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Please click through for the vintage Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 2, episode 4, originally aired on June 29, 2010.
Worst: Welp, We’re Carrying Kegs Again
This week opened with the first rookie challenge of season 2, and HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD it’s a keg carry. You may remember keg carrying competitions from such wrestling programs as NXT season 1, which was built around seeing which would tear first: the rookies’ backs, or their self-esteem. The first one featured Daniel Bryan galloping around in a circle with a keg dick and Michael Tarver dropping it like an idiot 0.6 seconds in. WHAT MAGIC AWAITS US IN NXT SEASON 2?
– Kaval refusing to carry the keg because it weighs as much as he does, then explaining that he probably shouldn’t hurt himself doing something stupid if he’s gotta win a wrestling competition. It’s a fair point. Not a fair point is Matt Striker’s impossibly smug response as Kaval’s walking away: “Some would say that sounds like a crock but okay!” Ki should’ve spun around and koppo kicked him in the dome.
– Michael McGillicutty pulling a Michael Tarver and dropping the keg almost instantly, then explaining it away with the verbal grace you’d expect:
– Matt Striker treating Titus O’Neil like a dog: “GO GIT’EM!” He could’ve added “C’MON BOY, C’MON BOY, WHO’S A GOOD BOY??” and nobody would’ve noticed.
– Titus O’Neil finding a way to top Tarver’s season 1 performance by not just dropping the keg, but falling directly on his f*cking face in the process. He crashes and burns before he gets to the first ringpost, which makes his purple, homemade “make it a win” tee even sadder. He tries to save face in the post-run interview, but it mostly amounts to “HEY YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPEN RIGHT HURR.” Titus has gotten way better in the ring and way better on the microphone since this episode, but man, I cannot stress how epically pitiful he was.
– Husky Harris going last because he’s supposed to be an “army tank with a Ferrari engine,” but screwing up and hurting himself at the midway point. Uh, because a tank with a Ferrari engine wouldn’t actually be able to move. Matt Striker’s all SO HUSKY WANNA TELL THE CROWD WHY YOU SUCK SO MUCH DICK and Husky’s voice gets juuust serious enough to reach Bray Wyatt for the first time.
– Alex Riley almost killing himself at the finish, doing a Titus O’Neil fall forward and only keeping his face off the floor because he’s catching a keg to the ribs.
– Lucky Cannon’s victory speech, which is about how he’s not as good as the other rookies, but hey, he’s got THE HEART to carry a heavy object slightly faster than them!
I’d love to say WWE learned their lesson after this and never did the keg carry again, but I’d be lying. I just wish the game show setup for NXT had stuck around long enough for Cesaro to attempt a keg carry. I want to see him squat lift the keg like it’s a Solo cup and just hurl that shit through the center of the TitanTron.
Best: The First Half Of Husky Harris Vs. MVP
I remember Husky Harris vs. MVP as being one of the worst matches I’d ever seen. I just have a vague idea of it in my head, so when I settled in to retroactively recap this episode, I prepared for the worst.
The opening of the match is actually pretty good. It’s a feeling-out process, but Husky seems comfortable on his end without any of the “rookie jitters” most guys seem to have. MVP plays it cool as the veteran, letting Husky slither and slide around the ring like a weirdo and treating him as a physical and professional equal. Everything before the commercial break is worth watching. Knowing where these guys ended up adds a strange perspective to the contest, and I think “a new, strange perspective” is the best reason to sit through these old NXTs.
The commercial break happened and I was like, “oh, cool, this isn’t as bad as I remembered.”
Worst: This Is As Bad As I Remembered
You have never seen a match fall off as hard as Husky Harris vs. MVP.
I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if Husky was gassed and got confused or if MVP is just a terrible wrestler who doesn’t know how to lead a match, but man, it is awful. Husky will not stop going for lateral presses. CONSTANT lateral presses. Two or three every time MVP’s near the ground. MVP’s talking to him, too, loudly, and I assume it’s “DO MORE LATERAL PRESSES, THE CROWD LOVES IT.” At one point Husky bodyslams him and just kinda stands by his head to listen to him shout things, slowly picks him up, bodyslams him again. Lateral press, and a kickout at one. It’s like they had this match in the Temple of the Sun and somebody chose the wrong grail.
