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By Malcolm Not in the Middle

January 18, 2011

Oh hi, TWF audience. Welcome to another edition of the Rant. A rant whose existence is in question once Tough Enough starts, but we’ll just save that topic till Wrestlemania. To start things off actually, I wanted to chat about the Writer of the Year award winner, Cameron Burge. First and foremost, congratulations to him. Seriously, he’s been writing for as long as I’ve been a fan of the site, so if this is actually his first time winning, its long overdue. The Best Damn Raw Rant has been one of the first things I read every Tuesday for quite a few years now, so congrats to him.

Burge’s victory has actually inspired me. And no, this is not where I go on a venomous rant on Burge, and not winning. Honestly, I showed up midway through the year. Me winning would be like Beth Phoenix winning diva of the year despite being injured for ¾ of it. So I’m determined to make 2011 my year in terms of writing here for TWF… or at least get Sean to have to think for a minute or so on it (Hey, baby steps!) So starting with this column, my rants should hopefully be up by Wednesday morning at the latest. So yes, next day postings for the NXT Rant…. I can hear hear Sean and Catherine taking bets as we speak… I kid, I kid, they don’t care.

For our OFF TOPIC subject today, I’m nuts for DC Universe Online. I remember LTR hopeful DN Spunk telling me once that he was also looking forward to the game. So all my Off Topics will be clues on how to find me on the DCUO servers, which are all PS3 servers. Looking forward to seeing ya there.

BTW, stay tuned for a special announcement about next week’s rant!

Also, I just remembered that we have elimination this show as well. I’ll have to say its between Johnny Curtis and Connor O’Brian, simply due to the fact that both their gimmicks are that they’re retarded. Seriously, one’s a moron and the other thinks he’s a rat. Neither guy is ever going to be World Champion with their gimmicks, that’s a given. Also, as funny as stupid characters are… they will always lose to a cool character, and this roster has a few of those now.

The show begins with a very weird recap. Its starts off by showing the clip with Connor and Alberto at the New Year’s Eve Smackdown party, which I never saw. The whole Rat thing is starting to get a little creepy. Then it cuts to a recap of the Daniel/Bella storyline. I can’t help but feel they were supposed to focus on Bateman here, but since he’s had little to nothing to do with that storyline, it focuses more on Bryan. Then it cuts to Ziggler winning the Bryon Saxton, an- OMG! I just realized the slave implications of Ziggler (white dude) winning Saxton (Black man)! Then it cuts to Ted Dibiase treating Brodus Clay like a piece of shit, with Maryse slapping him. This recaps ends with the ending of the Talent Show with Brodus killshitting everyone.

One awful opening later, we are thrown right into the default opening… which leads us to our first challenge once everyone is in the ring.


And no they don’t call it that, but that’s what it is. The Rookies (all in the ring) are asked questions by Striker that was asked to the Pros (On the stage with queue cards and mics). After the Rookies make a guess what as to what was said, the Pro’s reveal their answer. Rookie with the most points wins 4 points…, which I have a problem with.

At this point, Bateman had a pretty comfortable lead thanks to winning 2-3 challenges. Very hard fought challenges mind you… now here we are the day of an elimination and that can be reversed thanks to one BS challenge? That’s stupid man. So basically, you can just chill till the day of an elimination, since there is now a guarantee that there will be one challenge that will equal whoever’s lead. Oh well…

Question 1: “When your Pro first saw you, they thought_______________.”

Curtis: Impressive.
Truth: Cool.

This is ruled as incorrect, and I feel for Curtis. Even Striker had to question if it counted or not.

Saxton: Tanned… Then followed by “Wait no, he’s black actually.”
Ziggler: Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air

In related news, Dolph Ziggler is now my favorite Pro.

Bateman: Tulsa, OK. Okay whatever….
Bryan: Tulsa, OK… wait, what?

… I dunno what to say to that….

