Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE NXT 3/30/10

NXT!  Last week, we got two tag matches and a TON of WrestleMania videos.  This week...the first vote happens!

- A NXT Video Package showing highlights from the last several shows, highlighting the criteria: Win-Loss Record, Strength of Opponents, Work Ethic and The "It" Factor.

- "Wild & Young" video package.

- Matt Striker is in the ring!  Crowd with a very mild reaction when asked if the rookies have impressed them.  Ouch.

- Heath Slater (3-1), Darren Young (3-1), Michael Tarver (1-2), Justin Gabriel (3-1) and the biggest pop thus far, Skip Sheffield (0-3), David Otunga (3-1), Daniel Bryan (0-5) and Wade Barrett (2-2).

- Striker unveils The Pros Poll...apparently we don't get to find out how the pros voted, we just get an average.  Blah.

#8. Darren Young - Not completely surprising.  Honestly, I figured Tarver would wind up here, but Young has not been the most impressive.
#7. Michael Tarver - No surprise.
6. Skip Sheffield - Again, no shock.
5. David Otunga - Nice!
4. Heath Slater - And dropping.
3. Justin Gabriel - Not a shock at all.
2. Wade Barrett - Obviously, I had him tagged in my top two (number one for me).
1. Daniel Bryan - WOW.  Almost makes me think the poll is legit now.

- Striker asks Young about being #8, and he blames it partially on Punk, then kills his intensity with his goofy smile.

- Striker moves down to Daniel Bryan.  Bryan calls out Cole for bashing on him.  He picks on David Otunga, and says he can't wrestle!  Nice.  Barrett's about to kill him from behind, it looks like.  Otunga is claiming he's got the "It Factor"...which is impressive, because he bores me to death.  Bryan is picking apart Otunga's outfit!

- In six weeks, the Pros vote again, and last place is eliminated.  That continues until we reach the Final Four.  The winner gets a PPV title shot!  A battle royal tonight.  Can't say I'm shocked.  I was having that same shot.  The winning rookie hosts Raw next week?

- So...the 8 Pros in an 8 Man, and a battle royal?

- Cole is doing a nice job being ticked about Bryan's place on the poll.   The Pros 8 Man is being divided among brand lines.

- There is a fans poll on until next week.


- Jericho's not dressed to wrestle...and Wade Barrett is with him.  Barrett appears to be wrestling, and Punk seems okay with it.  Jericho is moving to commentary.  Jericho is claiming the Spear through the barricade as being his reason for not competing.  Carlito vs R-Truth to start.  Truth knocks the apple out of his mouth!  High hip toss.  Armdrag and armbar.  Tag to Punk.  Punk is slow coming in.  Wristlock on Carlito, who is firing back.  Jericho backs up Young's claims of Punk being responsible for his failings.  Regal tags in.  He's begging Punk to switch rookies!  Nice!  Barrett is tagged in, and Regal shakes his hand...and tags Christian!  Christian unloads on Barrett!  Wade cuts him off.  Huge shoulder.  Christian jacks his jaw!  Barrett tags Hardy.  I think Miz blind tagged Christian.  Cheap shot by Miz.  Hardy beats him in the corner!  Clothesline!  One in the corner!  Ten count punches to a huge "Hardy" chant!  Both guys spill outside!  R-Truth keeps anyone from attacking Hardy.  Commercials.

- Carlito drops Hardy.  Chinlock by Carlito and he drags Hardy to the corner.  Miz in and unloading.  Hardy fights back, sloppy sleeper by Miz.  Tag to R-Truth!  Huge clotheslines!  Glapjack!  He nails Regal, ducks Miz and nails him!  He's all over the Raw guys, but Miz with a double neckbreaker!  Regal is in and beating Truth down.  Carlito is controlling Truth, but Christian tags in.  He keeps Truth down, and Regal tags in.  Barrett is "dominating from ringside" according to Jericho.  Miz in and killing Truth.  This whole match has been an extended Raw beatdown of Hardy and R-Truth.  Nice.  Jericho ribs on Tough Enough, Matthews points out he came in second, and Jericho asks where he is now.  Matthews: "Sitting right next to you, Jericho."  Miz clothesline!!  He's going up top...dropkicked out of the air!  Matthews and Jericho are awesome.  Truth is trying to tag!  Tag to Punk!  Christian unloads!  Flying European!  Killswitch?  No!  GTS!  No!   Killswitch!  No!  High knee by Punk!  Christian with the flipkick in the corner!  This whole thing is breaking down into utter chaos!  Barrett tagged himself in, but Christian saw him coming!!  He drops Barrett and calls for the Killswitch!  Jericho has Christian's leg!  Barrett with a modified fireman's carry and the crowd chants along for the three!!

Winners: WADE BARRETT, MATT HARDY, R-TRUTH & CM PUNK (w/Chris Jericho, Luke Gallows & Serena)

- That's about as good as eight man matches get.

- Barrett still has to compete in a battle royal!

- Highlights of Shawn Michael's retirement speech and career.  If Shawn stays retired, I will respect him more than just about any guy in wrestling for going out on his own terms.

- Pro's Poll again.  Cole says Bryan shouldn't be #1, Matthews says the great thing is no one care's what Cole thinks.

- NXT Battle Royal is up next.  Any chance Jericho is going to enter the battle royal and win so he can host Raw?

NXT Battle Royal

- comes Barrett.  The rookies gangpile him!  He's out first!  Young is all over Bryan and we go to a break.  Anyone dumped during the commercials is so screwed.

- Young was sent out during the break, as was Sheffield.  We wish you the best in your future endeavors.  Gabriel is trying to eliminate Otunga.  Tarver is gone, and Slater eliminates himself and Bryan!  Gabriel and Otunga are left, which means Otunga is hosting Raw.  Ugh.  Otunga is hammering Gabriel, and the crowd is getting behind Gabriel!  Misses a spin kick and hits a huge enzuigiri!  Going up top...450!  He's pausing...trying to list Otunga who goes dead weight.  Eye rake!  Gabriel is out, Otunga wins.  Ugh.

Winner: David Otunga

- Waste of a battle royal, and Otunga rubs me the wrong way even more.  R-Truth in to celebrate, and Otunga is cool with it, so apparently their heat is gone.  He is getting some heel heat, at least.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE NXT 3/23/10

NXT SHOULD be a pretty wrestling heavy show tonight, as all 8 rookies are in action in two tag matches.  Long matches?  Lots of Wrestlemania hype?  Lots of video packages?

- Will "Anonymous" flame me again for not caring about Jennifer Hudson?

- Let's see!

- Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel are taking on Wade Barrett and Skip Sheffield while Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan meet David Otunga and Darren Young.

- Shouldn't Slater and Tarver be wrestling, since Tarver did beat him down last week?  Just asking.

- WWE intro package.

- "Wild & Young" opening video.  Easily my favorite WWE opening song.

- Check out my first published comic work at and my Small Press Idol entry at!

- Matt Striker says that, next week, The wWE Pros will be voting on who to keep and who to cut.


- Regal us the only pro present.  Slater's team came out to Christian's music, Sheffield's to Regal's.  Skip and Slater start, with Slater OUCH...he bounced off of Sheffield.  Christian walks out and gets the biggest pop of the night so far...but he looks odd.  Barrett and Gabriel in.  Big knee by Barrett.  Gabriel unloads with kicks but gets tossed up and dropped!  Apparently the rookies will be ranked on Win-Loss Record, Strength of Schedule, Work Ethic and "It" Factor.  Interesting.  They do know that wins and losses and strength of schedule is ALL booking, right?  Barrett with shoulders in the corner on Gabriel.  Wade is dominating.  School boy with a kickout.  "Regal sucks" chant.  Modified stretch by Barrett.  Slater is trying to get the crowd worked's not really working.  Gabriel fights up, but gets knocked down.  Gabriel is here to sell, nothing more.  Gutbuster gets two.  Skip tags in and clubs Gabriel.  Elevated suplex.  Ow!  Dropped him on his face!  Slam bbu Skip and huge splash.  He left the strut out.  Barrett tags himself in and beats on Gabriel.  Nice subtlety by Barrett and Sheffield.  Tag to Sheffield, who clobbers Gabriel.  Gabriel dodges a charge and hits the perfect hot tag!  Slater is in on fire, but no one cares.  Nice pop for a neckbreaker!  Charge in the corner bu Slater, and he boots Skip!  Skip goes for a slam, but Slater slips down!  Barrett accidentally nails Sheffield and Gabriel wallops Barrett!  Slater gets the pin!

Winners: SLATER & GABRIEL via pinfall on Sheffield (accidental boot by Barrett)

- Decent match, but Gabriel got killed, while Slater got to look good.  Slater is NOT the star out of these four.

- Bryan/Tarver vs Otunga/Young tonight.

- The Bryan video package is being re-aired, with NXT footage spliced in.

- Wrestlemania ad.

- HBK-UT video.

- Money in the Bank cluster for Smackdown, as well as Beth Phoenix vs Vickie Guerrero.

- Hall of Fame ad.

- Bret Hart-Vince McMahon package.

- Darren Young video package we've seen before, with NXT footage added.

- WrestleMania recall for WM 21, which is the night that Money in the Bank debuted, as well as Cena and Batista winning the WWE and World titles.

- Batista-Cena video package.

DARREN YOUNG & DAVID OTUNGA (w/CM Punk, Serena & Luke Gallows) vs MICHAEL TARVER & DANIEL BRYAN (w/Carlito)

- Camera missed Otunga's opening routine.  How TNA.  Young is yelling at Punk, it looks like.  As far as Strength of Opponents goes, Bryan is the only one who has faced two World Champions.  Bryan and Otunga lock up.  Headlock by Otunga and a shoulder drops him.  Bryan armdrags out of a top wrist lock and Otunga to a headscissors, but Bryan slips out into a leglock.  Matthews calls BS on Cole for ignoring a Bryan escape.  Bryan takes over and tags Carver.  More chain wrestling, but Otunga fights out and tags Young.  Armbar.  Young goes up and over on Otunga and hits a schoolboy, but fails.  Serena causes a distraction and Gallows tries to trip Tarver.  Tarver is arguing with Gallows and Carlito comes over as well.  Young slides to the floor, but Tarver nails him!  Commercials.

