Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tommy's Take on WWE NXT 4/27/10

Okay, had a small case of real its time to blog NXT!

- Heath Slater got a Raw appearance this week, getting beat up by Chris Jericho.  Good for him.

- Michael Tarver has apparently been banned from using a knockout punch.  Which means he's dead in the water as they built him up as a knockout guy.  Stupid WWE creative.  That should guarantee him as the first elimination.

- Tarver has two weeks left.

- Matt Striker and the rookies are in the ring, Striker giving each intros.  Wow...Slater got a good pop.  That's disgusting.

- Straight into the new competition.  The "Seal the Deal" challenge.  Huh.  Selling merchandise.  Alright.  Winner takes on the pro of their choice next week.

- Skip's jacket could be dangerous if he gets out in the crowd.  This is...gonnna suck.  Aw, Sheffield made change.

- Here comes Christian, so we won't be doing it all at once, thankfully.


- Just saying, this would have been a good night to debut Barrett's music.  Replay of Slater pinning Jericho last week.  Jericho and Slater to start and Slater knocks Jericho down!  Barrett in!  Slater takes over and tags in Christian.  Michael Cole calls them the "team of Christian Slater".  Jericho runs in and Christian stops him!  Barrett takes over!  Jericho in now and its a mugging!  Jericho is cranky about his lost.  Jericho beats Jericho down in the corner.  Christian ducks the running bulldog and hits a reverse DDT!  Flying forearm by Slater and a high knee!  Neckbreaker out of nowhere, but Barrett with a save!  Christian knocks Barrett down and dives onto Barrett!  Walls attempt...inside cradle by Slater!  Kickout!  CODEBREAKER!!  That's it!

Winners: CHRIS JERICHO & WADE BARRETT via pinfall (Codebreaker on Slater)

- Decent match, but it didn't accomplish anything other than giving Jericho his win back, which is fine.

- Daniel Bryan is IN the crowd for the program selling.  Bryan's GIVING the programs away because he's "not a capitalist".  Alright.  His "Death to Capitalism" spiel just made him my least favorite guy in the competition.

- Recap of Luke Gallows trying to cost Darren Young a match against Michael Tarver and Skip Sheffield.

- Carlito is lecturing Tarver earlier in the day, and tells Tarver to carry his bags.  Don't act offended dude, most of us have been there at some point.

- Justin Gabriel and Matt Striker are in the crowd.  Gabriel asks them to help him win...I have a feeling the eventual winner will be the one smart enough to announce his match.  Gabriel is selling away, give him credit for that.  Striker calls it 22.  Nice.

- Josh Matthews is DYING because Cole called 22 programs $5,000.

- The Pros are talking about Tarver.  Miz craps on him, as does Jericho.  Regal thinks people aren't taking him seriously enough.  CM Punk blames Carlito more than he does Tarver.  They play up the fact that Tarver is on the bubble.


- Hm...Gallows and no Punk?  Young and Tarver with tie-ups, and Tarver with a cheap shot.  Irish whip with authority.  Weird bodyslam by Tarver.  Tarver unloads with punches and snap mare.  Armbar maneuver, and Young is fighting out.  Rolling forearm by Young!  Dropkick!  Irish whip reversal by Tarver, but Young hits a flying shoulder block!  Tarver bails and wipes out Young when he comes after him!  Nice move whipping Young's shoulder into the post!  Gallows with a chop block on Tarver!!  Young faceplants him!  That's it!

Winner: DARREN YOUNG via pinfall (release faceplant)

- Gallows enters the ring and Young celebrates, Gallows still doesn't look happy.  Tarver looked good there.

- David Otunga is our fourth rookie.  Otunga hands off the bag to a kid.  Looks like he raked it in, but Striker says we will tally it...but that makes me wonder about this contest.

- Skip Sheffield vs The Miz tonight.

- The Draft was Monday and we get a recap video of that.

- Video package on Justin Gabriel.  Miz, Christian and Matt Hardy put Gabriel over.  Jericho calls him a one trick pony, and Punk buries Matt Hardy.  R-Truth says he has a great image, and Regal puts over his dedication and talent.

- Recap of Gabriel pinning Otunga.

