Hey guys, and holy cow we have a war on are hands! Scott is neutral! Huie has a nuke! Halo is… uninterested. Burge I’m not even sure realizes there is some kind of feud, or writers aside from him on this site! Oh my God, this war is gonna tear TWF apart! The fans are in an uproar! How long will this feud go on for?!?!?!? …and its over.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Huie sorta unofficially made peace, claiming the true enemy was Sean Careless. In case this turns into a case of Icarus flying too close to the sun, I wanted to wish Huie well in his future endeavors and thanks for a fun 2 weeks! Last week was the best time I’ve had writing a column, critics be damned!
Back on track with NXT, let’s do the last retrospective I need to do to be fully caught up! That one being Daniel Bryan.
Character Retrospective: Daniel Bryan
BEGINNING: Come on, you thought he was going to win. Everyone and their mother thought this “contest” was over before it even started. After an impressive match against Chris Jericho, it seemed like he was a lock. And then the next week, he lost. The following week after that, he lost again. And then… again.
NOW: He was eliminated, which shocked everyone and pissed them off as well. This included yours truly. Then last week… he slapped Cole in the face. Best NXT Moment. Ever.
FUTURE: He’s currently locked in a feud… with Michael Cole. Funny part? This feud is the most interesting thing going on in NXT right now, surpassing even the contest itself. I’m curious to see how they handle this; considering that in a technical sense, Bryan doesn’t have a job. So despite losing his spot… he probably has the most job security out of all of them!
This week’s episode is coming from Cleveland, OH. We replay the melodrama that is this contest, showing the eliminations thus far, and showing the final four competitors and the big ominous voice asking “who will be next?” You know, very innovative stuff here. One overused theme later, we start off with the pro’s being introduced minus two. CM Punk is absent selling the embarrassment that he endured at Over the Limit, and, of course, Carlito, who was released. Good news for Carlito, as it gives him something in common now with his rookie Michael Tarver. Striker, then introduces the rookies, who do me a favor and come out to music other than that blasted “Wild and Young” theme.
Striker then shocks me as he announces this is the semi-final AND the finale is next week?! With no second season being spoken of, last week maybe my last column unfortunately. But I digress, the rookies are then given a chance to tell the Pro’s why they should stay… basically it’s a begging segment.
Wade Barrett enforces my belief that he’ll win as he cuts a really good promo on the other three competitors. He even calls Heath Slater a Ginger Ninja, which I have to say is pretty funny. He says Slater should go, and I have to agree with him; something I’ll get more into in a bit.
Gabriel talks and is pretty boring. Not doing any favors to the whole “One Trick Pony” stigma that’s on him now. He picks Otunga because he can’t wrestle, which is fair I suppose… However, that means he was beaten by someone who can’t wrestle last week. Freakin’ Rookies… if you don’t build up your opponents, you look like garbage when they beat you. Oh, did I mention Otunga did that last week?
Otunga chooses Justin Gabriel, calling him a gymnast and having no charisma. So one exudes charisma but can’t wrestle, and the other can wrestle but has no charisma? You know, it’s a shame that they can’t do the DBZ Fusion dance, and thus create the ultimate wrestler. I would dub this new being “Otungabriel”. Someone who’s good with Photoshop: Make that happen!
Slater picks Wade cause his nose is crooked… well honestly, what can you say to that?
Striker says they have a chance to impress the Pros, as we have tag team action next. So the Pros no longer Pros anymore, just judges really.
Looks like its Otunga and R-Truth up as Truth is… oh god, he’s rapping to the ring…
COMMERCIAL THOUGHTS: For this week’s commercial thoughts, I thought I’d focus on the OVER The Limit PPV results.
Punk and Mysterio stole the show, hands down. I think Huie hit the nail on the head when he said the “Boring” chants seemingly made Punk kick it up a notch. Really it was solid match and told an amazing story.
DAVID OTUNGA/R-TRUTH VS. HEATH SLATER/CHRISTIAN
An okay match, I guess. They tried, but the only ones with any real chemistry in the ring were Truth and Christian. Cole, by the way, makes some good points that ever since beating Jericho, Slater seems to be resting on his laurels a bit.
Otunga towards the end stays in to fight Christian and Heath while Truth keeps his arm stretched out for a tag that never comes. The end comes as Slater goes for a high cross body but Otunga reverses it for the pin.
WINNERS: OTUNGA AND TRUTH
Otunga is now 6-4
Slater is now 5-6
And the shocker of shockers, Daniel Bryan is backstage. On the cusp of a really potentially awesome segment… we cut to commercials.
COMMERICAL THOUGHTS: I’m happy for Kofi winning the title and all. It was a decent match, and it got the crowd set up beautifully for the night. Drew McIntyre needs to get off my screen, but he won’t as WWE is determined to make him a big name.
