June 1, 2010
results thanks to pwtorch.com
Week 15 and the Season Finale of
WWE's NXT show started with a video package recapping the season thus far,
including the Bryan Danielson vs. Michael Cole feud. They focused on the final
three remaining: Wade Barrett, David Otunga, and Justin Gabriel. As of start
time, Torch readers have voted Barrett 67 percent, Gabriel 23 percent, and
Otunga 9 percent on who should win.
Arena: Michael Cole introduced the show and said they are 60 minutes away from determining the first winner of NXT. Already in the ring was Matt Striker to host the season finale of the new show. Striker said one Rookie's dream will come true. Before that, though, he wants to introduce the five eliminated Rookies. They showed Michael Tarver, Daniel Bryan, Skip Sheffield, Darren Young, and Heath Slater in casual dress clothes seated on the front row ringside.
Striker then introduced the WWE Pros minus Carlito on stage. First out was Chris Jericho in a casual suit. The Miz was out next. Matt Hardy came out third, followed by U.S. champion R-Truth. William Regal was out next, then Christian, then C.M. Punk with the mask on. He looked much bulkier with the mask, baggy pants, and a giant hoodie.
Striker then introduced #1 ranked Wade Barrett, who was dressed to wrestle. Barrett strutted to the ring, then David Otunga came to the ring with his heat-generating smug look and walk. Otunga wasn't dressed to wrestle. Justin Gabriel was out third and dressed to wrestle. Striker addressed Barrett, Otunga, and Gabriel and hyped the 15-week journey to this spot. Striker hyped the winner receiving a PPV title match, which drew a smattering of cheers. Striker paused to drag this out before setting the stage that there will be two Pros Polls on tonight's show. They'll eliminate one Rookie, then another. And the Rookies will be in a triple threat match tonight.
Announcers: Josh Mathews and Michael Cole were shown ringside to hype the night's events and begin plugging what's happening next week - Season Two of NXT. They're going to begin announcing the new Rookies tonight.
NXT Rookie intro: Husky Harris. I believe that's Duke Rotunda, son of "I.R.S" Mike Rotunda. He looks like Trevor Murdoch, Terry Gordy, and Morishima rolled into one. His Pro is Cody Rhodes.
Backstage: John Morrison was shown introducing himself as an NXT Pro for Season Two. He said his Rookie is like a giant redwood tree. He has the big 7'1" Eli Cottonwood. They rolled a brief video intro on Cottonwood. Cole said he's a very strange dude.
1 -- WADE BARRETT (w/Chris Jericho) vs. DAVID OTUNGA (R-Truth) vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL (w/Matt Hardy) -- elimination-style triple threat match
They went to the ring for the beginning of the NXT Rookie three-way match. Mathews said he would send Gabriel home first and he agrees with the Pros that he might be a one-trick pony. Barrett started working over the other two Rookies while Jericho shouted words of affirmation from ringside. Cole said they've been informed about Season Two - Jericho interrupted Cole's plug to comically scream at the announcers to focus on the match. Barrett scored a nearfall and Cole continued to be delayed on his announcement. He then announced the Pros will have 50 percent of the vote and the WWE Universe will have the other 50 percent in Season Two's voting.
Otunga knocked Gabriel to the outside, then rolled him back into the ring to score a nearfall. Meanwhile, Barrett was holding his ankle in pain ringside. Barrett then re-entered, but he was knocked off the ring apron with a knee from Gabriel. Gabriel put Otunga in the corner and hit the big 450 splash from the top rope. He had the pin, but Barrett yanked Gabriel out of the ring and scored the pin on Otunga himself. Otunga is eliminated. Barrett stared down at Gabriel, who was selling ringside and Hardy talked him up before they cut to break.
Back from break, Barrett was working over Gabriel in the ring. Meanwhile, the eliminated Rookies sat with arms folded ringside. On the stage, the Pros were shown selling intense interest in the match while Punk had his head down taking notes. Barrett continued to work over Gabriel, who avoided a corner attack and smashed Barrett with multiple kicks. Gabriel then went to the corner for a springboard cross-body that Barrett sold beautifully and Gabriel scored a two count. Jericho continued to shout instructions from the outside as Gabriel scored another nearfall. Gabriel dropped Barrett with an STO, then went up top looking for his finisher, but Barrett got his knees up. That was a crunching counter. They both seemed to remain frozen with Gabriel on top of Barrett, who then rolled up Gabriel with a small package to score the win.
