This week’s NXT started out with a talk the talk style challenge, again; the unique point being that the rookies could speak on whatever subject they chose. I do like the idea of the talk the talk challenge, but i’m not so keen on having two of them. It smacks of a lack of creativity in what is a very imaginative show. Despite the crowd not being very much in to the challenge either, a few did shine: namely Husky Harris and Alex Riley. Meanwhile, Lucky Cannon continued to embarrass himself with another sob story, this time saying he had no friends as a kid, but now he has friends in the WWE Universe, going so far to say ‘i’m where I am today thanks to Nobody,’ a sentiment you usually get from most heels. A bit of a misfire, eh? McGillicutty seems to have been finally branded a face, calling out heel, The Miz on disrespecting him, crucially challenging him to a fight and not backing down. I have to say, he has been very successful at coming across as increasingly likeable. Good on him.
Percy Watson took on Zack Ryder in the first match of the night, in what was a pretty high quality match. Ryder’s experience and Watson’s athleticism made for a quick placed and sometimes explosive contest. MVP and Watson are the best NXT storytelling team in the show’s history. What I mean from this is that they sell the rookie/pro dynamic better than any other pairing ever have. This week, this manifested in MVP pleading Watson to ‘stay on him’ before Ryder took advantage of Watson’s nonchalance to attack. Watson leter showed he had learned, listening to his pro MVP telling him to ‘cover him’ after hitting his crucifix DDT on Ryder, which he did with his twisting splash. His hitting two finishers saved Ryder from looking weak, while making Watson look strong, which is the most important things for the rookies (generally) on this show.
The ‘Perfect’ Michael McGillicutty was up next, taking on Eli Cottonwood. This was another pretty good match though not as good as the previous match. I just said that it is generally important for the rookies to look strong in this competition, unless they need to justify elimination that is, and in this match, Eli was generally made to look pretty weak whereas McGillicutty was meant to look very strong, for the opposite reasons. The only problem with McGillicutty is that his finisher doesn’t always look that devestating.
In what probably constitutes the NXT dream match, the main event had Husy Harris taking on Kaval. What occured was very good, but I have to admit, the match was a bit short for my liking. Nonetheless, there was a little back and forth, and these two chalk-and-cheese performers actually had very good chemistry. The end was quite good too, with Kaval stayling likeable by showing concern for his pros that were a victim of a ring-apron accident. The ruthless Harris took advantage of this, slamming the distracted Kaval before hitting his senton dive for the victory. A decent match, but with more time it could really fulfil their potential.
The final duty of the night was to eliminate a second rookie. That rookie, as you will already have guessed, was Eli Cottonwood. I have no problem with Eli going. He doesn’t seem to have that much to him, and he isn’t helped by having Morrison as a mentor. I am however quite angry that i’m still going to have to watch and listen to the drippy pleading of Lucky Cannon. Surely no-one sees anything in him!
After the loser was announced, a brawl ensued between all of the rookies. I don’t think we needed this, but it was still a nice angle to get across how desperate all the rookies are to win the competition – leading to a constant tension between them all, with them all willing to take any advantage and opportunity that comes their way. A nice way to reassert the importance of the goal as the show goes off the air.