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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! Today I wanted to start by saying thanks to the people who actually sent in sent in questions for the new Reader Mail segment, debuting today. For anyone else, feel free to send any questions via:


Twitter: @NotintheMiddle

Email: Malcolmnotinthemiddle@gmail.com


            Before we go into the opening Rant, I have an announcement. As you heard about from previous columns, the Fanny’s are making their triumphant return after a two-year absence! Folks, I am stoked! If you travel back to my first column, I mentioned the Fanny’s and how I’d love to see them come back. But here’s the epic news… NXT Rant’s own Malcolm Not in the Middle will be one of the writers for that piece! This is a huge honor for me to be part of this, and I promise Sean and my readers that I will bring it! I cannot wait!


            For the opening rant...Tribute to the Troops. Now I love the idea, and it’s a very classy thing for WWE to do, and every year no less. However, this year I really have to question them…. For their choice of theme music for the event. The song for the event, as I’m sure you all know, is called “I’m coming home” by J. Cole. Of course, everyone knows the name of the song is “I’m Coming Home” because that’s the only part of the song they play. In regular cases, this song would be fine… if it weren’t playing for the military. Think about it, these guys are fighting the good fight. Literally risking there lives for our freedoms, and you have to think a lot of them can’t wait to go back home… So do they really need this blasting on the loudspeaker, making them think of going home? Only to realize they’re not, and they have a few more years to go.  I’m just saying, it seems like a jerk thing to do. I wonder if the purchase of that song is why they’re doing the tribute in America this year? Can’t imagine a song about going home would have gone over well over there.


            In all do seriousness, I hoped the troops enjoyed the show, and god bless them for doing something that I could never do… I have flat feet, you see. BTW, no Off Topic this week, as I’m cut for time. No worries, they’ll be back next week.


            So on to the show, which we start with a good ole default opening. Todd Grisham is still there, which leads me to believe this is permanent… Good. Hey I thought the whole Cole hating NXT was funny for awhile too… but here’s the thing, this show is supposed to make me think one of these guys are going to go on to WWE and be a big deal. This cannot be accomplished with Cole telling me “Boy these people suck!” every week. Just sayin.


            We are threatened with the traditional Obstacle course this week, but first we have to endure a different challenge first.




            So the first challenge is a new one, as the Rookies will take turns drawing envelopes from Striker’s hand. Within these envelopes is wrestlers’ theme music. After they pick, they must sing the assigned wrestler’s theme, and impress the audience. From there, whomever the audience picks in the winner. Ho boy… This will be good.


Connor O’Brian: He picks King Sheamus… and is that his official name? I’ve heard him called Sheamus and King Sheamus since winning the KOTR. Anyway, Connor’s rendition is weird… as he seems to be taking this “I’m a fucking Rat” gimmick a little too seriously now, as he sounds like TMNT’s The Rat King singing Sheamus’ music. Scary stuff. He finishes and the crowd seems to like it about as much as I did.


Bateman: He gets the Miz, and I have never seen anyone so excited to sing Miz’s music. Watching him is hysterical; as I swear to god he’s having a series of heart attacks while singing it. He finishes by doing a cheap pop, and the crowd eats it up, good stuff.


Novak: Interestingly enough gets his Pro Dolph Ziggler! And he really… doesn’t do any justice to his Pro’s music! Thankfully, he finishes and gets boo’d out .


Brodus: Draws Cody Rhodes theme… and he makes that theme sound scary. I don’t think he cannot be intimidating. Even Striker was a little scared at the end. As humorous as I found it, it’s obvious that he isn’t winning.


Johnny: Gets Randy Orton, and I take back what I said about Bateman, as Johnny is absolutely ecstatic. He does the song with heart attacks, and even does the Viper pose several times in the song. Crowd gets a kick out of this.


Saxton:  Finally Saxton gets Shawn Michaels… and wow, he sings it exactly how I’d imagine Carlton Banks singing it. Only thing missing is the Carlton dance, but its funny stuff. Crowd really seems to like it, however I’m not entirely sure if that was for Saxton or if they just miss Shawn Michaels.


            Its close but your winner is…..


