May 11, 2010
results thanks to pwtorch.com
Week 12 of WWE's NXT show started
with a video package recapping high points for each of the eight NXT Rookies
thus far in the competition. After the same ol' Wild & Young NXT intro video
aired, fireworks shot off in the arena to introduce the show. Michael Cole
announced that it's time to find out whose dream is ending tonight.
Ringside: Matt Striker was standing by himself to welcome the audience to a "very special" NXT. He then welcomed out the NXT Rookies, starting with Wade Barrett. Daniel Bryan was out second, followed by Justin Gabriel, and David Otunga. Skip Sheffield, Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, and Darren Young then came out to assemble everyone ringside. Otunga was sporting headsets during this.
Before getting to the proceedings, Striker took the audience back to Monday night when the NXT Rookies won an eight-on-four match with Daniel Bryan scoring his first-ever WWE TV match with a roll-up on Santino Marella. Tonight, it's every man for himself. Striker asked for applause for the Rookies before cutting to the business at hand.
Striker asked Tarver if he remembers saying the following, which prompted a video package on Tarver saying last week he thought he should be eliminated. Striker then told Tarver he's been eliminated by WWE management. Striker smirked and started to leave, but came back screaming at everyone that it's his show and he was held back the whole time. He shouted at the audience that it's their fault.
With Tarver gone, Striker asked Daniel Bryan if he remembers what he said last week. Roll footage from last week when Daniel said he should be eliminated since he hasn't won a match yet. They cut back to ringside where Striker paused and told Bryan he has been eliminated from NXT. "Good luck, buddy," Striker told him. Cole said he's absolutely dumbfounded even though he's bagged on him for weeks. He put over Bryan scoring a victory last week and noted Bryan being #1 in the first Pros poll. Bryan held his lip, then walked off to the back. Striker addressed the six remaining Pros and announced there will be a Pros poll tonight and one of them still will be eliminated tonight. The Rookies complained about there being three eliminations this week instead of just one. Striker said it's an order, then he booked Wade Barrett vs. Heath Slater up now.
Video package: The not-hip or cool Mark Henry and Buzz Aldrin video package introducing Buzz as the guest host for next week's Raw aired leading to commercial.
1 -- HEATH SLATER vs. WADE BARRETT
The bell sounded and the Rookies locked up as Cole recapped Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan eliminated by WWE management at the top of the show. Slater and Barrett took the fight to the outside where Barrett took control of the match. Back in the ring, Slater made a comeback and landed a series of clotheslines before hitting a faceplant for a two count. Slater tried a top-rope splash, but Barrett caught Slater in mid-air and smashed Slater into the mat with his bodyslam finisher for the pin and the win. Cue up Chris Jericho's theme music since he still doesn't have his own theme music after winning the competition weeks ago. Barrett, with a bloody lip, got his shine post-match. Good look for the bare-knuckle fighter with some blood on his mouth.
WINNER: Barrett in 5:00. Okay, but forgettable match. One of the biggest problems with the NXT show has been the lack of purpose for the Rookie vs. Rookie matches. No one believes the outcomes are going to influence how the Pros are going to vote. It's mere lip service from the announcers. (*)
Backstage: Striker brought in Michael Tarver to ask him about being eliminated. Tarver recapped his life story and said it's tough not knowing where his next paycheck will come from. Tarver said he believes the ruling was fair, but he doesn't believe the contest was fair. Striker asked Tarver what's next for him, but he walked off. "Best of luck in your future endeavors," Striker told him with a straight face.
In-ring: Coming back form break, William Regal led Skip Sheffield to the ring, then Darren Young came out.
2 -- SKIP SHEFFIELD (w/William Regal) vs. DARREN YOUNG
Cole and Mathews picked up their regular argument over Cole knocking the Rookies earlier in the season and now everyone's best friend. They put over Young for being the most-improved Rookie on the show. Skip took control early on as Regal watched intently. Skip then missed with a splash off the ropes and Young made a comeback as the crowd sat quietly. Mathews mocked Cole's "vintage," prompting Cole to suggest there's a Michael Cole Bingo game. Skip then cut off Young and hit his seated jawbreaker finisher for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Skip in 4:00. Another basic match with the crowd uninterested. Unfortunately, the NXT Rookies just aren't over. WWE has done the bare minimum to present a compelling program trying to introduce new talent. If NXT continues to a second season, they'll have to re-think this show's presentation. (3/4*)
Smackdown Rebound: They showed Drew McIntyre being stripped of the Intercontinental Title and fired last week on Smackdown. This Friday, it's Kofi Kingston vs. Christian for the vacant IC Title.
