May 25, 2010
results thanks to pwtorch.com
Week 14 of WWE's NXT show started
with a video package recapping the "dream to become a WWE star" slowly drawing
to a close. They recapped the eliminations thus far, including Michael Tarver,
Daniel Bryan, Skip Sheffield, and Darren Young. Now, the WWE Rookies left are #1
Wade Barrett, #2 David Otunga, #3 Heath Slater, and #4 Justin Gabriel.
In-ring: Matt Striker annoyingly introduced the show and the Pros, starting with Chris Jeriiiiiiiiicho, Theeeeeee Miiiiiiiz, Matt Haaaaaaaardy, William Reeeeeeeeeegal, Christiaaaaaaaaan, Seeeee Emmmmm Punk (no show due to Over the Limit happenings with Rey Mysterio), and the new U.S. champion R-Truuuuuuth. Carlito is gone from WWE, so he's not involved in the proceedings here. Six Pros (Jericho, Miz, Hardy, Regal, Christian, and Truth) will be doing the voting.
Striker then welcomed out the remaining Rookies of Barrett, Gabriel, Otunga, and Slater. Striker recapped half the field being eliminated, then said next week is the NXT Season Finale. He said one of the Rookies will not make it to next week and one of them is going home. Striker gave the four remaining Rookies a chance to talk to the Pros and Universe. Barrett started and said Gabriel isn't man enough, Otunga reminds him of an episode of the Benny Hill show every time he steps in the ring, and he can't stand the "ginger ninja." Gabriel said Otunga needs to go. He said in the ring, he doesn't really know what he's doing, but he's okay on the mic. (Ya know, because WWE is trying to present this as a shoot. Ugh.)
Otunga cut a promo on Gabriel being an acrobat and lacking mic skills. Slater said Barrett should go because he has an ugly mug with a nose as crooked as the road. Striker then announced the Pros and Rookies are going to be in action tonight. ... R-Truth started rapping and dancing to the ring to team up with his Rookie, Otunga. The opening match is up next.
In-ring: Christian was out to the ring to join Slater for the opening tag match. The Pros watched intently from the stage as Truth played to the crowd to begin the match.
1 -- CHRISTIAN & HEATH SLATER vs. U.S. champion R-TRUTH & DAVID OTUNGA
Truth and Slater started things off with Truth landing early offense on the Rookie opposition. Otunga then tagged in and Slater took control working over Otunga's shoulder. Christian then tagged in and landed an axehandle smash to continue working the shoulder. Michael Cole put over Otunga's charisma as Christian slapped Otunga across the face and landed a dropkick for a two count. Cole said perhaps Otunga's in-ring ability is lacking, while Mathews said he's impressed the Pros with his "mic skills." It's just plain pandering to the audience at this point.
[Q2] Otunga cut off Christian and worked him over as Cole put over Otunga having the "it factor." He said Otunga is "flashy" and he sees him on the cover of magazines all the time. In the ring, Christian started slapping Otunga around before landing a flying European Uppercut. He then made a tag to Slater, who came in hot on Otunga. Slater landed a flying forearm, then a dropkick on Otunga for a two count. Mathews and Cole discussed the Daniel Bryan bit and Cole said he's going to call him out next. Back in the ring, Slater went up top and landed a cross-body, but Otunga rolled through and scored a three count for the win. Post-match: Otunga's nose was noticeably bright red, apparently from taking a blow earlier in the match. Otunga celebrated his victory as Truth stood behind him not really approving or excited.
WINNERS: Truth & Otunga in 6:00. Okay, basic match. Exactly what you would expect from a match on NXT looking like a basic run-through-the-motions type of exhibition. (*)
Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown standing backstage contemplating how to address the Michael Cole situation. He looked like a social studies teacher waiting in the hallway for his student to come out of the principal's office.
