Weekend NXT/Smackdown Review – Mar. 15th & 18th


Titus O’Neil wins Talk The Talk Challenge (2 redemption points)

Darren Young def. Conor O’Brian

Tyson Kidd & Lucky Cannon def. Yoshi Tatsu & Byron Saxton

Titus O’Neil wins St. Patrick’s Day Keg Carry Challenge (3 redemption points)

  • O’Neil won with his dead on Hornswoggle impersonation but other highlights were Saxton’s jokes on Cannon and Novak’s awful, awful rap.
  • Young ended his match with a Fireman’s Carry Gutbuster. It may not be as original as his Full Nelson Flapjack but it’s actually in Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 so that’s a plus.
  • Cannon, AKA De-Lish, AKA Mr. Steal Your Girl has made it his mission to win Maryse over Yoshi Tatsu going so far as to recite poetry (in what seemed like recently learned French) instead of winning the Keg Carry Challenge again (he won his seasons Keg Carry).
  • O’Neil was set up to win the Keg Carry from the start as Matt Striker and Maryse ribbed him about his season 2 fumble complete with video footage. The plan worked out as he pulled off a win in this very heated Challenge.
  • I do suspect the keg was drained as the Rookies were putting down some seriously fast times this season.

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Weekend* NXT/Smackdown Review – Mar 8th & 11th

* Cause I’m clearly never going to start posting this at a consistently scheduled time


New Rookies were not announced because this season is about redemption. The pairings are:

  1. Byron Saxton & Yoshi Tatsu
  2. Conor O’Brian & Vladimir Kozlov
  3. Darren Young & Chavo Guerrero
  4. Jacob Novak & JTG
  5. Lucky Cannon & Tyson Kidd
  6. Titus O’Neil & Hornswoggle

And the winner of NXT Redemption earns a spot on NXT Season 6. That’s not really much of a prize but it’s because they’re trying to make sure Tough Enough succeeds. It is being televised after all.

Other changes for this go around of NXT include:

  • Maryse as co-host
  • William Regal replacing Josh Matthews on commentary
  • The contestants are competing for redemption points instead of immunity points which they can use when ever they wish to keep themselves from being eliminated
  • Almost all the contestants have changed their personae based off their Pro’s thoughts on why they lost their original seasons

Darren Young def. Jacob Novak

Darren Young wins Boot Camp Obstacle Course (3 Redemption points)

Titus O’Neil def. Lucky Cannon

  • The front-runners of this season look to be Young, O’Brian & Saxton.
  • Cannon will probably stay a round for a while because he’s the clear heel of the show.
  • O’Neil is your dark horse because let’s face it, people love Hornswoggle.
  • And Novak will be the first eliminated unless he wins every challenge.

It’s looking to be an interesting new season despite the fact that it’s just treading water until season 6.

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A Nexus Ultimatum: WWE Raw 12/07/10

Wade Barrett certainly didn’t expect the mess he’s in when he fired John Cena after losing his WWE title match at Survivor Series.  His intention had been to remove the biggest obstacle in the path of Nexus domination over Raw, and it seemed that all was going according to plan.  But even without his job, Cena has proven to be a bigger threat to the Nexus than ever.  After he took out Michael McGillicutty and orchestrated a Raw attack on the troops, he promised he’d see Barrett again next week.

The Nexus was understanably nervous about Cena’s threat.  David Otunga spoke with commentators from a nearby hotel, but even that couldn’t stop Cena’s attack.  Cena entered the hotel room and attacked Otunga, who high-tailed it when Husky Harris made the save, only to take a vicious beating himself.  Later in the show, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater defended their tag titles in a four corners elimination match.  With only the comedic duo of Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov left, the Nexus seemed to have the match won, only for Cena to appear from under the ring apron to distract Gabriel, allowing Santino to hit the Cobra and win the titles.

Beyond the point of frustration, Wade Barrett came to the ring and invited Cena in from the crowd.  With the four members of Nexus (McGillicutty was still out) watching from the entrance ramp, Barrett told Cena that Nexus would attack if he tried to hit him.  Cena told Barrett that being fired gave him a freedom he didn’t have while under contract, and without a job he has nothing to do than make the lives of each member of Nexus miserable.  The only way for Cena’s reign of terror to end would be for Barrett to reinstate him.  Having heard enough, Barrett ordered Nexus to attack, but to his chagrin, each member hesitated, then walked back to the locker room – apparently having had enough of Cena’s attack and blaming only Barrett’s pride for allowing them to continue.  With no one left to defend him, Barrett took a beating from Cena, only to escape and run away when Cena was about to AA him through the announce table.

Backstage, Barrett yelled at the Nexus, but Otunga told him this was an ultimatum.  Hire back John Cena or lose the Nexus.

Rest of the show (and live notes from the show – we were there!) after the jump.

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AJ’s Not The Last Sumo/Diva Standing – NXT 11/23/10

In the second to last episode of this season of NXT it was the pint-size gamer AJ who was eliminated. So I officially no longer care about NXT. But this weeks show was really good in-ring for the first time.

WWE Trivia Challenge

Just like the 2 seasons prior, the last challenge is trivia. And just like every challenge this season involving WWE knowledge, AJ swept the competition. It wasn’t even fair after a while. Especially for Kaityln who ended up with 0 points after blowing out Matt Striker’s eardrums.

