May 25, 2010
Cleveland, OH
Report by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.

A video package plays showcasing the eliminations and those who are still left standing. Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater are the final four competitors. Two weeks remain for this season of NXT.

Matt Striker welcomes us to the show and introduces the pros minus CM Punk due to the events of Over the Limit. Carlito isn’t there as well for obvious reasons. The NXT rookies are then asked to come out to the ring.

Striker congratulates them on making it this far but he knows that’s not enough. Each of them wants to win NXT, become WWE’s next breakout star, and earn a championship match live on PPV. The time to make an impact is fleeting because this is the semi-finals. Next week is NXT’s season finale. The crowd cheers and I wonder if they’re happy it’s just going to be off the air. Striker says one of them won’t make it to next week. Striker asks them to say who should go home and why. Didn’t they do this last night?

Wade Barrett says it could be Justin Gabriel who’s just not man enough for the competition. It could be David Otunga who reminds him of a Benny Hill episode (what?). But the one he wants to see go home is the ginger ninja Heath Slater just for his offensive hair. Slater sticks his tongue out and shakes the hair. My fist almost destroyed my keyboard. That hair truly is offensive.

Justin Gabriel says if you ask him the question three times he’ll give him three different answers. Gabriel says right now its David Otunga because he’s been in the ring with him. In the ring he doesn’t know what he’s doing. On the mic he’s great but in the ring he has no idea.

David Otunga says he’s not worried about Wade Barrett, who’s here for the money. He has the money to buy his favor. Heath Slater irritates the mess out of him but he’ll let “Carrot Top’s evil twin” stick around another week. He picks Justin Gabriel, a glorified gymnast who can’t talk on the mic.

Heath Slater says right now Wade Barrett should go home. He doesn’t understand how that mug can be on television with a nose as crooked as the road. This guy totally sucks.

Striker says the rookies will team with their pros in tag team action.

R-Truth & David Otunga (5-4) vs. Christian & Heath Slater (5-5)

The Goose, who is, in case you haven’t heard, Mr. V’s favorite referee, is officiating this match. R-Truth asks the crowd what is up and takes Slater down. R-Truth gets a hammerlock on and Slater gets a headlock of his own. R-Truth whips him off but his shoulder blocked down. Slater goes into the ropes, under R-Truth, and takes a hip toss. R-Truth hits an arm drag and tags in David Otunga. Otunga wrenches the arm and sends him to the corner. Slater slingshots over and hits an arm drag. Slater wrenches the arm and tags in Christian, who comes off the top with an axe handle on the arm.

Christian wrenches the arm and gets a nice hammerlock on. Otunga elbows out and sends him to the ropes but Christian slides under and slaps him. Christian dropkicks him for a near fall. Otunga knees him and gets R-Truth in. Christian ducks a clothesline and rolls him up for a two count. Christian slaps him and goes into the ropes to take a spinning heel kick for a near fall. R-Truth tags in Otunga, who stomps Christian. Otunga elbows him down and covers for a near fall. Otunga gets a chin lock on and Slater attempts to be interesting on the apron. I hate that guy. Christian elbows him so Otunga sends him to the ropes, misses a few clotheslines, and hits a shoulder block for a near fall.

Otunga locks the chin lock back on. Christian fights up and punches out. Christian staggers him and Otunga sends him to the corner. Otunga charges into some boots and Christian hits a second rope back elbow. Slater is tagged in and he hits a pair of forearms. Slater forearms him in the corner and hits a double stomp in the corner for a near fall. Otunga punches but runs into a neckbreaker for a near fall. Otunga pulls Slater out of the ring but quickly gets on the apron. Slater goes up top and hits a cross-body but Otunga rolls through and picks up the win.

Winners by Pinfall: R-Truth & David Otunga (6-4)
Match Rating: * 1/2

David Otunga and R-Truth celebrate. Otunga’s nose is beet red. Perhaps it’s broken.

Daniel Bryan is seen backstage in deep thought. Michael Cole will call him out next. No, I’m not kidding.

-Commercial Break-

Michael Cole is in the ring with four security guards. Cole says he won’t take up too much of our time. He’s getting booed. Cole says there’s four men battling to be WWE’s next breakout star and insists this isn’t about him. Cole says he wants to address something that happened to him. It’s the most traumatic and unprofessional thing that’s happened to him in his entire career (wasn’t he raped by Heidenreich?). We see the video package of Daniel Bryan beating up Cole. Cole looked like such a douche in this video. Oh wait… that’s just how he always is.

