Date: February 1, 2011
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Todd Grisham, Josh Matthews
Another week but no elimination this time. It’s good that we’re down to the final four as the show went way up in quality last time. Also putting Clay with Alberto is a nice idea as that’s a very lethal combination especially with Alberto having momentum at the moment. This is a day late but that’s fine I suppose. Let’s get to it.
Striker is in the ring as is traditional on this show. There will be an elimination next week. Here are the Rookies and the Pros. For some reason Brodus comes out with Ricardo instead. When asked, Ricardo says that Alberto is too busy so he’s filling in tonight. I hope that’s not traditional now. Oh and Ricardo speaks English.
The first challenge tonight is Arm Wrestling. Yeah is there any point to this at all? First up is Curtis vs. Saxton. They go left handed and Curtis wins in about 2 seconds. Clay vs. Bateman now in what should be one sided. Bateman screams at Bryan to slap him so Bryan smacks the heck out of him a few times.
This lasts a bit and then Brodus turns on the jets and destroys him. This is for three immunity points by the way. Johnny almost gets him but then Brodus headbutts him to give Curtis the win. Dang it they’re really pushing Curtis aren’t they? He’s painfully boring but they’ve decided that they want him to win. I hate that. He’s painfully boring but they’ve decided that they want him to win. I hate that.
Byron Saxton vs. Chris Masters
This is the first match and had no intro to it at all. They went to a break after saying it was later tonight and there’s the bell. By the way I’m watching this on Youtube so the breaks are edited out so I’ll be adding 90 seconds to the time as the NXT commercials are noticeable shorter.
Masters starts out with power but gets kicked in the face to slow him down. Nice let’s go Masters chant. He’s improved dramatically over the last few months. Saxton starts getting destroyed by the power again and there’s the Masterlock to end it in 3:12. Ziggler was about to throw in the towel once Saxton was in trouble. There’s another Mr. Perfect trait for Ziggler: a towel.
Rating: D. This was one of those matches where they were doing stuff but nothing happened at all. It wasn’t a squash but more or less just an extended workout for Masters. I like Saxton but he comes off like this season’s Otunga. He has charisma and is entertaining but can’t back it up so well in the ring. He’s better at it than Otunga, but not by much.
We see a clip from earlier with Bryan trying to teach Bateman the guillotine hold. Bateman can’t quite get it and says he isn’t strong enough. Bryan says that isn’t what submissions are about. This is a fine example of why Bateman is talented: this is actually rather funny but the lines they’re saying are boring. That’s the sign of a talented entertainer.
Gail comes up and Daniel says she’s good at the guillotine. Bateman says that women know nothing about submission wrestling. He’s unconscious 4 seconds later and Gail and Bryan are making out. Again, much more entertaining than it had any right to be which is a good sign.
Brodus Clay vs. Ted DiBiase
Still no entrances tonight. Before this starts we get a quick recap of last week where Brodus switched pros to explain why Ricardo is there. See, that’s something WWE is very good at. They’re incredibly user friendly. If this is your first show in awhile or your first show ever, you’re immediately told why Brodus has that guy at ringside, that Brodus dominated the other rookies and why he has a match with DiBiase tonight. That took about 90 seconds. That’s what you get from WWE all the time and it’s a great touch.
DiBiase gets an entrance and Maryse comes out after he does in almost her own entrance. DiBiase charges at him and gets shoved into the corner twice. He charges again and manages to get a chinlock. The main thing here is that Maryse is hitting on the announcers and actually gives Todd her number. That’s rather awesome actually. As that’s going on, the guys hit the floor and it’s all Ted who hits a seated dropkick while Brodus is up against the railing.
Josh wants to call the number because he thinks it’s a pizza place. While this is happening, Brodus sends him into the post and we head back into the ring. Nice head and arms suplex as Brodus is taking over quickly. Off to the nerve hold as the crowd is into this actually. Maryse is taking pictures with her phone. Brodus misses a splash and Ted looks like he wants Dream Street. Maryse kisses Todd and then slaps him. The distraction is enough for Brodus to hit a powerslam to end DiBiase at 4:28.
