NXT – January 11, 2011

Date: January 11, 2011
Location: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Todd Grisham

It’s the week between eliminations so this is likely going to be a contest heavy show.  Novak is gone thank goodness, lowering the level of suck on this show dramatically.  Tonight’s special feature is Daniel Bryan and Derrick Bateman on a double date with the Bella Twins.  That should be….uh….interesting.  Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the trade with Saxton and Novak which is a good thing since Novak and Ziggler didn’t work at all.

Theme song hits, get your reinforcements.  Just not the Rat Boy as he sucks.

There’s another elimination next week according to Striker.  It’s challenge time which is worth two points.  This is the slingshot challenge.  The pros in the ring are going to use a slingshot to launch t-shirts to the rookies on the stage, most caught and dropped into a bucket wins.  Truth and Curtis go first and Truth launches them way too high so there are none caught.

Ziggler and Saxton are second and Ziggler also launches them way too high.  Ah there’s one.  Saxton has a Best Buy themed shirt going on this week.  It’s just one which is the mark somehow.

Third is Bryan and Bateman.  Bryan bounces them off the Titantron for some reason.  They have to be caught in the air which makes this a bit more competitive and also a bit more idiotic.  Bateman gets one and can’t get the second in time.  Ok maybe he does.  Yeah that gives him the lead with two.

Clay is up next and Maryse is shooting.  And the shirt fell, almost like going limp.  That can’t be something that happens often with her.  Ted takes over and can’t get anything either.  It’s a total of zero.

Finally is Rat Boy and Del Rio who has heat on him now, drawing a boo for his name.  They get one and then catch a second at the buzzer but it wasn’t in the bucket so Bateman wins with two, gaining two points.

Ricardo is on the phone in the back and we have subtitles for no apparent reason.  He says he’s responding to an ad, saying he has a problem with a huge rat that stinks.  Oh dear.  Why are we giving this guy an angle on top of everything else?

Conor O’Brian vs. Byron Saxton

Bit of a feeling out process to start here as it occurs to me that I don’t remember a single one of O’Brian matches.  Saxton gets a forearm in the corner to take over.  I like how they have the pros up on the apron like partners here.  It adds on the teamwork thing instead of having them be like managers.  Since they’re getting a tag title shot in the future that fits pretty well.

Chinlock by Saxton as he keeps him dominance going.  Bulldog gets two and back to the rest hold.  Conor tries to fight up but gets a knee to his back.  This is kind of hit and miss to say the least.  Saxton gets a clothesline for two which Ziggler thought would be three.  He’s certainly into these matches and does well with what he does.  ANOTHER rest hold by Saxton as Conor has had very little going for him here.  Mat slam out of the corner gets two again for Saxton.  And never mind as there’s a Rock Bottom for the pin for O’Brian at 6:25.

Rating: D. I HATE that kind of an ending as O’Brian got maybe two punches in and then hit a Rock Bottom to end it.  What is the point in having someone hit one move like that as the extent of their offense.  It makes the other guy look completely weak as his whole offense means nothing and a single shot can beat him.  Can’t stand that style at all.

Ricardo has to announce him as the winner and certainly isn’t thrilled with it, hence the rat problem.

We get a clip from last night after Raw with Bateman and Bryan getting ready.  Bateman has American flag pants on and goes on about submission wrestling again.  He likes to speak in initials and abbreviations for some reason.  Bateman thinks the Bellas are both wildebeests for some reason.  Both guys have sunflowers for the girls which Bateman is a bit confused about.

Should be noted that until now I had a phone call and was trying to do that and review at the same time.  God bless headphones.

It’s time for another challenge, in this case Superstar Password.  It’s an old game show with the idea being that one person has the password and has to give clues to the other guy to win.  The rookie has to give the clues and it’s the most in a set amount of time.

Curtis and Truth go first.  You can’t say the name or a nickname I guess.  There isn’t much to say here.  They get two right.

Saxton and Ziggler go second and Saxton is still breathing hard from his match.  They also get two.

Bateman messes up and says Kane to start.  Then he starts flying through them with basic clues like you’re supposed to play this game and they get three.  We even get a Lanny Poffo reference.

Clay and DiBiase are next and Maryse keeps guessing designers.  DiBiase is really bad at this while Clay gives good clues. Clay: Bigger than me, bald, in a movie, doesn’t like Kane.  DiBiase; John Cena?  He FINALLY gets Big Show and that’s it.

Conor and Alberto are fourth and Rat Boy messes up and wastes time.  O’Brian wants to talk about how great Del Rio is.  Bateman wins.  This could have been great but they made it REALLY stupid.  Bateman was the only guy that did this with any kind of intelligence.

Same Shawn video from last night.  He certainly deserves it.

Ah ok the date was last night and we’re getting clips of it.  Ok that makes sense.  It also explains why they were in dresses at ringside.  They’re at dinner here and Bateman has his foot on the table.  Bateman: Brie, did you know that you share your name with my second type of cheese?  The girls argue over text messages or something and Bateman texts Bryan pickup lines.

This looks like the smallest restaurant ever by the way.  Bateman FREAKS because something got on his pants so he turns the table over, throws a bag of change at Bryan and leaves.  Bryan for some reason goes after him and leaves the girls.  This was odd to put it mildly but I’d be lying if I said Bateman wasn’t kind of funny.  Good segment overall.

Ted DiBiase vs. Johnny Curtis

Back and Matthews goes off about the date while pointing out very basic issues with it (why were they eating off paper plates?) and somehow we’re talking about college football.  Crowd is dead for the match by the way.  Kind of a standoff to start us off here.  They keep fighting over a lockup as Matthews is turning into the Cole of this season.  BIG backdrop by Curtis gives him momentum.

Semi-snap suplex by Curtis.  Slingshot legdrop misses though as we take a break.  Back with DiBiase holding a chinlock on Curtis.  The following clothesline takes down Curtis as we talk about who’s leaving next week.  The general consensus seems to be O’Brian and I can’t say I disagree.  All DiBiase here as he hammers away.

Total dominance by DiBiase who hooks on another chinlock.  Big sitout spinebuster breaks any momentum that Curtis might have been trying to build up there.  Running knee lift misses though and here comes Curtis.  Another following clothesline is almost countered into a backslide.  Curtis gets two off a mat slam.  With Maryse distracting, Clay gets a big forearm to Curtis.  Truth takes Clay out and Curtis pins DiBiase with a rollup at 9:30 to end the show.

Rating: C+. This was better than you would expect.  Curtis is so ridiculously boring that it’s not even funny.  I get that he’s supposed to be the big star this season but he’s just not clicking at all.  The match was fairly good though for NXT standards and it worked well enough for a main event.  Much better than the other match at least.

Overall Rating: C. This was a mixed bag which is a term I hate but it fits here.  The date and the main event were both good but the first match and the slingshot thing were bad.  The Password thing had potential but was so rushed that it was hard to classify as good.  That’s something that has potential to be kind of fun but it failed here.  Anyway, decent enough show this week but nothing memorable at all.  At least another guy goes home next week.


Derrick Bateman won the Slingshot Challenge

Conor O’Brian b. Byron Saxton – Rock Bottom

Derrick Bateman won Superstar Password

Johnny Curtis b. Ted DiBiase – Rollup

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