By Malcolm NOT in the Middle
Hey guys, and welcome back to the NXT Rant. Or should we say “Welcome back, NXT Rant”? My name is Malcolm, and I’ll be taking over the recap duties for NXT. I’ve been a reader of TWF for some time now, and it’s a privilege to be a Recapper. Ideally, I would love this to inspire more writers to come on the website, and make it more active again. Remember The Fanny Awards? Great, cause everyone else forgot about it. Either that, or the fact we only have 3 regular writers would have made it boring pretty short.
Am I the only one in thinking that the NXT theme has gotten really annoying? I suppose that’s what happens when its played at the beginning of every show, the start of segments, as their entrances when they appear on regular TV, and/or being taken out to commercial breaks… yeah, I hate it.
Live from Hershey, PA this week. The rookies have already lined up in the ring with Matt Striker. Striker is in the process of explaining the latest challenge for this week, my favorite part of the program (sarcasm). This week the challenge is for the TV audience to not change the channel; as the rookies are going to be vendors… I really wish I was joking right there. Winner gets to wrestle a pro of their choice, next week instead of something cool like immunity from elimination or something like that.
The challenge is called Seal the Deal. Each of them are going to be given a minute to sell magazines to the audience, and the person who sells the most wins. First question one has to ask is what the hell does this have to do with wrestling? Seriously, these challenges have less and less to do with wrestling as the weeks go by. Admittingly, its semi humorous to think that someone’s dream of becoming a wrestler was destroyed because no one wanted to spend 15 bucks on a program.
Sheffield is up first, and apparently didn’t hear the part about going into the crowd to sell, as he stands at ringside in front of a row of people running back and forth to get them to buy stuff. Despite the fact that this is a really easy way to get on TV, only 4 people pay for it. Striker informs us now that this challenge will be a slow death for us, as the other rookies will attempt this challenge throughout the show.
The advertised match will open the show, as Jericho and Barrett come out face off against Christian and Slater… but first commercials.
Commercial Thoughts: Monogolian Deathworm is proof that just because you can make a movie doesn’t mean you should.
As Christian and Slater make their way to the ring, they replay Slater’s victory over Jericho. Good for him, and if he doesn’t win this competition, I have to suspect he’ll get hired some other way.
CHRISTIAN & HEATH SLATER VS. CHRIS JERICHO & WADE BARRETT
Match starts off with Jericho getting knocked to the floor, and tagging out to Barrett. Heath gets the upper hand, and tags out to Christian. Standard Christian offense, until Jericho and Barrett gain the advantage. Christian (surprisingly) plays the face in peril thru the match until Heath is tagged in and becomes a house of fire. Christian dives onto Barrett on the outside, leaving Slater alone with Jericho… Which proves to be a stupid move, as Jericho simply hits a Codebreaker on Slater. Jericho pins him clean to end this one.
WINNERS : JERICHO & BARRETT
Barrett is now 5-4
Slater is now 5-3
Seal the Deal challenge up with Daniel Bryan now. Bryan is instructed to sell as many magazines as possible… So he than proceeds to give away everything in his bag for free. Daniel Bryan: great wrestler but not that bright.
We get a segment with Tarver and Carlito now. I haven’t seen too much interaction between these two. So this should be go- oh wait, Carlito asks him to get his bags, wonderful. WWE is really on a Slave Trip as of late. First Ted started looking for a new Virgil on Raw, and now Carlito is telling Tarver to get his bags. Starting to get a little worried for Kofi on Friday, not gonna lie.
COMMERICALS: I have to say, Extreme Rules was pretty good. Not the greatest, but definitely worth the money. I especially enjoyed the ending to the Batista-Cena, which is something I thought I’d never say.
Seal the Deal Challenge with Justin Gabriel, who you have to feel for as he begs fans to buy his magazines so he can wrestle. Sorry Gab, this is the WWE and wrestling ain’t exactly the priority here. BTW, Gabriel sells 210 dollars worth of programs.
Tarver comes to the ring with Carlito as a hysterical video package of the Pro’s opinions of Tarver comes on the Titantron. Now, given this was a WWE package, I was expecting this to be a giant video of how awesome Tarver is. However, they told the truth, and basically said everything but “The dude is a loser.” They do say some nice things but you can tell they were straining to find something nice about him. Cut back to Tarver who’s pretty pissed at the anti Tarver package.
Darren Young out with Serena and Gallows as we have a match!
DARREN YOUNG VS. MICHAEL TARVER
Seesaw match back and forth, with the story being that Tarver feels like he has something to prove. He looks like he has everything in hand, and knees Young in the gut on the outside and tosses him back in. As he stands on the apron, Serena distracts the ref and Gallows clotheslines his legs out from under him. A groggy Tarver gets up, only for Young to hit that Awkward Full Nelson Slam and Darren Young with a victory.