WINNER: Byron Saxton


            How about that? Saxton doesn’t have too much time to celebrate as he’s in a match right now! But first, we cut to a Jacob Novak extended promo feature… and I have to tell ya, if there was one guy in this contest that I couldn’t give two shits about, its this guy. It’s a thinner Louie Spicolli dressing like a very early Razor Ramon… except nowhere near as cool. I guess the feature is okay, as apparently, he’s pretty gifted athletically. Still though, I don’t care.






            Interesting match up, as it’s my first look at both Brodus and Saxton in the ring. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Brodus is a big dude! He throws Saxton around like a ragdoll and even goes toe to toe with Masters. We even get a T Bone suplex, but just one; so I’m not sold on this whole Suplex Machine thing yet. One thing I dislike about him? “D’Yeah!” That’s what he’ll scream out repeatedly, and at odd times during the match. I suppose I’ll get used to it, damn it gets annoying. Also, he seems to be a ring hog, in that he stays in the ring way too long… but that maybe a character thing.


            Saxton is interesting, as he plays the cowardly, cocky heel gimmick really well. All he needs to do is to scream like a girl while being attacked, and wear a sweater vest, and he’s set. But I enjoy watching him in the ring.


            Typical back and forth, and the end is very interesting as it plays on both Brodus and Saxton making Rookie mistakes. Brodus first gets overzealous and tries to elbow Masters off Ted, a but Masters moves out of the way, and he hits Ted. After dispatching Brodus, he signals for the Masterlock, but Saxton blind tags in. After telling Masters this is his time, he charges Dibiase… only for him to duck and hit Dream Street to end it. Why Masters couldn’t bother to break up the pin I’ll never know.


WINNERS: Ted & Brodus


            After watching Ted and Masters talk done to their Rookies for a bit, we cut to the back as Daniel Bryan… becomes the coolest fucker in the world! From season one, I bitched about how none of the Pro’s actually teach their Rookies anything. Guess what my man Daniel is doing? Teaching Bateman submission moves! Excellent! Anyway, he tries to teach his overly excited Rookie, but Bateman fucks up hysterically. He applies the move wrong, all the while screaming “SUBMISSION! SUBMISSION WRESTLING! SUBMISSION!” and ignoring Bryan’s instructions… so he kicks him in the throat. So Bateman didn’t learn anything; and Bryan gave up a little too quickly, but hey this show is slowly evolving and that’s a good thing! BTW, the main event tonight is Alberto Del Rio vs. Derrick Bateman… and I finally understand why Del Rio has been laughing this whole time tonight.


            We’re back… and let’s get this over with. It’s Obstacle Course time. I will mention that WWE did something I liked with this one. Since it’s more difficult than other challenges per say, it’s going to be worth 2 points, instead of the usual 1. Good! Way to add some variety. I hope they do this with other challenges. For those who forgot, here’s the course:



1)      Run the tires

2)      Barricades

3)      10 pushups

4)      Balance beam

5)      Push cart up ramp


            So that I avoid saying this every other guy, I have to ask, what the fuck is wrong with these refs? Is NXT when they release their frustrations? In this obstacle course, we see them randomly make people start over with the pushups, as I’m sure Novak did 30. And they are freakin anal about them being completely in that yellow rectangle, which is a stupid rule, as Brodus being big, had difficulty fitting in. But whatever, least their useless is equal to everyone.


Anyway, here are the times:


Jacob: 37.9

Saxton: Damn near suffers a concussion by falling over the tallest barricade. He gets a 1:02:20 seconds or something. To be fair though, he was selling the fact he just had a match, which I appreciate.

Connor: 42.7

Bateman: 35.7

Johnny: get a 34.7 but is DQ’ed as an idiot ref says he fell off the balance beam. He demands an instant replay, and I wish him luck on that pipe dream.

Brodus: DQ’ed for going through the barricade instead of around it. God he’s badass…


            Looks like my luck carries a long way, as the idiot refs decided to give Johnny another shot!


Johnny: 31.4 for the win!


