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by Malcolm Not in the Middle


S'up dawgs? Recently my critique of Tough Enough's winner Andy came under fire from Benedict Arnold himself, @EffinFalcone. Judas here cut me to the quick when he wrote me on Twitter, disagreeing with me picking Luke as the guy who should have won TE. He writes:

"Why do you want Luke to win so bad? Don't we have enough bland 'my gimmick is I'm arrogant' heel's?"

So let's take apart that statement. Before I go on, I just want to mention that I'm joking about being upset with Falcone. Effin is a friend to the column... its just been awhile since I've gotten a Reader Mailbag question, so I'm a little excited ^_^;;;

I wanted Luke to win so badly because he was the better man for the job. End of story. The fact that you are so opposed to even the thought of him winning is a testament to how good a heel he is. Whats more E.F., you really don't help your cause as the only reason you want Andy to win is because you don't like Luke! That's potential for a great heel write there. What does Andy have? He's a big angry guy that's mediocre at best.The only thing close to a gimmick for him aside from that is that he's straight edge, and I'm sorry... but somebody is already better at that.

As for the arrogant heel gimmick... can you tell me a heel that was humble? Being arrogant is pretty much a perquisite for being a heel. It hardly seems fair to hold being a cocky heel against him. Plus let's be realistic here. Despite whoever may have won... these guys are heading to JOBBER state prison to serve a sentence of 3-5 years. So in the end, gimmicks really don't matter as all their going to be used for is enhancement... to which I ask why wouldn't WWE pick the better wrestler here for that... but it wouldn't be the first time that WWE did something that made no sense.

In hindsight, I should have seen this ending coming. Show opens up with Andy, with his family, training with his family, talking up what this means to his family... and then you cut to Luke, who's drinking and partying... leading us all to believe that that this was his major downfall. Which is BS considering the host was Stone Cold. All the trainers siding with Andy was a little overdramatic, I mean they realize the point of their being suspense for the finale, right? In all, I really did enjoy Tough Enough.... I just wished they tried harder to hide the bullshit.

Which brings us to this week's OFF TOPICin which I'll mention some of my personal "favorite" makes-no-sense-moments in WWE. Now lets get this rant start!

The show opens up with a package reviewing Lucky Cannon's current deal with Maryse. It ends, going over last week when Maryse cost Lucky the victory by attacking him after Hornswoggle destroyed her bag. Let me just reiterate that: Maryse, after a midget tried to steal her purse and destroyed it, took out her frustrations on the guy who bought it (Lucky Cannon) despite the fact Hornswoggle was still right there in front of her... Monkey's write this show...

Unfortunately, we begin with our default opening as Striker and Maryse are in the ring. Maryse causes my eyebrow to raise in confusion as she calls the Rookies "her Rookies". They come out, as they go over why Hornswoggle won't be here tonight. Apparently that attack by R Truth on Raw is causing Swoggle to be out for a week. You know, if you'd have told me 3 months ago that there would come a time I'd be happy to have Truth as the WWE Champion, I'd have called you crazy. But I have to tell you, this Joker gimmick he's got is amazing. Still makes no sense that he's a heel considering what happened with Morrison, but awesome stuff.

They go over the Redemption Point scores again. In case you forget, seeing how they are sorta meaningless, here's the scores:

Titus: 19
Darren: 7
Conor: 3
Lucky: 0

Striker takes this time to further explained the points, as he states that the points are there in case there is a tie between the Pro's and the WWE Universe... which makes absolutely no sense. So the points are there in case there's a tie between the 6 Pro's and the 6 million WWE fans out there? How the hell is that even possible? What's more, its always such an unlikely event, that there's no point in doing this! It be one thing if they actually showed the points come into play... but its really just to make the Rookies jump through hoops. Speaking of which, here's one for them to jump through now!


Most of you should know this by now. Jist of this one is simple; cut a decent promo. Striker will give you a subject, and you just roll with it. The subject for this challenge is "Who do you think should be eliminated and why?"