The ending’s just as bad. Husky’s been in control for the entire match, right? So MVP comes back, hits his convoluted knee lift (drop?), and Husky just collapses into helplessness waiting for the Ballin’ Elbow. MVP takes his sweet time with it, too, then gets visibly upset when Husky doesn’t get up fast enough to take his crummy R-Truth finisher. The match ends, mercifully, and we don’t ask the Pros what they thought because even Zack Ryder would’ve been like this is garbage, I’m out.
Last Night On Raw: It’s Ricky Steamboat’s Dead Week!
Here’s what’s happening on Raw: if any member of the Nexus puts their hands on a WWE Superstar, they’re fired. Because I guess destroying Raw, trying to vehicularly manslaughter Bret Hart, assaulting the CEO of the company and ALREADY BEING FIRED ONCE wasn’t grounds for termination. Their solution? Beat up WWE Legends, because they are not technically WWE Superstars.
So The Nexus jumped a group including Michael Hayes, Jerry Lawler, Arn Anderson and poor Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat. If you don’t remember, The Nexus whomped Steamboat so badly that he had a brain aneurysm (in addition to a legit neck injury and severe rest-of-the-head trauma). The beating was so bad that he stopped having cool return matches against guys like Chris Jericho and started being the wacky guy in karate clothes who shows up to hang out with Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Big Dick Johnson or whoever before Ron Simmons says “damn.”
Best: Kaval Breaks The Daniel Bryan Streak
The second match on the show (and the main event!) is a six-man tag teaming Kaval, Michael “I was hanging out with Husky Harris and the keg wasn’t that heavy” McGillicutty and Lucky Cannon against Alex Riley, Eli Cottonwood and Titus “If you’re gonna fall on your face, make it a fall on your face” O’Neil.
Here’s the best example of what Kaval brought to the table: he was dynamic. When ANYBODY else in this match is in the ring, it’s a boring, plodding student match that nobody cares about. Kaval tags in and starts Tidal Crushing Alex Riley and doing sky-high doublestomps and it’s just a completely different thing. Granted, juniors being exciting is the least desirable thing to a WWE audience, but for a guy like me it was welcomed, and I think I’m enjoying Kaval more on the re-watch than I did the first time through.
Supplemental Worst to Alex Riley for trying to take that double stomp on his arms, though. Dude’s just straight-up covering his entire chest so the doublestomp looks like a Mojo Rawley asshole attack.
Best: An Incredibly Accurate Pros Poll
Wait, is the episode over already?
At the beginning of the show, Ashley Valence announced that tonight would feature the first Pros Poll, and that the person at the bottom of it would be the first elimination. Yes, four episodes into the show. I mean, I think that’s what she said, it was hard to understand her. She was so into doing “announcer voice” that she forgot how to say words. “Your” is exclusively “yer.” “Important” becomes “import.” IS IMPORT TO REMEMBER PEOPLE ARE GOIN TO WWE DOT COM TO DECIDE YER FUTURE. LET ME REMINE YOU OF WADE BARRETT. NOW GRANITE, THIS WAS LASS SEASON, HOWEVER~, YOU HAVE TO MAKE AN IMPACK. The crowd chants “Daniel Bryan” and Cole and Josh just start making fun of her before she’s done.
“Can we eliminate Ashley?”
“I agree with you, maybe she should be eliminated. Can we eliminate Matt?”
(I do not enjoy agreeing with this announce team.)
But yeah, before this episode, Husky Harris deserved to be in the top 3 or 4. After it, he’s lucky there isn’t a ninth place.
Worst: Titus Makes It Not A Win
The first elimination is Titus O’Neil, who of course never got to live out his dream of being a WWE Superstar. His goodbye speech, however, was what you might call a win.
“LET ME TELL YOU RIGHT HUR I MIGHT A BEEN ELIMINATED BUT SOME OF YOU HAVE IT MUCH WORSE THAN ME, SOME OF YOU ARE DYING OF CANCER, SOME OF YOU MIGHT’VE GOTTEN HIT BY A BUS, SOME OF YOU MIGHT HAVE DROPPED YOUR KEYS AND THEN THE KEYS ACCIDENTALLY WENT UP IN A SEWER. REGARDLESS OF ALL OF THAT, I AM ELIMINATED FROM NXT BUT IN CASE YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE I MENTIONED LIKE MAYBE THE DYING ONES, WHATEVER YOU DO IN YOUR LIFE, MAKE IT A WINNNNNN.”