WWE NXT Report CALDWELL'S WWE NXT TV REPORT 5/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of NXT on Syfy Week 13
May 18, 2010 - 10:08:38 PM
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WWE NXT TV Results & Report
May 18, 2010 - Season 1, Episode 13
Taped in Ottawa, Ont., Canada
By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Week 13 of WWE's NXT show started with a recap of last week's first elimination show with Daniel Bryan, Michael Tarver, and Skip Sheffield eliminated from NXT. Cue up the standard Wild & Young NXT theme song to formally introduce the show. After being told Just slow it down, take a deep breath, make this last, it's the best days of your life, the audience was taken inside the arena where Michael Cole plugged a final night on NXT for one Rookie.
On-stage: Matt Striker welcomed the audience to the show. He said normally he would introduce the NXT Rookies, but he's bringing out the WWE Pros this time. Out first was Chris Jericho in a suit. Matt Hardy was back on TV. Christian was out next. C.M. Punk is selling new merchandise. William Regal was all-smiles. And The Miz. No sign of Carlito and R-Truth for this bit.
They sat down on chairs on the stage to talk about what they're looking for in the NXT Rookies to find a new star. Miz took the Vince Russo philosophy that he wants people flipping through channels to be intrigued by what they see on the screen and stop flipping. Regal said one minute he's funny and the next minute he's jumping down someone's throat, so he wants someone who can change pace. He said it's in-ring, interview, and personality. C.M. Punk said he would love to explain what he looks for in a WWE star, but he has lost his will to appear before the people.
Christian shot Punk a puzzled look, then said he's looking for someone who will capture the imagination of the audience. He said he's agreeing with The Miz to find someone who has the "it" factor. Regal then shot to Christian, "When are you going to show me 'it?'" He said he hasn't seen "it" in ten years. Christian shot back he showed "it" to him when he beat him in the ring for the last ten years. They went to Matt Hardy, who said the guys need the in-ring, but they also need to be able to survive backstage. Jericho was last. He said he's looking for someone who will make him want to pay money to see that person. Jericho said only one person has made him want to part ways with his money. Jericho said he is the reason the people bought a ticket tonight and he's looking for the Rookie who will do the same. Striker said the first Rookie contest to impress the Pros is...right now.
Cue up C.M. Punk's music to bring out Darren Young. Young and Punk met up on the stage, then Young hit the ring. Punk took a seat on the stage before they cut to break.
[Commercial Break. A spot aired for the TNA house show in Houston on Saturday.]
In-ring: Back from break, Wade Barrett came to the ring to face Darren Young in the opening match. Cole surmised on commentary that Jericho was talking about Barrett as the Rookie he would pay money to see.
1 -- WADE BARRETT (w/Chris Jericho) vs. DARREN YOUNG
Young tried to tackle Barrett early on and land a ground attack, but Barrett rolled to the outside and lured Young into a trap on the floor. Back in the ring, Young absorbed punishment before nailing right hand blows to mount a comeback. Young then went up top for a high-risk move, but Barrett crotched Young on the top turnbuckle. Barrett then took Young on his shoulders and landed his finishing bodyslam for the pin and the win. They cut to Punk on stage and Punk had a look of "well, that sucked" as his Rookie taking the loss. Mathews suggested it was the dagger for Darren Young.
WINNER: Barrett in 3:00. Decent match with Young showing some fire to try to stand out. Barrett continues to quietly get the job done and WWE is obviously building him up as a threat to babyfaces on the Raw or Smackdown roster. (*)
Rookies video: David "A-List" Otunga. Regal said he has a number of things going for him. Miz emphatically said he's the next breakout star. R-Truth said he believes his guy should be #1. Um, they're feuding. Miz said he's one of the top guys in his view. Christian said he doesn't see the in-ring at all. Punk said he's probably the worst wrestler on NXT and he could hurt himself. Matt Hardy said he got a free pass. Hardy said he does want to slap his shades off, making him a good heel. Regal said Otunga can learn, as he's getting opportunities someone at his skill level normally wouldn't get. Well, unless your name is Rob Terry.