Announcers: Cole and Mathews plugged the Over the Limit PPV line-up with Swagger vs. Show, Edge vs. Randy Orton, Hart Dynasty vs. Chris Jericho & The Miz, and Rey Mysterio vs. C.M. Punk. Mathews and Cole were shown on-camera breaking down the NXT eliminations at the top of the show.
Video recap: Michael Tarver was eliminated to cheers before he snapped on the audience and claimed he was held back the whole time. And, Daniel Bryan was given the boot.
Backstage: Striker was with Bryan for post-elimination reaction. Bryan said he believes it was fair he was eliminated. He said if the Pros think he's the worst on the show, then he can accept that. Striker asked Bryan if he regrets leaving the independent scene to "drown" in WWE. Bryan smiled and entered promo mode. He said "Daniel Bryan" never wrestled on the independent scene, but there was this guy before that used to kick people's heads in and beat the crap out of other wrestlers. Bryan said Daniel Bryan is eliminated; that's the end of him. "He can't even beat Rookies. He can take Batista to the limit, but he can't beat Rookies." Bryan then said he knows this other guy. His name is Bryan Danielson. There was a smattering of applause in the arena. Striker smiled and said he's sure he'll be just fine. Danielson smiled and walked off. Good fire and intensity this show needed. Apparently, WWE will deliver a re-birth of Bryan as Danielson on Smackdown or Raw. Stay tuned.
[Commercial Break. A spot for TNA's house show next weekend in Houston aired. They haven't edited the spot to note Impact is back on Thursdays, telling viewers to watch Impact on Monday nights.]
In-ring: R-Truth's music hit to bring out David Otunga for the casual fan buzzkill. It's kind of the same effect for the casual fans when Hornswoggle's music hits and out comes Finlay. Cue up Matt Hardy's theme music to bring out Justin Gabriel. Cole noted Hardy is out due to physical issues following Drew McIntyre's attack.
3 -- JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. DAVID OTUNGA
Gabriel started on the offensive with a round of dropkicks and flying offense. He attempted a springboard e move, but Otunga blocked by dropping Gabriel gut-first across the top rope. Otunga went to work on Gabriel and slapped on an abdominal stretch. The crowd came to life rallying behind Gabriel, who made a comeback and scored a two count. Otunga then landed a weak-looking kick to the gut on the apron before dropping Gabriel with a uranage in the ring. Otunga with the pin for the win.
WINNER: Otunga in 3:00. Otunga needs a lot of polish in the ring. He works like he doesn't want to potato his opponent, but he doesn't know how to make his offense look real. This was another filler match and the crowd sat idly again. There's just no emotional connection between audience and Rookies. (1/2*)
Buzz on Raw: They ran the Buzz Aldrin & Mark Henry video again to promote the commercial-free Raw next week.
Arena: Matt Striker addressed the six remaining NXT Rookies. Darren Young had the best reaction muttering to himself and staring off into space. Striker asked the crowd if they're ready to find out who's eliminated next. Before that, Striker brought in Darren Young to ask him who should be eliminated. Young name-dropped Wade Barrett, who shot him a look. Slater wants Otunga gone, which drew a reaction. Slater said he doesn't belong here. Gabriel, selling the loss, has immunity this week and was asked who should be eliminated. He said he doesn't really care, but he'll pick Otunga. Gabriel said he gets on his nerves and has an attitude problem.
[Q5 -- over-run] Skip said it's his show to win and it's time to separate the men from the boys, so Otunga should be gone. Skip, staring ahead like a soldier, said Otunga doesn't belong here. Otunga was asked who should be gone. He said all of them should be. If he had to pick one, it would be the "one-man hick band." Otunga said Slater tried to copy his style. Slater called him a joke. Wade Barrett was next. He started a long monologue, which was hilarious. He said Otunga should be gone if he had to pick one man.
Striker then went to the Pros break down and hyped the Pros Poll to come. #1 is Wade Barrett. #2 is David Otunga. Otunga gloated, of course. #3 is Justin Gabriel. #4 is Heath Slater. So, it's down to Darren Young and Skip Sheffield. Striker called for Young and Skip to step forward. Striker did the big build-up before revealing #5 is Darren Young, meaning Skip Sheffield is #6 and he's gone. Young smiled while Skip stared blankly ahead in shock. Skip said he's been misguided for the past 12 weeks and the people have not seen the real Skip Sheffield. Skip said William Regal isn't to blame and he should have listened from the beginning. He said he will be back. Skip then turned and walked off to the ramp and disappeared to the back.
And now there are five men left. Striker said they will have another Pros Poll next week and another Rookie will be eliminated. Striker posed the question of who will stay and who will go next week. Cole recapped the events on the show while they captured reactions from the remaining Rookies to close the show.