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Please click through for the vintage Best and Worst of WWE NXT season 2, episode 11, originally aired on August 17, 2010.
Worst: So Kaval Is Shoot-Rapping Now
This week’s show starts off with an elimination, but they couldn’t figure out how 12 minutes out of “Percy Watson, you’ve been eliminated,” so they do another Talk The Talk Challenge. Two minutes are unremarkable: Percy basically says nothing and peppers it with OH YEAH while Alex Riley does his same old (very good) “I’m just being myself” bit.
Notable minute number one is Kaval, who thinks WRESTLING INSIDER RAPPING is a thing people want to hear. His rap, verbatim:
Behind every great man is a great, great woman,
the problem with them is that I got two of ’em!
You supposed to be chosen, huh? The pick of the litter?
Except I’ma be the hottest trending topic runnin’ Twitter!
Go get ’em, boy is sick, I’m gonna go far
because what I do is leavin’ people standin’ in awe.
Showtime, ya too kind …
[super awkward pause because Riley’s standing to Percy’s right instead of his left and that destroys Kaval’s entire flow]
Riley, you just whine.
And Joe … I MEAN MICHAEL … you’ll be a star in no time.
But Husky’s breaking molds and breaking all labels
but what he breaks best are called buffet tables!
So go ahead, call me rookie, find out what I’m packin’
because I’m the only reason for some Total Nonstop Action!
The announce team realizes what he’s doing around the Joe Hennig namedrop and start trying to talk over it as much as they can. Cole’s doing his normal THIS IS STUPID and even Josh is in panic mode, with a big melodramatic hushed “why would he SAY that?” For anyone who isn’t a SMART MARK~, Michael McGillicutty/Curtis Axel’s real first name is Joe, Kaval once competed in TNA Impact Wrestling (aka “Total Nonstop Action) as both Low Ki and Senshi, and Husky Harris is fat. More on Josh and Cole’s reaction a little bit later.
Here is the scene expertly recreated in Smackdown vs. Raw 2010:
Notable minute number two is what you’d expect.
Best: Sarcastic Mike McGillicutty Strikes Again
Michael McGillicutty on Alex Riley: “The David Otunga of NXT 2. The guy talks a lot, but he can’t wrestle for a lick!”
Michael McGillicutty on Percy Watson: “I mean I’m confused, are you smiling? Or are you scared? I think you’re scared. No you’re scared.”
Michael McGillicutty on Kaval: “Take a look here, we got Kaval, the man that says [exaggerated goober voice] ‘it’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s about the size of the fight the dog brings AH DAH DAH DAUHHHHHHH. Have you ever seen a Chihuahua in a fight? Not good.”
Gotta love a man who brings the chest-slapping duh noise into his wrestling promos.
Best: Husky Harris Follows The Buzzards
“That was a little uh, not what I expected from Husky!”
I remember watching this episode when it originally aired, and I remember the response from the Internet. A lot of fun was made of Husky for his promo about cowboy boots, and how the devil wears cowboy boots, and how that’s not a coincidence. You couldn’t find a forum without five guys doing whatever the prehistoric equivalent of obsessively memeing was.
Four years later, that promo marks the moment when Husky Harris begins his transformation from confrontational fat guy to demonic Cape Fear cult leader.
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All it would take was a well-placed kick in the head to flip Husky’s brain upside down and release the devil.
Best: Showtime Percy Watson Is Eliminated, Baby You Know What I’m Saying, Oh Yeah, Percy Watson Will No Longer Be On The Show Man You Know, You Know Baby, Percy Will Have To Go To His Home Know What I’m Saying, Do You Know What I Am Saying Right Now Baby
Say some more filler phrases, Percy, that will help you!
Percy Watson’s elimination seemed shocking when it happened, because he had all the tools for success and had JUST been number two in the Pros Poll. Looking back, it makes more sense. Kaval was the indie darling, Alex Riley was the cookie-cutter Ruthless Aggression Era star, McGillicutty and Harris were third generation stars with huge upsides. Percy was just a mildly athletic guy in great shape. You could find four Percy Watsons in any gym in America.
Don’t cry for Percy, though … he got to come back as part of NXT Redemption as “Titus O’Neil’s friend.” Fun fact if you gave up on NXT in the middle of season 1 like most people: Titus and Percy were basically the original Prime Time Players. Their rivals? Darren Young and JTG. So lump Percy into that Eli Cottonwood group of NXT season 2 guys who contributed to something that had success the main roster, but never had success for themselves.
Best: Michael Cole On The Difference Between Zack Ryder And Matt Striker
I don’t want this week’s column to be nothing but quotes, but this was an incredibly quotable episode. As Zack Ryder’s wandering to the ring in his mom’s sexy lingerie top to wrestle Michael McGillicutty, Cole starts in on the difference between Ryder and Matt Striker, WWE’s two biggest stars from Long Island.
“Well, I mean, Zack does have a lot of things going for him that Striker doesn’t have. He’s got a cool catchphrase, Striker doesn’t. Zack doesn’t wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans on national television and Zack actually doesn’t talk nonstop like Striker does.”
GLORIA VANDERBILT JEANS BURN.
Worst: The Abandoned Kaval/Layla/Michelle McCool/Husky Harris Love Rectangle
We jump backstage to find LayCool giving Kaval a pep talk and encouraging him to win his upcoming match, because LayCool were seriously the only positive and constructive coaches on NXT season 2. Everybody makes a fuss about the Internet loving Kaval, but the Internet doesn’t really love Kaval. They love Daniel Bryan. Kaval’s just a guy who was popular on the indies, made a few puddle drops in Japan and slummed it in TNA for years. That’s like saying Roderick Strong is an “indie darling.”