Lucky Cannon: He picks Titus O'Neil because all he's done is leech off his Pro's fans from day one. He also states that if he wasn't paired with Swoggle, he'd be viewed as the same loser he was from season 2, and christ almighty if he isn't 100% correct with these points. Lucky easily cuts the best promo, and I ain't talking by NXT standards here! This was a great promo that made me believe Lucky has a future in WWE.

Titus O'Neil: Titus picks Lucky of course... and is just pretty much a pushy face at this point. In fact, I'd argue with Lucky's mannerisms throughout this promo, that the promo did more to get Lucky over!

Conor O'Brian: He picks Darren Young, because he did something that they all dreamed about doing, and thats main event SummerSlam. Yet, he is again fighting for a chance at a contract. He had a chance and he blew... and I can't really argue with that logic. I'm not a Conor O'Brian fan by any stretch of the imagination... but it was a great point, and actually a decent promo to boot albeit very short.

Darren Young:Responds to this by punching Conor in the face, and running away. A graduate of the Johnny Curtis school of Promos.

A few of these promos were actually very good. I was actually looking forward to see who would get this one till Striker reminded me that the WWE Universe would be picking the winners. So despite Lucky clearly cutting the best promo, he was boo'ed out of the building. Meanwhile Darren Young who's promo was pretty much him decking the other guy ALMOST WON THIS! But no, the winner of this won of course is the guy who owes his success to a Leprechaun.

WINNER: Titus O'Neil

And for this victory, Titus gets.... 3 lousy points? So according to NXT, cutting a promo is the equivalent of winning a 5 team gauntlet match? How does that make sense? Also, can we just quit with the contests now? There's absolutely no way for the other two to catch up to Titus, so what's the point?

OFF TOPIC:Why did Vince go with that awful main event for Wrestlemania 8 instead of pulling the trigger on Flair vs. Hogan?

We return, and it looks like we have a match set to go!

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Darren Young

Its amazing how this show can change my opinion of a wrestler. for instance, I used to not care about Yoshi at all. Now I see him as a heel based on how he ruined a man's chance at his dream over a girl, and seems to not even care about it. Its funny what passes as a face nowadays, I tell ya.

To be honest, this is a pretty good match, and very fast paced and physical. Darren Young, as I've said, is a good worker and belongs in that ring. Its just a shame he's a heel now, as I believe he'd be in the hunt to win otherwise. As for Yoshi? Well, he's Yoshi. BTW, is it somekind of wrestling law that if you're japanese you have to be an expert martial artist?

OFF TOPIC: So who was the guy behind GTV?

We're back, and JTG has joined us on commentary! I'd be happy about this, but Regal seems to have made it his mission to make sure no gold comes out of JTG's mouth. On the subject of Regal, he really needs to figure out if he's a face commentator or a heel commentator. He keeps flip flopping, and its very reminiscent of an overly heel Micheal Cole where'd he praise a heel, and then go into how awesome John Cena was. He does the same here with JTG as he even threatens to beat the tar out of him, after going on about how much he respects him for two weeks.

In any event, the end of the match comes as Yoshi goes to the top rope, allowing to be distracted by Chavo. After kicking him away, Darren sneaks up on him and throws up off the turnbuckle for the win.

WINNER: Darren Young

Afterward, JTG, with the assistance from Darren Young and Chavo, proceed to monkey stomp Yoshi. That is until Koslov and Conor make the save, because Titus is a jerk. Heels run off, and that gives us a nice stand off... oh boy, oh boy a JTG/Yoshi feud on the horizon... they're aware that their Rookies are eliminated right?

We then go to a recap of the entire R-Truth/Cena feud with a very nicely put together video package. This has been a really entertaining and well written story. R Truth actually looks like a threat, and its awesome! I can only hope WWE keeps up with this momentum after Truth inevitably loses to Cena.

We then get a pointless Lucky Cannon and Maryse backstage segment. Basically, Maryse comes in and apologies for being a spaz and costing Lucky the match last week. Lucky let's this go because he wants to bang/continue to bang Maryse. She tells him the good news that she got the purse repaired at her purse guy (Her what?). Lucky says he would have paid for it, but Maryse assures him by saying don't worry, she used his credit card. COMEDY!