[Commercial Break. The first spot for Half Pint Brawlers on Spike TV aired. Premieres Wednesday, June 2.]
In-ring: Michael Cole suddenly it to the ring where Matt Striker was joined by Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver, who were both eliminated "controversially" last week. Bryan and Tarver were dressed in street clothes here. Cole was beside himself with Bryan's presence. Striker fed to a video package on both of their eliminations last week. Back in the ring, Striker said both of them have had a week to absorb what happened. Tarver said he was told, like everyone else, that it would be judged by a Pros Poll, but he was eliminated by WWE management. "Who exactly is WWE management?" He said they're a group of easily-intimidated pencil pushers. He said they didn't have the courtesy to tell him he was eliminated. Tarver said he was told by WWE that the goal was to stand out and be different. He said he gave the fans something different and he knew exactly what he was doing the whole time.
[Q3] Striker then introduced Daniel Bryan to a decent reaction. Bryan said the truth is he was eliminated by WWE management and not the Pros. He said when he came to WWE, he heard the nightmares about politics, Vince McMahon liking big guys, and WWE pushing wrestlers they made themselves, regardless of whether a wrestler can actually wrestle and connect with the audience. He said he was not invented by the WWE machine and you would think WWE, as a publicly-traded company, would want to utilize the wrestlers who can make the most money for the company. Bryan said he is the best person for this job. Striker said Bryan essentially eliminated himself with his comments.
Bryan said everyone knows how good he is in the ring. Cole kept complaining on commentary. Bryan said Jericho, Christian, and Regal know how good he is. Bryan said even The Miz knows he's better than him. "You're better than me?" Miz said from the stage. He called him an indy star who hasn't done anything in WWE. Miz ranted and raved before asking Bryan what he's done in WWE. Bryan told Miz that if he thinks he's so good, then come down to the ring and prove it. Striker tried to interrupt Bryan, so Bryan told him one thing he won't miss about NXT is him interrupting him.
Bryan then turned his attention to Michael Cole. He called him a parrot. He said Cole just repeats what McMahon says in his headset about him having no charisma and having no personality. He walked out of the ring and approached the announce table as Cole stood up from his seat. Bryan started bullying Cole and he knocked his headset off. Bryan called him a poor man's replacement for J.R. Bryan cornered Cole before knocking him down to the ground. Refs then intervened to pull Bryan back. Bryan was pulled away and Cole recovered as they cut to break with Bryan having an evil smile on his face.
Back from break: They recapped the end of Bryan's promo on Cole before showing Bryan knocking Cole to the ground and kicking him as he was being pulled away.
Announcers: Cole was licking his wounds while Matthews stared at him. "Ridiculous!" Cole said. Cole said if Bryan wants a job here in WWE, he has to be able to take criticism, not just from him on commentary, but from the wrestlers in the locker room. Mathews turned on Bryan by siding with Cole after he was attacked. Mathews said he's going to press charges. Have him arrested! Well, the obvious answer to the weak NXT ratings: Cole vs. Bryan in the ring.
In-ring: Matt Hardy was out with Justin Gabriel for the next match. Heath Slater then came out with Christian. Mathews complemented Cole on continuing with the broadcast. Cole again vowed to press charges.
2 -- HEATH SLATER (w/Christian) vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL (w/Matt Hardy)
After some early offense, Cole decided to leave the broadcast position and head to the back to "deal with this." The camera stayed with him as he walked away, missing Gabriel's attempted splash on the floor. Back in the ring, Slater landed a spinebuster center ring for a close two count. Mathews said the Pros Poll coming up could be just as close as the last nearfall. Nice. Gabriel then knocked down Slater in the corner and went up top. He nailed the big 450 Splash and scored the pin for the win. Apparently Gabriel doesn't get music for the win. After a delay, Hardy's music hit to mark Gabriel's win. With four babyfaces in the ring, Christian stood over Slater to help him regroup before Gabriel showed sportsmanship shaking hands with Slater. They replayed the finish before Christian grabbed Gabriel to shake his hand. Christian shook hands with Hardy to adhere to the Code of Honor. And now everyone's going out for ice cream after the Little League game.