The crowd certainly liked the video. Cole says he has trouble watching that and says it’s been an extremely traumatic week for him. Cole says he’s been meeting with his team of attorneys and they advised him to have security for his own well being. Cole says he can sue Daniel Bryan for everything he’s worth for doing what he did to him last week. However he’ll be more of a man than Bryan ever was. He’s going to give him the opportunity to walk down to the ring and publically apologize. If he doesn’t do that then he’s taking him to court. Michael Cole calls out Daniel Bryan.

Daniel Bryan makes his way out to the ring to the crappy NXT music. The security team surrounds Michael Cole. Bryan says he’ll apologize and assures him that there’s no need for the security. Cole scoffs at that. Bryan says being in WWE is his dream and right now he doesn’t have a job. Cole says that’s his own fault. Bryan says if this is what it takes to make things right then that’s what he’ll do. Cole says he’d be a man and shake his hand, letting bygones be bygones. Bryan says he will. Cole dismisses the security team but orders them to stay outside the ring.

Bryan says he’s really, truly sorry. Cole thinks about it and asks if it’s all over. Cole puts his hand out and they shake hands. Bryan says he’s sorry that he is by far the worst announcer in WWE history. Cole tries to rip his hand away but can’t. Bryan questions whether he’s a man since he can’t escape a handshake. The security team swarms the ring and Bryan questions what kind of man hides behind them. Bryan says since day one WWE management has set him up to fail. They stuck him with the Miz, who is by far the worst pro out there. When he even bothered to show up all he talked about was himself. Bryan says Cole sat behind the desk and ripped on him yet he never earned that job.

Cole screams that the reason he ripped on him was because he didn’t deserve it. Bryan says he has more heart than anyone in the locker room and is the best wrestler in the back. Cole says he may be but he’s lacking one thing: he’s no longer in the competition. Cole says to stop making excuses and tells him he did not deserve to be here. Cole says he claims to be a submission specialist but the only one who tapped was him. Bryan tapped out of the competition. The reason why he did is because he’s a loser. He tapped out because losers have no heart. Cole slaps Bryan and bolts from the ring!

The security team restrains Bryan but he escapes and assaults Michael Cole outside the ring! Cole screams sadly that he was supposed to apologize. The security gets him off and brings him to the ramp. Bryan gets them off and backs up the ramp. The Miz gets in his face and screams that Bryan was future endeavored. Bryan punches him and they have a big pull apart brawl! The security gets Bryan in the back and Michael Cole screams that he’s a maniac. That was an electric segment. That was awesome.

-Commercial Break-

The Undertaker returns to Smackdown. I can’t wait for that!

Matt Striker is taking Michael Cole’s place. Striker says you can’t question Daniel Bryan’s passion and heart but hints that he has a lack of respect.

Wade Barrett (7-4) vs. Justin Gabriel (6-3)

Chris Jericho and Matt Hardy are ringside so I guess what Striker said at the beginning of the show wasn’t correct.

Charles Robinson, MY favorite referee, has this match. Gabriel gets a waist lock but Barrett elbows out and sends him to the ropes. Gabriel counters a hip toss by flipping through it and kicking him. Barrett ducks a roundhouse and hits a huge flapjack. Jericho shouts his praise as Barrett drops an elbow. Gabriel is sent into the corner sternum first giving Barrett a near fall. Barrett hits a front suplex and stomps the abdomen. Barrett hits a big boot for a near fall. Barrett locks on a seated abdominal stretch. Gabriel kicks out of it.

Barrett misses a splash in the corner and then a clothesline. Gabriel hits a trio of kicks. Gabriel has a whip reversed on him but he flips over and hits a roundhouse kick. Gabriel hits an elbow and hits a stinger splash in the corner. Gabriel hits a springboard cross-body for a near fall. Barrett hits a nice springboard backbreaker for a near fall. Barrett puts him on the top rope and goes for a superplex. Gabriel punches and hits a sunset flip powerbomb. Gabriel goes up top and hits the 450 Splash for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Justin Gabriel (7-3)
Match Rating: * 3/4

Matt Hardy celebrates with Justin Gabriel as Chris Jericho looks at his rookie with disgust. The pros are writing on their clipboards and we’ll have the Pro’s Poll revealed in a short while.