Anyway, Michelle questions Layla about jumping Kaval’s bones during the kissing contest and we get a fun, weird moment where Layla says she likes to cover her eyes and listen to his voice. Then THE DEVIL IN BARRY WiNDHAM’S COWBOY BUHTS shows up, extends a hand to Michelle and asks her if she believes in love at first sight. She disses him, and he gets all I’M A NICE GUY at the camera, saying that after he beats Michelle’s “little boy” tonight, she’ll see things his way.
Real talk, Chell: If it ever turns out Michelle McCool is Sister Abigail, NXT is officially the best WWE show ever made.
Best: Kaval Vs. Husky Harris, Part The Last
The highlight of the final Kaval/Husky Harris match is Husky doing what Michael McGillicutty couldn’t/wouldn’t do last week: absolutely EATING a flying double-stomp to the chest. A joke about Husky Harris eating things!
But yeah, these two had great chemistry in the ring, and I’m sad that their career trajectories never managed to cross again. Kaval went to the main roster, briefly challenged for the Intercontinental Championship and bailed the first time he heard creative didn’t have anything for him. Husky ended up on the New Nexus, got booted in the dome, wandered into a Bayou swamp and came out possessed by an otherworldly monster that wrestles John Cena on WrestleManias. I’d love to see what they could pull off now.
Kaval gets the win with The Warrior’s Way (which Josh Mathews calls KNEES TO THE CHEST, because he’s still shook from Ki’s rap). Once again, this becomes interesting a little later.
Best: Kofi Kingston Actually Does The Entirety Of His Finishing Move
Pretty sure this is the only time Kofi has ever stood in the corner and done pre-strike “boom” hand claps and actually CONNECTED with Trouble in Paradise. From August 2010 to what, June 2014, there is a 100% fail rate. The guy always ducks it or counters it to lead to something else. It’s like Ric Flair climbing to the top rope and NOT being hurled to the ground by his crotch.
Also of note: Kofi’s wrestling Alex Riley, so they do a quick recap of what happened with Riley the previous night on Raw. To catch you up, Daniel Bryan returned to WWE at Summerslam 2010 and REALLY kicked ass, eliminating multiple members of the Nexus and being one of the final two guys on Team WWE. The story is that he felt remorse for the Nexus debut and was exiled from the group, which was code for “he choked our announcer with a tie and it’d only been three years since that one dude killed his family and hung himself, soooo.” On Raw, Bryan lost to Michael Tarver via roll-up when The Miz and Alex Riley distracted him, leading to Bryan getting Skull-crushingly Finale’d onto Miz’s Money in the Bank briefcase. This is also known as “how WWE ACTUALLY treated Daniel Bryan between 2010 and 2013.”
Last Night On Raw: See You On NXT Redemption, Darren
The story of the post-Summerslam Raw (besides “John Cena cannot be hurt and everyone young is worthless”) is that the Nexus gets put into a series of one-on-one matchups where outside interference from their teammates will lead to “swift consequences,” so Wade announces that anybody who loses their match is off the team.
What follows is mostly what you’d expect. Wade gets a win over his NXT Pro Chris Jericho, but then the Raw tropes start up. Michael Tarver wins via distraction roll-up, Justin Gabriel wins via distraction count-out, Heath Slater beats Edge by count-out, etc. Basically nobody looks strong. The payoff is that Darren Young decides to prove himself by choosing JOHN CENA as his opponent, which should’ve been followed by the Nexus just beating the shit out of him and tossing him out for being an idiot.
Spoiler alert: Cena wins.
Young gets beaten up by the Nexus, disappears for a while and returns to (guess what!) cost Wade Barrett a match via distraction. Good to know they’ve been leaning on that crutch for at least half a decade.
Worst: Josh Mathews, Company Man
Before the next rookie elimination, Gloria Vanderbilt’s favorite wrestler Matt Striker brings Josh Mathews and Michael Cole into the ring to ask them who they think should win NXT season 2 and who should be eliminated. Cole’s answer is par for the course. He says Alex Riley should win and that Kaval should go home, because Kaval something something The Internet something something nerds.
What’s notable here is Josh Mathews, who is supposed to be the babyface counter to Cole but is such a f*cking bootlicker that he throws Kaval under the bus for (I’m assuming) “shooting” on WWE. Josh says Riley should win and Kaval should go home “based on what we’ve seen from Kaval tonight,” which was 1) getting a big reaction for his goofy rap, and 2) cleanly pinning Husky Harris. YEAH BUT MAYBE KAVAL DIDN’T SHAKE EVERYBODY’S HAND BACKSTAGE, DID YOU THINK ABOUT THAT? Way to have a spine, Josh.
Best/Worst: Husky Harris Gets Eliminated
The second elimination of the night is Husky, which causes Cody to FLIP THE HELL OUT on the microphone. He launches into this great speech about how all the pros are worthless, the rookies don’t have any guts and the WWE Universe shouldn’t be able to decide who stays and who goes. He’s 100% correct, and “you know why you don’t go by Mr. Perfect? Because you don’t deserve it” is the best-ever explanation for Michael McGillicutty’s stupid stage name. This leads to a big fight, and that’s it (for now) for the Army Tank With The Ferrari Engine.
Don’t worry though, Husky. Time is on your side.