Connor: Strange
Alberto: A Rat

Oh come on! This is another one they should have just given to the Rookie!

Brodus: Large
Ted: Out of Shape

From here, Brodus proceeds to give Ted the biggest “Fuck you!” look I’ve ever seen. Gotta give him credit, Brodus does those looks better than anyone.

Question 2: “If your Rookie had a career outside of wrestling, what would it be?”

Saxton: Singer
Ziggler: Anchorman for Lifetime

What’s humorous is that before NXT, Byron was an anchorman for a TV station. So ya, you is smart, Bryon.

Bateman: Steve Blackman… his guess is that he could be Steve Blackman professionally? Okay, just mark him wrong.
Bryan: Steve Blackman….

Okay, this is pretty funny. Just the fact that they’re not even hiding the fact that they’re rigging the game like this is actually pretty funny.

Connor: Circus
Alberto: my employ

You know, this challenge is really making Connor look like he has a self-esteem issue.

Brodus: Bodyguard (Because you know, he was one back before he was doing this so its only logical to assume he’d go back to doing it.)
Ted: Bodyguard

I suppose we should be thankful Ted didn’t answer “Fry Cook”. After almost forgetting him, Striker finally gets to Curtis.

Curtis: NXT Commentator (Ya! Aim high!)
Truth: Dancing or Acting?... how!? He’s a fuckin moron!

Question 3: “In your opinion, where is your Rookies most needed areas for improvement?”

Brodus: Listening
Ted: Listening

Despite getting it correct, Brodus is still pissed off. Like he only said that cause he thought that Ted and his ego would say that. This angle is getting interesting.

Connor: Listening
Alberto: Looks

I really can’t disagree with that assessment.

Bateman: Chicks and America…
Bryan: Chicks and America…

…. Its Derrick Bateman, so I guess its not supposed to make sense.

Byron: More like Dolph
Ziggler: Write more dream journals

I’d tease, but I’m guessing this means Dolph keeps dream journals himself. Don’t tease. The guy is challenging for the World Title at the Royal Rumble, so they apparently work!

Curtis: Being noticed
Truth: Confidence

That’s actually a little funny… And that’s it, and gee will ya look at who won? So much for my cry of BS, unless the next challenge is 8 points. SPOILER: It isn’t, and in fact, that was the only challenge for the night. So Derrick Bateman is immune, which is awesome cause I actually like the guy. So awesome… as we head to commercials!

OFF TOPIC: First off to make it easy, all my Heroes are on the Redemption Server, and all my Villains are on the Countdown Server.

We returned to NXT doing something I never thought was possible… making a Chris Master’s match interesting!


The obvious story here is that Masters, the former Pro of Saxton, wanting to prove that he still has more to teach Saxton. In fact, they even do a picture in picture backstage segment between the two alluding to this fact.

This match further shows why Dolph is my favorite Pro, as he is awesome in the manager role. He does everything from distracting Masters, antagonizing the crowd, and even the slapping on the mat thing. Its like he was channeling Jimmy Hart or Bobby Heenan!

The match… isn’t bad. In fact, it’s pretty good. Saxton only uses a chinlock once, and the match actually makes him look really good. That’s despite the result, as Saxton misses a stinger splash and hits the post… falling victim to the Masterlock.

WINNER: Chris Masters

Once again, good match! If it weren’t for Josh and his ranting about how “it doesn’t matter how well he did, he lost”, it would be perfect. Fucking hell Josh, its bad enough they have no real shot against legit stars, but can you even let them have the “They put up a valiant effort” part?

We cut to the back for a Ted Dibiase/Maryse/Brodus segment. More of Ted treating Brodus like garbage, and blaming him for the fact that he’s WWE’s new version of MVP. Brodus skulks off, while Maryse says something in French to Ted that infuriates him… I will say Maryse’s cocky bitch persona is hysterical.