- Bryan is outwrestling Young on the mat.  Hammerlock on Young.  Huge dropkick!  Tag to Tarver, who takes Young down.  Wristlock on Young.  Young with a knee and irish whip into the cover, but eats an elbow.  Tarver with a boot, but Young whips him around and nails him in the back!  Punk and the SES aren't paying attention.  Otunga is in, overpowering Tarver.  Crowd is booing...someone.  Otunga clubs Tarver.  Tarver fights back and tags Bryan!  Big uppercuts!  Snap mare and kicks to the back!  Otunga powers Bryan to his corner and tags Young!  Bryan out of nowhere with a guillotine choke, and he takes Young down into a Crossface like maneuver!  Young gets the ropes, and Bryan hits a cross body for two!  Tarver is arguing with Gallows on the floor.  Bryan needs a tag, but Tarver's not there!  Young tags Otunga, who charges Bryan...who sends him into Tarver and goes up top!  That looked like Young should have done SOMETHING to keep Bryan away from the maybe Tarver came back up too soon or something.  Bryan misses a dropkick!  Rob Terry Spinebuster!

Winners: DAVID OTUNGA & DARREN YOUNG via pinfall on Bryan (Otunga Rob Terry Spinebuster)

- Catch Jennifer Hudson as "Willy" in FREE WILLY...Coming soon!

- Pro's week!

- More WrestleMania hype.

- See ya next week!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tommy Ranks The Rookies Season 1 Week 4

Four weeks ago, WWE debuted NXT, in which they teamed eight NXT Rookies with eight WWE Pros.  Four weeks into this sixteen week competition, I am now going to break down my thoughts on the eight rookies.

8. Michael Tarver

Pro: Carlito

- I thought Michael Tarver looked impressive in his first week.  He came across well in his video package and he showed some great intensity in his tag debut with Carlito against Christian and Heath Slater.  However, he took the pin in that match, and has been treated as an afterthought since.  Week Two, he was a non-entity, and in Week Three, he was just at ringside with Carlito as Carlito became the first Pro to job to a Rookie.  Is it any surprise that when he wrestled Slater in Week Four, without Carlito at ringside, that the crowd was dead?  Carlito has been treading water for years until WWE finally just releases him, so being paired with Carlito was clearly a kiss of death.  Tarver is billed as being capable of knocking out any man in 1.9 seconds, but is the forgotten rookie on this show.

Conclusion: I like what I have seen, but Tarver was doomed before this started.

7. Heath Slater

Pro: Christian

- Slater is the "One Man Rock Band", and seemed to be a natural fit with Christian.  WWE has been pushing him hard, with he and Christian beating Tarver and Carlito in Week One, and Slater being the first Rookie to pin a Pro in Week Three.  He recently beat Tarver one in one in what was a fine enough match, but the crowd just aren't buying this guy.  He comes across as a whiny tool, such as when Carlito spit apple in his face, and Christian has made him look like a doofus a time or two in backstage segments.

Conclusion: Arguably being pushed harder than any other NXT star, Slater just isn't getting any traction.  Tons of face time, a victory over Carlito and the best record among the rookies, but nobody cares. At the end of the day, that's going to sink Slater unless they find the key to making people care.

6. Skip Sheffield

Pro: William Regal

- This one pains me.  I love his interactions with Regal, and he's a nimble big man with a ton of personality.  He's one I would probably make sure I kept, if it were up to me.  However, Sheffield hasn't gotten a ton of camera time, although he did get to appear on Raw with Regal.  I still just can't help but feel as though the deck is stacked against Sheffield, which is a shame as he could be a great midcard face.

Conclusion: He's got the WWE look, and he has more charisma and speed than your average WWE big why isn't he being showcased more?  Is he too "Southern"?

5. Darren Young

Pro: CM Punk

- If I had written this last week, Young would have been ranked in at number seven or so.  However, he showed some great intensity in his tag match with Punk against Matt Hardy and Justin Gabriel, making me believe that he could be an effective heel if given a chance.  I also think that, no matter what, he will remain on the show until late in the run as an excuse to keep CM Punk on the show.

Conclusion: They haven't tried to treat Young like anything special, he's been squashed by David Otunga, and he's been punked out by Luke Gallows.  If it wasn't for the fact that Punk is a heat machine, I think he would be an early candidate for removal from the show.

4. Justin Gabriel

Pro: Matt Hardy

- Gabriel is a very flashy high flyer, who sells very well.  His pairing with Matt Hardy has been very popular, and Gabriel looks very crisp in his movements.  Honestly, I think we'll see everyone from this point on remain in the WWE in some capacity.  After all, they have always said "one dream", not "one contract".  What will happen to Gabriel when he get promoted?  Well...

Conclusion: Meet the next Evan Bourne.  Flashy finisher?  Check.  Sells effectively?  Check.  The downside is, he doesn't even have the facial expressions or mic skills of Evan looking for the next Rey Mysterio is going to be reaching WAY too high.

3. Daniel Bryan

Pro: The Miz

- He's gone 0-4, including a loss to The Great Khali, which caused the internet to explode, even though Bryan doesn't quite come to Khali's kneecaps and still got more offense on Khali than his average opponent does.  He's gone toe to toe with the World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho, lost to Jericho's protege on the back of an injury sustained in the previous match, and has come to blows with his mentor, The Miz.  Part of me almost figured WWE would job him out and then release him, but now I think he will eventually get that match with The Miz and even beat him...maybe even for the US title.

Conclusion: Bryan will get a contract, even beat The Miz, but will find himself toiling in midcard Hell on Raw or Smackdown before an eventual "creative has nothing for him" release.  The Internet will explode in protest, but he will go back to wrestling five star matches in Ring of Honor.

2. David Otunga

Pro: R-Truth

- I don't like R-Truth.  I don't like Otunga.  The guy botched his finisher while squashing Darren Young.  He doesn't have heel charisma, he just comes across like a prick.  WWE is very high on the guy thanks to being over-roided, combined with being D-List famous thanks to being married to Jennifer Hudson, whose last major accomplishment was Dreamgirls.  Plus, his matches are botchfests that make Batista look like Eddie Guerrero.  Is it any surprise that the wrestling element of NXT was way better this week, and he wasn't present?

Conclusion: WWE loves him, and they will protect him through the competition.  I expect that either a big head will tank him, or he will be an epic bomb for WWE and get released quietly post WrestleMania in a year or two.

1. Wade Barrett

Pro: Chris Jericho

- Barrett has been heavily protected.  He has the charismatic heat machine World Champion Chris Jericho as his mentor, and his matches have all been booked to make him look strong.  He has a good look and carries himself very well, plus he's a foreigner, which always helps with the overseas tours.

Conclusion: Barrett is in great shape on the show, thanks in part to the association with Jericho.  If he will just keep working on his in-ring stuff while they are protecting him so heavily with three minute matches, he could graduate into a very effective heel on Raw or Smackdown.

Tommy's Take on: WWE NXT 3/16/2010

If it's Tuesday night, that means it's time for WWE NXT!  Later this week, I'm going to do a special "scouting report", discussing where the NXT Rookies are at after four weeks of competition, since that will be 1/4th of the way through Season one.

- WWE Opening.

- "Wild & Young".  Do you suppose they will keep that in Season 2, or come up with a new theme song?  I rather like the theme, personally.  In a year or so it might overstay its welcome, but its fine right now.

- CM Punk's music hits right off the bat.  Ahh...tag team match.


- Darren Young isn't smiling tonight.  A graphic reminds as that Young is 1-1.  Matt Striker informs us that, in two weeks, the 8 Pros will evaluate the Rookies and apparently hit their first round of voting.  Interesting.  Justin Gabriel is 2-0.  Young and Gabriel to start.  Young powers Gabriel down.  Wristlock by Young, Gabriel flips into a reversal, but eats a forearm.  Gabriel ducks a punch and hits an armdrag and Hardy is in!  Gabriel with a Hardy-assisted clothesline, followed by a Hardy clothesline!  Hardy tags Gabriel who flips in with a sunset flip!  Young cuts him off.  Apparently the party animal Young is also super serious about the competition.  Interesting.  Tag to Punk, who is beating Gabriel down.  Young tags back in and continues the corner beatdown.  Gabriel flips over Young's back and hits a spin kick!  Sends Gabriel over the top, but he nails Young, but misses a springboard cross body!  Young gets two.  Young is crushing Gabriel in the corner.  Gabriel tries to catch his feet on Young's shoulders, but Young tosses him up and kicks him!  Hardy is trying to keep Young from going after Gabriel on the floor...Young sends Gabriel into the steps!  Commercials.

- Back from the break and Gabriel hiptosses Punk!  Splash, but the knees as up!  Punk is hammering on Gabriel.  Dragging Gabriel to the corner and double stomp on Gabriel.  Matthews and Cole are arguing about whether or not Young should join the Straight Edge Society.  Young taunts Gabriel, who is firing back with kicks!  Chops!  Snap mare and cover gets two.  STO!  He's going up top...misses the 450!  Tag to Punk, Gabriel barely kicks out!  Hardy looks a bit miffed that he didn't go for the tag.  Punk has Gabriel in a leg scissors and is working the midsection.  Gabriel elbows out and hits a jackknife cradle!  Punk nails Hardy and tags Young.  Big slam gets two. Young drives Gabriel into the corner, and Punk is back in, working on the ribs.  Gabriel is rallying, but Punk takes him out with a big knee.  Punk is setting up a springboard...Gabriel dropkicks him out of the air!  Hardy calls for the tag!  Hardy is in!  Hardy unloads!  Clothesline/bulldog!  Side Effect!  Gets two.  Hardy goes up, Punk bails to Young!  Hardy hiptosses Young in, and gives him the Cactus Clothesline out of the ring!  Gallows nails Gabriel while Serena distracts the ref!  He goes after Hardy and eats a Side Effect on the floor!  Hardy sends Young back in...calling for the Twist of Fate...Gallows distracts the ref...PUNK WITH THE GO 2 SLEEP!  Young gets the pin!