-Commercial Break-

American Bang, the guys who created “Wild and Young,” NXT’s crappy theme song, are ringside. These guys shouldn’t be considered rock.

The Raw Rebound is shown. I’m going to miss Batista. That heel character of his was tremendous.

Matt Striker announces that it’s time for the pros to huddle up and make the Pro’s Poll. When we return from commercial someone is going home.

-Commercial Break-

The four NXT rookies are in the ring with Matt Striker. The Pro’s Poll is going to be revealed now.

#1 Wade Barrett (7-5) (Last week: 1)
#2 David Otunga (6-4) (Last week: 2)
#3 Justin Gabriel (7-3) (Last week: 4)
#4 Heath Slater (5-6) (Last week: 3)

Heath Slater is eliminated from the NXT competition.

Striker asks Christian what was said while the pro’s tallied up the votes. Christian says he thought the cards were stacked against Slater from the start. Christian says the peeps thought he could have done it but you have guys like Jericho who is biased towards his guy. Christian says he doesn’t know exactly what it was but he still thinks he has a big future. He has a lot of work to do but he sees big things for him and says he’s proud of him.

The Miz is asked why he voted Heath Slater off NXT. The Miz says the reason he was voted off was because he never showed the “wow.” Miz said he saw no passion and heart. When you come to WWE you bring it full throttle no matter what. Miz felt he was good sometimes and sometimes he was off. You can’t be off in WWE.

R-Truth says the truth is he busted his butt and did all that was asked of him. Now he’s finding out that its survival of the fittest. R-Truth wishes him the best of luck next time.

Chris Jericho is asked for his thoughts. Jericho says it’s axiomatic that Slater would be eliminated. It doesn’t matter the order. Otunga and Gabriel will be eliminated and Barrett will win. Jericho tells Barrett that he can’t lose to these clowns anymore. He’s too good for that. Jericho says to take his head out of his rear end and start acting like he’s the best because he is.

Heath Slater has a chance to give his final comments. Slater says all good things must come to an end but he’s done far too much to go anywhere. He was the first rookie to beat a pro and win a challenge. WWE Magazine rated him the “best new nickname” and “most impressive debut.” He went against Kane and he was the only one to end the undefeated streak. Slater says he beat the best in the world at what he does. That man beat Steve Austin and the Rock in one night yet he beat him. Slater says the pros might have pulled the plug on the one man rock man but tells the crowd to get ready for the encore because he’s about to blow our minds. Yeah, right.

Next week is the season finale of NXT. The next breakout star of WWE will be announced next week!

Quick Match Results
R-Truth & David Otunga* (6-4) def. Christian & Heath Slater* (5-6)
Justin Gabriel (7-3) def. Wade Barrett (7-5)

Bump of the Night: Gabriel’s 450 Splash
Match of the Night: Gabriel vs. Barrett * 3/4

Mike’s Thoughts

This was another very enjoyable and satisfying NXT. Once again the best thing on the show had nothing to do with a wrestling match. It was simply Michael Cole being beaten down. This thing they have going with Daniel Bryan is, for my money (there’s not much), the most compelling thing on WWE television. The curtain is really being brought back in a way we haven’t heard in years and we’re hearing some off the cuff, worked shoot promos. It’s tremendous stuff. I wonder where they’ll go from here. I can’t wait to find out. If you missed this latest confrontation you must watch it on WWE.com. It was, and I truly mean this and I’m not just saying it because I’m the recapper, one of the coolest in ring segments of the year. I’d hate to do it but props to Michael Cole for holding his own on the mic in the ring.

Oh man am I thrilled that that tool Heath Slater is off the show. I honestly saw nothing in that guy. His whole gimmick was terrible, his look was horrible, and his mic work was even worse. He was half-way decent in the ring but that’s not enough in this day and age. They should just cut their losses with this guy legit. At one time Mick Foley was denied a job because he “didn’t look like a star.” If J.J. Dillon was still backstage this guy would’ve never made it out the curtain!

The season finale of NXT is next week. Make sure you’re recording it or watching it!

Final Rating: ** 3/4

E-Mail – MikeyT817@hotmail.com

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