- Otunga and R-Truuth are backstage.  Truth calls Otunga on wanting an esay handout, ad tells Otunga that he if he can't run with the big dogs, to get off the porch.

- Heath Slater is here to sell programs.  He has to beat $315.  He's saying "Here we go" way too much.  Slater left a pile of programs on the ground.

- Now we're onto Darren Young!  He says he'll face Punk next week!  People aren't swarming on him.  Young missed the mark.  Apparently they recalculated Justin Gabriel earlier.

- Tarver walks away, as he shouldn't have to sell programs, WWE should be selling him.  Which is true.

- Wade Barrett is up.  Does this mean we're about done?  Gabriel's just cutting a promo...ha!  He's taking the change money, keeping it, and walking away.  Yeah, Barrett totally showed up Tarver.

- Skip Sheffield vs The Miz, still to come.

- The Pros are talking about Daniel Bryan.  Jericho says he's already a superstar.  The pros, except Miz, are putting him over.  If this is legit, the pros basically confirm that they are voting for him based off of his non-WWE work.

- Otunga puts me to sleep when he talks.  Otunga is facing R-Truth next week. I have to recap that?!  Seriously...Otunga is the most overrated guy in this competition.


- Miz is wearing a ton of make-up to sell Big Show's punch that ended ShowMiz.  God, I love Regal's music.  Regal is in Miz's face over something.  Miz is  trying to cut a promo with a "swollen jaw".  Miz is backing out of the match!  He's putting Daniel Bryan in!  A streak must end!  Miz walks away as Bryan slips out of Skip's grasp and attacks him!  Ground and pound into a leglock!  Sheffield is in the ropes!  Repeated kicks to Sheffield but Skip grabs the leg!  He dumps Bryan and hits a clothesline!  What's this?  A stunner variation!!  That's it!

Winner: SKIP SHEFFIELD via pinfall (Backpack Stunner)

- Wow, I would have loved to see that go 6-8 minutes.  The story is that Bryan was unprepared, but he and Sheffield both looked great in what little time there was.  Regal approves!

- The show ends with Bryan fuming, Sheffield looking insane and Regal looking impressed.

- The program thing was awful, but that was some good stuff.  I really hope Sheffield sticks around, although the bald head, black trunks, vest and stunner move might prove to be a bit too much for some people.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tommy's Take on WWE NXT 4/20/10




- Tonight, reports are that Heath Slater is jobbing to Chris Jericho.  This might be the first Slater match with a real crowd reaction.

- What crazy challenges can we expect?

- I guess the Raw pros won't be present?

- With R-Truth dead, does David Otunga get a new Pro?

- DirecTV is promising more challenges.  YAY!

- Standard WWE intro.

- "Wild & Young".

- Will there be a reunion show at the end?

- Interesting contraption set up in the entryway.

- Slater gets a mixed reaction.

- Otunga gets booed.

- Nice pop for Gabriel.

- Mixed for Young.

- Boos for Barrett.

- Decent pop for Bryan.

- Mild reaction for Sheffield.

- Some pretty good heat for Tarver.

- If someone gets canned based off of this, Sheffield's going home first.

- Striker points out that Barrett won the promo contest.

- "Rock'em Sock'em Rookies" is an American Gladiators Joust-type event, with pugil sticks and platforms.  This one I could see being totally fixed.

- Heath Slater and David Otunga to start.  Crowd hates both guys.

- Slater drops Otunga!

-  Winner gets a special feature.

- Sheffield vs Barrett.  Gotta see Barrett taking this one, but Sheffield is light on his feet.

- Barrett shoulderblocked Sheffield off the platform!  Ref has to get between them!

- Tarver (without heat) vs Daniel Bryan.

- Tarver tosses the stick and throws the competition!  Bryan gets his first win!  Tarver shoves Bryan and then bails out.

- Darren Young vs Justin Gabriel.  Gabriel tried to lean in and push Young but failed, and Young wins!

- Shouldn't Slater be preparing for his match with Jericho?

- WWE Draft next week!

- Do we get to hear Barrett's new music tonight?

- Wrestlemania video package.

- Oh,'s a Cena/Batista video package.