Winners: DARREN YOUNG & CM PUNK via pinfall on Hardy (Punk GTS for Young Pin)

- Gallows attacks Gabriel!  He attacks Hardy!  My God, he attacks Young!  GALLOWS POLE on Young!  The Straight Edge Society stands tall!

- Easily the best NXT match since Jericho-Bryan, and maybe the best NXT match to date, and it wasn't all because of the Pros.

- Young looks ticked as the SES walks away.  Punk is watching the Titantron and acknowledges it.

- Daniel Bryan vs The Great Khali!  The first appearance on NXT by a non-Pro!  The Internet just exploded!


- Bryan is 0-3.  Bryan doesn't look intimidated.  Matthews calls Cole out for living in a bubble.  Staredown for the visual.  Khali tosses Bryan in the corner.  Bryan kicks away at Khali's legs.  Khali with a huge corner chop.  Tree Slam?  No!  He turns it into a choke!  Bryan is choking Khali!  He's choking him down to his knees!  Khali shoves him off, but eats kicks!  Khali grabs the throat, Bryan kicks free!  He kicks Khali to the mat!  Missile Dropkick!  Power kickout!  He goes back up...BRAIN CHOP OUT OF THE AIR!  TREE SLAM!!!  One boot pin!

Winner: THE GREAT KHALI via pinfall (Tree Slam)

- Aw hell...The Big Show.  Khali stares down The Big Show.  Tag match next week?

- Show Choke Slam!  Show walks away.  I was expecting a Khali save, actually.

- Skip Sheffield faces Wade Barrett later on, with Chris Jericho and William Regal at ringside.

- Raw Rebound.

- Another (the same?) David Otunga video.  I must tell you, I had never heard of this guy before NXT.  WWE's obviously pretty high on him...yeah, this is basically the same video.  Bleh.  Has the show gained any viewers since the premiere, when they aired this?

- Michael Tarver vs Heath Slater is NEXT.  I think this is going to be the first week that all eight rookies are getting any real amount of face time.


- Hm.  No pros?  Slater without Christian gets no reaction.  What are the odds that Tarver knocks him out in 1.9 seconds?  Yeah, no Carlito...which means no pros.  Slater is 2-0 to Tarver's 0-1.  Oh...already past 1.9.  Headlock by Slater.  Tarver swings and misses, Slater with a shoulder and an armdrag into a wristlock.  Tarver shoves him into the ropes...Slater sends Tarver out of the ring, hits a big twisting plancha...but the crowd doesn't care.  In fact, they cared more when he missed a corner charge.  Tarver with a HUGE running kick.  Carlito and Christian are walking on backstage, Christian with a mocking look.  Tarver is showing some great aggression.  Neck vise on Slater.  He fights up and gets snapped down!  Slater dropkick out of nowhere!  Big clothesline.  Crowd is DEAD.  Flapjack gets two.  Big knee by Tarver.  Slater with a schoolboy that one of them botched.

Winner: HEATH SLATER via pinfall (Schoolboy)

- Tarver attacks Slater from behind!  T-Bone Suplex!  Tarver now gets the only heat this match has seen.  Not MUCH, but a bit.

- Regal and Sheffield are arguing...kinda.  Sheffield won't shut up and keeps interrupting Regal, not meaning to.

- Seriously...I am now to the point that I don't care about HBK-Undertaker.  They have pushed it TOO hard.

WADE BARRETT (w/Chris Jericho) vs SKIP SHEFFIELD (w/William Regal)

- Barrett is 1-1.  Another three minute special for Barrett?  Sheffield has the best music in NXT right now...Because Regal's music is awesome.  Sheffield is 0-1.  Regal and Jericho are having some mock tension.  Barrett is all over Sheffield.  Sheffield hops over the top rope on an irish whip, then runs up the next buckles and hits an ax handle!  Nice!  Snap mare and slap to the back!  Barrett bails, and Sheffield attacks!  Barrett tries to send him headfirst into the post, but Skip Barrett rams his back into the post!  Barrett works the back in the ring.  Stretching Sheffield on the ropes.  Huge knee to the back.  Surfboard on the mat.  Sheffield fights up, Barrett hammers him.  Suplex blocked by Sheffield!  Big suplex of his own!  Crowd's still rather dead.  Barrett misses a charge and Sheffield with the Polish Hammer!  Huge clothesline!  Scoop slam!  Awesome, Cole says Sheffield should have went for the cover, and Matthews mocks him as being an "expert".  Strut Splash by Sheffield!  Kickout at one!  Shoulder by Barrett.  Sheffield blocks a corner charge and goes up, but is talking to Regal and Barrett takes him down.  Fireman's Carry Slam!  Barrett wins it!  Regal is ticked.

Winner: WADE BARRETT via pinfall (Fireman's Carry Slam)

- Jericho shakes hands with Barrett as Regal watches on ticked.  Sheffield is trying to talk to Regal, who is ignoring him,  Jericho is acting kind of apologetic go Regal...well, mock apologetic.

- Great show...the best one so far, I would say, from a wrestling perspective and a "face time" perspective, although I would have liked a new Otunga video or SOMETHING.  I'll be back with my NXT Roster thoughts later this week as I Rank The Rookies!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tommy's Take on: Gnomemurdered 2e

Okay, I've been kicking this one around for weeks...and I'll come right out and say it: I don't get it.  Well, I DO.  I mean, I get most of the jokes and all...but I can't imagine that they would have much traction if you weren't the type to frequent RPG message boards.  Heck, even if you DO get the jokes, there's a decent chance you would be annoyed at them, because there's probably a better than 50/50 chance that you're the butt of the jokes.  Anyway...without further review of Gnomemurdered 2e.

Gnomemurdered 2e is, ostensibly, a rules lite RPG written by the infamous RPG Pundit.  You can download the PDF from for $7.95, and for an additional $9 + shipping, get a softcover printed up and mailed out to you.  The PDF is 103 pages, which includes the cover and an ad, the cover in color and the rest in black and white.


The introduction is a humorous warning about the dangers of gnomes, and also spells out the mission statement of creating the ULTIMATE rules-lite RPG.  The second half of the intro is an over-the-top self indulgent back-patting for writing 2e “almost an entire month later” after writing 1e.   After all, nearly eight billion people played and loved the first edition of the game.  That said, Pundit comes clean with his intentions to release this as a cash grab.  At least he's being honest, right?

The introduction offer footnotes to clarify the text in places, such as the margin of error on the algorithm they used to determine number of players and so the interest of transparency, of course.

The introduction had me chuckling out loud at points, and perhaps a little frightened about what the remaining 90+ pages might hold.


I'll give 'em credit...I don't know if this was Pundit's doing or Brett Bernstein's, but this is a GOOD Table of good that I'm inclined to say it had to have been all Bernstein.  Its not just chapters and page numbers, but subheadings in chapters as well...I tend to REALLY appreciate that in games.


Chapter One jumps straight into the meat of the rules.  There are two whole rules: 1. Make up your character using whatever means or description you like.  2. Any action with a chance of success of failure, you roll a d6, on 1-3 you succeed, on 4-6, gnomes kill you.  The upside is, I don't see a ton of rules disputes over this.

Optional & Alternative Methods of Task Resolution

 Since Gnomemurdered is seeking to be truly innovative, Pundit offers a series of alternate methods of task resolution, starting from the basic coin toss, and including such methods as a high-card draw between player and GM, physical challenges between player and GM and culminating in a humorous, and non-p.c., paragraph regarding Collaborative Group Therapy.  That final method utterly neuters the gnomes, though, and kinda defeats the purpose of the game.

The chapter concludes with a handy one-page summary of not only the rules, but the alternate resolution methods.


At this point, the game starts creeping towards being an actual roleplaying game, offering character generation with more depth than just “make it all up”...but only barely.  After all, the attributes used are dictated entirely by the GM, but it does wisely also warn players off of fifty page mininovels for their characters backstories...advice that should be adopted by all games, in my view.  The author DOES make a special point of noting that even though the players are still defining skills and powers, they CANNOT play gnomes...because that would just be ridiculous, right?

Moderating Levels of Play

The levels of play range from Gritty to Heroic to Super-Heroic to Demigodlike, and determine how often the players have to roll to succeed at an action – and thus how often they are in danger from the gnomes.  Yes, even Superman and Thor must fear gnomes.  Luckily, however, if the GM decides that you fail without rolling, your character isn't killed by gnomes...that can only happen when dice are involved.

Creating Character By Example

This chapter makes me wonder if Pundit hasn't sat and tried to run a few games where character attributes are all pre-defined by the players' choices...'cause frankly it reads like a realistically written pain in the butt.  One girl has no flaws what so ever, one guy is chock full of superhigh everything, one guy just wants to be evil, and so on.  If I thought this were a real RPG, that would have turned me off of ever wanting to run it.


A handy, one page reference of the expanded character generation and the Levels of Play.


The game is broken down into two sections: The Pre-Gnome Game and the Post-Gnome Game.  Simply put, Pre-Gnome is what happens before the gnomes arrive.  Fighting bank robbers, investigating a haunted house, battling through the swamps to the dragon's lair...and Post-Gnome is what happens once the gnomes arrive. 

Gnome Foreshadowing

Helpful hints for building up the tension before the gnomes arrive, including such subtle clues as missing underpants.

Combat!  Hey...Hang On A Second...

A helpful reminder that the only thing that can kill you in the game?  Gnomes.  Say you're recreating Superman vs Doomsday and Superman finally fails his roll...Doomsday doesn't kill him, no...a gnome shows up and perhaps tears his face off.  Though, they do sometimes operate subtly, so maybe they only pounce on Superman's face, allowing Doomsday to set up the killing blow.  Although, since Superman and Doomsday killed each other, I have to imagine that the gnome then shot Doomsday in the face.

The Post-Gnome Game

Once the gnomes are there, they are THERE.  Be it to blindside you, kill your adversary or what have you.  You can press on with your original plans, in hopes of finishing your task before the gnomes get you...or you can take on the gnomes head which point you run a much greater risk of dying, obviously.

Gnomes and Power Level

This section details the effects of power level on gnomes...which is minimal.  That is, except for the fact that Gritty level character can only kill gnomes with much luck and planning, while Demigodlike character have the expected 50/50 chance of killing a normal gnome.

So, You've Been Murdered By Gnomes...

