WWE NXT Report CALDWELL'S WWE NXT TV REPORT 6/22: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of NXT Season 2, Week 3
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:10:38 PM
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WWE NXT TV Results
June 22, 2010 - Season 2, Episode 3
Taped in Manchester, New Hampshire
By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
A quick word on Chris Jericho's "Downfall" game show on ABC that premiered before WWE NXT. After a tough opening to the show, Jericho really hit his stride getting over his humor and witticism. He went the "cheap humor" route a few too many times, but a great finish to the show once Jericho got the ball rolling as the host.
The third week of the second season of WWE NXT opened with the usual "Wild & Young" NXT intro video before fireworks shot off inside the arena. Michael Cole introduced the show and said the first polling is next week. Already in the ring was a new ring announcer, Ashley Valence.
In-ring: Ashley Valence gave a full introduction on the NXT Rookie voting taking place on WWE's website next week. It's one-half of the voting, with the Pros having the other half of the voting. She then introduced the NXT Pros on the stage. Out came John Morrison, Cody Rhodes, Lay-Cool, Mark Henry, IC champ Kofi Kingston to a big pop, Zack Ryder, and no The Miz. Ashley then announced the first match of the show begins now. She sounded pretty confident and in control of the segment.
The Miz's music hit to kick off the first match of the show. Miz came out with Alex Riley as Cole dropped a Diego Maradona reference. Wow, a relevant World Cup reference from Cole. WWE has to find a way to get Maradona as a manager. The guy is amazingly charismatic just walking around on the sidelines during Argentina's games. Out next were MVP and Percy Watson, who danced uncontrollably to the ring. Ashley over-did the ring intros for the wrestlers, which could be her...downfall.
1 -- MVP & PERCY WATSON vs. U.S. champion THE MIZ & ALEX RILEY
Cole said the first Pros voting will kick off right when they go on the air next week. Percy got the crowd warmed up before locking up with Riley. Riley landed a knock-down shoulder tackle and did a cocky pose on the turnbuckle to celebrate. A vocal minority in the crowd started a "Daniel Bryan" chant as Watson and MVP began working over Riley with double-team offense. MVP then knocked Riley to the outside and "Maradona" scolded Riley for screwing up. Miz told Riley he's supposed to be a star, so start acting like one. Miz then demanded a tag and Miz entered the ring. MVP gave a tag to Watson, so Miz jumped him near the ropes to catch him off guard. Miz and Riley began working over Watson as Miz talked trash to Percy. The crowd started an "MVP" chant as Cole repeated the NXT polls opening at the top of the show next week. Cole said he will be voting from ringside. Josh Mathews missed an opportunity to reference the Raw GM bit.
Anyways, MVP came in with a hot tag and cleaned house before hitting a jawbreaker on Riley. MVP then set up for the Ballin' elbow drop and connected. MVP wanted to finish, but Riley grabbed the ropes to block. He then tagged in Miz as Percy tagged in for MVP. Percy came in hot as his glasses flew off. He got a slow clap going with the live crowd before landing a big standing splash spot. Nice athleticism. MVP cleared Riley in the chaos, then Percy kind of telegraphed (told the audience what was coming) a throat-drop across the top rope. Miz then hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Watson for the pin and the win. Miz and Riley celebrated the victory as MVP checked on Watson in the post-match.
WINNERS: Miz & Riley in 7:00. Good opening match. Riley has "star" written all over him while Percy Watson showed good energy and the crowd is already catching on with his "high energy" gimmick. Watson is still a little green in the ring, especially telegraphing the pre-finish spot, but an overall good performance. (*1/4)
NXT video: They introduced Titus O'Neil, who talked about his background and escaping trouble. They showed photos of his boys. A good human interest piece trying to create a relatable character for the audience. They focused on Titus's college football background at Florida and success as a football coach. He said he is WWE's next breakout star.
In-ring: Cue up Zack Ryder's theme music and out came Titus O'Neil for the next match. Ryder, appropriately sporting Florida Gators colors, joined Titus on the way to the ring. They cut to ringside where Michael Cole stared into the camera and talked about the "graphic, unnerving" attack on Mr. McMahon last night on Raw. It sure seems like we've been here before...and it led to a limo blowing up. Cole plugged a recap of the attack later in the show.
In-ring: Back from break, Kofi Kingston's music hit as Michael McGillicutty came to the ring with Kofi following him. Mathews noted Joe Hennig's 1-0 record on NXT. They cut to an inset promo of Hennig talking about how emotional his mother was after his victory last week. Hennig said it's a moment he'll never forget. Good stuff continuing to introduce relatable pieces of the characters to the audience.