- So, rumor is that Batista may leave WWE because of heat with Triple H...which is hilarious, since Triple H MADE him.

- Extreme Rules this weekend...I will not be watching it.

- Matthews says the Pros all seem to like Wade Barrett.  Duh.

- A new video package for Barrett.  Miz is a fan.  Hardy calls him the "most complete package".  Regal puts him over huge.  This is a great package putting Barrett over.

- Wait...R-Truth isn't dead?


- Apparently Otunga and R-Truth have heat again this week.  This match will probably be a good indicator as to whether or not WWE is losing confidence in Otunga.  Takedown by Otunga.  Gabriel takes him over.  Otunga cuts him off and goes to the headlock.  I don't know if I would have called Gabriel "charismatic".  Armdrag and dropkick.  Sloppy drop toe hold and they seem to get lost.  Announcers are covering for Otunga, so I guess WWE is still high on him.  Otunga with a crappy half nelson.  Crowd is getting behind Gabriel.  This match is very awkward.  Otunga applies a chinlock with a knee to the back.  Otunga misses an elbowdrop.  Head scissors by Gabriel!  Suicide dive and Otunga nearly misses him!  Ouch!  Springboard cross body ALMOST gets Otunga.  Russian leg sweep!  He goes for the 450, but Otunga rolls away!  Otunga sends him through the ropes!  Gabriel fights back in...sunset flip!  Otunga screams for R-Truth to grab his hands, but he refuses!  Gabriel gets it!!

Winner: JUSTIN GABRIEL via pinfall (sunset flip)

- Wow.  Otunga is kinda scary in the ring.

- Like, Rob Terry scary.

- Heath Slater and Skip Sheffield in the semi-finals of the Rookies Rock'em Sock'em challenge.  I'm calling a Wade Barrett run-in.

- Sheffield drops Slater!  Slater tried to hold on, but failed.  Slater was fending off Sheffield's pugil stick with one hand.

- Bryan vs Young.

- Bryan is the fresh man after Tarver walked.  I'm calling a Tarver run-in.

- Bryan's a vegan.  Yuck.

- Young nearly knocks Bryan out of the bouncy field!

- More Matthews-Cole bickering.

- Carlito and Michael Tarver are here...for some reason.  Is this a match?

- I guess not.  Carlito gets the mic for Tarver.  Nice heat.

- "If silence is golden, then my words are invaluable."  Alright.

- Nice...he's trashing the challenges, and getting some big heat.

- He's challenging any NXT Rookie or Pro.

- Regal?!?!

- Sheffield!

- Sheffield's hitting the ring!

- CM Punk, Darren Young and the Straight Edge Society!

- Punk says Young is looking for competition as well!  Gallows is still ticked at Young.  Punk shows a video of Young pinning Gallows.

- Punk says he believes in the Law of the Jungle, and he's not pitting Gallows and Young against each other for his own kicks, but to keep them sharp.  He's sending Young in to make it a Triple Threat!


- All three size each other up.  Young goes after Tarver, but Sheffield attacks!  They send Young into the ropes and he holds on, but sends Sheffield out when he charges!  Tarver charges, but kicks Young!  Young clotheslines Tarver out as well!

- Commercials.

- Young is being beaten on as we return.  Two-on-one style.  Tarver and Sheffield might make a decent tag team if WWE still did tag teams.  Taking turns killing Young in the corner.  Tarver irish whips Sheffield into a clothesline on Young.  Tarver suplexes Young.  Sheffield with a ncie belly to belly, but Tarver pulls him off!  Goes for a cover, and Sheffield pulls him off!  School boy by Young!  Save by Sheffield!  Sheffield fires Young into the ringpost!  Now he's killing Tarver!  Huge splash, but Young with a save!  Young with the Roaring Elbow!  Flying shoulder!  Back body drop, and Tarver barely gets over!  Young goes up...Gallows throws him off the top rope!  Flying clothesline on Sheffield!  Tarver looks stunned! By the time Tarver moves in to capitalize, Young hits his weird looking finisher!


- Young is totally getting a contract.

