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Next week may be my last column!? Son of a Bitch!”


SATURDAY 5/29: Chat between Malcolm and Sean Carless


NotInMiddle: Come on man! The heck was I supposed to know their was only 6 episodes left of NXT!?


AwesomeSean: Yeah, that sucks man. I’m sorry, but there really isn’t anything else I need help with.


NotInMiddle: There has to be something! What about Pint Sized Brawlers?


AwesomeSean: Dude, not even I’m low enough to cover that one.


NotInMiddle: ROH?


AwesomeSean: They have a show?


NotInMiddle: TNA ReAction?


AwesomeSean: Dude, seriously? LOL


NotInMiddle: This isn’t fair! What am I supposed to do now?


AwesomeSean: Hey, look at this. They’re saying there’s going to be another season of NXT following this one.


NotInMiddle: ……… Seriously?





            Boo yah! Hey guys, and welcome to another edition of the NXT Rant! Let’s play a quick trivia game! Which TWF Recapper with two thumbs is still gonna have a job next week? This Guy!  YES!


            Anyway, lets get into this. Its series finale of NXT, and they are picking a winner tonight (It’s gonna be Barrett).  In the finals, its Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, and Wade Barrett (who will win), and the winner (Barrett) will get a contract and a title match at a PPV (Barrett isn’t going to win that one…).


            In all due seriousness, I am a little worried as Barrett is the most obvious choice for this thing; and if you recall, the last obvious choice they had was the second guy eliminated. I guess the fact that this show makes no sense is actually working in the WWE’s favor for once. It’s only due to this fact that I’m in suspense at all for this episode. However, I don’t even think WWE could mess this one up.


            Still standing here in Dallas, TX. Striker is in the ring to get the crowd to start a boring chant. He then points out that the five eliminated rookies are actually at ringside, a move that leads one to believe that some outside interference is a coming.


            Striker then introduces the Pros, who come out one at a time. I wondered why Mysterio was out, until I realized that it was Punk.  As they sit down, I realize one of my issues with this program; things are way too formulaic. Problems I have with NXT will be the issue of this week’s Commercial Thoughts, so I’ll get into it then.


            Striker then introduces the final three participants, including future winner Wade Barrett. Striker announces that tonight there will be… two Pro’s Polls. I’m never going to be doing just one Character Perspective per Rant, am I? There will be only one match tonight, and that will be a Triple Threat Elimination match with all three finalists… and its next!


            However, before that Josh and Cole remind us that the next season of NXT starts next week! (I still have a job!) They reveal the first Rookie, a guy named Husky Harris. ... Okay. Before I can right this guy off, they reveal he’s a 3rd Generation Star (Grandfather is Blackjack Mulligan and his father is Mike Rotunda aka IRS. I actually had no idea those two were related), and you know how WWE loves a 3rd Generation wrestlers.  His Pro is Cody Rhodes, who will teach him how to hang off another wrestler’s coattails, and do a moonsault.


COMMERCIAL THOUGHTS: Pro/Rookie Relationship


            Unfortunately, the WWE doesn’t know how to write a teacher student relationship.  Actually, no I take that back. Jericho and Wade seem to be the only ones that grasped this, and surprise, surprise he’s the odds on favorite to win…  The rest of the Pro’s don’t seem to get the fact that they’re supposed to be teaching the Rookies, or simply don’t care.


            You also rarely saw a Pro talking with his Rookie, or attempt to teach him something. Heck, during the Physical Challenge phase of the show, you didn’t see they Pro’s at all. Its like they have better things to do.


            Hopefully, future Pros learn from Jericho, as I might care about stuff like Otunga and R Truth fighting if they never did anything together in the first place?


            They reveal the next Pro, who is John Morrison! I like Season 2 already! He talks about his Rookie being the big tree in the forest and how he’ll teach him to burn the other trees in the forest… and he’s really not kidding. His Rookie Eli Cottonwood is about 7’1”, making him easily the biggest competitor there.  Have to say though; this pairing makes no sense. Why would you team the high flyer with the 300 pounder?


Hey we have a match!


DAVID OTUNGA (w/ “It” Factor) vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL (w/ Wrestling Factor) vs. WADE BARRETT (w/ Both)


Pretty standard triple threat match. Good back and forth; however this match is a good example of why people say Otunga is sloppy in the ring. He definitely has a little ways to go before he’s there.