OFF TOPIC: First for the Heroes! Up first is Hyperfreeze on the Redemption server.

We are back, and we have another match!


Another NXT first, as Josh and Grisham make a very astute observation. I believe its Grisham who points out that neither Derrick Bateman or Daniel Bryan have ever won a match on NXT. Congrats boys, you’ve just made me very interested in the match.

I’m actually really curious about this one already. Bateman one of my top two has been my odds on favorite to win since the beginning, especially since he has the best chemistry with his Pro. So how well they well do together as a tag team could effect his chances of winning… what? You didn’t really think it was all due to “voting”, did ya?

Derrick and Daniel… who I just realized have the same freaking initials, really have a “Rockers” essence to them… I just can’t put my finger one why, they just do. They have a lot of potential, as they show a lot of chemistry together, which is really missing in tag team wrestling… that as well as tag teams themselves, but I digress.

This match goes a long way at making everyone look good. Bateman and Bryan look like a very credible tag team, and Brodus looks very much like a monster here again. He was even about hit his finisher on Bryan before Ted decides to make a blind tag. But all Rookies looked good here.

End comes after Ted makes said blind tag. He goes for his finish on Bryan, who rolls out and tags in Derrick. After some offense, Ted regains control… and then proceeds to cuss out Brodus. Brodus finally says fuck this shit, and starts to leave. This distracts Ted… who gets rolled up by Bateman for three.


Its official, Ted is a jobber… and I now have the Rockers theme stuck in my head! Anyway, we are reminded about the elimination… as we head to commercials.

OFF TOPIC: Mister Luck also on Redemption.

OFF TOPIC: Finally, Soul Quiver on Redemption as well.

We come back to the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Connor O’Brian is in the back, when he sees some cheese on the floor… he then proceeds to stop and eat this cheese… that he just found off the floor. As he’s eating the cheese, he looks up and sees another piece of cheese, which leads to another piece and so forth. This eventually leads to a closed door. Connor opens this door to reveal Ricardo Rodriguez… who then proceeds to spray him with what I assume we’re supposed to believe was rat poison... I swear to God, this is on par with the time Hornswoggle painted a hole in a wall, and ran through it.

If I could ask annoy an IC question right now in WWE, I’d ask Ricardo “Sooo… what were you expecting to happen when you sprayed him?” That he’d die? Seriously, he hates Connor that much? I mean yes, the gimmick is beyond jumping the shark, but come on! Thankfully however, Connor doesn’t die… in fact he and Ricardo get into a scuffle… balanced only because Connor is blind and choking on poison. Alberto appears to stop this, and reveals he is the GM of NXT, and books Connor vs. Ricardo for tonight… oh, boy…

OFF TOPIC: For the Villains, we start off with my personal favorite character: Dark Plague on Countdown. He’s my personal favorite at the moment, so I’ll be on as him a lot.

We come back to a scene with R Truth and Johnny Curtis… ugh. Here’s the thing with these two, you can tell WWE wants these two to have great chemistry, and they try to have great chemistry… way too hard. That’s the thing, you can tell they are trying, and as a result, you leave every promo thinking, “Why the fuck did we have to waste our time with that?” Don’t believe me? This 2:00 minute segment was about Curtis being loose. Think about that for a second.

OFF TOPIC: Malak (see what I did there with my name?) at Countdown.

We are back for a match; I never thought I’d recap.


Now, as you probably guessed, this match is purely comedy. Ricardo even announces himself to the ring as he comes to the ring in a white robe. I was actually expecting him to pull a Armando Estrada, and reveal himself to be a slaughterhouse in physique… but no. To be quite frank, he is really out of shape. He reminds me of Bobby Heenan in build. Plus, he has like no tan. Kinda like a Mexican Sheamus.