This section details rules variations for death and campaigns.  The standard game allows players to bring in new characters upon death, while surviving characters get GRIPS, or Gnomish Resistance Points, which allow them to reroll Gnomemurdered checks.  The Elimination Game allows no new characters to be added in, and is more likely to lead to total gnomish victory.  Two other styles exist, one imposing a waiting penalty before a player can add a new character, while the other forces the player to perform some kind of task...maybe breakdancing in the kitchen or paying the rest of the group five bucks...and if you have someone in your group willing to pay everyone five bucks to play any RPG after dying, you collect on that.


This is for GM's eyes only.  The pure, unadulterated truth about gnomes, including their secret motivations, which I won't spill in this review.

Presenting Gnomes in Different Settings

Handy tips for incorporating gnomes into five different genres, such as horror and supers.  Perhaps the most amusing setting is the one omitted: There is no discussion of gnomes in a fantasy game, though there is discussion of historical settings.  How are you supposed to know how to treat gnomes in a dungeon crawl or in a dragon's lair without these guidelines?

Generating Gnomish Groups

How many gnomes appear, and how do they look?  That is covered in this section, including six options for gnomish special forces, such as paraglider kamikazes and gnomish illusionists...and yes, lawn gnomes are present as well.

Helpful hints are included for making your own gnomish special forces, as well as gnomish leaders, complete with helpful tables for giving said leaders names and titles.  However, this section also points out that, in most circumstances, if a gnome group and its leader are killed, it means there were never any gnomes present to begin with.

Gnome Assassination Tables

Need help deciding how the gnomes attack?  Tables of options follow, with handy descriptions to match the terms, such as how gnomes waterboard (which involves water and boards).  Very handy if you just can't grasp the gnomish mentality for the attacks.

Gnomish Loot

Gnomish loot covers what you may find on a dead gnome, including the Book of Forbidden Lore often carried by gnomish illusionists, and the mental scarring brought on by daring to read such a tome.

Six tables of gnome-appropriate loot follow, with one table filled entirely with underpants and Mjolnir. 

Gnome Lore

Gnome Lore is an impressive, six page treatise on anything you could possibly know about gnomes, such as how, despite appearances, they are less like humans and more like Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, and that gnome eggs sure look a lot like gnome hats, but usually aren't.  Thankfully, gnomes DO have weaknesses, one of which being tobacco, which explains why Pundit smokes to much tobacco, as he's clearly paranoid about gnomes.

Gnomes have a few obsessions that can be played on, gnome of which include money, but which do include cookies.  Nearly two full pages of the six in Gnome Lore cover the obsessions of gnomes and how to turn those to your advantage.

The book reveals that consumption of gnomish materials, spawns mutations, of which there are six tables full, which include such gems as turning beings into evolutionary throwbacks, and turning people into, basically, living bombs.  The end of this section even includes some art featuring mutated humans.

As is tradition, we get a reference page, which summarizes basic gnomish groups, assassination methods and taint from the Book of Forbidden Lore.

Sample Gnome-Laced Scenarios

Five sample scenarios are provided, covering an impressive range: Swords & Sorcery, murder-mystery, sci-fi, Godlike fantasy and pulp action.  Each setting provides a breakdown of the genre, the suggested power level, relevant gnome lore, and a breakdown of the scenario.  The sci-fi scenario turns into an Aliens vs Predator like three way battle, while the murder-mystery had a completely separate murder mystery going on...with gnomes possibly popping in at the end.

Pundit takes the opportunity to plug his Adventure! line in the swords & sorcery setting, while giving much deserved props to Two-Fisted Tales in the pulp setting.


The book wraps with an over the top afterword that trumpets the popularity of Gnomemurdered, while also vilifying gnomes and warning against them once more.

Final Thoughts

I am very torn on this book.  On one hand, it's a funny read.  Very amusing book, with a lot of ribs on the rules-lite crowd, and an absurd fascination with trumping up gnomes as the worst threat to mankind at all, ever.  The art isn't anything spectacular, but none of it is bad, either.  To my mind, the introduction and the afterword are both perhaps a TAD too over the top, but its not like the book is meant to be taken seriously while including all of that.  That said, the fact that he absolutely refuses to break character at any point in the book, including the Introduction and the Afterword, is incredibly impressive and earns the book points.  The much-deserved plug for Two-Fisted Tales helps as well.

If you're the kind of guy who bought the Munchkin's Guide to Powergaming by Steve Jackson Games, or you just like humorously written RPG-style books, then pick it up.  It is pretty funny.  If you are looking for an actual RPG to play? I can't, in good conscience, recommend this book.  However, if I WERE to try to run this, I think I would go with the Player vs Gamemaster “High Card Draw” variation...even though it is still totally random, it at least isn't just a straight, 50/50 shot every time.

If you want something funny to read, or a completely absurd comedy game, go ahead, pick this up.  Otherwise, spend your money on the books that this product plugs, like Two-Fisted Tales or Adventure!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE NXT 3/9/10

Alright...watched me some it's time for WWE NXT!  Last week, we got to meet Skip Sheffield and Justin Gabriel at last, this week we have a main event featuring The Miz & Daniel Bryan vs R-Truth & David Otunga!  Interesting match-up as The Miz and R-Truth are slated to be on opposing sides of a tag title match at WrestleMania, plus each Rookie/Pro combo just does not get along.

On with the show!

- Standard WWE intro, now featuring The Ultimate Warrior.

- Recap from last week, with Carlio spitting in Heath Slater's face, Gabriel's 450, Wade Barrett beating an injured Daniel Bryan, CM Punk helping Darren Young beat Otunga and the Otunga/R-Truth brawl.

- "Wild & Young" intro.

- R-Truth and David Otunga are here!  Tag match already?

- Michael Cole and Josh Matthews.  Apparently Otunga is David "A-List" Otunga.  Indeed.

- Striker breaks down the "rules", with the pros voting on the rookies, without being able to vote on their own rookies.  Striker basically confirms that any number can move onto Raw and Smackdown...I would assume with a majority vote from the pros.

- R-Truth wants to know what's up.

- Miz and Daniel Bryan!


- There's a lot of people here that The Miz doesn't like.  We get a video recap of the mugging John Morrison and R-Truth handed out on The Miz and The Big Show.  Miz gets the mic for a "pep talk" for Bryan.  Miz digs in the 0-2 record of Bryan.  Miz says that if Bryan loses tonight, he will get him thrown off of NXT!  Bryan vs R-Truth to start.  Bryan offers a handshake, R-Truth dances instead.  Trading wristlocks.  Shoots R-Truth off, who hits a shoulder.  R-Truth blocks a hiptoss and clotheslines Bryan.  Double shoulderblock by Otunga and R-Truth.  More double teaming on Bryan.  Upppercuts by Bryan!  R-Truth powers back in and clotheslines Bryan out!  They send Miz on top of him!  Otunga whips R-Truth over the top rope onto them!  Commercials.

- Bryan has a surfboard variation locked in back from the break.  During the break, Miz and Bryan took over, though they didnt get along.  Bryan has a chinlock on, but Truth fights up.  Big knee by Bryan!  Tag to Miz.  Stomp to Truth.  Otunga's calling for a tag.  Sloppy throw off by Miz, but R-Truth with a sunset flip when Miz tries to overpower him!  Beatdown on Truth.  Miz botches a missed guillotine on the ropes.  Each pro going for their!  Miz grabs Truth!  Kicks off Miz!  Hot tag to Otunga!  He's on fire!  Otunga and Miz botch something, but Otunga covers it up.  Otunga with a huge powerslam off the ropes!  Bryan breaks up the pin!  Miz drops otunga on the ropes and Bryan with a blind tag!  Missile dropkick!  Huge kicks in the corner!  Bryan is all over Otunga, sliding down over a spinebuster and turning it into a heell hook!  Otunga is reaching for a tag...and Miz tags Bryan!  They're arguing!  Miz slaps Bryan!  Bryan shoves him!  They're going at it!  R-Truth nails Miz!  Iron Curtain by Otunga!

Winners: R-TRUTH & DAVID OTUNGA via pinfall on The Miz (IRON CURTAIN)

- Bryan is torn between looking ticked and pleased as he walks away.

- Decent match...a few botches from everyone involved.

- Miz and Bryan are arguing and Miz is threatening to run Bryan off!  Bryan rares back, but Miz flinches!

- Recap of Carlito spitting in Heath Slater's face.  Slater's talking about how Carlito took him by surprise.  He's coming across a little whiny in this video.  He says he's going to blow Carlito's mind.  Slater vs Carlito is NEXT.

- Striker is backstage with The Miz, Striker points out that The Miz was the one who lost, not Bryan.  Here comes Bryan!  Bryan says Miz has always been carried in his tag teams!  Bryan is standing up for himself!  Miz looks miffed.

- Video package on Justin Gabriel.  He's got some impressive flippy moves.

- Gabriel and Hardy are backstage.  Apparently Gabriel is in the main event tonight.  Apparently against Wade Barrett, who is here with Jericho!  Jericho's the shortest guy in the room.  Gabriel says he respects Jericho, but he doesn't fear Barrett.  Hardy felt...awkward...there.

HEATH SLATER (w/Christian) vs CARLITO (w/Michael Tarver)

- Uh oh...Carlito has the stick.  Carlito says Slater should beg to have an apple spit in his face tonight.  Carlito takes a bite...Slater ducks the spit!  Unloads!  Carlito with an elbow off the ropes!  Commercials.

- Carlito armbar on Slater.  Slater backs Carlito in the corner.  Carlito reversal and he goes to the face...pieface on Slater!  Carlito over the top and out of the ring!  Slater's so screwed.  He won't make it unless something huge happens between now and the end.  Cheapshot by Carlito and ram into the turnbuckles.  Slater ducks a charge and some right hands.  Kick to the face.  Boot by Carlito.  Tarver is gloating outside.  Slater kicks out of a pin attempt.  Chinlock applied.  Crowd trying to get into it...Christian's not nearly as good at this as R-Truth.  Carlito sends Slater out, but Slater with a sunset flip back!  Carlito holds onto the ropes and kicks Slater.  Surfboard.  Trading blows and back to the corner.  Carlito crotches himself on the second turnbuckle!  Clotheslines and flapjack!  Spinebuster by Carlito!  Carlito went for his apple, but Christian grabbed it!  He tosses it to Tarver, but Carlito is distracted.  He goes for the Backstabber, but Slater with an elbow and a roll up!  Kickout!  Carlito with a roll up, but Slater rolls through...he gets three!!  Carlito is pinned!