WINNER: Barrett in 10:00. Decent match once they removed Otunga from the equation. We'll see if the outcome has any bearing on the elimination. Wins and losses haven't really mattered thus far, so why should it start to matter now?
Post-match: Barrett celebrated with Jericho as Hardy tried to help Gabriel recover. Striker then told the NXT Pros to huddle up on the stage and vote on who should be eliminated. They cut to the announcers ringside to talk up the first elimination coming up next. Josh "orange glow" Mathews then fed to another NXT Rookie intro.
Backstage: MVP introduced himself as a Season Two NXT Pro. MVP talked up his Rookie as a party boy. Here's Percy Watson. Cue up a video on Watson, who was with Darren Young as the South Beach Boys in FCW. Watson is high energy and apparently will be a bundle to contain.
[Commercial Break. A spot for the Half-Pint Brawlers show on Spike TV aired to promote tomorrow night's debut.]
WWE Classics plug: "This week in WWE history" took the audience back to "Junkyard Dog" Sylvester Ritter's career in WWE.
Backstage: Zack Ryder was shown introducing himself as a Season Two Pro. He said what matters is what he teaches his Rookie about looking good. Cue up a video on Titus O'Neil. He was presented as an aggressive fighter in the ring and a businessman outside of the ring. Cole said he's a former NFL player.
In-ring: The remaining Rookies were assembled as Matt Striker voiced-over the elimination to come right now. Striker then walked over to the five eliminated Rookies to get their thoughts on the remaining Rookies. Striker asked Michael Tarver what's up. Tarver said he is the product. If he had to eliminate one of the Rookies, he would choose himself. Daniel Bryan was polled next. Bryan said David Otunga can't wrestle, Gabriel can't talk, and that leaves Wade Barrett. Skip Sheffield stood up and looked around the arena before saying, "I don't care." Nice. Darren Young put his money on Barrett. He got the cheap local heat knocking Dallas. Heath Slater stood up next and brushed his hair. True to the gimmick to the last week. Slater picked Barrett via his victory tonight. Barrett smirked in the ring after getting all the accolades.
Pros Poll: Striker introduced the new Pros Poll with #1 being...Wade Barrett. Barrett nodded his head in agreement. Striker then asked Gabriel and Otunga to step forward. He went back to the video board. #2 is David Otunga and #3 is Justin Gabriel, so Gabriel is gone. The audience was not happy with the decision.
Gabriel took the mic and did the "humble beginnings" babyface promo. Gabriel said his dream is not over because he will keep coming back until he makes it in this company. He said he's picked himself up from every challenge and he vowed to be a World champion someday. Striker gave it up for Gabriel, who received a nice reaction from the crowd. Gabriel walked up the ramp where Matt Hardy greeted him. Hardy talked over the NXT music before addressing Gabriel. He said he's seen a piece of himself inside Gabriel. Hardy said Justin Gabriel will not die and he will be back. Hardy told him to keep coming back and keep fighting. Cue up the NXT theme music to cut off Hardy.
Backstage: Women's champion(s) Layla and Michelle McCool were shown backstage as two new Pros for Season Two. They vowed to make their NXT Rookie carry their bag or their Women's Title because he's "so teenie tiny." Here's Kaval. Yep, Low-Ki hasn't even been on the show and they're already drawing attention to his size. Cue up a video on Low-Ki in action at FCW showing off his offensive arsenal. They limited him to a few soundbytes. Back live, Cole billed him as a "no nonsense New Yorker" and an accomplished martial artist.
Of note, during the Kaval video, they showed the big grouping of Season Two's NXT Rookies. Torch reader Alex G. noted Joe Hennig, Alex Riley, and Johnny Prime were the other three.
Backstage: Mark Henry was shown introducing himself as one of the "Professionals" on Season Two of the show. He introduced Lucky Cannon. That appears to be Johnny Prime with different hair. They ran a brief video on Lucky. Cole promised a very interesting story on him next week.
In-ring: Striker brought in David Otunga and Wade Barrett to cut promos on each other. Otunga was given the mic first. He did a mild rap on Barrett, saying the only PPV match he would pay to see is a triple threat with Barrett, Aquafresh, and Listerine. Barrett stood there and waited for Otunga to finish. Barrett then cut a promo on Otunga turning viewers away in droves every time he gets in the ring. He said Otunga has a great body, but he doesn't have the first clue on how to use it. He said he's seen Great Khali move around the ring with more poise and balance than him. Barrett said Otunga has the "it" factor because he has no tangible quality WWE can hang onto.
