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Malcolm Not in the Middle



Hey guys. Malcolm Not in the Middle here, and welcome to another edition of the rant. This week, we start a brand new season of NXT, something I am still in complete shock about. Its pretty official at this point that NXT has nothing to worry about as far as continuing. If they could feature wrestlers that were that bad (to the point that that they were kicked off TV, and the gimmick of the announcers became that they hated the show) and still get a 4th season after that… I’m now confident that I’m going to have a job here at TWF for a long time!

BTW, I have to point a finger of shame at WWE due to a news story I heard recently. Apparently, at the recent RAW show in Orlando, there was a fan in attendance that was dressed like Hulk Hogan. WWE forced this poor sap (who reportedly spent $700 on his costume) to not only take off his costume, but to put on a “Stand up for WWE” shirt… which I have to say is the balliest and most ironic shirt they could have given him. Remember, this is the same WWE that made that big stink about voters not being able to wear WWE Shirts at the voting booth. That made this big deal about free speech and all that happy horse shit, and then started “Stand up for WWE” in part to get us that right. Now here they are censoring this poor SOB, with the same fucking slogan! Unfucking believable! Someone needs to tell Vince he’s won the wrestling wars, and that some idiot dressed as Hogan isn’t going to make me change the channel. Just leave the fans alone Vince. I’m sure that dude is already embarrassed that he spent $700 to look like Hogan, let alone be hit with a dose of cruel irony.

Anyway, I digress. Tonight we start a new season of NXT, which has gone back to the guys. We have some interesting pairings in this one, and it should be good. Throughout the night, for OFF TOPIC, I’m going to be giving out awards for season 3. In other words, my opinion is going to be thrown around like a Colin Delaney fighting Brock Lesnar. Should be mantastic! ^_^

We return, and it’s a return to form as “We are wild and Young” yet again. Seriously though, still? I mean I understand why “You make the Rain fall” had to go… but its been 4 seasons already! Can’t they get something better than this? At any rate, it’s not a complete return to form as we short one Michael Cole who has been replaced with Todd Grisham! No word yet if this is permanent, or if he’s just selling the RKO… if it’s the latter, you got to be fucking kidding me. He took an inverted bulldog, not a fucking bullet.

Default opening-a-roo, as Striker introduces to our NXT Pro’s and Rookies. In case ya forgot:

  1. R-Truth is the Pro for Rookie Johnny Curtis, backyard wrestler turned pro. The kid makes me laugh by doing his impression of an R Truth dance. Funny stuff.

  2. Ted Dibiase & Maryse are the Pros for Rookie Brodus Clay. To say this guy is big is a massive understatement. Once again for the record, he’s 6’8” and over 400 lbs.

  3. Chris Masters is the Pro (*snicker*) for Rookie Bryon Saxton, and they FINALLY announce that he used to be a commentator for ECW! He also was an anchorman for quite a number of news shows as well.

  4. Dolph Ziggler just finished his shift at Chippendales, and will be the Pro for Rookie Jacob Novak. Special thanks to Rookie DN Spunk for reminding me he looks like Curt Hawkins. Though upon closer inspection, he looks more like Curt Hawkins and Gangrel’s love child.

  5. Pro Daniel Bryan is out to introduce his rookie; that is so manly, his name is Derrick Bateman… The fuck sense does that make?!

  6. Pro Alberto Del Rio is out next, introduced by his announcer of course. He also introduces his Rookie- JESUS FUCK! He looks like a goddamn rat! I didn’t notice it before, but he looks like a bloody rat!... his name is Connor O'Brian.. wow…

So that’s all of them, who gather in the ring with Striker. After taking a moment to admire how “wild and young” they are, Striker announces our first challenge!


Okay, fine. This one really isn’t supposed to be a challenge per say…but you’d be surprised how many people fuck this one up and set themselves up for failure. *Cough*LuckyCannon*Cough* This intro tends to set the tone for the entire season, so let’s see how they do.

Johnny Curtis: Says he’s going to skip the usual intro to make some shout outs, starting with the WWE Universe… which you would think is everyone but he makes a few more. He says that a vote for him is a vote for freedom... huh?

Brodus Clay: Does the standard “I’m a BMF” promo, but he does it surprisingly well. I was actually a little impressed here. If he can deliver in the ring, he could become the man to beat.

Bryon Saxton: You could tell he’s been an announcer before, as his voice carries really well. He’s also kind of goofy, not Percy Watson goofy, but goofy. Could have a future in Santino’s goof troop.

Jacob Novak: Cuts an interesting promo about monopoly (no seriously). Can’t complain; it introduces his character, and it made sense.

Derrick Bateman: It’s his hometown, so he does the standard hometown kid speech. A bit on the generic side, but I can’t really complain.

Connor O'Brian: Just about guarantees the WTF award by making this weird fuckin shriek on the mic to get our attention. He then goes on to say… everyone says he looks like a rat! I fuckin knew it wasn’t just me! He then cuts a promo on how he’s like a rat because… he eats garbage and doesn’t get sick? I stopped paying attention, as I was in disbelief that he called himself a rat.