- Heath Slater video package.  Hardy says Slater needs to refine himself.  MIZ calls him annoying.  Jericho can't stand him.  Jericho basically says he needs to turn heel.  I agree.  That's the only hope he's got.

- Sheffield vs Young in the only competition that REALLY matters...Rock 'em Sock 'em Rookies!

- EPIC war...and a photo finish.  Looks like Sheffield won it.  The announcers disagree.  Interesting.

- Do-over because of the photo finish.

- Sheffield dominates Young.

- Well...alright, then.


- Christian is still stranded in Europe.  Crowd pops for the Christian music, and dies when Slater comes out.  Staredown.  Jericho slaps him and Slater fires back, but Jericho drops him with cheapshots.  Back suplex.  Slap to the head, but Slater fight back...and runs into Jericho's elbow.  Guillotine on the bottom rope!  Crowd is cheering Jericho.  Snap mare and he shows Otunga how to apply a half-nelson.  I wonder if that's intentional?  Picture perfect dropkick by Jericho!  Misses a lionsault!  Slater with a series of clotheslines!  Jumping forearm!  Cut-off by Jericho, but Slater with a jumping neckbreaker!  Jericho gets the referee between them and pokes the eyes!  Walls of Jericho!  ROLL-UP!  SLATER GETS THREE!!

Winner: HEATH SLATER via pinfall (small package)

- ...

- WOW Jericho's a company man.  Holy CRAP.  He's throwing a fit in the referee's face!  Tearing up the ringside area!  Throwing chairs!  Show ends with him screaming that the referee is "Stupid!".

- Wow...I can't believe they did that.  Looks like Slater's a lock for a contract.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tommy Ranks the Rookies Season 1 Week 8

Four weeks ago, two weeks before the first Pro's Poll, I ranked the Rookies.  It wasn't my thoughts on who I liked and disliked entirely, as it was who I think has a future in WWE.  Four weeks later, I'm going to revisit the Rookies, and re-rank them.

8. Michael Tarver (8)

Pro: Carlito

- I don't know if its Tarver, or the booking, but he has never really gotten out of the gate.  They had him jump Heath Slater a few weeks back after losing to him, but never really followed up on it.  Then, he apparently humiliated himself in the keg carry two weeks ago, and died in the promo challenge last week.  Tarver's not long for the competition, and I could see him not getting a trip back to FCW, but a trip to unemployment instead.

7. Skip Sheffield (6)

Pro: William Regal

- This bugs me so much, because I'm a fan of this guy.  He's got the "WWE Look", he's way lighter on his feet than Otunga (or even Batista), and when they let him cut loose with his personality a bit, the "Cornfed Meathead" can win a crowd over, as he did in ENGLAND for crying out loud.  Sheffield's not long for the competition after Tarver's done.

6. Heath Slater (7)

Pro: Christian

- Here's the problem with Slater: He is the whiniest babyface in a major wrestling promotion.  He actually whines about most everything whenever he has a camera or a microphone in front of him, and I think that's legit.  Despite them trying to make him a star on the show, he's just not getting over.  That said, a heel turn on Christian may just save him.

5. Justin Gabriel (4)

Pro: Matt Hardy

- Gabriel is actually getting over on his own, to his credit.  I think he will wind up sticking around after the competition, although he may never go past Jobber To The Stars level.  That said, he's great in the Evan Bourne role, and I could see them on opposite brands so that each show has the "small guy with the flashy move" dynamic to pop the crowd.  I'm thinking Gabriel gets promoted, only to have mentor Matt Hardy turn on him...that feud will either be a reward for Hardy, for all his recent jobbing, or a continuing punishment for Hardy at Gabriel's expense, who will then go nowhere.

4. Davis Otunga (2)

Pro: R-Truth

- It seems to me like the Otunga push is diminishing slightly as the two of the top three come into their own.  He did get the "Raw Guest Host" push, but he also get a) jobbed HARD to Cena the next week, b) looked like crap in the ring doing it, c) get cut down by David Hasselhoff and d) get treated like a jabroni by Batista.  He'll still have a job when this is through, but I don't think he goes all the way.