Backstage: Kofi Kingston introduced himself as another Season Two Pro. He also used the "professional" title. Kofi said his Rookie is the son of Mr. Perfect. He put him over before introducing him as Michael McGillicutty. How do you get that from Joe Hennig? They cut to a video on Hennig almost struggling to get the words out announcing his new gimmick name. Hennig said he's bringing back Ruthless Aggression. Okay, I get the idea WWE wants to differentiate the second-generation wrestlers and not have an entire roster full of 2G'ers, but that's "let's draw two random names out of a hat" quality.
Announcers: Cole and Mathews were shown ringside hyping the finale tonight and the beginning of Season Two starting next week. Mathews re-announced the 50/50 split on the voting next season. Cole said he wants to vote. Mathews shook his head in disgust.
Ringside: The eliminated NXT Rookies were shown sitting on the front row still disinterested with this. Suddenly, The Miz interrupted on the stage. Miz said all of the Season Two Pros have talked about their NXT Rookies. He then announced he will be back for Season Two. Cole threw a parade on commentary. Miz trash-talked Daniel Bryan, who stood up and stared down Miz. Miz then introduced his guaranteed winner on Season Two. Cue up a video package on Alex Riley. He's basically Miz, Jr. Back live, Striker thanked Miz for the intro.
Striker did the slow build-up before revealing the Pros Poll to determine the winner. After a pause, Striker asked for the winner. Not so fast, my friend. On stage, Regal got up and thanked Jericho for helping Barrett win the competition. Truth interrupted and said it's not over yet because Otunga should be the winner. Punk said the only reason why Otunga is here is because he has a wife. Truth is defending Otunga after their feud on the show? Christian told Regal to shut up after Regal tried to put over Barrett. Truth got in Regal's face. Regal then cut a promo on the Pros after saying he waited 15 weeks to finally get a live mic on the show. Regal ripped off his jacket as Truth stepped to him. Regal told the whole lot of them to come fight him. Regal called Hardy "Eugene." Truth then did a dance move in Regal's face. Cole cackled. Since Cole has a split personality on commentary, it wasn't clear whether it was a derisive or supportive laugh.
[Q5 -- over-run] Jericho and Christian talked over each other before Christian dryly said Regal hasn't won a fight in a year. Nice one-liner with proper timing to get a pop from the crowd. They talked over each other before Punk just walked off to the back. So great. Jericho interrupted Regal and said he's the reason for Barrett winning this deal. Regal shot back that he's always liked his two moves. Regal said Barrett would have won this with any of them as his Pro. Striker tried to interrupt the Regal Show and finally cut him off. Regal was amazing on the mic here. The whole cross-talk bit was rough at times, but there were some great one-liners going back and forth.
Striker then set up the big reveal. Cue up the Pros Poll with #1 and the winner being...and the Wwnner is...more drumroll...and the winner is #1 ranked Wade Barrett. David Otunga looked down in disgust voted #2 as Barrett paraded around the ring celebrating. Jericho was shown on the stage quietly clapping for the win.
Striker gave the mic to Otunga, who said this can't be real. He said Ashton Kutcher must still be around because he's being Punk'd. Otunga said he was eliminated from a reality show and went on to become the biggest star from the show. He said he knows someone else who was eliminated from American Idol and went on to become a bigger deal than anyone else on the show - that would be his fiancee Jennifer Hudson.
Striker then gave the mic to Wade Barrett, who talked himself up. He said he and Mr. Chris Jericho knew from the start he would win the competition. Barrett said he didn't come to WWE or NXT for a pat on the back or to gain anyone's approval. He said he came here to make money. Barrett said he's bringing in the big bucks with a PPV title match. He warned the Pros on-stage that this is the beginning of a brand-new era in WWE. Jericho joined Barrett in the ring as Barrett vowed to become new WWE World champion. Cue up Jericho's theme music. Fittingly, NXT Season One closes with Barrett still not having his own theme music. They showed Barrett and Jericho celebrating the victory before sending it to a video package highlighting the big moments from Season One, concluding with Barrett's big celebration.