Right off the bat, I’m impressed. None of those intros sucked, so that makes me hopeful for this season. Also the announcers aren’t calling these Rookies losers like they did last time. While this may piss some people off, (and it was pretty funny when they did make fun of the show) if you’re trying to make new stars, introducing them to us by calling them losers for a few months is kind of stupid.

Alberto Del Rio gets on his Rookie’s case, saying if he’s going to be his Rookie, he needs to not be boring on the mic. Otherwise, he runs the risk of being like… Daniel Bryan. You know, the US Champion? The guy many say is the best wrestler in the WWE? …How the fuck is that insult?

Daniel Bryan makes my point by telling Connor that Alberto is just jealous that he has a belt and Alberto doesn’t. Striker prevents the inevitable fight by announcing that we have our first main event of Daniel Bryan & Derrick Bateman vs. Alberto Del Rio & Connor O'Brian... Because Striker is the GM of NXT, I guess. Potential spoiler: just a reminder, Bateman already announced he was in his hometown…

We then cut to an in-depth interview of Byron Saxton he goes over his career, including a stint as the Kids Wrestling Champion, where he defended the title in his blood feud with his Pillow… I’m serious. Honestly, he’s a good talker and has an interesting personality. If he can wrestle, he could be a dark horse for this competition.

Our first match of this season is coming up and its Jacob Novak vs. Johnny Curtis. Time will tell if this a good thing or a bad thing.


Kind of a “duh” here. The two best wrestlers had one match, and it literally stole the show. The match was so good that Cole broke his “Everything on this show is awful” character, as the match was too good to be ignored. Its thanks to this match that AJ and Naomi (despite losing NXT) have nothing to worry about as far as getting hired.


I have to admit, this was a better match than I was expecting. The crowd was nicely into this one, and it felt like a decent match up I’d see at an indy show (a good one).

I have to tell ya, this show has me getting excited for this season!... Though I have to wonder if my writing will suffer for it. It’s a fan law that wrestling writers need to hate the product, isn’t it?

Anyway, Guillotine Legdrop from Johnny Curtis seals the deal. Seriously though, watch this match if you have time.

WINNER: Johnny Curtis

We then cut to a Brodus Clay in-depth, which really succeeds in giving him depth as a human being. I particularly enjoyed the part of him getting himself kicked out of several foster homes just so he could be with his brother. Even doing bodyguard work for Snoop Dogg… this man is a bull. Once again, if he can go full tilt with this human suplex machine gimmick, he’s got my vote.


This one may shock a number of people, especially with my love of AJ and what she brought to the show. And yes, hands down, she was one of the best wrestlers on that show… but Naomi was better. Reason being? While they were both around the same in skill, Naomi had a talent for making those in the ring with her look good as well. For this, I give her the slight edge… and yes, I’m choosing to ignore that one match she was dressed as the Hamburger Helper Glove.

We’re back, and we are back for our first real challenge!


This one is a little different from last season. First off, the rules of immunity are the same. For each win on a challenge, you get a point, and the Rookie with the most points gets immunity from elimination that week. I’m actually quite happy they kept this, as it was one of the few smarter moves on their parts for that season.

Anyway, these are the rules for Capture the flag. Each Rookie will take turns running the course. The course consists of:

  1. Run down the ramp

  2. Grab the ladder and put it in the ring

  3. Climb it

  4. Grab the suspended flag

  5. Run back up the ramp and across the line.

Yup, one of those challenges… Here are the scores.

Curtis: 28.6

Connor: 28.2

Its at this point I realize that the people running the clock fucking suck, as it takes several second for them to stop the clock after someone crosses the finish line. So really, we have no idea who won this competition, as the clock keepers don’t know how to do their fucking jobs. But hey, no biggie! Not like someone’s dream was at stake of anything. Oh wait!

Brodus: 33.5 (This guy can move pretty quick for a big guy!)

Saxton: 56.8 (Obviously was throwing the run for comedic value. In the “Huh?” section of WWE rules, if you jump off the ladder, you have to climb back up and it and climb back down… Guess WWE loves challenges that take forever)

Jacob: 26.9

Bateman: 27.3 (Bryan and Alberto lend their talents to make this last run exciting. Alberto starts calling him a loser, which sets up nicely for their upcoming match, and Bryan defends his Rookie. He even gets a Bateman chant going! I have to admit, I like the chemistry between Bateman and Bryan. I’ve been complaining forever that I never see any real teacher/student relationships between these guys, but I like what I see with these two.

While Bateman just misses the time, Josh points out the controversy that the clock took several seconds to stop. As much as I liked it, it was like that for everyone so everyone (except Saxton) has an argument for “actually winning”.

WINNER: Connor O'Brian

Whoever was the timekeeper for this deserves to be dragged out into the street, and shot. Rat Man might survive an elimination? Really?