In-ring: Michael Cole was standing in the ring backed by four "security guards." It looked like one of them was Johnny Gargano. Cole said he doesn't want to take up too much time, but he was traumatized by what happened last week. Cue up a video package on Cole ripping Daniel Bryan throughout the NXT season before Bryan scrapped with Cole and "cut a shoot promo" on Cole. Back in the arena, the audience cheered after watching the footage. Cole said he still has problems watching that. He said it's been traumatic, which drew boos. Cole said his attorneys advised him to have his own personal security. Cole said he could sue Daniel Bryan for everything he's worth (boos), but he's going to be more of a man than Bryan and give him the opportunity to publicly apologize (boos). Cole said if Bryan doesn't do that, he's taking him to court. Cole asked Bryan to let him know what he's going to do. No sign of Bryan.
Cue up the NXT theme music to bring out Bryan to cheers. Bryan looked determined as he walked to the ring, while Cole hid behind his security. They showed Miz looking intently from the stage as Bryan began his promo. Bryan said being in WWE is his dream, and right now he doesn't have a job. He said if this is what it's going to take to make this right, he'll do it, so get rid of the security. Cole took the bait and said he would be a man about this. He dismissed security to the outside to wait just in case. Cole then approached Bryan, who said, "Michael, I just want to say I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. I'm truly sorry." Cole extended his hand and shook. Bryan said he's sorry...that you are by far the worst announcer in WWE history. Bryan pulled Cole in tight and said Cole is so weak that he can't even escape a handshake.
[Q3] Bryan began a promo on WWE management sandbagging him by putting him with the worst Pro of them all, The Miz. Cole tried to interrupt, but Bryan kept ripping Cole for getting the announcer job when he didn't deserve it. Cole said he ripped Bryan because he didn't deserve it. Bryan said he has more heart than anyone else in the locker room. Cole told Bryan to look at himself in the mirror and stop blaming everyone else. He said Bryan didn't have what it takes to be here in WWE. Cole said Bryan talks a big game about being a submission specialist, but he tapped out of this competition. Cole stepped back and told Bryan he's a loser. "You tapped out because losers have no heart," he said. Bryan then tried to jump Cole, but security held him back. Bryan then escaped security and tackled Cole on the floor. A scrap was on with Cole shouting, "Apologize!" Cole sold a head injury as Bryan was pulled back by security and dragged up the ramp.
Bryan then walked up the ramp and Miz got in his face, telling Bryan he just needs to leave because he doesn't deserve to be here. Bryan answered with a forearm straight to the face. A big ol' brawl broke out on the stage with bodies flying everywhere. The crowd was cheering along for the fight going on and causing mass chaos. Miz and Bryan were restrained by security before Bryan was pulled to the back. They cut back to Cole, who shouted, "He's a maniac!" while selling a blow to his head.
[Commercial Break. A spot for Half Pint Brawlers on Spike aired. Then, a UFC video game clip.]
Announcers: Matt Striker joined Josh Mathews to sit in for Michael Cole coming back from break. Striker said you can't question Daniel Bryan's heart, but it's about a lack of respect for the people who came before him. They rolled footage from the Cole-Bryan scrap, including Cole flailing on the floor ringside. Cue up the footage of Bryan blasting Miz with a forearm on the way out. Striker said that's a way to get fired or kicked out of the locker room. Mathews said Bryan respects what they do here in WWE more than any other Rookie and he doesn't believe what Cole is saying.
In-ring: Chris Jericho's music hit to bring out Wade Barrett. Barrett still doesn't have his own theme music. Striker said he would like to see Daniel Bryan eliminated again, which would make for "solid television." Again, pandering to the audience. Cue up Matt Hardy's music to bring out Justin Gabriel to face Barrett. Mathews said he sees Gabriel as a pop culture icon. It's more pandering trying to "evaluate how the public will receive what WWE is presenting" rather than putting over the characteristics of the individual as tough, fast, athletic, etc., which the public will then evaluate.
