Hey folks! Welcome to the August 9 WWE NXT Rant. I’m your host Malcolm Spinedi, a man who’s made a living covering this awful show (spoilers). Why? Well someone has to do it. That makes sense right?
I guess I should start off by going over how I do things here. If you’re looking for a move-by-move breakdown of the show, you got the wrong column. The best way to describe this column is an editorial (or rant). I go over the happenings, and whether or not it makes sense (spoiler – it rarely does make sense on this show). If it gets you curious to see the match, well they have the matches in their entirety on WWE.com. Think of my column as a means to find the best parts on NXT, and know what to skip. I go through this pain, so you don’t have to!
For those of you new to NXT, this is the 5th season of the show that’s focused on Redemption. This means that Rookies from previous seasons get a second chance to get on the roster… kind of. See the winner of this season gets to be on the next season of NXT. An awesome prize, no? It’s like doing prison sentence in Texas, and then doing another in Nevada. And chances are, they well be eliminated first in said season. Meaning yes, NXT Redemption is a bigger waste of time than that stupid WWE Title Tournament on RAW.
[adinserter block=”2″]We were down to two Rookies (from the original six) however, WWE decided to bring back another one… just because? Our finalists are Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, and Derrick Bateman. Here’s another spoiler for you; Titus O’Neil will win this. No, I didn’t read any dirt sheet for that information; its just he’s the only face on the show left. WWE would like to believe that the WWE Universe is a fair and honest group who picks the winner based on their merits… but unfortunately, they’re not. Nope, they just pick the biggest face, and right now, Titus is the sole face of this trio, so its pretty much over. As to why they don’t get this over with is beyond me.
We start off with NXT host Matt Striker in the ring, as he must have got the memo that this was a new job for me as he has another insipid challenge. See Rookies have to do random challenges from time to time, either for popularity or Redemption Points. What are Redemption Points? These are used in case there is a tie between the Fans and the Pros (WWE superstars who mentor the Rookies) over who should be eliminated. How 5-6 Pros tie with several million fans, I don’t know. By the way, Titus is leading in points 27-7-0. The lead is so huge; no Rookie really has a chance to catch up; which explains why they haven’t done a challenge in awhile.
The challenge he’s setting up is pretty good at showing how dumb these challenges are. He’s in the ring with a table with a bowl full of eggs and three spoons. In a challenge he calls “Bobbing for Redemption” the Rookies take the spoons and put them in their mouths. They then try to get a hold oh an egg with the spoon and exit the ring and get across a finish line, without dropping the egg. The Rookie who finishes the fastest wins the points. You know what’s horrible? This isn’t even the dumbest challenge that I’ve heard thus far on this show.
Thankfully Darren Young interrupts this, saying this is an insult to try and do this stupid challenge. No arguments there. He then says he’s not doing the challenge, channeling Lucky Cannon. Striker responds like a smart aleck, and tells Darren he doesn’t care what he does, he’s just there to introduce the challenge.
Darren takes exception to this, once again pointing out that he’s the only Rookie to accomplish something in his career as he main evented Summerslam… Two things: One, he did so for two minutes; and two, there were 11 other guys. He then makes fun of Matt Striker for accomplishing nothing in his career. Striker tells him he’s happy for the time he had in WWE, and he has no regrets. He then advises Darren that instead focusing on what he has done, to focus on the future, otherwise he will fail… which is actually pretty sound advice. Young thanks him for this advice by punching him in the face.
Darren then makes me roll my eyes as he challenges Striker later tonight, which gets big cheers. Really? Who are these people who think announcers getting in the ring is a great idea? I heard the crowd for Cole vs. King and there are people who are for this. Please write in, I have to hear an explanation of this thought process. I digress, Striker accepts and the match is on.
We cut to Tyson Kidd in the back, who is set for action against Justin Gabriel, who is an NXT Alumni according to Grisham. Tyson brilliantly points out that the concept of an NXT Alumni is really stupid sounding. He puts himself over as having the technical skills of Davey Boy Smith and Bret Hart in their prime, as well as highflying skills on top of that. He says Gabriel is done, and this is actually a pretty decent promo.
Tyson is feuding with Yoshi Tatsu at the moment. He just literally destroyed Tatsu’s leg, and came out looking pretty strong as a heel. Then again, Justin is starting a new push as well, so I don’t know who’s going to win this one. Plus both are excellent in the ring, so this should be good.
TYSON KIDD VS JUSTIN GABRIEL
Remember those matches I said were the best parts? This is one of those parts as Justin and Tyson put on a heck of a match here. It was kind of like a kung fu fight as well with all the kicks, but they get some really nice spots in here, worth a watch at least.
