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WWE NXT Report
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 2/1: Alt. perspective review of DiBiase vs. Clay, Arm Wrestling challenge, Overview of four remaining Rookies

Feb 2, 2011 - 9:52:45 AM
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WWE NXT Alt. Perspective Report
February 1, 2011
Long Island, N.Y.
Report by Justin James, PWTorch contributor


Recap from last week: None of the Rookies have any immunity points. The remaining Rookie/Pro combinations are:
RTruth_FaceLeft_MN_130_5.jpg

Brodus Clay/Alberto Del Rio
Johnny Curtis/R-Truth
Derrick Bateman/Daniel Bryan
Byron Saxton/Dolph Ziggler

[Q1] During the intro, Grisham says there will be an elimination next week. In the ring, Striker sells the "competition is intensifying" idea, and says that voting starts tomorrow at noon on WWE's website. He then intros the Rookies. Derrick Bateman has his leg taped under his kneepad. Brodus Clay is accompanied by Ricardo Rodriguez, not Alberto Del Rio, and Josh Matthews says Clay's his pick to win. Striker asks Clay where Del Rio is, and Rodriguez pulls out a microphone from his jacket and says that Del Rio is overwhelmed since the Rumble and announces himself as the Pro for the night. Wow, Rodriguez speaks English! Matthews questions Rodriguez's credentials. Striker recaps that there are no immunity points scored yet. Arm wrestling challenge for 3 points. Wow, this favors Clay.

1st Round

- Curtis vs. Saxton: The ref demands Saxton wipe the oil off his hands. Curtis wins in under two seconds.

- Bateman vs. Clay: Grisham says that there is no way Bateman can cheat this time because there is a WWE official in the ring. Bateman has Bryan slap him to psyche himself up. Clay wins as Rodriguez does a play-by-play on the microphone and Bateman does his comedy routine. That was pretty funny, especially the bit about the ref preventing cheating.

2nd Round

- Clay vs. Curtis: Rodriguez does the announcing again. After a struggle, Clay tries to come from behind by headbutting Curtis, which gets him a DQ win.

Johnny Curtis gets three immunity points.

Chris Masters vs. Byron Saxton is next.

[c - WrestleMania ad, the 2/21/11 ad from Raw]

1 -- CHRIS MASTERS vs. BYRON SAXTON

No ring intros for either. Lock-up with Masters getting the advantage, but Saxton takes control with a cheap shot, and he gets Masters cornered. Masters regains control and chops Saxton in the corner. Masters catches Saxton off a cross body block, and hits a Samoan Drop for two. Masters works the wrist a bit. Masters keeps control including a really nice suplex. Saxton manages to get Masters into an armbar of sorts, but Masters powers out with a Samoan Drop, and then takes over. Spinebuster by Masters, who calls for the Masterlock. Saxton gets caught while Ziggler panics and the ref calls for the bell.

WINNER: Chris Masters in about four minutes. Unimpressive match. Saxton didn't even look like he was trying. My money's on him to be gone next week.

"Earlier today," Daniel Bryan tried showing Derrick Bateman how to do a guillotine. Gail Kim appears, wearing a cut-up Daniel Bryan t-shirt. Bryan puts over Kim's submission skills, then she makes Bateman pass out in about five seconds. Bryan says it's hot when she does submissions and they start kissing. Bateman wakes up on the ground and is ogling them.

Reax: They're really pushing this Daniel Bryan and Gail Kim storyline. Nice to see her on NXT, and maybe this will give her a chance to establish her character a little more to bring over to Raw.

Next: DiBiase vs. Clay.

[Q2]

[c - Best of Raw 2010. Less than half of these are moments I wish I had experienced.]

2 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. TED DIBIASE

In-ring is Brodus Clay with Ricardo Rodriguez in the corner coaching him. Cut to a video recap of last week's Fatal Four Way and Clay swapping Pros. Awesome package establishing Clay as a power to be reckoned with. Full ring intro for DiBiase, but no Maryse. I find this strangely disappointing. Oh wait, there she is! She comes out after him.

Clay easily wins a lock-up. Lock-up again, Clay wins it again. Maryse flirts with Josh Matthews as DiBiase manages to get control. Side headlock by DiBiase, which was kind of early in the match for that. DiBiase goes for elbow drops and a knee to the face. Maryse gives Grisham her number. Clay rolls outside, and DiBiase puts him into the barricade and then dropkicks him. The camera keeps missing the action by focusing on Maryse. Clay rolls into the ring, and eventually gets back in control by countering a kick into a big suplex. He gets DiBiase by the leg and short-arms him to the ground and hits the big elbow drop series. Rodriguez is calling for the death grip, but Clay settles into a nerve hold. The audience is cheering for Clay.

More focus on Maryse as Clay puts DiBiase into the ringpost while Maryse takes pictures with her phone. Clay is destroying DiBiase in the corner, then hits a powerslam. DiBiase gets his boots up on a splash attempt, then hits Clay's knee. Maryse nearly kisses Grisham, then pushes him away. DiBiase is distracted yelling at her, and Clay nails a massive slam to get the three count. Rodriguez announces Clay as the winner.