2 -- MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. TITUS O'NEILL (w/Zack Ryder)
Mathews gave a quick note that Hennig is going with "McGillicutty" as his ring name to pay homage to his mom, whose maiden name is McGillicutty. Interesting fact to be checked. Titus dominated early on, then another "Daniel Bryan" chant started. Titus tried a Samoan Drop off the ropes, but Hennig fell off his shoulders and they both fell to the mat. Not a good spot. Titus then tried a big splash, but Hennig got his knees up to block. Hennig then hit a neckbreaker for the pin and the win.
WINNER: McGillicutty in 3:00. Too short of a match to get a good read on Titus or a longer look at Hennig. Titus is rough-around-the-edges in the ring and they need to find a way to make him stand out. He could be easily forgotten on this season. (3/4*)
Announcers: Cole and Mathews plugged the NXT voting beginning at 10:00 p.m. EST next week on WWE's website. More website traffic gimmicks.
Still to come: "David vs. Goliath" with Kaval vs. Eli Cottonwood. They showed a tale of the tape to make sure the audience knows Kaval is short and Eli is tall.
In-ring: Lay-Cool's theme music was playing as Kaval stood in the ring ready for his match-up. Perhaps not the right tone for Kaval. Cue up John Morrison's theme music to bring out Eli Cottonwood.
3 -- KAVAL (w/Lay-Cool) vs. ELI COTTONWOOD (w/John Morrison)
Kaval landed a martial arts kick trying to take Cottonwood off his feet, but Eli shook him off and chucked him face-first into the top turnbuckle. Cole said Eli's biggest problem is adjusting to "society" known as WWE. Mathews stereotyped Eli as a guy from the back woods. Cole told him to get out of his condo and experience the world. Meanwhile, Kaval tried a submission hold in the ropes, but Eli flung him away only to take a big springboard enziguiri kick. Kaval still couldn't take Eli off his feet despite multiple kick strikes. Kaval finally got him off his feet with a springboard double foot stomp to the neck. Kaval made a cover, but Eli kicked out. Kaval tried another high-risk move, but Eli grabbed him by the neck and landed sort of a lift-up facebuster chokeslam. It looked like a variation of one of Matt Morgan's "big man" finishing moves. Eli made the cover for the win.
Post-match: Morrison clapped it up for Cottonwood as Kaval walked out of the ring selling Eli's offense. Michelle McCool tried to check on Kaval like a mom checking on her kid stomping off after a tough little league loss. They showed Mark Henry stand up on the stage and applaud Kaval on the way out.
WINNER: Eli Cottonwood in 4:00. Kaval had a good amount of offense to retain some measure of credibility. He continues to show off his strong offensive repertoire and this wasn't a total squash, which was good to protect Kaval. (*)
NXT profile: Lucky Cannon, who is Henry's Rookie. Cannon said his life changed several years ago. He said he was hit in the back of the head with a lead pipe when he was sneak-attacked after a fake phone call apparently. Lucky said he had to learn how to walk and talk again after going through rehab. Lucky said he's about heart and bringing it every night.
Main event to come: Lucky Cannon vs. Cody Rhodes. Also, footage of the NXT attack on Mr. McMahon last night on Raw.
Backstage: Lay-Cool walked up to Kaval in the backstage area to check on him and give him some encouragement that things will be better next time. "Real talk," they said simultaneously. They made Kaval close his eyes before giving him a pink "Property of Lay-Cool" t-shirt. Kaval showed some personality saying it's what he's always wanted. They told him to wear it all the time - sleeping, working out, whatever. McCool then focused on the "money maker" - Laval's face. Laval was doing his classic frown face, so they tried to force a smile on his face.
Announcers: Cole and Mathews were joined by Matt Striker for the next segment. Cole did his over-the-top laughter at the Kaval bit and Mathews called him on ruining what they just saw on TV. Cole then fed to a video from the end of last week's show when Cody Rhodes KO'ed Striker. They cut back to the announcers and Striker no-sold. He said he's going to try to be professional and credit it to Mark Henry putting Cody Rhodes on the spot. Apparently no personal responsibility from Striker. Striker said it's about the Rookies. Cole then fed to a Raw video focusing on the NXT Rookies surrounding McMahon at the end of the show.
Raw Last Night: They showed real-time video of the Season One Rookies circling around McMahon before attacking him. The "NXT, NXT" chants were kept in the video recap as the Rookies were shown walking away from the ring after inflicting damage on McMahon.
Announcers: Cole recapped the story from the website that WWE tried to reach out to the McMahon Family, but they declined to comment on McMahon's health. Cole read the statement from the new "anonymous Raw GM" that the appropriate consequences will be dished out.
In-ring: Cody Rhodes's music hit to bring out Rhodes and his Rookie, Husky Harris. Cody took the mic and they cut to break.