- If Slater had hung out in the ring like that with Sting, he would have beaten him to death with a baseball bat.

- Darren Young video package.

- The Straight Edge Society is backstage with Young, talking and ignoring him.  Young wants to know why he can't live his own life, his own way.  Punk is pushing Straight Edge on Young.

- Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett face off next!

- HBK-UT video package to "Ain't No Grave" by Johnny Cash.

- Batista-Cena Raw Rebound package.

WADE BARRETT (w/Chris Jericho) vs JUSTIN GABRIEL (w/Matt Hardy)

- The Highlight Reel returns this Friday, as Jericho interviews Edge.  I hope I got all of this match.  Barrett straight into it with a boot.  Hiptoss countered and Gabriel takes him down.  Barrett catches Gabriel and crushes him in the corner.  Hammering the back of Gabriel.  Jericho's bragging.  Barrett is locking Gabriel in the ropes.  Gabriel kicks out in one.  Sitting abdominal stretch.  Gabriel fights back with kicks to the head.  The crowd chants "USA", even though neither guy is from the US.  Big discus punch.  Matthews points out that neither man is from America.  Barrett with his finisher, but Gabriel with a sunset flip!  Barrett back in control with a slingshot backbreaker!  Bodyslam!  Again!  Again!  Sets Gabriel up top...superplex blocked...Barrett falls!  450!!  THATS IT!!

Winner: JUSTIN GABRIEL via pinfall (450 SPLASH)

- Jericho attacks Hardy and Gabriel!  CODEBREAKER on Gabriel!!  Whipping Gabriel with his jacket!  My recording ends there.  Dang it.

- I like this show.  Its the most entertaining wrestling show on TV right now...=P

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tommy's Take on: TNA Impact 3/8/10


- Tonight, RVD, Sting and Jeff Hardy are supposed to be in the house, as well as Hogan and Abyss vs Flair and AJ Styles.

- Hogan and Bischoff took over TNA with fanfare back on January 4th, but as of last Thursday, they had dropped back to pre-Hogan ratings levels.

- New opening, focusing on some of the younger stars...well that's cool.

- The first five minutes are supposed to be SUPER eventful, and my friends have already been talking about the opening.

- Dixie Carter gets face time.

- Hogan and Abyss vs Flair and AJ is going to start?


- Abyss heel turn in the first five minutes?  Abyss has a red and yellow Anarchy "A" on his shirt.  Nice.  Brooke Hogan in the audience again.  Hogan has the mic.  I just noticed that Hogan's in red and yellow for the first time since returning...=P.  Was that Desmond Wolfe in the crowd?  Oh...he just looks like a fan.  Nevermind.  Hm.  I'm showing that I'm 4 minutes in already.  This is such a "not hot" opening.  Good God Hogan is rambling.  Here's AJ's music.  Both in robes.  This is surreal.  CURTAIN JERKERS.  Oh.  Abyss and AJ to start.  AJ ducks Abyss and goes on the attack, but Abyss overpowers him.  Up in the air and down!  Flair is in!  Tie up and Flair chops no avail!  Abyss lacces into Flair!  Backdrop!  Low blow!  AJ wraps the robe around Abyss' head and beats on him!  Pele on Hogan!  The faces are just getting beaten down!  Wow.  The lights are out!  STING!!!  CRAP.  Heel turn by Sting?  CRAP.  Yeah...he lays into Abyss and Hogan.  Crap.  Flair and AJ bail.  No, here they come.  Bat shot to Abyss, chair shot by AJ.  Chair to Hogan by Flair.  Crap.  Please tell me this somehow makes sense.  Sting's turned heel twice and it didn't work.  Sting's walking away while Flair and AJ kill Hogan and Abyss.  Security breaks them up.  That then begs the question...was Sting in cahoots with them?


- Hogan is on the mic...apparently Hogan says they're gonna "finish this" before the night is over, in a no DQ match.  Flair keeps "changing the rules", Hogan will keep "changing the game".

- Ugh.  What is with the need to keep trying to get Sting to work as a heel?

- Recap of the Sting attack.

- Sting is walking backstage.  Do they not have an interviewer?  Dixie Carter gets in Sting's face and he shoves her against the wall.  "I owe you nothing!"

- Borash is backstage with Flair and AJ.  Flair looks very thoughtful.  Flair has been awesome on the mic since coming back.

- Abyss is screaming "Why, Sting, why?!"...and looking very cheesy doing so.  Sting jobbing to Abyss at Destination X?

- When the Hell IS Destination X?

- Seriously?  Brooke Hogan is getting camera time tonight to act badly?

- KAZARIAN is in the ring.  Suicide should attack him.  Apparently, he's gonna resurrect the X Division.  Good luck with that.  He looks kinda like Gerard Butler from Phantom of the Opera.

- Daniels interrupts, apparently HE wants to be the lead X Division guy.  Daniels has his first name back!  How many "historic nights" does TNA have?  "I Am X".  Alright.

- Doug Williams is here, calling them both geezers.  I'm shocked that they are getting character development.  Huge "USA" chant.  Three way match for the PPV?  Daniels disrespects Kazarian.  Calls Daniels a selfish prick.  Here comes Bischoff.

- Bischoff claims that he likes the X Division.  HA!  Kazarian's getting his title match TONIGHT.  In a triple threat!  Another lame duck title change?

X Division Title Match

- 985 million spots with no meaning or psychology.  This is your X Division.  Kazarian rolls up Williams and hits a Northern Lights Suplex on Daniels.  Apparently Generation Me and the Motor City Machine Guns will face off in the Ultimate X.  Big suicide dive by Kazarian.  Daniels hits a post and Kazarian kicks the leg out from under Williams, but misses a leg drop and gets a running knee.  Dixie Carter has a huge announcement concerning Sting, apparently.  Jawbreaker by Kazarian. STO by Daniels and a flip in elbow. DVD by Daniels.  God I hate watching Daniels wrestle.  And watching X Division matches.  One thing I CAN say, its not like TNA's not giving this time to develop, even if I don't care.  I think Kazarian just did a move for move Carlito sequence.  Williiams finally ends it with the Chaos Theory.

Winner: DOUG WILLIAMS via pinfall (Chaos Theory on Daniels)

- Oh crap.  Shannon Moore.  Like anyone cares.

- Oh crap.  Shannon Moore vs Doug Williams at Destination X?  Shannon Moore?  SERIOUSLY?

- Huge announcement concerning Sting.  Dixie Carter is acting badly.  Sting's wrestling tonight...against a mystery opponent?  NEVER LET DIXIE TALK AGAIN.

- The Beautiful People are backstage.

TNA Knockouts Tag Team Titles

- Really?  We gotta have the Knockouts Champion in this? Wilde and Sarita go after Love and Tara right off.  Sarirta with a stunner off the ropes on Tara, but Sky gets a blind tag. They isolate Tara in their corner.  Love is trying to get in as Sky and Rayne double team Tara.  "She's not legal", referring to Angelina.  That's kinda funny, as that's the reason she didn't get to continue in the original tournament.  DAFFNEY~! attacks Tara!!  The Beautiful People win!

Winners and NEW Knockouts Tag Team Champions: The Beautiful People via pinfall on Tara (Belt shot from Daffney)

- Daffney, Sky and Tara on my TV all at once equals awesome.

- Pope is backstage...Wolfe attacks!!  He's destroying the ankle of The Pope with a chain!!

- Sting is WALKING.

- Taz gives it away by asking what Tenay was doing at 420 this afternoon.

- So Sting is coming back to job to RVD, or RVD is debuting to job to Sting?  I know that this was a dream match or the other.  I honestly don't remember which one wanted to wrestle the other.

- The Beautiful People are celebrating backstage!  Borash is trying to booze up The Beautiful People.  Sky has bubbly going everywhere. Nice.

- Another Sting beatdown recap.

- Tenay and Tazz are utterly disgusted.


- Audience members are still bowing to Sting.  Is he gonna talk?  Or is RVD just gonna come out.  Ha! He howls and the crowd pops.  THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T TURN STING HEEL.  You know what would have been cooler?   If Sting hadn't come back.  Sting's refusing to drop the bat.  The crowd is already chanting "RVD".  And so it is.  Out of the crowd!  Kick off the ropes from behind.  Rolling Thunder.  RVD squashes Srting.  Awesome?

Winner: RVD via pinfall (Rolling Thunder)

- Sting with the bat !!  He's killing RVD!!  I mean he's destroying Van Dam!  Clothesline with the bat!  Sting shoves the ref...and he's going back for more!  Blocks a punch and bat shot!  Again!  Across the back!  Crowd finally gets a "You suck" going.  He's tearing through referees now.  Two refs down!  He's going back agter RVD!  Nails him again!  nWo music!  Oh, I mean Hogan music.  And...Bubba?  Sting smirks at Hogan.  Sting says "let him go"!  He hits RVD AGAIN.  AGAIN.  Sting is taunting Hogan and RVD gets up...and gets nailed!  Hogan gets nailed!  What the Hell is this?  He's chasing Hogan!  Going through security!  He nails Hogan!  KILL BUBBA!!!

- Tenay and Taz are telling me I'm supposed to be disgusted, but I kinda hate Hogan and RVD, so really, I think this is awesome.  Sting hasn't looked this awesome since...what...'97?

- Weird cut to Bischoff.

- Here comes Kevin Nash and Eric Young...aren't we due for a commercial soon?

- Nash steps over the top rope!   THE QUAD HOLDS!

- I see Nash is rocking the hair dye a little bit.  Apparently Eric Young gets to carry Nash, Hall and Waltman.  Good luck, dude.  Nash calls them out to accept the challenge.  Here comes the commercials.

- They are heading to the ring!

- They're sure burning time.