Okay, so it wasn’t Randy Savage and Elizabeth, but it was entertaining. Heck it even got some life out of Goldust for a little while. Plus, I must admit, I did enjoy heel Aksana, who played up nicely to the fact that she was annoying as hell… Still think the woman needs subtitles.

RAW Rewind of the Miz/Orton feud, so far. I must admit, I have enjoyed this feud, and seeing Cole get RKO’ed ruled. Thankfully, the replay left out Orton being a genius and doing an inverted atomic drop on his “injured” knee. Good job.

TLC, thus far, looks like garbage. I was sick of Edge vs. Kane 5 years ago; Miz vs. Orton looks promising (if they push Miz), and I’m bored of Rey vs. Alberto already, as we already know they’re gonna put Rey over again! Oh, and I’m sure they’ll find an excuse to have Barrett vs. Cena... again.

We then cut to a backstage segment with Ted and Maryse arguing. Brodus tries to get a word in, but they tell him to be quiet and give them a minute. Way to put that young kid over, guys. They make up by Ted agreeing to buy her another coat. They let Brodus come back into the camera shot. Ted puts him over as having all the tools necessary to succeed; he just needs his direction. Maryse buts in “their” in place of “his”. They kinda fight over who gets to teach Brodus, which is actually an interesting angle. His two Pros fighting over him like divorced parents, and Brodus’ background with foster homes makes it a little interesting. Segment ends with Ted walking of with Brodus, and pissing off Maryse.

We then cut to another backstage segment (wow!) this time with Saxton and Chris Masters. Saxton is oiling up his body to look good, and Masters commends him as he’s always said that oil is important… yes folks, it took like 100 years, but we have a promo with wrestlers talking about how awesome body oil is! Masters offers to give him some workout tips, but Saxton says he’s good, as he’s mastered P90X (nice!). After some posing, (Sorry but Masters ain’t quite the Masterpiece without roids) Saxton ditches Masters to do a photo shoot for wwe.com… like I said, if you had to learn from someone, why would you want to learn from Chris freakin’ Masters?

Coming up next, Daniel Bryan teams up with his Rookie Derrick Bateman to take on Alberto Del Rio and one of Jim Henson’s rats!


The big thing I enjoyed about Maxine’s elimination was that this dumb feud came to an end. This feud had such “great” moments like: Hornswoggle tripping Maxine, throwing a pie at Maxine, and other “hilarious” bits. The pay off? They were sleeping together the whole time. God I hate that leprechaun.

ALBERTO DEL RIO & CONNOR O'BRIAN W/ability to eat garbage & not get sick

Once again, a good match! Wait no, this was a very good match!

Daniel Bryan and Derrick Bateman, as I said, have tremendous chemistry. Plus, you get that student/teacher relationship fantastically, as Bateman has a lot of the same moves at Daniel Bryan! Thus, giving the impression that he’s teaching him shit! AWESOME!

BTW, to answer Josh and Grisham’s question as to “I wonder what the Bellas want with Daniels”… they want to screw him. You know, like every guest host RAW has had?

Move of the night goes to Daniel Bryan. After his Rookie did an airplane spin to O’Brian and tagged in his Pro, Daniel decided to show Bateman how it was done. He proceeded to then give O’Brian an airplane spin… for over a minute at break neck speeds! He wasn’t even dizzy afterwards! Unreal.


What started as a rivalry on the first show, become one of the funniest and endearing things of season 3. The friendship these two have is awesome, as you could tell they legitimately liked each other. I still say WWE missed the boat by not making it AJ vs. Kaitlyn in the finals, as the drama of two friends going at it for the job would have made for some gripping TV. These two remain friends even now; in fact they spent Thanksgiving together. All together now: Awwww…

End comes in typical fashion for the hometown guy. Bryan takes out Connor on the outside, while Bateman takes it to Alberto. Things are going his way until he misses with a high cross body. This gives Alberto time to hit his cross arm breaker, and that is it.

WINNER: Alberto & Connor

And that closes us out on a very impressive debut show! No kidding, that was one of the best season premieres of NXT ever! This episode has me stoked for this season… least until they inevitably drop the ball… but for now a great episode!

This season… I wanted to try something new with my columns, something I’ve wanted to try and do for sometime, so here goes. If you have any questions for me, or want my opinion on something (that will be responded to in this column in the following weeks!) send me the question to:

@NotintheMiddle on Twitter



The number of questions answered will be based on how many questions get, so send them over. So if you have anything to ask, please contact me, and I’ll respond on this very column. Please let me know if you want to stay anonymous.

BEST THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE DEWEY AWARD”: I’m giving this to the show as a whole! Very nicely done, and all the Rookies look like they have a chance in hell.

AWFUL THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE REESE AWARD”: Giving this to the timekeeper for that Capture the Flag challenge. The hell was that?

WTF MOMENT OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE FRANCIS AWARD”: How can anyone do an airplane spin for over a minute and not get dizzy!?



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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.).