Josh and Cole also take the time to point out that starting the next season the Pro’s vote of who stays and who goes will only be 50% of the vote. The other half… will be to up to the WWE Universe. Yeah, this has epic fail written all over it. Least with the Pro’s its pretty unbiased. Fans will always pick the face, so it pretty much guarantees failure for heel Rookies, or people managed by heel Pro’s.  Awesome.


First elimination comes as Gabriel nails Otunga with the 450 splash and covers. However, Barrett comes from out of nowhere, and throws Gabriel outside, taking the cover for himself!




COMMERICAL THOUGHTS: Way too formulaic


            You notice how the show has basically the same structure every week? Striker is out on stage, introduces the Pro’s, Rookies, asks them a question no one cares to know the answer to, interrupts people, etc. This makes the show pretty boring. I would love for it to be changed up a little each week,


            Back from break, and Barrett and Gabriel have a nice little match here. The story of this match being Wade working over the ribs, and thus make the 450 Splash hurt Justin as much as it hurts him.


            End of the match ends very nicely. Gabriel knocks down Wade, and goes for the 450 splash. Wade counters by bringing up the knees, and this along with the all the damage Wade did to Justin’s ribs, kills Justin. He’s so stunned, he can barely move. Wade quickly grabs him in a small package and wins the match. Barrett with the sweep!




            Striker assembles the Pro’s and tells them to tally up their votes for the first Pro’s Poll.


            Our next Pro for Season 2 is… MVP. Boy oh boy, I cannot tell you how excited I am for this one. Here’s a synopsis of what was said:


            “Hey kids, its me MVP! Despite the fact I’m barely ever on TV anymore, and the very fact that I’m now on this show is proof that creative has nothing for me, I’m now in charge of a the success of another human being! Isn’t that great? Watch as I teach him a boring and stupid finisher, how to make people indifferent to you, and get called a Power Ranger for the first year of your career!”


            I may be paraphrasing there. His Rookie is… the greatest rookie ever. His name is Percy Watson, and he’s pretty much a gay Eddie Murphy. However, he’s the most hilarious rookie there. It’s actually a shame he’s not paired with Santino, as I could only imagine the promos these two could do. But look this guy up, you’ll be glad ya did.




            Ryan Seacrest, he is not.  He’s annoying, he’s constantly interrupting the rookies, and way too controlling. Michael Cole gets decked for saying thing they can’t hear, but no one has even thought of decking Striker?


            My big beef with him is the interrupting thing. Granted, maybe he’s being told to interrupt the rookies, but it’s annoying. This show is supposed to make me care about the new guys, but that job gets harder if they get cut off every time they start to get interesting. Admittingly, he has gotten better but we’ll see if that continues.


            We’re back with… no, are you kidding me? Zack Ryder is a Pro? The guy who was beaten up by his girlfriend on live TV is going to teach someone how to be successful? His Rookie is a guy named Titus O’Neil, who no joke makes Gabriel look charismatic. Seriously, watching him talk reminded me of watching Shaq act. I think we have the first elimination.


            Back for the poll, and Striker of course has to ask someone a stupid question to stall for time.  He goes to the eliminated Rookies in the audience to ask them who should win… wow, that’s kinda a dick thing to do.


            Here’s the rundown of what was said:


            Michael Tarver: Picks himself, which is funny to be honest.


            Daniel Bryan: Once again honest and states Otunga can’t wrestle, Gabriel can’t talk, and Wade is the only one who can do both. Chooses Wade.


            Skip Sheffield: Doesn’t care. Best answer.


            Darren Young: Wade Barrett, despite what all these haters say… wait, when he turn heel?


            Heath: Says that Barrett is the obvious choice.


            Its funny, the WWE seems to realize how obvious the winner of this show is as well.


            Anyway, Pro’s Poll!


            1# Wade Barrett (d’uh!)

            2# David Otunga (O….kay)

            3# Justin Gabriel (The guy who finished second in the triple threat got eliminated?)


            Justin’s eliminated and Striker gives him the mic to say a few words. He gives the generic “This is not the last you’ve seen of me” speech, and heads out. Props to Matt Hardy for actually caring about his Rookie; and meeting him halfway to give him a hug, congratulating him for doing as well as he did. He also gets on the mic to compare Justin to… himself, and saying he will never die… like himself. Wow, this feel good moment sure did turn egotistical.


Character Perspective: Justin Gabriel


Beginning: I didn’t care.  He seemed okay in the ring, but I have to agree with the one trick pony accusation. 


Now: He’s not a terrible wrestler really, so I can understand how he lasted so long. However, the fact remains he’s generic on the mic. As result, he could only go this far.