- Security has stopped selling the bat shots.  Fire those guys.  Hall with the "Hey Yo".  Awww...Nash is "Big Sellout".  Hall implies that Sting's beatdown of Hogan might mean Hogan's not in charge.  Hall's got some nice self-deprecation.  Apparently Hall and Waltman will take the match, if they can get contracts for winning.  Bischoff's gonna go along with it, because this will tie back into the last two months worth of storytelling.  Hmm..."I'll be the one that looks like Elvis" "Alive or dead?"  That was cute, and Ia nod to the Kings of Wrestling.  Young gets slapped and unloads on Waltman!!  Bischoff turns Young loose on Waltman!!!


- Holy God Young is on fire!  Waltman fails to go over the top rope, so Young with a backdrop and he rams Waltman into the mat.  Spinning heel kick by Waltman!  Misses the Bronco Buster!  PILEDRIVER!!!

Winner: Eric Young via pinfall (PILEDRIVER)

- That was pretty sweet.  Young needs to be made to look like a star for this whole thing to be worth it.

- A US Army Humvee.  I guess this has something to do with Angle and Mr. Anderson?

- This will take all I can do not to fast forward.  Army men line up at the entrance for Angle.  I could not care less about this.  I am ready for Angle to retire, and, like, last year.

- I.  Just.  Don't.  Care.  About Angle.  I did it.  I hit fast forward.  I get that he's respecting the soldiers...and that's cool.  BUT SERIOUSLY.  I CAN'T STAND ANGLE.  Apparently Angle is wrestling Anderson at Destination X.

- Anderson is backstage on the monitor, mocking the soldiers are being high school dropouts...but Angle apparently beat feet to the backstage in record time!  THAT was cool.  Anderson nails him with the Warrior Medal.  Angerson is wearing a Captain America shirt.  Soldiers block him from walking away!  Angle yanks him in the ring!  Beats him down!  The soldiers swarm on him!  To the other side!  To another side of the ring!  Angle Slam!  He spits on Anderson and hoists an American flag overhead.  Soldiers hoist him on their shoulders.

- Not bad, for an Angle segment.

- Crap.  Bubba is backstage with Hogan.  Blahblah, Hogan doesn't wanna go out there, blahblah.  Earl Hebner busts in, wanting a second chance.  Apparently Earl Hebner deserves a second chance.  Crap.  More Hogan family drama.  Earl is gonna referee, and he promises he will stop the match if it gets out of control.  Ooookay.

- Generation Me or Motor City Machine Guns will become #1 Contenders to the tag team titles.

- Hall and Waltman face Nash and Young for a contract.

- Mr. Anderson vs Angle.

- AJ Styles defends the title against Abyss.

- Jarrett!  I guess he's taking on Beer Money in a handicap match?  So...Beer Money are heels now?  Storm was acting heelish, and cheapshotted Jarrett...and Roode from behind.  I'm...confused.

- Nice TNA commercial, with SoCal Val looking hot and wet, and Borash looking like a doof.

- Back from the break, Beer Money are killing Jarrett.  Apparently this is a handicap match with Foley as ref.

Special Referee Mick Foley

- Jarrett rallies back and gets Storm down, but runs into a spinebuster by Roode!  Double team slingshot DDT.  Apparently they are doing this to get noticed...I thought Hernandez asked for them to have a tag title match?  Eye of the Storm by James Storm, crowd is slowly turning on them.  Storm beer mists Roode on accident! Jarrett ducks a beer bottle annd backdrops Roode!  Sends Storm over the ropes!  Jarrett goes after them...noggin knocker!  Double team gets Jarrett as he tries to get in the ring.  Mick retrieves the barbed wire bat and gives it to Jarrett!  Slick Johnson takes the bat!  Roode low blow!  Spike powerbomb!

Winners: BEER MONEY via pinfall (SPIKE POWERBOMB)

- Well...that felt very random.

- Hogan and Abyss are arguing over who should start the match, and Brooke is here acting very badly.  This is excruciating.

- Where's Jeff Hardy?

- Where are the Tag Team Champions?

- Hogan is "promising" that this is his last match.


- Flair and AJ feel cocky.

- Appparently the main event is brought to you by Rent-A-Center.


- Final commercial break before it gets started.

- Flair vs Hogan to start.  Hogan's not really selling anything.  Flair and Abyss did this same sequence earlier.  Hogan and Flair slowly fighting on the floor.  Flair is bloody.  Biting Flair.  Flair is CRIMSON.  Hogan selling nothing.  Eye poke.  Abyss goes after Flair!  AJ backs away from Hogan.  Hogan takes the weight lifting belt to Flair!  I liked this earlier when Flair and AJ were in charge.  Low blow on Hogan!  AJ is in!  AJ goes after the leg of Hogan.  AJ jaws at Brooke as he rams Hogan into the post.  Hogan is bloody now.  Flair on the attack as Abyss tries to get in.   He tags AJ back in.  Unloading on Hogan.  Abyss is reaching hard for the tag, Flair and AJ with the double team.  Flair goes up.. this never ends well!  Slam off the top!  Both men reaching for the tag!  Abyss and AJ are in!  Abyss unloads!  Double chokeslam, they block!  He double clotheslines them!  Avalanche on AJ!  On Flair!  Chokeslam on AJ!  Chokeslam on Flair!  He's wearing the ring!  AJ fights back!  Hogan and Flair are going at it on the floor!  Springboard forearm by AJ!  Abyss is trying to Hulk Up!  Double Hulk Up!  Double boot!  Hogan whips AJ into the Black Hole Slam!

Winners: ABYSS & HULK HOGAN via pinfall (BLACKHOLE SLAM on AJ)

- Desmond Wolfe nails Abyss with a chair!  Hogan blocks the chair, Flair with a chop block!  Here comes The Pope!  AJ brings him down!  And HERE is Jeff Hardy.  Yuck.  Falcon Arrow on Wolfe.  Twist of Fate on AJ.  They cut away before the Swanton.

- Um...that was random.  WAY more coherent than the January 4th show, oddly.  Who the Hell am I supposed to be cheering and booing?  Good to see they remembered that they have a PPV coming up.  I will give them credit, the show felt more energetic than Raw did.  And that was the best use of RVD I have ever seen in my life.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE Monday Night Raw 3/8/10

- I'm gonna recap the first night of TNA's move to Monday nights, I think.  On the Road to Wrestlemania, I think that guest host concept feels very, very out of place.  I mean, you have all this earth shaking stuff like UT-HBK, Cena-Batista, Vince-Bret...and we're supposed to care about Criss Angel?

- Standard WWE opening.

- Undertaker is here to counter whatever TNA is opening with!!  I am genuinely lost on who is going to win Career Vs Streak.  Undertaker stumbled a bit on the mmic.  Looks like his nose has been busted a bit, too.  Pretty basic promo.

- Shawn Michaels is here!

- Shawn admits that losing to UT last year has been hanging over him like a dark cloud...but he's had an epiphany now.  Shawn thinks that UT interfering last week is a sign that UT is showing fear against HBK.  Is Shawn doing "Fear" like Edge does "Spear"?

- Shawn says that "Nothing last forever"...which holds true no matter who loses, I guess.  Undertaker thinks HBK is desperate.  HBK denies it.  He says he wants it pinfalls or submissions only, no DQ or countout!  He also says he will kick UT's teeth down his throat!

- Undertaker agrees!  UT says that he sees that HBK believes he can win at Wrestlemania!  Undertaker is vowing to opening the gates of Hell to unleash a fury that no mortal man has ever seen!  HBK looks momentarily stunned...but recovers.

- The crowd is split with these guys.  The confrontation ends without anyone coming to blows.

- Not a newsworthy opening segment, but a solid promo exchange from two old pros.

- Orton vs Legacy tonight.

- Cena vs Vince tonight, as well.

- We have DIvAS.  Eve is the new top Diva, as its her music bringing her, Gail Kim and Kelly Kelly to the ring.

- Heel divas get jobber entrances.


- Fox and Gail to start.  Fox with some quick strikes, but Gail kills her on the ropes.  She clotheslines Katie Lea out of nowhere, but Fox cuts her off.  Maryse tags in.  Maryse cheap shots Kelly Kelly, but Gail knocks Maryse silly.  Eve is in and taking it to Maryse!  Maryse goes to the eyes.  Eve with a kick and slams her to the mat!  Somersault senton!  Heels break it up.  Gail Kim and Kelly Kelly clean house!  Maryse with a huge slap, but Eve with an armbar off the ropes!  Maryse taps!

Winners: EVE, KELLY KELLY & GAIL KIM via submission on Maryse (Cross armbreaker off the ropes)

- Decent enough for the divas.

- Criss Angel and Hornswoggle are backstage and here come The Bellas, who want to be his assistants...but he doesn't use twins.  He pulls a thread off of one of them...and sticks it in his mouth...and he's pulling it through his eye!  That's...creepy.  Here comes Jillian Hall.  And...she's gonna sing.  He gets pop of the night when he makes her voice disappear!

- ShowMiz!  Apparently they are taking on Smackdown's R-Truth and John Morrison in a WrestleMania preview.  Um...wouldn't it be smarter to, like, have a singles match with partners at ringside or something?


- Miz is cutting a promo on his way to the ring.  Doubting that R-Truth and Morrison really "earned" their title shot last week.  Miz compares them to Lex Luger and The British Bulldog.  Miz is...trashing the lack of a tag team division?  How do the writers write this and not realize what they are doing?  Here's Morrison...crap...separate introductions.  That practically proves Miz' point.  They are all over Miz!  They drop Show!  Miz is clotheslined out of the ring and double baseball slide!  Big Show attacks on the floor!  Referee calls for the bell...but they post him!  Double DDT on the floor!  They suplex Miz across the guardrail!


- Morrison cuts a promo, saying they just proved how "real" they are.

- Interesting booking.

- Reminders of the main events.

- cena is here NEXT.  Not NXT.  NEXT.

- Recap of Batista killing Cena.

- Cena is here!  Apparently Cena is admitting he can't beat Batista...wait, no...he's playing along.  Cena is "counting on" Batista's involvement.

- Wait...Evan Bourne is taking on William Regal in a Money in the Bank Kofi?  Skip Sheffield is here with Regal, and Regal is berating him!  Angel is going to "read Regal's mind".   That was...pointless.  Angel "read Regal's mind" to find out the number Regal picked.