Last Sumo Standing

So it’s your go home show before the season finale. What challenge do you have 3 beautiful young women compete in? A Sumo wrestling contest of course!? Each Rookie came out in a sumo suit as Striker explained the rules. Two Rookies start inside a circle and try to knock their opponent out of it. AJ was given a bye for winning the first challenge. Kaitlyn quickly eliminated Naomi in a somewhat controversal finish (Naomi was the first to be completely out of the circle). Kaitlyn won round 2 as well after holding off a surprisingly tough bout with AJ causing a restart which she dominated afterward.

As for the matches…

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More Fun Than A Wheelbarrow Full Of Dissin’ Divas – NXT 9/28/10

This week on the greatest train wreck in sports entertainment….

Wheelbarrow Challenge

Each Rookie competed in a wheelbarrow race where they took turns pushing a wheelbarrow around the ring. In said wheelbarrow was Hornswoggle. Key moments: Maxine set the bar early and played the heel role very well especially after Hornswoggle bit her butt, Kaitlyn tried to get in the wheelbarrow with Hornswoggle then won with a time of 12 seconds and AJ looked adorable pushing a wheelbarrow that weighed more than she did knowing she had no chance to win this. Most impressive moment was post-challenge when Hornswoggle lifted Kaitlyn on his shoulder in celebration.

Diss The Diva Challenge

Each Diva was given the mic (and apparently as much time as they wanted which none utilized) to diss their fellow Rookies. I found it slightly ironic that during the Talk The Talk Challenge they regularly went off topic to trash their competition and this week they didn’t want to. AJ ultimately won as she was the best on the mic despite not really dissing anyone.

And that’s it. No matches this week. AJ and Kaitlyn got video interviews this week and Kaitlyn ended the night challenging her Pro Vickie Guerrero to a match next week. Matt Striker was breaking up the cat fight as the show closed. Next week is the first elimination and it seems to be airing before Smackdown on Friday but you can watch it at WWE.com (its new permanant home) live on Tuesday (day the votes are tallied).

Afterthoughts after the jump…

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Punk Saves Another Lost Soul – NXT 9/21/10

As you recall Michael Cole quit NXT last week to the WWE Universe’s elation. But who would replace him as no one really wants to hear just Josh Matthews for a full hour? The answer is our ‘Straight Edge Savior’ CM Punk. Now I’m not sure if Punk was just that good or whether it was the fact that I was a little drunk when watching this weeks episode but I thoroughly enjoyed NXT this Tuesday.

The night started off with Matt Striker giving the Challenge updates for the Rookies and when he got to Kaitlyn, “Excuse me!” is heard throughout the arena. Vickie Guerrero came to the ring and took credit for Kaitlyn’s Obstacle Course win last week. She then brought out some more Pro help for her Rookie in the Co-Undisputed Diva’s Champions LayCool. LayCool berated each of the not-Kaitlyn Rookies (specifically Jamie) until Kelly Kelly stepped in and challenged LayCool & Kaitlyn to a Six Diva Tag Match against Jamie, her Rookie Naomi and herself (The Bellas weren’t there this week). With the main event set it’s time for some Challenges.

Musical Chairs

According to CM Punk, this is a key training exercise in wrestling school but from the onset you could tell who was going to win as AJ was the only one not wearing heels. AJ took the victory after a controversal finish. Despite having a majority of the seat when the music stopped, Naomi lost having officially sat down second pushing AJ off the chair.

Talk The Talk

Now this is usually the one Challenge I’m perfectly fine with on NXT as it gives you a good sense of improvisational promo skills of the Rookies. Unfortunately, outside of AJ these women barely have 2 years of training between them so guess who wins. AJ picks up her 2nd Challenge victory talking about caffeine Jamie and Naomi were disqualified for going too off topic on the subjects of teeth and toupee respectively. Aksana technically stayed on topic in that she kept saying she didn’t know what a llama was. Maxine said she’d use her foot to squash AJ and Kaitlyn was too busy picturing everyone in their underwear to talk about ignition. After Kaitlyn’s topic Punk mentioned that not wearing pants is how he watches NXT.

As for the matches…

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Jokes & Jokes & Jokes & Jokes – NXT 9/14/10

This week the Rookies showed their sense of humor and their endurance with a Joke Off and The Obstacle Course. They even threw in some matches to break up the excitement.

The Joke Off

Based on the name alone I was expecting this to not be funny. Though it wasn’t as bad as I thought it be there’s a reason they’re in the WWE and not on Comedy Central. We did get two cat fights from AJ during this Challenge because . She may have anger issues…adorable anger issues. Back on subject, Jamie won with a ‘Knock Knock’ joke with punchline being “Aksana who?” Exactly.

The Obstacle Course

The same course as last season but instead of Matt Striker running the demo we got Vickie Guerrero. Funny but unfortunately she wasted more time than she took to run the course. It took her over a minute to run it. Highlights were AJ having to do almost 10 extra push ups and Naomi screwing up almost every section and actually doing 10 extra push ups. Kaitlyn won with a time of 36.5 with Jamie in 2nd by few 10ths of a second.

Cole Flips Out

After each Challenge Michael Cole lost it, banging a gong next the announce table and saying how much he disliked the NXT format. After the Obstacle Course he walked out completely to the crowd’s “Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey. Good bye.” Let’s see how this plays out. But maybe we won’t have to hear Cole berate the Rookies anymore.

As for the rest of the show…

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