Interesting fact, as we are reminded that Justin Gabriel is the first Rookie on NXT to ever pin a Pro… which is a lie because Heath Slater gained that honor by pinning Carlito. WWE, just because they don’t work for you don’t mean they never existed…
Once again, this is a very good match, and its awesome to see one where they aren’t fighting over a flipping toy (I’ll explain more when Yoshi returns). The ending though, kind of bothers me. After an STO, Justin climbs the ropes (slowly) and gets in position for the 450. He stands there and looks around… and at this point, I swear that Tyson has to move as too much time has passed… but he doesn’t.
WINNER: Justin Gabriel
Don’t understand this one, Tyson needed this win to look good after jobbing to Yoshi so many times, and really what damage would it do to Justin to job one match on a show no one watches? Also, can Justin hit that finisher any faster? However, I must admit it was still a very good match.
One commercial break later, and we have the big one everyone has been waiting for. Yes, in an effort to have Darren Young get to the next level, they are going to showcase him struggling against an announcer who hasn’t wrestled in almost 4 years. The plan is foolproof.
DARREN YOUNG VS MATT STRIKER
So how does this match go? Well, Striker tries. Yes, I can’t take that away from him, but its obvious he has ring rust, and its obvious who was carrying who. Regal tries to build up Striker as a threat here, but given Young is now twice the size of Striker, I never buy it. In fact, in my opinion, Young should have just dominated Striker and made him humble.
I will give Striker some props here, he pulls off some interesting maneuvers, including a Gory Bomb and a Playmaker! He even cuts his lip in this one, and keeps going. He even takes a nice belly to belly from Darren that had you worried for a second that he took it wrong.
End comes when Striker takes the Darren’s finisher, that I have dubbed “The Double Knee Driver”.
WINNER: Darren Young
Darren then celebrates his victory. A victory that will… um… The heck did this accomplish again?
We then see a graphic threatening us with a Derrick Bateman vs. Titus O’Neil match tonight. We then go to a video recap from RAW going over the whole Cena/Punk/HHH storyline. I can’t say I’m happy with HHH being inserted into the match like this, but I’m excited for this match. They tore the roof off at MitB, and I’m looking forward to them doing it again. There are a lot of ways that this can go, so I’m very excited to see what happens.
We cut backstage where Daniel Bryan is walking. He finds Derrick Bateman playing WWE All Stars in the back, saying he’s getting ready to keep his undefeated streak alive. Bryan turns off the game and says they need to talk. He says that he’s not going out with Bateman tonight or ever again because he’s embarrassing himself. Until he finds himself, they’re done. Wow, this was pretty depressing as these two were my favorite duo. Also this means the only Pro that is still doing his job is Hornswoggle… Roll that around in your head for a second.
We return to the guy I hate most on this show… Titus O’Neil. Why? He is a living-breathing example of what is wrong with this show. Titus is a guy who is where he is based not on his merits, but by association. Hornswoggle is the most popular guy there, so they associate Titus with him. As a result, he’s getting a majority of the vote. Not based on his charisma or wrestling skill, but because he comes to the ring with Hornswoggle and now AJ. He’s surrounded by faces, and as a result will win because he’s against two heels. This begs the question of what happens when he goes out by himself… he’ll fail. He’ll fail cause hate to break it to him but no one likes the dog bark and he isn’t over.
I like Derrick. I think his original gimmick of being the uber-male/over the top face was awesome. His promos with Daniel Bryan were hysterical, and I’ll even go as far to say that Derrick carried Bryan a few times in those. Should have kept with that, as it would have been interesting to see where he would have faired against Titus as a face. Oh well, that backstage promo has me hopeful of things to come, so we’ll see.
Onto the match…
DERRICK BATEMAN VS TITUS O’NEIL
[adinserter block=”1″]This match was pretty by the numbers, and nothing to write home about. Regal gives us some foreshadowing, and tells us that this is the stadium that Derrick was eliminated from in Season 4. What he does not tell you is that this is his hometown. Which unless your a big time main eventer, is rarely good.
Funny note, the announcers actually pick on Bryan for dumping Derrick: “Well… nice to know you can count on Daniel Bryan!” Another random note, I found out that Derrick loves to yell “YAAAAAH!” at random times in the match… its really weird actually.
End comes as Derrick goes for a sunset flip, but Titus counters by sitting down Derrick. However, just after, Derrick pulls Titus down to go for a pin. So I don’t think the match was supposed to end there.
WINNER: Titus O’Neil
Not happy with his undefeated streak coming to an end, Derrick nails Titus from behind and goes after Hornswoggle. Swoggle crawls thru Derricks legs to escape (which makes no sense as why can’t you just bend down and grab him?) and when Derrick turns, h walks right into a Clash of the Titus to end the show.
With the exception of Justin and Tyson, this show was pretty boring. Only one storyline item as well, as Bryan and Derrick have split up. Personally, I’d check out the Kidd/Gabriel match and call it good.