3. Darren Young (5)

Pro: CM Punk

- The Punk/Gallows/Young storyline is proof positive that WWE intends on keeping Young.  He's been solid in the ring, despite alternately working baby and heel with no rhyme or reason, and he's gotten to stand up to Punk and beat Gallows.  Now, I don't know if this will turn into a full fledged "Bald Young in the Straight Edge Society" or not, but I think Young has impressed enough of the right people to finish well.

2. Wade Barrett (1)

Pro: Chris Jericho

- This guy is actually THE star of the show.  He's big, but not WELLNESS~! big.  He can talk, and apparently can improvise a decent promo.  He's not a five star wrestler, but his match with Otunga was at least as good as John Cena's.  Moreso than ANY other NXT guy, Barrett carries himself like a star next to the WWE Superstars.  I would say he's the winner except for one thing...

1. Daniel Bryan (3)

Pro: The Miz

- The winner gets a contract for any title they choose, on a Pay Per View...and that's where the game changes.  It seems fairly obvious to me that the end of The Miz's US Title reign will come at the hands of Daniel Bryan.  Let's just pray that its a legit match (which would do both men some good) and not just a "Money in the Bank" style cash-in.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE NXT 4/13/10

Alright!  Time for NXT!

I think this week is going to start carrying my NXT recaps, so cool.  I have recapped every episode to date, so if you wanna play catch-up, head to the blog link in the byline and click on the NXT tag at the bottom of the post and they should all pull up.

I believe tonight we're getting Pros vs Rookies, and probably another silly challenge.  This week, I will re-rank the Rookies as we are officially at the halfway point.

David Otunga jobbed to John Cena on Raw, while Darren Young stood up to CM Punk on Smackdown, and got beaten down by Luke Gallows.  The latter makes me think they are actually going to try to do something with Young. goes!

- Smackdown moves to SyFy in October, meaning NXT COULD be cancelled after two seasons...which disappoints me.

- WWE intro.

- Recap of the keg carrying competition won by Heath Slater, segueing into Kane vs Slater from the main event.

- "Wild & Young" introduction.

- Striker is in the ring with a podium and brings out the rookies.  Otunga gets a mild booing reaction.  Slater gets a mild pop.  Gabriel gets a bigger one.  Barrett gets decent heat.  Bryan gets a pop almost rivaling Gabriel.

- Striker goes to Tarver, pointing out his utter failures from last week.  Tarver says he's not under pressure and botches his sentences.

- Heading to Otunga, who gets some heat.  Striker picks on Otunga for getting beat by Cena, but he saves it by saying he got spotlight.

- Gabriel gets lost answering Striker about facing Cena himself, and asks for a match against Cena on NXT.  Does he WANT to job?

- We are getting a mental challenge tonight.  The winner gets their own entrance music.  Hm.

- 30 seconds to speak on a topic.  This could be painful.

- Crowd sounds less than thrilled about this.

- Bryan is up first: "Passion".

- The "Daniel Bryan Manliness Meter".  Striker interrupts him.  Bryan goes for a cheap pop, and it dies.  He kinda got screwed.

- "Blaise" for Wade Barrett, who unloads with a tremendous promo.  This guy is totally the best one they've got.

- Justin Gabriel: "Flowers".  Crowd boos "South Africa".  He's DYING.  Biggest heel heat of the night.

- Heath Slater: "Cereal".  Slater namedrops Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles...and he proceeds to whine when the crowd boos.  That is why Slater will fail.

- David Otunga: "Sleep".  Apparently Otunga doesn't sleep much.  He stays ahead of the NXT guys by not sleeping...but he's #5.

- Barrett's totally the winner so far.

- Skip Sheffield: "Rainbows".  Crowd is eating up Sheffield's schtick, though he ignores the topic.

- Michael Tarver: "Itchy".  This stuff is ridiculous.  Tarver wasting time.  Crowd craps on him, and he walks away.

- Darren Young: "Toothpaste".  Young starts ripping on British smiles!  Young is ripping into the crowd!

- Tarver takes the stick and rips on the crowd.

- "Make some noise if you like them", "Nothing if you don't".  Sheffield got a big pop.  Slater got nothing.  Gabriel didn't get much more.  Barrett gets pop of the night.