In-ring: Mark Henry's music was playing as Lucky Cannon came to the ring with him. The new way-over-the-top ring announcer (not Ashley Valence) gave the ring intros for Cannon and Henry. Cody Rhodes addressed Lucky, saying they're going to have a five-minute challenge. Cody said he thinks his "luck" is going to run out before the five minutes are up.
The bell sounded and Cody pushed Lucky into the corner. He pointed to the clock on the video screen before paintbrushing Lucky to tell him what's up. Cody grabbed a headlock and worked over Lucky before pushing Lucky to the outside. Cole was tearing apart Lucky on commentary while Mathews tried to defend Lucky. Back in the ring, Lucky tried an amateur wrestling takedown, but Cody blocked and went back on the attack. Cody then put Lucky in position for Homicide's Gringo Killer, but maintained the hold as a great submission. Lucky suddenly tried to counter with a roll up, but Cody kicked out. At 3:00, Lucky landed a faceplant for a two count. Lucky not selling the submission is a mark against him. Lucky scored more offense before Rhodes smashed him with step-up enziguiri out of the corner. Cody then looked at the clock and smiled. He followed with the Cross Rhodes center ring. He made the cover with 1:02 left on the clock for the win. And Cole mocked Lucky. After a replay of the finish, they showed Henry trying to console Lucky. Cody celebrated ringside and mocked Striker, asking, "Hey, what happened?"
Up next: Rookies Closing Arguments with all eight Rookies in the ring.
Money in the Bank PPV preview: On the way to break, they aired the "Mission Impossible" video preview for the MITB PPV coming up in July.
Next week: First NXT Poll of the new season. The poll opens at 10:00 p.m. EST when they go on the air.
[Q5 -- over-run]
In-ring: Matt Striker was in the ring addressing all eight of the NXT Rookies. Kaval was still wearing his pink Lay-Cool shirt and selling Eli's offense. Striker plugged the polling coming up next week. He said he's giving the Rookies one last chance to win over the Pros and the fans. Alex Riley was first with 45 seconds. Riley cockily said he doesn't need to say anything after how impressive he's been so far. He said he doesn't have to beat up nerds in high school anymore because now he gets to beat up Rookies on a show called N-X-T. Riley went past his allotted time and Cole called him a mic hog.
Kaval was up next. Kaval stared down at the mat before smiling. He said ten years ago, he tried to get his foot in the door, but they told him he's too small. Ten years since then, here he is standing before the audience on NXT. That drew a mild cheer. Kaval said not only will be WWE's next breakout star, but he's going to prove it's not the size of the fighter...they cut off his mic before he could finish. Titus O'Neil gave the "working man's" promo stirring up the audience. Nice work.
Striker gave Joe Hennig the mic for his 45 seconds. Hennig said he made it a win again tonight. He said unlike his competition, he possesses no weaknesses. Hennig said his name is Michael McGillicutty and he is WWE's next breakout star. Eli Cottonwood was next. He said he'll remain in the shadows and strike with vengeance when the time is right. Eli said his actions will speak louder than any of his words. Percy Watson was up next to a strong reaction. "Hey, look here, baby," he said. Watson asked everyone if they like to have fun like him. "I'm a heavy hitter, but I'm not a quitter," he said. "I'm going to keep is shaking and moving, baby. I got two words....oh yeah."
Lucky Cannon was next as they hit seven minutes past the top of the hour. Lucky did his promo from the NXT video intro. After the cliche-o-meter exploded, Striker gave the mic to Husky Harris for his 45 seconds. Husky said he doesn't even need 45 seconds. He turned to walk away before blasting Striker with a forearm smash from behind. Husky then landed a running sentaun on Striker and he walked out of the ring with a self-satisfied look on his face.
Cole noted Husky is doing what his Pro, Cody Rhodes, did last week. Husky then walked up the ramp and walked to the back with Cody Rhodes, who looked at him approvingly. They showed Striker selling on the mat as the Rookies just stood over him. After a video recap of Husky's assault on Striker, the Rookies were shown just walking out of the ring. Some of the other Pros then walked down to the ring to check on Striker as the babyface Rookies decided to help Striker out of the ring to close the show.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: Good episode. Not quite as good as last week without that stellar in-ring match (Riley vs. Kaval), but some good character development, fine human interest pieces trying to connect the characters with the audience, Cody Rhodes continuing to stand out, and more Percy Watson entertainment value. Based on the non-existent criteria WWE has established for the rankings, I would rank the Pros (1) Alex Riley, (2) Joe Hennig, (3) Eli Cottonwood, (4) Kaval, (5) Percy Watson, (6) Husky Harris, (7) Lucky Cannon, and (8) Titus O'Neil.
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 email@example.com using our Feedback form.
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