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WWE NXT Report
CALDWELL'S WWE NXT TV REPORT 4/12: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of NXT on Syfy Week 8

Apr 13, 2010 - 10:05:15 PM
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WWE NXT TV Report
April 12, 2010 - Season 1, Episode 8
Taped in London, England
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


The eighth week of WWE's NXT show started with a video package recapping last week's show, the current NXT rankings, and the Keg Carry. Cue up the regular NXT intro listing the Pros and their Rookies.

In-ring: Matt Striker was in the ring next to a podium and he welcomed out the NXT Rookies, starting with Darren Young and Michael Tarver to introduce them from last to first. Skip Sheffield, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Wade Barrett, and Daniel Bryan rounded out the line-ups. Tarver was dressed like The Pope with a bandana covering his face for some reason. Striker addressed Tarver first. He reminded Tarver of being DQ'ed last week in the keg carry before losing another match. Tarver said he is the pressure and he is getting to the rest of the Rookies. Striker then approached Otunga, which drew boos. Striker reminded Otunga of his beating at the hands of John Cena last night on Raw. Otunga said he shared the spotlight with the WWE champion, so he's big-timing now. The fans chanted, "You tapped out" before Striker approached Justin Gabriel. Striker asked Gabriel how he would have fared against Cena. Gabriel apparently didn't hear the question and talked about the battle royal from three weeks ago. Striker re-stated and Gabriel said he'd like a match with John Cena.

Striker reset by reminding the audience of the prize at hand of winning a title match against any opponent. Striker then detailed this week's NXT challenge testing the mentality of the Rookies. He said the judges for this challenge will be the live crowd in London. Striker said each week, the Rookies have been coming out to their Pros's own entrance music, so the winner of this week's challenge will get his own theme music. Finally. Striker said each wrestler will get a topic and have to talk for 30 seconds.

Daniel Bryan stepped to the podium and was given a topic: passion. Bryan thought it over and put over the Daniel Bryan manliness meter. Striker interrupted and Bryan counted down the time before shouting, "I love England!" to a cheap pop. Cue up Michael Cole: "That was horrible." Wade Barrett was up next for blasé. Barrett proceeded to do his deep-voiced routine. "There is nothing blasé about Wade," he said. He called himself the next success story in WWE. Well done. Justin Gabriel was next. He had flowers as his topic. Gabriel introduced himself and said a lot of flowers grow in South Africa. The fans booed and Gabriel just stood there. Up next was Heath Slater. He had cereal. Captain Crunch. Fruity Pepples. Cocoa Pepples. No Lucky Charms? Slater said he can't eat cereal, but you can use any type of milk to eat cereal with.

David Otunga was given "sleep." He said he doesn't get much sleep because his mind is always racing. Insomiac? Otunga said he puts in too much time at the gym to get any sleep. "This promo is putting me to sleep," Mathews muttered under his breath. Skip Sheffield was given rainbows. He did his catchphrases and gave no mention of rainbows. Crowd popped for Skip's promo. Michael Tarver was up next. He was given itchy. Tarver had the bandana over his mouth still. He waited out a chant, left the podium, then went back to his line to put the bandana back over his mouth. Darren Young was up next and chucked the podium aside. He was given toothpaste. Young said toothpaste is something people here don't use. "That's PG, right?" Darren asked rhetorically. Nice. Young said he would rather be anywhere but here. "I'm done," he said. Tarver then took the mic and said if he has something to say, he'll say it. Striker put him back in line.

[Q2]

Striker then told the audience to make noise if you like them, but stay quiet if you don't like them. The fans didn't hear the instructions, as they booed Tarver and Young. Big cheers for Skip. Big boos for Otunga. Silence for Slater. Mild reaction for Gabriel. Loud cheers for Barrett in his home country. Mix of boos and cheers for Bryan, who just laughed. Striker said it's a toss up between Skip and Wade. They're going to have a "talk off." My wife noted, "it's been 20 minutes and there's no wrestling." Skip was given a topic of bubble gum. He bombed here. Should have stuck to the catch phrases. Barrett was given the topic of wind. Barrett said he's going to talk about the winds of change blowing through WWE. Oh boy, a cliche. The way he executed the verbal was great, though, with that distinct voice. Barrett vowed to become the first-ever English WWE champion. The fans popped. Striker went to the fans, who booked Skip in the talk-off and Barrett was cheered. Striker said, "The Universe has spoken" and he announced Barrett as the winner. This took 21 minutes. Last week's keg carry was 20 minutes. Give it a few weeks and we'll have a 25-minute Texas Hold 'Em tournament.

Up later: Christian vs. Wade Barrett. ... JC: The theory of the opening segment was good to get over the personalities of the Rookies, but the concept was horrid. Darren Young's PG comment was quite memorable and well-timed. DY has some solid potential.

[Commercial Break]

Raw Rebound: They came back with the Raw Rebound video recap of last night's show focused on the John Cena vs. Batista build to their Extreme Rules title match.

Announcers: Cole and Mathews were shown on camera to break down the Extreme Rules PPV line-up. They focused on Cena vs. Batista, Sheamus vs. Triple H, Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton (Swagger's new profile graphic is excellent to get over his revised heel persona), and Rey vs. Punk with Punk's hair on the line.

Smackdown clip: They went back to last week's Smackdown when Darren Young refused to accept Punk's invitation to join the SES. They showed Rey making the save for Young.