The match itself is very one-sided, as Connor just destroys Ricardo. I have to say, Ricardo plays a complete wuss really well! Check him out, it’s a sight to behold. End comes as Connor goes for a stinger splash (common theme tonight) but misses. He hits his head on the ring post, and knocks himself out. Ziggler becomes my new favorite wrestler by yelling out “NO! NOT LIKE THIS!” Classic… Anyway, Ricardo then proceeds to hit the single wussiest splash that I’ve ever seen… for the win!

WINNER: Ricardo Rodriguez

Connor just lost to a manager… gee I wonder who’s getting eliminated?

OFF TOPIC: Finally, The Heatseeker on Countdown.

We are back, and its elimination time. You guys know the drill by now. Derrick has immunity, and Striker asks him who he think should be eliminated. Derrick gives a Derrick answer and says Saxton because he has a punchable face. Huh? Anyway, it’s Connor O’Brian.

Character Retrospective: Connor O’Brian

BEGINNING: From the moment I saw that promo backstage for him, in which he claims his childhood was ruined due to how much he looked like a rat (even though he looked nothing like a rat) I thought he was the single most dumbest character I’ve ever seen created on NXT.

NOW: It just got worse from there. After awhile, I was expecting him to come to the ring with a rat-tail stapled to his ass!

FUTURE: The scary thing is? He could have a future. The target audience is children, and Connor is pretty much a Disney villain in a sense. Like I said in the beginning a Smackdown feud with Hornswoggle may not be too far off.

So how does Connor end his NXT career?

1. Makes more terrible jokes.
2. Ricardo comes out to pick on him in Spanish, so Connor chases him away.
3. Comes back, and tells the crowd that they’re stupid (true)
4. Goes back to his home world… underneath the ring.

End of show. Have to say, probably the best episode of NXT Season 4 ever. If they could keep this pace going, they may have a show.


Sam Pitts asks: “Considering that he was an NXT hopeful, what’s your opinion of Daniel Bryan current storyline with the Bella twins? He was after all a NXTer, after all.”

Um, that it sucks? In my opinion, this angle proves that if it weren’t for the whole BS firing that happened, Bryan would have faired about as well as Kaval in WWE. Think about this, best WWE could come up with for the US champion and one of the best wrestlers in the company…. Is to make him a virgin, and have two skanks fight over popping his cherry. THIS… is the best they could come up with. I’m actually willing to bet they reveal that Bryan lives with his grandmother next week.

You know, this might be okay… if it weren’t for the fact the show is PG. How can there be ANY sort of pay off for this? With the sole exception of Edge and Lita, there can never be a payoff to a sex angle, because they can’t show anything! As interesting as it would be, you’re not going to see Bryan vs. Brie vs. Nikki in a triple sex match at Mania!

Him jobbing to Morrison I think is the beginning end. Once he loses that title, I think he’s going to get the Kaval treatment… sadly, his best chance of keeping the dream alive maybe his Rookie. Here’s hoping…

Chris Ford writes in: “Hey Malcolm, I thought you said you were going to be added to the Fannies at a later date? How much later is that?!”

Yeah about that… So I wrote up the categories and sent it to Sean. We were all set and ready to go… but unfortunately, the template for the page has been misplaced. As a result, I’m SOL and I better luck next year as far as being included with the Fannies.

But my loss is your gain, as next week (in their entirety) I will present to you Malcolm’s 2010 Fanny Awards! Yes, not quite as filling as the regular Fannies, but better for you. So look forward to that… next week. Till then, how about some more twitter questions? ^_^

Twitter: @NotintheMiddle
Email: Malcolmnotinthemiddle@gmail.com

BEST THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE DEWEY AWARD”: The show in general. I honestly very much enjoyed this show tonight.

AWFUL THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE REESE AWARD”: It’s nitpicking, but did Masters really need the victory here? The hell is he going to do with it?

WTF MOMENT OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE FRANCIS AWARD”: Ricardo for actually believing that Connor is a rat and trying to kill him. For Christ’s sake, WTF?

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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.).