WINNER: DARREN YOUNG
Young is now 7-2
Tarver however is 0-7
Gallows still looks like he’s pissed with Darren Young, so I assume the story here is that he’s just going under Punks orders.
Seal the Deal Challenge with David Otunga… who has two African American kids in the audience sell the programs for him. KOFI! Call out sick this week! I’m telling you its not going to end well! This sales tactic works great for Otunga who gets $315 and is now in the lead.
Our main event this week is Miz vs. Sheffield, which looks like interesting.
COMMERICALS: SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV! Buy it right now!
They then recap the Draft. I dunno about everyone else, but I found the Draft to be pretty “Meh…” this year. Only thing to write home about is the switch of Big Show to Smackdown and Edge to Raw. I feel bad for some of the midcarders who went to RAW, as I don’t see them doing to well in an area that main event heavy. Though hopefully I’m wrong.
Justin Gabriel video package, that’s once again pretty honest. They do say he has a lot of potential, but several others point out he’s only over cause of one move.
This leads to a David Otunga/R-Truth segment backstage. R Truth starts off by telling Otunga the counter that would have enabled him to beat Gabriel last week. I’d imagine that Otunga could have used this information… last week. Great hustle there Truth. Otunga asks Truth “Why didn’t you reach for me and help me?” and Truth responds with “Cause I’m a face, you idiot.” In summary anyway, that’s what happened.
Its at this point the WWE realized that this Seal the Deal Challenge was stupid, and thus proceeded to hot shot right thru it. Slater is up but can’t sell enough.
Up next is Darren Young announces at the start that he wants to use the prize to fight CM Punk. So much for them getting along, I guess. He sells a decent amount of magazines, but Striker apparently can just tell he didn’t have enough sold by looking at his bag.
Up next is Michael Tarver who busted his ass on this one. I never saw anyone run through an arena that quickly, and his strategy of selling to the actual arena vendors so they could sell it for him was a mark of true- JUST KIDDING! He threw away his magazines and refused to take part in the challenge. This is Tarver we’re talking about here, people.
Finally, Wade Barrett who became my hero tonight. Instead of doing the challenge, he takes Striker’s mic, points out that he’s better than this, takes the money for himself, and walks away. Awesome and well said.
COMMERICALS: Okay Geico, you have a winner with the Gecko. Can you just let the Cavemen go? They stopped being funny years ago.
A final package with Daniel Bryan this time. Hard to rate this one, as while most of them gush about how awesome a wrestler he is, Miz does make a good point when he asks how is he number one when he has yet to win a match?
Otunga won, and therefore mercifully ended, the challenge and gets to pick a pro to wrestle next week. Otunga chooses R Truth, as he’s still mad about last week. In Otunga’s defense, R Truth losing to him would be the most he’s done for Otunga.
Miz and Bryan are- HOLY COW, WILL YOU LOOK AT THE BRUISE ON HIS FACE! Show don’t mess around, as they show replays of the punch from last night’s RAW. Seriously, the bruise is almost eclipsing his face!
Regal and Sheffield are ready in the ring when Miz grabs a mic. Due to Big Show destroying his face, he will not wrestle tonight. He will instead give his match to Bryan, who look upset by this. I’m guessing this is why he couldn’t think of a promo to do with the word passion.
SKIP SHEFFIELD vs. DANIEL BRYAN
(Losing) Streak vs. (Losing) Streak! This match goes about as quickly as a match between two guys who have never won would go. Bryan tries to get an advantage with some quick kicks and a dropkick, but Sheffield powers through. He hits a clothesline that Bryan sells wonderfully, doing a full flip. Sheffield than finally hits his finisher, which for all extents and purposes is a Stunner. Thus making the theft of Stone Cold complete following the theft of his vest and haircut.
WINNER: SHEFFIELD is now 1-5
Bryan is 0-9. Ouch
Show ends with Regal giving Sheffield a “That’ll do, Donkey” pat on the shoulder. BEST THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE DEWEY AWARD”: I’m giving this to the Michael Tarver video. Its so hilariously said, its not even funny.
AWFUL THING OF THE NIGHT, OR “THE REESE AWARD”: How the hell does selling programs prove you can be a WWE wrestler?
This show would have been an okay-good show if it wasn’t for the challenge. IT was boring, pointless, and probably drove people to change the channel. They have to either stop these challenges or keep them short and sweet. Remember poor Justin Gabriel, who just wants to wrestle, not carry kegs around the ring.
That’s all for me on this first review. Till next time.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
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.).