but I did like his interactions with the S.E.S. Hopefully we’ll see more down the line. Maybe he’ll come in as another masked attacker.
Final Rating: *** 1/4
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