WINNER: Gabriel in 3:00. Not a particularly memorable match with the focus on Cole and the post-fight happenings with Bryan. Gabriel's finisher is certainly over, which is a good sign. Slater, meanwhile, has lost momentum since the surprise victory over Chris Jericho a few weeks ago. (*)
Announcers: Mathews had an on-camera nex to an empty chair to plug what had already gone down with Michael Cole. He fed to a promo from Skip Sheffield talking about his elimination last week.
Skip promo: Skip said the Pros are intimidated by him and threatened by his size and power. He said it's like Survivor where they took out the biggest, baddest threat to secure their spots.
Announcers: Mathews welcomed the audience back with a plug for the Over the Limit theme song. Cue up a replay from the Extreme Rules PPV when John Cena used duct tape to defeat Batista to retain the WWE Title. They voiced-over Batista's promo calling it an embarrassing moment in Cena's career. Roll footage of Cena's responsive promo saying he thought it was creative, but he's not a coward, so the re-match will be an I Quit match.
Announcers: They cut back to the announce table where Cole rejoined Mathews to plug the Over the Limit PPV line-up. Cole said he's not going to let that "creep" interfere with a big week in WWE. After they plugged the PPV line-up, Cole and Mathews fed to a Pros video package on Darren Young.
Young Pros video: Punk, Young's Pro, said rankings are nothing. Jericho said he put him last. R-Truth said, "Bless his heart, he has C.M. Punk as a mentor." Punk said his teaching methods are just different. He said he's not his friend; he's his guide. Jericho isn't feeling the haircut. This from Jericho with his history of hair looks? Miz said he hasn't seen that "it" factor yet. Truth said he just needs to come out of his shell and let it shine.
Video replay: They showed Wade Barrett defeating Young in the opening match. Mathews said Barrett continues to look very impressive every week. More reinforcement for Barrett as the favorite to win.
On-stage: Striker told the six Pros assembled to write down their scores and gather together to decide who's getting eliminated. It's next.
[Q5 -- over-run]
Ringside: The five remaining NXT Rookies were assembled in front of the ring. David Otunga was there for the first time on the show. Striker did the build-up to the revelation by noting the winner of NXT has earned a championship match on PPV. Striker said the time has come for the new Pros Poll. #1 is Wade Barrett again. #2 is David Otunga again. #3 is Heath Slater, who moved up one slot. So, it's Darren Young and Justin Gabriel. Striker went to the video board for a drumroll to reveal Gabriel #4 and Young #5. Young is gone. They cut to a shot of Young staring straight ahead with no reaction. Striker asked Young for his thoughts. He told Young to tell the Pros what he thinks.
Young took the mic and walked up the ramp to the stage. He thanked the fans for giving him an opportunity. He said the difference between him and the NXT Rookies is he has respect. He walked down the line of Pros saying he has respect for all of them, including Punk. He said he's not going to holler and cry, but say "thank you." The audience applauded. Young said NXT is over for him. He paused as the crowd went from applauding to singing, "Na na na, hey hey, good-bye." Young lowered the mic and surveyed the audience while Cole got in one more shot at Daniel Bryan. Mathews suggested Young might have a different view of the WWE audience now. He then walked to the end of the stage and said this isn't the last of him in WWE. Striker took the mic and said the competition is just heating up.
Earlier tonight video recap: Daniel Bryan assaulted Michael Cole. They cut to Cole and Mathews at the announce table. Cole called it ridiculous and said he's a coward. Mathews said no one will forget what happened tonight. Cole closed the show by saying there will be another elimination next week. Apparently they're going to whittle it down to three, then two instead of determining the winner at the Final Four stage like they initially advertised.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Daniel Bryan stepped up his game with the heartfelt "shoot" promo before an intense angle attacking Cole, with WWE looking to get a response from fans one way or another. That was probably the best-executed angle thus far on the NXT show. Wade Barrett is clearly the favorite to win this, as WWE has presented him as the most all-around Rookie on the show.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org using our Feedback form.
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