Back from commercials and Cole is surrounded by security. After a replay of last week (Still awesome!) Cole promises to make this quick and not take the focus away from the Rookies (too late) as he demands that Bryan come out and apologize. He humorously calls last night the most unprofessional moment in his career, which I guess means he forgot just about EVERY DX INTERVIEW HE EVER DID!
Bryan comes out… why is he coming out to that blasted music!? He’s not on the show anymore! A very somber Bryan asks Cole to send the security away as he realizes last night was a mistake and he doesn’t want to hurt his chances of getting a job, to which Cole interjects that its his own fault he doesn’t have one. Cole is on full power as far as being a heel, and admittingly, he ain’t bad. Cole eventually agrees and sends the security outside. They shake hands and Bryan says he’s sorry… that Cole is by far the worst announcer in the WWE! And here… we… go!
Security enters the ring to separate the two as Daniel goes off so hard, Cole can’t get in a word edge-wise. Bryan goes off on management, sticking him with the Miz, and the hypocrisy of Cole ripping on him after he became head announcer when he didn’t deserve to be. Cole isn’t backing down either, telling him to listen to him. The reason he ripped on Bryan for so long was that he didn’t deserve to be there. Bryan yells at him that he is the best wrestler in the backroom. Cole says while that’s true, he ain’t in the contest anymore. He tells Bryan to, for once, instead of blaming everyone else around him, to look in the mirror. He mocks the Submission Specialist label he gave himself, saying that he the only one who tapped out. Cole says he’s a loser, and losers have no heart… and then he slaps him!
Bryan goes into berserker mode as the security guys push him away from Cole, who runs outside the ring. Bryan slips outside the ring, sprints to the other side of the ring, and tackles Cole! Bryan then mauls Cole till security pulls him away and drags him up the ramp, and leads him away from Cole, who is screaming that Bryan is a maniac. As Bryan heads up the ramp, Miz gets up in his face… and so then Bryan decks him! Folks, we are seeing a star in the making! After a small catfight, Bryan is dragged out of the arena, as Cole is still yelling.
Where do I start? I was not ready for how awesome this segment was. Cole, I have to say, is excellent as a heel, and his delivery was top notch. Bryan played his part well, as the emotion for this one felt genuine. It’s been so long since I felt something like that in a wrestling feud! The attack on Miz was priceless as it really sets up for what I think will be a good feud… once they explain how Bryan gets a job.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHTS: If there were an Underrated Match of the Night for Over the Limit, it would have to be the Unified Tag Title Match. It was a really awesome match, with plenty of false finishes. Unfortunately, I feel it’ll get overlooked as it wasn’t one of the big 4 main events, but it deserves a watch. Good stuff.
Back, and Striker is in to replace Cole, who is out for the night. They show a replay of what happened, and they have a nice little back and forth about who was right in the situation, though Striker’s reasoning is a little weak (even for a heel argument). He argues that younger wrestlers are supposed to respect the older veterans and that’s how it’s always been. Yeah right; and that tradition was followed proudly by Randy “Legend Killer” Orton, Edge, and Stone Cold.
Before anything else, we are off into the next match!
WADE BARRETT VS. JUSTIN GABRIEL
Nice back and forth in this one, with the big man Barrett working over the smaller but faster Gabriel. Weird commentary by Josh, who compares Gabriel to Zach Morris and Dylan McKay... okay, I guess. I’d have gone for AC Slater and whomever it was that Andrea Zuckerman married.
Jericho, by the way, is as hysterical as always while outside the ring. His yelling fits at Josh make this match worth watching by itself.
Anyway, the end comes with a kick to the he head, and a 450 splash to Wade followed by the pin. Thus, ending this whole One Trick Pony argument once and for… oh, wait.
WINNER: JUSTIN GABRIEL
Gabriel is now 7-3
Barrett is 7-5
COMMERCIAL THOUGHTS: I didn’t like the Cena/Batista “I Quit” match. Hard for me to get into those as it’s usually “Do big move, pause for ref, other guy takes 3 minutes to respond, repeat.” I also didn’t buy the whole, “He passed out, but he never said I quit, so the match continues” decision by the ref either. Bret vs. Austin is still the best I Quit, but in truth, I’ve seen worse I Quit matches.
Back and NXT does me the courtesy of showing the faces of American Bang, the people responsible for “Wild and Young”. Alright Lorenzo, the money has been wired to your account and you now know what they look like. I expect to hear good news by next week.
RAW Recap of Batista quitting the WWE. While he was good for the last 3 months, I will not shed a tear for Batista leaving. However it’s an end of an era. No more Konami Code Jokes, No more ‘roid jokes, no more “he slept with another diva” comments… its hard to believe its over. Well, its not, he’ll be back before the end of the year probably, but it’s a nice pause for a while.