- Barrett and Sheffield!  Sheffield gets "Bubble Gum" for the "Talk Off".  Sheffield falls apart as he actually talks about gum.  Wait, now he's onto the keg contest and whining about it.  He channels Austin at the end.  Barrett gets "wind".  MAN...Barrett runs away with the topic again.

- Barrett for the win.

- Big guy that can talk and doesn't suck in the ring.  You win.

- Barrett vs Christian!

- Raw Rebound focusing on Orton-Batista with Swagger and Cena getting involved.

- We also get the Smackdown recap of Young standing up to CM Punk.

- Backstage, Young is backpedaling to the Straight Edge Society.

- Gallows talks smack, calling Young a punk which causes CM Punk to give him an awesome look.  Punk decides Young vs Gallows, if Young wins, all is forgiven.  If Gallows wins, they're shaving Young's head.

- Over half an hour in and no wrestling.

- Draft in two weeks.  TNA will have a 0.4.


- Barrett gets the jobber entrance.  However, we do see Barrett pinning Christian on NXT two weeks ago.  Oh, Jericho is at ringside.  Here comes Christian with Slater at ringside.  Christian slips around Barrett, but he keeps pace and powers Christian down before running into a dropkick.  Headlock by Christian.  Barrett with a slingshot backbreaker!  He's mugging Christian.  Barrett clubs Christian on the ropes, but charges and gets sent to the floor!  Christian with a suicide dive!  Commercial break!

- Back from the break with a tilt a whirl backbreaker by Barrett!  He is softening the back of Christian!  Christian slaps Barrett and hits a forearm!  Reverse DDT!  Carlito and Tarver are watching on as Barrett gets choked out.  High cross body by Christian gets two.  Barrett ducks a dropkick and hits a big boot!  Barrett attacks the back!  Christian dodges him and hits the leverage kick!  He calls for the Killswitch!  Jericho tries to get involved...Barrett has him up!  Slater grabs the legs!  Christian slides down with the Killswitch!  That's it!

Winner: Christian via pinfall.  (Killswitch)

- Very good showing by Barrett.

- Video of David Otunga on Access Hollywood.

- Miz is backstage with Daniel Bryan.  Miz is tearing Bryan apart for his promos, and lack of starpower.  Miz - hah - tells him he needs to be less arrogant.  Miz tells him to go win tonight.

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

- Mmmmm...KFC DoubleDown.  If they had any time at all, this could be great.  So, neither guy wins matches...will this one be a no contest?  Tie-up.  Crowd is behind Regal.  Bryan with some intensity!  Dragon Suplex.  Unloads with some kicks on Regal...but he eats a forearm.  Big uppercut.  Bryan with a guillotine choke!  Regal turns it into a suplex and...that's it?  Really?

Winner: WILLIAM REGAL via pinfall.  (Exploder Suplex)

- Miz attacks Regal!  He is pulling Bryan up...Skull Crushing Finale!

- Bryan is bleeding from the mouth.

- Darren Young vs Luke Gallows...NEXT.


- Jobber entrance for Young.  Is Gallows not coming out to Punk's music?  Gallows is all over Young at the bell.  Beating Young down, bald guy headbutt.  Huge clothesline.  Young fires up...and gets dropped with a Kane punch.  Gallows is hammering Young and takes his headband.  Gallows with huge kicks.  Young dodges a corner charge...but Gallows dodges a Stinger Splash!  Big kicks and a fallaway slam!  Short arm clothesline!  Young kicks out.  Matt Hardy and Justin Gabriel watching on.  Young with a roll-up out of nowhere!  That's it!

Winner: DARREN YOUNG via pinfall (surprise roll-up)

- Punk confronts Young...and raises his hand!  Gallows looks dismayed!  Punk leads Serena out of the ring, and ignores Gallows and Young!

- Interesting.

- I will be back later this week with new rankings for the NXT 8.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tommy's Take on: WWE NXT 4/6/10

Last week was a big week for NXT.  They hit the Pro's Poll, but then the NXT rookies gangpiled Kane on Smackdown and David Otunga mingled with the Raw A-List on Monday!

What is in store tonight?

Let's find out!

- "Wild & Young" intro.