OFF TOPIC: Why is it a rule that if you're in your hometown, you have to be embarrassed in front of said hometown?


This match was basically Lucky working his ass off to make a piece of shit look like a snickers bar. In other words yes, kind of like the Cena/Punk match from last night. *rimshot* However, this means I dislike the match, as its just the heel beating the shit out of the face for most of the match until said face stops selling and hits a few clotheslines.

I will say this match has really sold me on Lucky Cannon. Just the way he carries himself in the ring and taunts the crowd, he has a future in that ring. And to answer your question, no this isn't foreshadowing, why do you ask?

The end... sorta blew me away on how bad it was. Lucky has beaten down Titus O'Neil, he's very much lifeless. He then picks him up to go for the Lucky Break... then Lucky puts Titus back down. Thats right, he places him down. Titus doesn't squirm, fight out of it, and even make Lucky lose his balance. He was so gassed, he couldn't do anything! But luckily, he can push Lucky into the ropes and hit a very lazy looking Clash of the Titus for the win.

WINNER: Titus O'Neil

OKAY WWE! We get it, Titus is going to win because you love big huge dudes who nobody else likes! Can we just skip the rest of these season? No? Well, go fuck yourself. And fuck that annoying ass dog bark!

OFF TOPIC: Why was there no Zack Ryder last night on RAW?! It was in Long Island, for christ sakes!

Its elimination time... who will it be..... Oh man...... suspense.... It's Lucky Cannon.

Now granted, WWE made this pretty obvious. With the video package at the beginning, the loss to Titus even though he should have won over a Swoggleless Titus, and the ignorance of his promo in the challenge... its was very clear. However, I give WWE credit, as they played this up very well as a shocker. The announcers were stunned, and even Striker had the most dumbfounded look on his face from this... But at any event....


BEGINNING: I was sooooo sick of this guy in Season 2. He had no personality, and he was very mediocre. That and the fact that WWE shoved that "I was in a coma..." story down our throats. Look, not to be cruel here, its amazing he came back from that, but you got to give me more of a reason to cheer a guy than that.

NOW: Wow... Did he make a bargain with the devil? This is the most impressive repackaging in the history of NXT. I could have cared less about the guy in the beginning, but as a heel he was what he said: He made the show all about him. This will go down as the fans making the wrong choice, cause Lucky was the most interesting thing on this show, and now he's gone. I know my interest is gone.

FUTURE: Oh, he will be back. Lucky will go down as statistic of the "Heels don't win NXT" rule. However, he will be back on one of the main shows, bank on it.

Even the crowd is kind of stunned as Lucky gives his farewell speech. Well, he tries to cut one, but Titus interrupts to sing "Na na na na..." to him.... Titus is really one of those guys who should never talk, you know? Lucky says this elimination doesn't bother him, cause he's bigger than NXT (True.) and you will see him again soon

As he leaves, Maryse stops him on the ramp, acting upset that he was eliminated. She then reveals her purse repair guy told her the purse was worth only $5, and asks how dumb did she think she was to fall for that? Um Maryse, you did fall for it. She slaps him, and that is the last we see of Lucky this season... and Titus is still attempting to sing.


BEST THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE DEWEY AWARD”: Lucky's promo on Titus O'Neil was as good as it was truthful.

AWFUL THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE REESE AWARD”: Lucky being voted off the show due to being an awesome heel.

WTF MOMENT OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE FRANCIS AWARD”:. The fact our final 3 Rookies are: Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, and Conor O'Brian

Hey, did you know I have a Podcast? Yes, it’s true! “The Rundown Wrestling Review” Podcast is a show featuring me and my good buddy Adam as we review and talk about the major happening in wrestling! Like to be in on it? Of course ya do! Just contact me via twitter or either email address, and I’ll add ya to the mailing list! Any comments or constructive criticism is appreciated!

Twitter: @NotintheMiddle
Email: Malcolmnotinthemiddle@gmail.com
Podcast: Rundownwrestling@gmail.com

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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.).