Striker tells the Pro’s to tally their votes or whatever, as when we return from break, someone is going home.
COMMERCIAL THOUGHTS: Oh Orton… Orton, Orton, Orton. Dislocated your shoulder by hitting the mat… really? Really?
Now, in his defense, these injuries happen at pretty stupid times. Hunter tore his quad taking a step, Edge tore his Achilles tendon by doing a leapfrog, and Taz once hurt his knee by getting out of the ring.
But you really have to laugh. Here’s Randy Orton, a guy on the brink of turning into the next Steve Austin, who needs to keep building momentum and needs everything to go right; and a big time match here could solidify that… and he dislocates his shoulder doing a taunt. I have to wonder if SvR2011 will capitalize on this and have each taunt you do have a random chance of making you lose the match. Realism is important after all.
But I’m disappointed in ya Orton. Stone Cold would have solved the problem Martin Riggs-Style and completed the match! I expect more from ya on your next shoulder injury!
But yes, this will probably be a black mark on Orton’s career for a while to come.
Back from break, and Striker proceeds to waste oxygen asking who’s going home. I’ll spare you guys the drama.
#1 Wade Barrett (Awesome.)
#2 David Otunga (Also Awesome)
#3 Justin Gabriel (Whatever)
#4 Heath Slater (Thank God!)
Shocker, the guy who lost and wasn’t in the top spots was eliminated. Time for a retrospective!
CHARACTER RETROSPECTIVE: HEATH SLATER
BEGINNING: I hated this guy. See, the thing is, he looks like a created wrestler to me. Like someone literally went to “Create-a-wrestler” mode, hit random, and out popped Slater and even gave him one of those generic taunts to boot (Now why can’t Slater hurt himself doing a taunt?). The whole “One Man Rock Band” thing makes no sense, and his moves are okay at best. He doesn’t even have a finisher unless you count the roll up!
Unfortunately, WWE does not share my opinion, and seems to be high on him. He was after all, the first rookie to beat a pro, and he beat Chris Jericho of all people! So I knew he’d come far, but I didn’t see him winning. Called it!
NOW: He’s been eliminated, and to date, I’d wager his is the least cared about elimination so far.
FUTURE: Sadly for me, he’s not going anywhere. He’ll be back to… just be there. Anyway, I don’t see them letting just anyone get a win over Jericho, so he’ll be back.
Striker asks Slater who his Pro is, to which he says Christian, and Striker asks Christian to explain why they picked Slater. Christian then proceeds to stumble… and stumble… and stumble as he tries to find an explanation that doesn’t sound like he’s saying his Rookie sucks. At one point he even blames Jericho for being so behind his Rookie. Damn that Jericho! How dare he actually care for and tutor his rookie, instead of being completely indifferent to him!
Miz has no problems saying Slater sucks, saying he has no passion and lacks any sort of wow factor. To Miz I say: Thank you.
Truth’s turn to talk in riddles as he says while he busted his butt each night, WWE is survival of the fittest. So once again, face avoids giving any real criticism.
Jericho basically says that Slater is a loser, and everyone who is in that ring pales in comparison to Wade, or as he is to be called now: Gigantor the English Destroyer. No one will be safe from his wrath! NO ONE! ... I may be paraphrasing here.
He then reminds Barrett that he lost tonight and that next week is it. He needs to step up and prove that he is the best here in this contest. So basically, Jericho is the only one to get this Pro/Rookie concept.
Heath says all good things come to an end, but he’s come too far to stop now. He brings up his accomplishments that I mentioned, and how WWE Magazine awarded him having the Best Nickname and Debut… that he rubs in Miz’s face for some reason. He then shows he’s the only Rookie to understand why you build up your opponents as he reminds us that he beat the man who beat Stone Cold and the Rock in one night, Chris Jericho. He then says a clever line that while the Pro’s pulled the plug; the world better get ready for the encore. While I dislike Slater, that was definitely the best farewell speech after an elimination thus far.
Striker reminds us the last show of the season is next week… as we fade to black.
Very nice show; definitely had its moments, even though the Bryan/Cole storyline carried it.
BEST THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE DEWEY AWARD”: Once again the Bryan Cole confrontation, with props going to Michael Cole (Can’t believe I wrote that) as he’s pretty impressive as a heel and on the mic. This story is being very nicely told, and I look forward to it each week.
If I could complain about anything though, it would be how much this angle takes away from the NXT Contest itself. We’re picking a winner next week… but does anyone care? I don’t, I just want to see what happens between Cole and Bryan next week… hence my concern for the winner of the NXT contest.
AWFUL THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE REESE AWARD”: The tag match wasn’t anything to write home about; the story was hard to see.
WTF MOMENT OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE FRANCIS AWARD”: Next week maybe my last column!? Son of a Bitch!mn!? Son of a Bitch!
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).