- DiBiase turning on Orton recap.


- Orton attacks them from behind!  He's all over Cody!  I thought I saw DiBiase running down, where was the attack?  WWe go to commercials with Orton gaining the psychological edge.

- Match officially starts.  DiBiase and Rhodes must tag.  Rhodes attacks Orton in the corner.  Orton fires up all over Rhodes.  Big elbow.  DiBiase tags.  DiBiase cuts Orton off with a kick...Orton with a huge clothesline.  Legacy are getting frustrated.  AWESOME.  Lawler gives Cole the "Two Rules of Success: 1. Never tell everything you know."  It takes Cole almost a full minute to get it.  Heel double teaming.  Rhodes beats Orton down and goes for the cover, to no avail.  Rhodes gets sent over the top!  DiBiase sneaks in, but Orton senses him!  Commercials.

- Orton is fighting out of the corner as we return from the break.  Clothesline on Rhodes!  Jawbreaker by Cody and hhe throws Orton out, but Orton nails DiBiase!  He starts to come back in, but DiBiase yanks him off the apron!  Rhodes goes after Orton and the crowd breaks into a big "Randy" chant.  Both men are in after a tag, beating on Orton.   Orton fights out of a chinlock, but DiBiase with the blindside clothesline!  Rhodes with a dropkick off a DiBiase irish whip.  Rhodes channels Bob Holly with a rope-draped kick on Orton!  Tag to Ted.  Double corner whip.  This match has officially gone on too long for me.  Orton fires back onn both men.  Powerslam on Ted.  One on Cody.  Beatdown on DiBiase.  Ted with a cheap kick, but Orton with the 3.0!  He's staring at the Wrestlemania sign.  And now he's calling for the RKO...Cody in!  Orton kicks him off!  DREAM STREET!

Winners: LEGACY via pinfall (DREAM STREET by DiBiase)

- A loss there would have KILLED Legacy.

- Post match beatdown!  CROSS RHODES!  They do the Orton pose over his body!

- Batista is backstage.  Batista is calling Cena paranoid.  Batista gives his word that he will not interfere tonight.  Hm.

- Triple H is WALKING.

- AUSTIN will be here next week!

- Ooh...I may have to DVR Justified.

- Triple H is HERE.

- Recap of Sheamus attacking him last week.  Note: Triple H eliminated Sheamus from the Elimination Chamber.

- This, presumably, will set up their match at Wrestlemania.  Triple H respects the sneak attack.  Sheamus wastes no time interrupting!

- He takes the mic from Triple H!  Apparently he's moving straight to the Wrestlemania challenge.  Triple H is putting over Sheamus' rookie year.  Triple H brings up his Wrestlemania squash at the hands of Ultimate Warrior, without naming names, and basically implies that the same will happen to Sheamus.  I think he's quoting Eminem lyrics now.  He drives home that Sheamus had better be sure before he decides to face Triple H.  He goes for a cheap shot, but Hunter sends him over the ropes!  Sheamus attacks him on the floor, but misses a pump kick!  Clothesline over the rail!  Triple H is all over Sheamus!  Sheamus sends him into the table!  Spinebuster in the ring!  Sheamus bais to avoid the Pedigree!

- Decent undercard build.

- Criss Angel and Santino Marella is backstage.  HA!  Santino rags on the "liberal media" while talking about Harry Houdini.  Angel is doing another magic trick.  Santino is hiding a sushi knife under a cup.  Angel is going to find it, apparently, but judging how tense Santino gets when he moves his hand over the cup.  That was...pointless.

- David Otunga is apparently getting heavy focus tomorrow on NXT.  I will recap.

- Money in the Bank Qualifier!

Money in the Bank Qualifier

- Christian and Heath Slater are at ringside, with Christian on commentary!  Seriously?  No Kofi?  Bourne looks like he gives a little respectful bow to Christian.  Regal's music is awesome.  Regal takedown and kick.  This looks oddly sloppy.  Neither man is that sloppy.  Bourne kicks away!  Huge forearm by Regal!  Butterfly suplex by Regal!  T-Bone!  Bourne with a knee out of nowhere!  Shooting Star Press!



- Wrestlemania Recall shows Austin stun Goldberg and Lesnar.

- Jericho needs to beat Edge...=(

- Vince-Bret video package.

- Wrestlemania Rewind matches: Cena vs Big Show and HBK vs Jericho...and Triple H vs Orton, as well as Austin presiding over Vince-Bret contract signing.  Goodbye TNA.

- Seriously?  Criss Angel is the ring announcer?


- I notice Vince has sleeves now.  Vince is gonna "break" Cena.  He has the mic!  He's mocking Bret.  ?  This is a handicap gauntlet match?  Vladimer Kozlov!  Cena on the attack, but Kozlov with a powerslam!  Headbutts!  Iron Curtain!  That was a finisher in ECW!  Vince tags in...two count!  He calls out Drew McIntyre!  McIntyre is all over Cena!  Huge stomp!  Flatliner!  Vince is in!  Apparently guys are gone when Vince tags in.  At least Cena's not pinning everyone.  Jack Swagger storms the ring!  Commercials.

- Swagger can't see Cena!  Five Knuckle Shuffle!  Swagger counters the Attitude Adjustment!  Oklahoma Stampede!  Running Vader Bomb!  Swagger keeps stopping short of the, there it is.  Cena kicks out again!  Another cover...kickout again!  Mark Henry?  Apparently Henry is being FORCED into this.  He's not happy at all about it.  World's Strongest Slam!  Vince wants the tag and gets it!  Kickout!  Vince gets the mic and the ring bell!  He makes it no DQ as he heads to the ring with the bell...Mark Henry begs him off...Vince hands the bell to Mark!  He tells Mark to do it!  Mark says no and drops it!  Batista spears Henry!  Kicks him to the floor!  KOFI!!!  KOFI UNLOADS ON BATISTA!!!  NO!  POWERBOMB!  Cena fights up!  Clothesline!  Vince is trying to hide the ring belll.  He drops it.  Attitude Adjustment?  No!  He drops him as Batista runs in with the spear!  BATISTA BOMB!  That gets the cover!

Winner: MR. MCMAHON via pinfall (BATISTA BOMB)

- Vince does the Bret strut.

- Batista stands over Cena.  He gets the spotlight as he stands over the broken Cena.

- Not a bad show.  Solid build to Wrestlemania.  Is Kofi seriously not getting ANYTHING to do?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Star Wars Saga: Gaming With My Son 3

Session Three

Returning to Goodloki's ship, Anakin noticed that The Jedi Council had been hailing them, or attempting to.  Responding to the calls, he was met with holograms of Yoda and Mace Windu!  Anakin filled the Jedi Masters in on everything, from finding Ben Wizard as the sole survivor to Goodloki missing after the attack.  Recognizing the attacker as Asajj Ventriss, Yoda realized the whole thing had been a trap.  Mace Windu ordered the young Jedi to stand down until some full-fledged Knights could arrived to track Goodloki and his captors.  Anakin reluctantly agreed, and left the ship to tell his friends the news.  Jayden was rather annoyed at being told to stand down, but the group got a distraction as they overhead a Gungan being roughed up by some thugs outside of a cantina.  He was begging for mercy, and so the three Jedi ignited their sabers and Ben Wizard moved in with a gaffi stick!

Jayden caught their attention and that cost him, as one shot and wounded him.  Delane used the Force to rip the vibro-axe away from one, and a blaster pistol from another.  Ben took the blaster pistol and opened fire, as Anakin drew one in with the Force and slashed him down.  The thugs quickly turned to run, and the wounded Jayden savagely cut one down while the rest ran off.  The Gungan introduced himself as Shosho Jobega, and thanked the ground profusely for saving him.  A Twi'lek woman named Reyala thanked them as well, on behalf of the great Jabba the Hutt!  It seems Shosho Jobega is a slave of Jabba's, and Jabba surely appreciates the Jedi protecting his property.  She invited them to attend a party at Jabba's barge, but Anakin resisted, having more important things to do.  When Rey pressed him, he told her about Goodloki, and she said that maybe Jabba could help.  Shosho Jobega convinced him to go, saying that he was a great tracker, and maybe they could get Jabba to let him aid them!  The group agreed, and the five of them boarded Rey's skiff and headed to Jabba's barge.

On the barge, the group gained audience with Jabba after about half an hour.  Jabba told them that the Separatists had set up a mining operation not far from Anchorhead, and Mott Jamboo of the Techno Union was overseeing it.  Jabba suggested that Goodloki may be held up there, and if not, then Mott Jamboo may well know where he is, and may be made to talk.  Jabba told them that if Goodloki wasn't there, then if they brought Mott back, he could extract the information from Jamboo for them.  Anakin agreed, and Shosho nudged him about asking Jabba if Shosho could go.  Jabba agreed...but only if one of the party stayed behind as collateral!  After a little debate, the wounded Jayden was left behind, while Rey took the rest back to Anchorhead.  Rey also noted, before they left, that if Shosho Jobega didn't come back alive...Jabba would keep Jayden!

Shosho Jobega quickly picked up the tracks and set off, leading the team out of Anchorhead and (hopefully) toward Goodloki!  The quartet made their way through the mountains, following the trail...when Anakin sensed a dark disturbance!  Sand People emerged from the cliffs, and a chieftain or shaman of some sort appeared over a ridge!  He let out a screech, but Anakin ignited his saber and leaped up on the ridge!  Shosho Jobega said he really didn't like to fight, as Delane and Ben got to work fighting off the Raiders around them.  Shosho Jobega drew a pistol and opened fire, while Ben did bring one down.  Anakin and the Chieftain brawled on the ridge, while Delane cut down a second raider.  Suddenly, laser fire erupted in the canyon, and our heroes hit the dirt!  The two remaining raiders fell, and the chieftain ran the group was surrounded by battle droids!  They ordered the group to surrender, but Anakin lunged into action!  Delane followed him, the two Jedi cutting down droids...while Ben and Shosho Jobega covered them with blaster pistols!  They dropped about half a dozen of the droids, when reinforcements surrounded Ben and the Gungan, convincing the Jedi (after a bit of telepathic communication) to surrender!

