– Here’s a link to this week’s episode on Hulu.
– Season 1 is the season with Daniel Bryan, Bad News Barrett, Heath Slater and those guys. If you missed it, catch up on season 1 here. The six season 2 episodes before this one can be found here here. It’s the Lucky Cannon season. Sorry.
– Sharing the column earns you … I’ve ran out of points-related NXT jokes, but you get the idea.
Please click through for the vintage Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 2, episode 7, originally aired on July 20, 2010.
Worst: It Still Doesn’t Make Sense For Any Of These People To Be Friends
To recap: NXT season 1 was all about the NXT Pros emasculating and humiliating their rookies with Double Dare challenges and asinine requests for promos about cereal. The rookies got so frustrated that they formed a super team, got Raw jobs and demolished everything. NXT season 2 began with a new set of NXT Pros beating up a new set of NXT Rookies because that happened, in some weird pre-cog act of justice. The rookies forgave the pros for some reason and the show continued. Last week, Percy Watson won the right to host a talk show segment and used it as an excuse to ambush his pro, bringing out the other rookies to intimidate him in a show of solidarity. The only reason MVP survived and the other pros didn’t straight-up rumble with their rookies was the presence of the season 1 rookies.
This week begins with MVP hosting a talk show segment. He brings out Percy Watson and confronts him about what happened last week, and Percy’s excuse is, roughly, “I got excited about accomplishing things and tried to lure you into a 7-on-1 attack, but I respect you and probably did a bad thing. Sorry!” MVP accepts this apology and they bro hug, and the show goes on.
Does this still rub anybody else the wrong way? None of these motivations or allegiances make sense. The rookies had to deal with the pros jumping them because of “respect” or whatever, sure, but the entire reason the pros beat them up was to PREVENT a rookie unionization. So now the rookies are unionizing and we’re pretending it’s fine, because … ? This week’s show should’ve began one of two ways:
1. Percy Watson formally leading the rookies in a revolt, especially after the Nexus won last week’s battle royal by banding together and working as a cohesive team. Wasn’t that the message? That you can’t stand up the pros one-on-one, but you can posse up, outsmart them and do whatever you want?
2. MVP brutally beating Percy Watson to re-send the “f*ck with us and die” message from season 2, episode 1.
“We’re friends, because it’s fine” is the worst-ever reasoning on a competition show built around learning and respect.
Best: The Dashing Cody Rhodes Mirror
Before he was “Goldust’s vanilla brother who gets upset about things,” Cody Rhodes was a dynamic heel with an amazing ring entrance. Two, if you count him ushering out a bunch of handlers with paper bags to cover the faces of people in the crowd.
Cody’s best entrance always has and always will be the stage video mirror. It’s clearly not a mirror, but when Cody mugs into it, it displays the mirror’s point of view on the rectangular screen to the right. It’s the ancestor of Tyler Breeze’s selfie entrance, and that alone should earn it a spot in the WWE presentation Hall of Fame.
If Cody ever gets around to breaking up with Goldust, he needs to bring this back.
Best/Worst: The Husky/MVP Blood Feud Continues
A few weeks ago (four years ago), Husky Harris and MVP had one of the worst matches in the history of NXT. It was so bad Husky went from a favorite to win the competition to being in danger of elimination.
For whatever reason they decided to keep running them against one another, and here we get MVP and Percy Watson against Cody Rhodes and Husky. The match itself is fine, but very much a “run your match from training and don’t do ANYTHING ELSE OR WE SWEAR TO GOD” affair. Lots of headlocks, lots of sitting on the ground pumping your fist. Nothing you’d ever remember the second after the pinfall. The highlight of the match, and the reason I’m giving it a Half Best, is Cody kicking MVP in the dome and tagging in Husky, demanding he put MVP away with a fat man senton. That happens and Husky gets the clean win. Okay! So that’s 20 seconds of entertainment in a match long enough to have its own commercial break.
I wanted the aftermath of this to be MVP blaming Percy, beating him up and making him apologize.
Last Week On Raw: Two Things
Thing 1: Wade Barrett wrestled Mark Henry, and the story was that he had to prove a Nexus member could compete on Raw as an individual. He’s about to lose, of course (because why just let the LEADER OF YOUR WORLD-ALTERING FACTION DO WELL WITHOUT CHEATING), but the Nexus guys wander out onto the stage and distract Henry. That allows Wade to hit what was on paper a very impressive Wasteland on Henry, but in practice looked like a weak Attitude Adjustment that shredded Wade’s back like a cheese grater.
Seriously, he gets Henry up on the corner and manages to walk him out on his shoulders, but Henry kinda holds onto the top rope too long and is also SUPER OBLONG FAT so Wade almost drops him. So he does the yell and the move really slowly, at a 45 degree angle as both men are about to fall out of the ring. Shit, it was better than I could do.
Thing 2: John Cena used Goober Team. It’s super effective!