2 -- JUSTIN GABRIEL (w/Matt Hardy) vs. WADE BARRETT (w/Chris Jericho)
Barrett started on the offensive as Jericho shouted at the announcers to talk up Barrett. Gabriel then made a comeback with a spin kick that showed light before hitting a corner elbow smash. Gabriel then hit a sunset flip powerbomb. He started climbing up top and Hardy encouraged him to keep climbing. Gabriel then hit the 450 splash on Barrett for the pin and the win. Jericho had a great post-match reaction nibbling on the side of his mouth selling discontent. The Pros were shown evaluating the happenings as the announcers sold the match outcome as Gabriel possibly making it to the finals with that victory. They replayed the finish with Striker doing a good job pointing out flaws in what Barrett did in the ring that cost him the match. That was good.
WINNER: Gabriel in 4:00. Decent match with a rare sense of purpose to what was happening in the ring on NXT, as the storyline was the match had potential to influence who goes home, especially with Gabriel just missing the cut last week. (*1/4)
Ringside: The band behind he torturous "Wild & Young" NXT theme song for the last 14 weeks, American Band, was shown ringside. Striker disingenuously said, "Thanks for coming!" and said he has the song as his ring tone.
Raw Rebound: They focused on Batista's show-opening promo complaining about wanting another re-match with WWE champion John Cena. His performance was so great even on the second viewing. They showed Bret Hart being introduced as the new Raw GM and the WWE Title match at the Fatal Four-Way PPV set up. The video package closed with Batista announcing that he's quitting.
Fatal Four-Way PPV plug: Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Orton vs. Edge for the WWE Title at the PPV next month. ... Stage: Matt Striker was with the NXT Pros instructing them to tally up the results and come to a decision on who should be eliminated.
Raw plug for next Monday: WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart takes the reigns as new Raw GM (he already did), plus the field for Fatal Four-Way has been set. And, Ashton Kutcher guest-hosts the show.
[Q5 -- over-run]
In-ring: Matt Striker was with Barrett, Gabriel, Otunga, and Slater to reveal the new Pros Poll.
#1 is Wade Barrett still.
#2 is David Otunga still.
Striker then asked Gabriel to step forward, followed by Slater. Striker said they've come so close and one of them will be going home while the other one will make it to the season finale next week.
#3 is Justin Gabriel. That means Heath Slater is #4 and he's gone. Slater shook Gabriel's hand, then Striker asked Christian why his Rookie was eliminated. Christian took the mic and said to be honest, he thought the cards were stacked against Heath from the start. Christian said his peeps felt Slater could have done it, but when you have guys like Chris Jericho biased toward Wade Barrett, it messes with the voting. Christian said he thinks Heath has a big future and he's proud of him.
Striker asked Miz, if his jaw is okay, to explain why he voted Slater off NXT. Miz said he feels Slater was voted off because he never showed the "wow" or showed passion from his heart. He said Slater needed to show it every single time. "If you have one minute, you bring it out here no matter what," he said. Miz said he felt Slater was on some weeks and off some weeks. R-Truth then took the mic. He told Slater it's survival of the fittest in WWE, so best luck next time.
Jericho took the mic to boos and he slowly sauntered over to the middle of the stage like everyone needed to be on his time. Great heat-generating move. Jericho said it's axiomatic Slater would be eliminated. He said Otunga will be eliminated, Gabriel will be eliminated, and Barrett will win NXT to become the next WWE Superstar. He cut a promo on Barrett to get his head out of his rear end and stop losing to "clowns" like Gabriel. Jericho asked Barrett if he gets it and Barrett nodded along.
Striker gave Slater the last word. Slater said all good things must come to an end, but he's done far too much to be going anywhere. He said he was the first Rookie to beat a Pro and the first Rookie to win a challenge. Slater told Miz that he was most impressive according to WWE Magazine. Slater addressed Jericho, saying that man beat "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock in one night, yet he beat him. Slater said the Pros might have pulled the plug on the One-Man Rock Band, but he's about to blow their minds in the encore. Striker then plugged the Season Finale of NXT next week to find out who's winning this. Mathews signed off as Otunga posed and Barrett and Gabriel stood in the ring with their hands on hips.