WINNER: Brodus Clay in about eight minutes. Reax: Pretty good match. Clay looked very, very strong, like he didn't need the distraction to win. The camera and announcers spent a bit too much time on Maryse and we missed some of the in-ring action because of it. As much as I enjoy seeing her work, I don't appreciate her taking over a match.

Post-match: Grisham is so happy because he touched lips with Maryse. Clay's celebration is incredibly intense. He sells anger and intensity really well.

Backstage: Curtis talks to Saxton. Saxton says he's worried about Curtis and says that R-Truth is talking dirt about Curtis. Curtis says he's friends with R-Truth...but not Byron Saxton.

Next: Bryan/Bateman v. R-Truth/Curtis.

[c - WWE Magazine, Hall of Fame]

[Q3] In the ring, Striker reiterates that Johnny Curtis is leading with three immunity points. Up next is the "talk the talk" challenge for two immunity points.

The topic is "WWE Pros."

- Saxton has to speak about R-Truth. Saxton tries to freestyle his own version of "What's Up" putting himself over. Ziggler says it was awful and R-Truth shows Saxton how to say "what's up?"

- Bateman is speaking about Dolph Ziggler. He says that Ziggler has a great body, but a lousy face. He also says that Ziggler's real name is "Turd Ferguson" and Daniel Bryan and Chris Masters start saying "Turd" and the whole crowd starts chanting it. Hooray. Cheap pop.

- Curtis has Chris Masters for a topic. He says he can't top Bateman, so he's going to talk about someone else... then slaps Brodus Clay. Clay chases him out of the ring. The crowd starts chanting "Turd" again and Ziggler threatens to leave.

- Clay has Daniel Bryan to speak about. He says Bryan's bland, then says Gail Kim is good-looking and says that she probably wonders what it's like to be with a real man. He goes on to say she should come over to his place to find out. Bryan says that a "real man" isn't the same thing as a "fat man."

Striker polls the crowd for their reaction:
- Saxton is booed
- Bateman gets a good pop
- Curtis is booed
- Clay is booed

Derrick Bateman gets two immunity points. New standings:

Curtis: 3
Bateman: 2
Curtis: 0
Clay: 0

The announcers feed to a trailer for "The Chaperone." Ugh.

[c - Flex Force toy ad]

The Raw Rebound airs leading into the main event.

3 -- DERRICK BATEMAN & U.S. champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. JOHNNY CURTIS & R-TRUTH

Bateman and R-Truth start the match with some basic chain wrestling. Bateman gets a shoulder tackle, and R-Truth hits a pair of hip tosses and tags in Curtis. Curtis takes down Bateman, and there is some more chain wrestling that ends in a stand-off. There's a lock-up and they roll through the ropes. Some intense action outside turns into a brawl. Bateman takes Curtis down, and the Pros separate them for some untold reason. Bateman looks refreshingly intense and serious.

[Q4] [c - "The True Story of WrestleMania" ad featuring Chris Jericho, Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, and Triple H.]

Back in the ring, Curtis is controlling Bryan with a headlock and scores with multiple shoulder tackles. Bryan hits a suplex and tags in Bateman, who does a slingshot splash followed by a suplex. Bateman goes for the guillotine, but Curtis punches out. Matthews predicts that Saxton is gone next week, and I concur. Bateman with a two count, and tags Bryan back in. Matthews claims that this is the final season for NXT and then says he made it up (I wouldn't be surprised if he is right). Bryan is wrecking Curtis after an exchange of punches. Bryan with an odd double leg lock using his legs, and tags in Bateman.

Bateman stays on Curtis with elbow drops to the knee. Curtis hits a spinkick by springboarding off the turnbuckle and sells the knee after landing. He tags in R-Truth and Bateman tags in Bryan. R-Truth and Bryan have some exciting back and forth at high speed, and this could be a future PPV match, but it only lasts a minute. Curtis is tagged back in and the duo hit a double suplex. R-Truth goes for the pin, but it does count not because Curtis is legal.

Bateman tries to clear the ring and ends up on the outside where R-Truth nails him with a dive over the top rope. Curtis tries his top turnbuckle leg drop, but Bryan rolls away. After a backslide attempt, Daniel Bryan gets Curtis in the LeBell Lock and gets a quick tap-out.

WINNER: Daniel Bryan and Derrick Bateman. Reax: Decent enough match. Other than Curtis's top rope legdrop and the brief ringside brawl, neither Bateman nor Curtis were particularly impressive. The brief exchange between R-Truth and Daniel Bryan was a lot of fun, and I'd like to see that become a PPV match one day in the future.

End show.

Final Show Reax: I feel like Johnny Curtis and Byron Saxton have not shown enough to indicate they have something to offer WWE. Derrick Bateman is competent in the ring and shows some flashes of above-average work, but his personality is at a Santino Marella level of humor. It's very difficult to take Derrick Bateman seriously out of the ring, and even though his in-ring work isn't based on comedy, the audience's perception is colored by his antics.

The big star of the show is Brodus Clay. His out-of-ring character and in-ring character are both really well-defined, but his promos need a touch of work. His in-ring work is outstanding; he takes the "big man moveset," but delivers it at a pace that is usually described as "fired up" when talking about someone like Randy Orton or John Cena, who are both much smaller than him. It's nice to see someone act like they are always trying to win the match, unlike, say, Sheamus and his one punch every five seconds routine.

[Torch photo (c) PWTorch.com]


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