WINNER: Johnny Curtis


            Speaking of which, we head directly into a Johnny Curtis extended promo… and damn, if this wasn’t constructed to make you feel for him. He has the whole drifter and holding many jobs deal, and how he had a best friend who went to wrestling school with him, and as soon as he mentioned “He went on his motorcycle one day” I knew that wasn’t going well for him. Sets him up nicely as the sympathetic babyface, though I must admit it’s an interesting story.


            We get reminded that Alberto vs. Bateman is still gonna happen. One guy is getting a main event push, and the other doesn’t know how to do a leglock correctly. Who would you place your money on?


            We get a RAW Rebound of last night. In summary, Slammys happened, Cena came back in a lame payoff, and then proceeded to make Otunga look like shit. It’s good to have him back :P


            We cut to the back as Jacob Novak meets Vickie Guerrero for the first time, and proceeds to mack on her. Okay… what the fuck? Why do people keep hitting on her? At first, I thought it was to exploit her for her power, but she really hasn’t done anything for Dolph in FOREVER! So does that mean he really likes her? WTF?! And Dolph shows up, Vickie goes away, and damn Novak is big. He really does dwarf Ziggler by a lot. Anyway, he tells El Gigante to head to the back and watch the main event by himself while he has sex with Vickie in the back or something. Ziggler still dressed like a stripper going to a job interview, BTW.






            This match… should not have been the main event. This was like watching Rick “The Model” Martel destroy Jumping Jim Brunzell on Wrestling Challenge. Total squash match, and the announcers insulting my intelligence by insinuating Bateman had a chance in heck was stupid.


            Bateman does get some offense in, and even hits that jumping neckbreaker that I think is his finisher. However, Del Rio kicks out, and shortly hits his arm breaker finisher and that’s it.


WINNER: Alberto


            Well, that was weak…  Hey! You know what time it is!?




@EffinFalcone writes: “Anyway, question for next weeks column, Out of the 6 rookies, from what you've seen so far, which one do you think will win?”


            I knew I’d be asked this at some point. It’s still a little early to tell as we’ve only hit the second show. However, every good journalist has to put his money down on someone.


            I’m going to have to go with Brodus Clay. Thus far I like what I see with him in the ring, but I want more suplexes! He has a very marketable look, and stands out very easily among the other Rookies. Plus he’s actually pretty good on the mic, as he sounds very intimidating. His rendition of Cody Rhodes theme is freakin scary!


            As fair as a dark horse pick, I’m gonna have to go with Bryon Saxton. I gotta hand it to him, he’s got his character DOWN. Plus his constant fuck ups are always entertaining. Am I saying he’s going to win the title within the year? No, but he could be entertaining. What if he changed his ways and joined Santino’s crew? Imagine Santino’s crew with Carlton Banks in it? Awesome!


DN Spunk writes in: “I forget-are you the one on TWF that mentioned the Phoenix/Professor Layton game coming out?”




            He continues: “How stoked are you for this game? “Ace Attorney” is one of my favorite series.”


            For the record, I always appreciate video game questions. Not only do I love them, I actually have a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Design. My dream job would be to work for IGN or someplace like that as a video game reviewer.


            Anyway, I will admit I’ve only played bits and pieces of Layton, and I’ve never played Phoenix Wright. However, I’ve liked the ideas behind the two games. Now while both are puzzles games, they have very different dynamics. So seeing how they decide to make these two characters work will be cool.


            The awesome thing though? They’re not doing some stupid team up like every other combo game; they’re fighting each other! Both characters are genius in there own right, so this makes me very curious as to who would win!


            So I am pretty stoked about this. This game could be pretty epic if the story can match the characters. But I have to wonder how its gonna play. Do you pick one and play the game with him? Or do ya flip flop between the characters? But yeah, it looks like it could be DS game of the year easily. That’s it for the mailbag. Once again, you can reach me at:


Twitter: @NotintheMiddle

Email: Malcolmnotinthemiddle@gmail.com


BEST THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE DEWEY AWARD”:  I’ll give this award to Daniel Byran, the first Pro to actually be seen trying to train his Rookie to do something!


AWFUL THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE REESE AWARD”:  The main event of the show is a squash match.


WTF MOMENT OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE FRANCIS AWARD”:  I’m starting to expect Connor O’Brian to come out in a rat costume next week.




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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.).