Future: I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. I’d personally like to see him and Evan Bourne form a tag team. At any rate, I don’t think this is it for him.


            Our next Pro’s for the 2nd season are… no… NO! LayCool? Seriously? Oh well, as long as they don’t have someone I like- are you kidding me? Kaval? They have the one guy I like!? ARGH! So much for him winning.


            COMMERCIAL THOUGHTS: Better challenges


            For 3 weeks or so, we had weekly challenges, which were the stupidest thing on television for a little while. Thankfully they stopped, but I’m sure they will come back. I think they could be used, but creative should actually stop and think about relevance before throwing it on TV.


            Mark Henry is a Pro as well, which I surprisingly don’t mind. His Pro is a dude named Lucky Cannon…  Wow, that’s not a porn name or anything. He apparently has an interesting story about his name and his past… but don’t hold your breath waiting for the commentators to elaborate on it.            


            Striker with Otunga and Barrett in the ring, Striker reveals the final challenge… promo face off! See, this is a challenge done right.


            Otunga is up first: He starts off calling Barrett ugly, focusing on his crooked nose. He then attacks his teeth, stating the only PPV match he’d watch with Barrett involves him vs. Aquafresh vs. Listerine… I’d pay to see that one too.


            Barrett’s turn: States his face is like this because he is a bare knuckle fighter, who knows how to fight. Otunga may have a body, but he doesn’t know how to use it. He says that Khali has more poise than him (Zing!).


            Time’s up, and Striker tells the Pros to tally their vote, and prepare the final tally. But first we go to our next Pro, Kofi Kingston. His Rookie is Mike McGillicutty aka Joe Henning. This guy is one to look for and definitely a favorite to win it.


            Hey, you know there’s a Pro’s Poll? Commercials!


            COMMERCIAL THOUGHTS: Start making sense


            Finally, they need to get their rules straight and explain them in a way to describe them in a way that makes sense. And no more BS eliminations, please? That was just stupid.


            We’re about to announce the winner, when Miz interrupts to announce he’s returning again next season as a Pro (Yes!) and reveals his new Rookie, making a point that he’s not a loser like Daniel Bryan. He’s revealed to be Alex Reilly, who looks like Miz had a son. If Miz is a culmination of every popular jerk from every 80’s movie I’ve ever seen; Alex is every evil Jock from every 80’s film I’ve seen. Looks in good shape, so he maybe interesting.


            Pro’s are about to announce the winner when they decide to have a weird group argument that starts off with Regal congratulating Jericho for Wade winning, before the announcement is made. Truth gets upset at Regal for diss’ing Otunga… what? Truth has done nothing to help Otunga from the get go… and now he cares? Christian and Matt join in, and it all culminates with Truth having a seizure… wow…


            Striker gets us on track, and starts with the drumroll…


2# David Otunga

1# Wade Barrett




BEGINNING: I liked the character as he already had a solid character, and was an excellent heel. I saw him doing well, and low and behold, he was a finalist.


NOW: Eliminated, and I’ve learned over time that what he had in talking, he lacked in wrestling skill. A testament to him for getting as far as he did, but no way he was beating Barrett.


FUTURE: When he learns to wrestle, he’ll be a big player in WWE.


            Shocker. Wade Barrett wins, did I call this?... Hold on….. Yup, I did.


            Otunga actually looks like he’s holding back tears. He states in a promo afterwards that the last time he was eliminated from a reality show, he became more popular than the winner (which happens a lot). He makes a final request to Google him as Barrett gets a chance to talk.


            Barrett thanks Jericho and puts the Pro’s on notice. He says the winds of change are no longer blowing as Wade Barrett has arrived.  I have a good feeling about this guy. Him and Bryan have a solid future, and I thought it was a very appropriate ending for the show.


            We close out with a montage as we fade to black.


            Great show, I thought it was a great move on WWE’s part not to have anything with Cole and Bryan on this show. Wade Barrett deserved to have this moment to himself and he got it. This show was a good example of what NXT should be like. Good wrestling action, and the challenges made sense. I was very happy with this finale.


BEST THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE DEWEY AWARD”: I could say “I have a job!” But I’ll give it Wade winning. I liked how they had him out wrestle Justin Gabriel and out talk Otunga. Showed that Wade was the right one for the job.


AWFUL THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE REESE AWARD”:  Lay-Cool is the Pro for Kaval? Come on!


WTF MOMENT OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE FRANCIS AWARD”: Percy Watson is the man! Oh yeah!is the man! Oh yeah!



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November 2006


by Sean Carless

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.).