Rating: C+. This was rather entertaining actually. Maryse added a nice level of comedy to this and it raised the match up. That and you add in Brodus being fun to watch and you got an entertaining match. Brodus is the kind of guy that you see and you want to look at due to how different he looks. That’s a very valuable asset to have and sets him apart from the rest of the group. Bateman is entertaining but you wouldn’t stop to watched unless he was doing something. Brodus is someone you stop to see because he looks unique.
In the back Curtis is holding ice on his head after the headbutt. Saxton comes up and says he’s worried about Johnny. Apparently R-Truth says Johnny is getting too big a head and his ego is out of control. Johnny says they’re not friends and that Saxton is the creepiest man he’s ever met in his life. The deadpan delivery there is great.
Time for another challenge. At the moment Curtis has three immunity points and everyone else has zero. This is the Talk the Talk Challenge and it’s worth 2 points. Then why are we having this? Oh I guess it might shift the voters’ opinions. Kind of a stretch but ok. Everyone has 30 seconds to talk about a given topic. The first topic is WWE Pros and Saxton gets R-Truth. Saxton does a parody of Truth’s rap and is booed out of the building.
The category is still WWE Pros and Bateman gets Ziggler. He says he has the face of a worn out catcher’s mask and his name used to be Turd Ferguson. I love SNL references. Curtis gets Chris Masters. Since he can’t top Saxton he drills Brodus and runs away. Ok then. Another Turd chant starts up. Ziggler says if they don’t stop he’ll leave, drawing the pop of the night.
Brodus gets Daniel Bryan and says he’s incredibly boring. He does have a pretty girl though and that she probably sits in bed at night, wondering what it’s like to be with a real man. He’s quoting a scene from Rocky III here where Clubber Lang says the same thing to Rocky. Bryan says he’s fat. Bateman wins which he should have. This was more or less a waste of time.
The trailer for the Chaperone is aired again. It still looks bad. There are three minutes I’ll never get back from my life.
Raw ReBound eats up about 4 minutes.
R-Truth/Johnny Curtis vs. Daniel Bryan/Derrick Bateman
This is the main event. Bateman vs. Truth to start us off. Truth takes over and it’s off to Curtis for some rookie on rookie action. Ziggler says ECW a few times for no apparent reason. They tumble out to the floor and slug it out. This turns into a brawl until the Pros break it up and we take a break.
Back with Curtis vs. Bryan and the Pro is in control. Apparently this is the 50th episode of NXT. Josh thinks Saxton is gone next week. Off to the rookies again with Bateman in control. Bryan comes in again as there’s much better continuity between Bateman and Bryan. Bryan tries a surfboard but can’t get Curtis back. Instead with his legs intertwined with Curtis’ he jumps into the air for a stomp. That was cool looking.
Body scissors by the US Champion as Curtis is in trouble. Off to Bateman again but Curtis gets a bad looking spin kick to take Bateman down. Off to both Pros with Truth beating Bryan up a bit. Curtis comes back in for a double suplex with his pro. Bateman and Truth go to the floor and Curtis misses the leg drop. LeBell Lock ends it seconds later at 6:33 shown of 8:03 (90 seconds assumed for commercials on NXT) and we’re off the air. Or web I suppose.
Rating: C. Not bad here with some nice teamwork from Bateman/Bryan. Curtis is ok at his very best but he’s about as generic as anyone I’ve ever seen. Bateman is funny on promos and passable in the ring but also no one great. This was probably the best choice for a main event and it wasn’t too bad. Bateman looked pretty good at least.
Overall Rating: C+. This was pretty good I thought. They packed it with stuff and the 45 minutes flew by. You had three matches and two challenges with only the Talk the Talk one being somewhat bad. The rest of it was either ok or short enough to not be bad. Brodus continues to look like a huge fish in a small pond which means Curtis will likely wind up winning the whole thing. Either way, good show this week as the final four continue to make this show watchable.
Johnny Curtis won an Arm Wrestling Challenge
Chris Masters b. Byron Saxton – Masterlock
Brodus Clay b. Ted DiBiase – Powerslam
Derrick Bateman won the Talk the Talk Challenge
Daniel Bryan/Derrick Bateman b. Johnny Curtis/R-Truth – LeBell Lock to Curtis