Backstage: Young talked to Punk and the SES. He said he thought he was ready, but he changed his mind once he was in the chair. Punk said if it weren't for Rey Mysterio, they would have shaved Young's head. Luke Gallows talked tough, then Punk turned and shot him a look like, "Stop talking." Luke kept interrupting Punk's speech, so Punk turned to Luke and asked if he thinks he beat Darren Young. Punk played booker here. Apparently he has bonus powers. He said all will be forgiven for last week if Young beats Luke, but if Luke wins, they shave his head. They cut to break. 30 minutes and counting without a match on the show.

[Q3]

[Commercial Break]

Draft plug: The Universe will change when wrestlers's careers hang in the balance in two weeks time.

In-ring: Wade Barrett was in the ring with Chris Jericho, dressed in a suit, coming back from break. Barrett received a full ring intro, then they replayed what happened two weeks ago when Chris Jericho was on commentary. Pause for reflection on TV gold. Back to the highlights of Barrett pinning Christian in the tag match. Cue up Christian to face Barrett one-on-one. Christian marched out with Heath Slater and, 36 minutes into the show, they aired the first match of the show.

1 -- CHRISTIAN (Heath Slater) vs. WADE BARRETT (w/Chris Jericho)

Cole actually talked up the opening segment and the utterly ridiculous topics as a serious issue like they were debating politics. Jericho then interjected his ringside commentary in Cole's headset as Barrett worked over Christian near the ropes. Christian proceeded to dump Barrett over the top rope before hitting a plancha on the floor. They cut to break with Christian in control.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Christian and Barrett went back and forth while Jericho shouted encouragement to Barrett. Meanwhile, Cole brought up Dolph Ziggler putting Mathews to sleep on Smackdown. Jericho and Slater then tried to get involved with the ref caught in the middle. Slater ended up grabbing Barrett by the feet from the floor to block a power move by Barrett. Christian took advantage by hitting the Killswitch on Barrett for the pin and the win. Post-match: Christian smiled at Slater helping him out after Jericho initiated the outside interference. They replayed the finish, then Slater waved off Jericho and Barrett as they complained on the outside.

WINNER: Christian in 7:00. Fine match. It wasn't particularly memorable, but it allowed Barrett to continue rubbing shoulders with the Pros. (*1/4)

[Q4]

Access Hollywood clip: They rolled footage of David Otunga being featured on Access Hollywood, with Maria Menounos hosting the segment. The video focused on Otunga walking around in his underwear on NXT. Otunga was then asked about his diaper duties with a new child with Jennifer Hudson. They finished with some clips of Maria Menounos in the ring when she guest-hosted Raw with Nancy O'Dell last year.

Backstage: The Miz ripped into Daniel Bryan for his 30-second promo on passion. He said Bryan is like the Susan Boyle of WWE with all the talent and no star power. (That drew oohs with the live crowd.) Miz said Bryan must think he's somebody special because he's #1 in the Polls, but he needs to be a star and show some personality. Miz physically tried to take his personality and dump it into Bryan. That was pretty good. Daniel then walked off determined to prove Miz wrong.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Cue up The Miz's theme music to bring out Daniel Bryan with Miz. Cole cackled about Daniel's record and Miz's comment about Miz being the Susan Boyle of WWE. Cue up William Regal with Skip Sheffield. Regal was about to burst with joy walking to the ring here. Cole dryly reminded viewers of the

2 -- WILLIAM REGAL (w/Skip Sheffield) vs. DANIEL BRYAN (w/The Miz)

Danielson charged Regal in the corner with an elbow strike before hitting an overhead suplex for a two count. He followed with nice European uppercut and kick strikes. Very hard-hitting, realistic style from Danielson here. Regal then hit an elbow smash to cut off Bryan. Bryan then slapped on a guillotine chokehold, but Regal countered with a fisherman's suplex. Regal suddenly smashed Bryan in the face and scored the pin for the win.

Post-match: Regal briefly sold concern over his protégé, Bryan, then Miz smashed Regal from behind. Miz helped Bryan to his feet, then dropped him with the Skullcrushing Finale center ring. Cole said he usually doesn't like Miz, but he can sympathize with Miz feeling embarrassed by Daniel Bryan's performance. The ref checked on Bryan, who had a bloody lip, as Miz stormed out of the ring upset with Bryan.

WINNER: Regal in 2:00. Again, Danielson was able to show brief glimpses of his repertoire, but there wasn't enough here to give viewers something to sink their teeth into. At least it wasn't a complete squash, as Danielson held his own with Regal in a quick match. (*)

Still to come: Darren Young vs. Luke Gallows.

[Commercial Break]

[Q5 -- over-run]

In-ring: They returned from break at the top of the hour with Darren Young already in the ring. The facial resemblance to John Cena is uncanny. Cue up some dark new music to bring out Luke Gallows. C.M. Punk and Serena followed close behind.

3 -- DARREN YOUNG vs. LUKE GALLOWS (w/C.M. Punk and Serena)

Yes, this is the TV main event. Luke quickly went on the attack as the crowd sat on their hands. Luke continued to work over Young before they cut to a shot of Matt Hardy giving Justin Gabriel some instructions as they watched the action on a monitor. Suddenly, Young rolled up Luke and scored a pin for the win. Punk contemplated the happenings, then stepped into the ring and approached Young, who sold apprehension. Punk then raised Young's hand in victory. Luke was distraught over Punk siding with Young. Punk and Serena then left the ring with Young, leaving Luke behind in the ring. They focused on Luke selling sadness over being left behind to close the show. Yes, this was the big angle to close the show.

WINNER: Young in 3:00. Another short match with WWE packing in three matches very quickly on the back-end of the show. Punk continues to be great and Young continues to show promise on the show, though. (1/2*)

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "NXT TV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on NXT, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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