- Think these cats are finally getting over?

- In five weeks, someone is eliminated.

- Matt Strikes brings them onstage in the order they ranked in the Pro's Poll.  Otunga is the only one getting a reaction so far, thanks to screwing Cena.  I take that back...Gabriel's pop was louder.  The biggest reaction of the group.

- Bryan gets some boos for coming in first place.

- Striker is picking on Darren Young for being in last place.  This is a segue to talking about Otunga guest hosting Raw and screwing Cena.  Striker asks him why he walked away from Cena.  Apparently Otunga is too big to tag team...and buying Miz' vote.

- Bryan picks on The Miz and David Otunga in order to get some face heat.  He asks if Cole deserves to replace Ross, which is awesome.  Bryan says he doesn't deserve #1, but he'll do what he can.

- Striker is stirring stuff up between Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan.  I still like Tarver better than I do Otunga.  Apparently Tarver is about to snap off.

- "Weekly Challenges"?  Dear god.  Striker is turning it into a reality show.  I think they just lost me.

- They did a ridiculous keg carrying challenge, which Heath Slater surprisingly won.  What did he get?  A main event match with Kane!

- Skip Sheffield says the keg carry was rigged, and was very ticked off..saying the people and "The Universe" weren't "ready" for Sheffield.  Very nice promo.

- Striker says Daniel Bryan is facing Darren Young "right now"...and they cut to commercials.  Man what?


- Young knocks Bryan down, but Bryan sends him through the ropes and hits a baseball slide, and then a flying knee.  Goes up top and hits his missile dropkick, and gets the Cattle Mutilation!  Young twists out of it and Bryan turns it into a crucifix like move!  Backslide!  Again!  Young takes over...pinfall reversals and a slap fight!  Young with a roll up out of nowhere for the win!

Winner: DARREN YOUNG via pinfall (roll-up)


- Tarver is doing ticked off well.  Tie up.  Armdrag by Gabriel.  Tarver is hammering Gabriel in the corner.  Huge stomp.  Scoop slam and cover.  Abdominal stretch.  Gabriel is fighting back, Tarver knocks him down.  Gabriel with kicks!  Huge spin kick!  Lays Tarver out!  This is the most offense I have seen from Gabriel.  Huge springboard cross body.  Tarver knocks him off the ropes!  Going up...Gabriel brings him down!  450 Splash!

Winner: JUSTIN GABRIEL via pinfall (450 Splash)


- Dear god...let Barrett win.  Barrett mugs him in the beginning.  Barrett dominates, hammering Otunga's back.  If Barrett doesn't get promoted, its a travesty.  This is a squash at the moment.  I assume Barrett's eating a shitty spinebuster out of nowhere for the loss.  Otunga comes back with some weak offense.  Barrett fires back...small package by Otunga gets two.  Neckbreaker.  Barrett yanks him off the ropes!  He gets his huge slam!  Barrett wins!

Winner: WADE BARRETT via pinfall (Modified Samoan Slam)

- These two were worlds apart in offense.  Barrett is just SO much more crisp in the ring.

- Heath Slater gets KANE next.


- Squash?  Recap of the Smackdown mugging.  Slater is using his speed.  Drop toe hold into the corner.  Missile dropkick!  Cross body takes Kane down!  He unloads on Kane...HUGE boot!  Out of the ring!  Kane drops Slater!  Crushes him against the ring apron.  Slater is out on his feet.  Slater!  Babyfaces don't die!  Sunset flip takes Kane down!  HUGE side slam by Kane!  Slater kicks out!  Choke on the ropes.  Kane with a boot to the head.  Snap mare and Kane dropkicks Slater's head off.  Slater is fighting like crazy...but Kane kills him with a clothesline.  Good for Slater.  Kane's going up...flying clothesline!  Kane is stalking him...and drops him!  Jeez...why won't he put him away??  Slater charges into Slater's hand!  CHOKE SLAM!!!  That's it!

Winner: KANE via pinfall.

- Slater impressed me towards the end.  The big winners tonight, to my mind, are Barrett, Sheffield and Slater, with Tarver a distance fourth.

- Next week, I will re-rank the rookies after NXT.