Cena announced that he’d reconsidered and wanted to form a truce with the Nexus. Wade told him he could go screw, and that the only way he’d refrain from ripping Cena’s spine out through his recently-decapitated neckhole was if Cena JOINED the Nexus. Cena turned that down, revealing that this entire thing had been a CLEVER RUSE from the start. He’d been secretly forming a team to take on the Nexus, and it includes huge superstars like Edge and Chris Jericho. And, uh, that’s really all he could find, so here’s also R-Truth and John Morrison and The Great Khali. I guess somebody needs to take the elimination match pinfalls to keep the drama going.
Oh, and his big Get was Bret Hart, a man so athletically past his prime he couldn’t move in a full pair of pants for like ten years. Spoiler alert: the secret team has one more member, and it totally makes sense because the secret guy didn’t kick Cena in the head and yell YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN ME in his face like, a month ago.
Worst: Lucky Cannon Is Not Making A Great Case For Himself
Throughout the show, Matt Striker gives each rookie 30 seconds to explain why they should be number one in next week’s Pros Poll. By “30 seconds” I mean “15 seconds, and then Striker starts trying to take back the microphone like an a-hole.” The worst of these was Lucky Cannon, who basically said this:
“I KNOW I’M NOT ANY GOOD AT ANYTHING AND EVERYBODY HATES ME, BUT MAN, THIS IS MY DREAM, YOU KNOW, IT’S LIKE A DREAM TO BE HERE EVEN THOUGH I TOTALLY DON’T DESERVE IT, SO THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO BE HERE. YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR ME SO I GET TO KEEP LIVING MY DREAM, WHICH SPECIFICALLY IS TO BOGART A SPOT ON THE WWE ROSTER AND KEEP FAR MORE TALENTED PEOPLE IN DEVELOPMENTAL FROM GETTING WORK. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.”
Best: Lucky Cannon Gets A Great Case
Immediately following Lucky’s “I’m just thankful to be alive” pipe bomb, he loses a quick squash match to Alex Riley — Alex Riley, not even The Miz — and gets Skull-crushingly Finale’d onto the newly won Money In The Bank briefcase. Lucky became the first of many, many people to get that briefcase in the face. By the time Miz cashed it in, it contained a championship contract and Daniel Bryan’s head.
I really do miss this Miz. He’s purposeful, impactful, and makes a great “this is the most unforgettable dude ever” point in the “what do you think about Lucky Cannon” video package. 2014 Miz needs to do a 2010 Miz fantasy camp.
Best: Layla’s Gloves
LayCool’s explanation for Kaval being number one in the poll is “we’re flawless,” because of course it is. Kaval’s explanation is even funnier: he wants to wrestle Rey Mysterio and Evan Bourne, and thinks the WWE Universe would really like to fantasy book that. This was seriously as close as we’ve ever gotten to hearing “fantasy book” on WWE TV. VOTE FOR KAVAL IF YOU THINK JOHN CENA SHOULD MAKE A HEEL TURN AND JOIN D-X, AND IF YOU THINK HIS CATCHPHRASE SHOULD BE ‘YOU CAN’T SUCK IT’ WITH HIM HAVING HIS HAND IN FRONT OF HIS JUNK. ALSO VOTE KAVAL IF YOU THINK THE UNDERTAKER AND KANE NEED TO FIND OUT ABOUT A THIRD BROTHER.
Best/Worst: The Obstacle Course Is Back, And It’s Main-Eventing!
The main event of this episode is the Obstacle Course challenge, aka “the keg carry without the keg.” WWE helpfully put up video of this because hey, who needs to see the matches, I want to see how effectively Percy Watson can navigate a balance beam! The big improvement here is that they’ve eliminated the entire “run up the arena steps, drink a souvenir soda and run back down the steps without vomiting everywhere” aspect of the season 1 course by adding in hurdles. It cuts about three minutes from everyone’s time and allows all 7 remaining rookies to run the course in about five minutes. A huge raise to whichever WWE Creative type went “hey, maybe it’d be better if they ran an actual obstacle course and didn’t puke Diet Coke on the fans.”
Highlights and observations include:
– Michael McGillicutty absolutely MURDERS the course. He goes first, sets the time and is never really in danger of losing it. He doesn’t know how to do push-ups, but nobody does, and every rookie does this weird drinking bird hump-in-place thing. I think Kaval and Husky Harris are the only guys who do it correctly.
– Eli Cottonwood wins Most Hilarious Run. He hops the first hurdle and the announcers are all ELI COTTONWOOD IS SURPRISINGLY AGILE, which leads to him immediately falling over hurdles two and three. He’s too tall to do pushups in the assigned box and gives up on the balance beam about halfway through, so he runs the final half of the course with two referees tailing behind him all HEY HEY NO YOU GOTTA COME BACK YOU GOTTA COME BACK. Cottonwood ignores them but they keep bugging him, and oh man, if he’d just started shoot chokeslamming them and throwing them into the crowd he would’ve been my favorite wrestler. It was like watching King Kong.
– Husky says f*ck the lemons and bails, taking his time through the course. The best part is when he gets to the big hurdle and decides to truck it instead of clearing it. Josh Mathews gets SO BUTTHURT about this for some reason, and Husky just calmly goes about his life. Note: Husky Harris is now a huge star and Josh Mathews is hosting pre-shows with Alex Riley. There’s a lesson in this somewhere.
– The obstacle course is over, and now we get an entire season of shows before another obstacle course.