The droids marched the squad to the mining camp, where they met Mott Jamboo of the Techno Union!  Anakin confronted him about Goodloki, but Jamboo played dumb.  He said that they would destroy the Jedi unless they joined Dooku and the CIS...but Anakin refused.  Suddenly, every battle droid, droideka and crab droid in the mining camp fell quiet!  Jamboo began to look around in a panic!  The Jedi retrieved their lightsabers, and Delane offered Jamboo the opportunity to surrender!  Mott Jamboo, reluctantly, gave in!  A woman's voice spoke to Anakin telepathically, telling him that they needed to leave and FAST.  Ben slapped restraints on Mott and held a blaster to him...when the mining pit became overran with Sand People!  What's worse, the chieftain Anakin fought earlier was back...and clearly consumed with dark energy!

Ben handed off Jamboo to Shosho Jobega, and he opened fire on the raiders!  Delane threw one into the other as Anakin lunged at the rage-filled chieftain!  Ben and Jobega shot down several raiders while Anakin took a beating from the chieftain.  As soon as he could break free, Delane joined him and the two friends did battle against the Dark Side-fueled Tusken Raider.  Anakin slashed down when the chieftain missed an attack and nearly severed his arm, which prevented him from finding the concentration needed to unleash his full Hatred.  Jobega and Ben pinned the Chieftain in with blaster bolts and Delane helped guide him right to Anakin's blade...which severed the dark sider's head.  Anakin contacted Jayden and told them they were clear.

Rey arrived in her skiff and took the four heroes and their hostage back to Jabba.  Jabba told them to leave Jamboo and return to Anchorhead (with Jayden and without Jobega), and he wound send word of Goodloki's whereabouts once he had learned all he could from Jamboo.

Back at the ship, the four were relaxing when they had an intruder...who walked through their walls!  Jayden leapt to his feet but she ignited her purple lightsaber and told him to back down.  Anakin moved to confront her, and she introduced herself as The Dark Woman...a Jedi and friend of Goodloki!  She told Anakin that Jabba would not be able to help him find his master, but that she could...and that in order to get to the Wookie, Anakin would have to be able to walk through walls...which should could teach him, if he truly wanted to learn...

Notes: I celebrated GM's Day with the third session with my son.  This is the recap, I'll provide more detailed thoughts this weekend.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE NXT 3/2/10

Week two of WWE NXT!  Last week saw us meet all but two of the "rookies", with a heavy focus on Daniel Bryan.  People also seemed to think David Otunga is a star, despite botching his finisher in a one minute match.   Previews have implied that Justin Gabriel and Skip Sheffield would be getting the focus this week, which means WILLIAM~! REGAL~!

- Standard WWE intro.

- NXT Week 1 recap.

- NXT intro now.  "Wild and Young" is the theme song for this.

- Surely they won't hold to something silly like "only one guy gets a contract" or anything.

- R-Truth and David Otunga are here.  Otunga just tore his pants off.  They are now advertising the NXT Twitter accounts as well.

- Matt Striker is backstage, apparently explaining the rules.  Ah..."success" is based off of the 8 pros, who cannot vote for or against their own rookies.

- Apparently Otunga is taking on Darren Young in a rematch from this week.  If this is another one minute squash, that basically says Young is dead.

DAVID OTUNGA (w/R-Truth) vs DARREN YOUNG (w/Straight Edge Society)

- Its like black Cena vs black Batista!  Plodding power offense from Young.  Hiptoss and armdrag from Otunga.  Bodyslam and cover.  Basic but crisp.  Huge clothesline in the corner.  Young with with a weak kick out of the corner and a neckbreaker.  Snapmare and kneedrop by Young.  I think the crowd just turned on Young.  Interesting.  Otunga fights up and back suplex!  Cole is heeling out on Otunga, which means he's supposed to be the face...which is weird, since Otunga is a natural heel.  Punk still looks annoyed to be here.  Young dropkicks Otunga to the floor.  Commercial break.

- Really?  I liked the one minute match better already.

- Young neck vise when we return.  Faith is bored.  Kneedrop.  Again.  Big suplex by Young.  Back to the neck vise.  R-Truth doing a great job rallying the crowd.  This match is just boring.  Young is getting more offense, though.  Neck vise AGAIN?  You're kidding me.  Young takes Otunga to the corner...Otunga ducks a charge and school boy!  Young with a clothesline.  I think the crowd just groaned when Young went back to a resthold.  Seriously...these guys have done the same sequences three times now.  Crowd is at least popping for Otunga's offense.  Big shoulder knocks Young to the floor.  TAKE IT HOME!  Gallows is getting in Otunga's face and R-Truth gets in his!  Punk tries to trip Otunga!  Young with some kind of weird, release Dragon Suplex!

Winner: DARREN YOUNG via pinfall (Release Front Dragon Suplex I Guess)

- This is why I hate indy guys.  Crappy finishers.  Seriously...that thing looked awful.  Thumbs down for Young, thumbs in the middle for Otunga, because he's at least over, even if I think he makes an awful face.

- Straight Edge Society leaves Young in the ring celebrating.

- Otunga shoves R-Truth after R-Truth tries to help him up.

- Matthews and Cole focus on Daniel Bryan, giving him a video package, acknowledging his indy/international experience.  They also give a nod to his training with HBK.  Bryan comes across confident, but not cocky.  Bryan says he WILL main event WrestleMania.

- Cole knocking on Matthews and the "Twitter-geeks".  Matthews disagrees and Cole doesn't even have the sense to argue.

- Highlights of Bryan-Jericho, with highlights on the brutal announce table slam and Miz beating Bryan down.

- Bryan is backstage with a trainer and here comes The Miz.  Miz has arranged a match between Bryan and Wade Barrett, even though Bryan is hurt!  Miz slaps the injured ribs for emphasis.

- Twenty minutes in and no sign of the two guys who got no real camera time last week.

- During the break, Striker is interviewing David Otunga, when he and R-Truth get into a shoving match and a brawl.  Poor R-Truth, I bet he has to put Otunga over.

- World Champion Chris Jericho is here, and Wade Barrett trails behind.

- Jericho is properly introducing Wade Barrett.

- Video package of Barrett, 6'7", 370 lbs?  Wow.  Honestly didn't look that big.  Apparently he's all about money.  He's got an UGLY tattoo on his arm.  He looks bigger (and better) in the coat.  Looks a little more generic out of it.  Here comes Daniel Miz?


- Jericho claims he wasn't impressed by Bryan...Michael Cole contradicts Wade Barrett from the video.  Wade Barrett is attacking the ribs.  Huge backbreaker gets two.  Miz and Carlito are walking on.  Barrett misses a charge and gets sent to the floor.  Bryan goes up and Barrett moves...holy crap!  He came out of nowhere with a flying knee!  Botches a springboard!  Huge Fireman's Carry slam!

Winner: WADE BARRETT via pinfall (Fireman's Carry Slam)

- They should have gotten the time Otunga and Young did.

- Jericho is attacking Bryan...Walls of Jericho!  The evil dick version!  Apparently this is about "respect".

- We finally get mention of Justin Gabriel and Skip Sheffield.

- I'm kinda sick of the Undertaker-HBK build-ups/video packages already.

- Raw Rebound.

- Clips from Christian/Slater vs Carlito/Tarver last week.

- Slater is backstate with Christian, and apparently talking too much.  Christian is talking him down a bit.  Christian is basically saying that Slater got no pop, but that Christian did (which is true).

- Justin Gabriel and Matt Hardy are backstage with Matt Striker.  Gabriel's outfit looks ridiculous.  These two are boring together.  Hope that changes in the ring.

- William Regal and Skip Sheffield, which is hilarious, see, because Sheffield's a big cowboy.  Yet another duo that doesn't get along.

- Cena vs Vince will go toe to toe with Hogan/Abyss vs Flair/Styles next week.

- Sheffield video package.  The "cornfed meathead".  He's got a good personality and the WWE size.  "Yep Yep Yep, What It Do" is his catchphrase, it seems.


- Skip and Justin to start.  Skip overpowers Justin.  Tie up again.  Skip pummels him in the corner and irish whip.  Huge clothesline and snapmare.  Into ropes, Justin ducks under and hits a dropkick and a drop toe hold.  Armbar and tag too Hardy.  Double elbow on the big cowboy!  Armbreakers by Hardy!  Tag to Justin...Hardy drops to all fours so Gabriel can hit a stinger splash as we go to commercials!

- Regal is beating him some rookie as we return.  Butterfly suplex!  Submission hold.  Gabriel fights up, he's either watching the monitor or he's trying to remember where he's at.  Regal gets a ton of heat as he just BEATS Gabriel in the corner.  Release suplex.  Matt tags in and Regal just beats HIM down!  Jeez...who ticked him off?  I think Skip's arguing with him.  Hardy and Gabriel were down a long time.  Tag to Skip, who unloads on Matt.  Scoop slam.  Strut splash!  Skip just asked Regal how he's doing.  Crowd behind Hardy.  Tag to Regal.  Regal unloads.  Hugge knees!  Hardy catches an uppercut and goes for a backslide, but Regal forearms him in the back of the head!  Tag to Skip who aggressively goes after Hardy.  Sheffield's already impressed me more than Otunga or Young.  Hardy goes over the top and drops Sheffield with the move that used to be a sleeper drop!  Regal tags in, lays into Hardy and berates Skip!  Twist of Fate out of nowhere!  Tag to Gabriel!  450 Splash!!

Winners: MATT HARDY & JUSTIN GABRIEL via pinfall (450 Splash on Regal)

- Note that neither announcer called the Twist of Fate until the replay.

- Regal berates Sheffield on the floor.

-  Strike is backstage with the other six rookies.  Bryan is still selling his ribs.  Carlito is here, and he takes a bite out of his apple...and spits it at Slater!  Carlito says "That's Cool."  Slater looks flustered as he leaves.

- Good show.  I think Sheffield has more personality than your average WWE big man, and Bryan is definitely getting over thanks to the booking.  Justin Gabriel has one facial expression, which is bad.  Otunga is over, and if they book him as a heel, I think he could work.  Young was bad.  Tarver got basically no face time this week.  I aim to still be here next week, for week 3 of NXT.