Credit: F4WOnline.com & Phil DiLiegro
The show began with the usual small talk between Matt Striker and the NXT rookies in the ring. He then prepared to introduce what is obviously the silliest challenge yet: He sent the rookies into the crowd, with the goal of selling as many programs as possible. As if that were not absurd enough, they had only sixty seconds to do so.
Throughout the show, Matt Striker was with the rookies in the crowd for their sixty seconds. The “highlights” were Daniel Bryan saying he’s not a capitalist and then giving stuff away for free. Unfortunately for Bryan, WCW went out of business nine years ago, so that strategy will get him nowhere. Michael Tarver walked away again, saying “I am the product” (as in that WWE should try and sell him). Wade Barrett just took the money and walked off. Most of the segments were guys standing around, taking money and giving out programs. Otunga “won” when he used two fans as help to sell programs. It sure didn’t look like he sold all that many, so clearly he was booked to win regardless of what actually happened. So Otunga gets a match next week against a WWE pro of his choosing.
Christian & Heath Slater v. Chris Jericho & Wade Barrett
Christian started with a missile dropkick on Barrett. After a quick distraction by Jericho, Barrett used a big boot to put Christian down. Jericho came in and went to work with closed fists on Christian. Jericho kept using more brawling than usual until Christian caught him with a reverse DDT. Slater got the hot tag and hit Jericho with a couple of flying forearms and a hanging neckbreaker. Barrett had to come in and break up the near fall. As he did, Christian caught Barrett with a crossbody off of the top rope. He then took Barrett over the top rope and hit a plancha. That left Slater and Jericho in the ring; as he did last week, Slater countered a Walls of Jericho attempt into an inside cradle, but only for two. Jericho then came back with the code breaker for the pinfall. While the match was short, it was fairly exciting while it lasted and got an effective message through.
Throughout the match, Jericho did a great job of expressing frustration at losing last week to Slater. That was really great to see and is something sorely missing from the great majority of angles in WWE today.
Jericho made the outcome of last week’s match seem important even one week later. Too often, even the results of pay-per-view main events are made trivial by the next night’s 20-minute interview segment.
Jericho & Barrett (5-4) d. Christian & Slater (5-3)
Continued on page two …
They teased dissention between Carlito and Michael Tarver as Carlito told him to carry his bags.
Darren Young v. Michael Tarver
They did another video package with the pros talking about Tarver. He got largely unfavorable reviews, with the best anyone would say was that some people thought he had potential. Tarver started on the advantage with some very non-ambitious offense. Young came back with a dropkick and a flying clothesline. Tarver came back and rammed Young into the ringpost. Gallows then tripped up Tarver as he tried to get off the apron which allowed Young to finish off Tarver. There was no crowd heat for any of this.
Young (7-2) d. Tarver (0-7)
They did a video package on Justin Gabriel, with the faces and heels (except William Regal) complimenting and knocking him, respectively.
The Daniel Bryan video package with the pros was next as Jericho said he was “already a superstar” while Regal and Christian put him over strongly. Matt Hardy pointed out the supposed lack of personality while Miz did his usual spiel.
The winner of the selling competition, David Otunga, challenged R-Truth for next week.
Daniel Bryan v. Skip Sheffield
Miz was originally advertised to face Skip Sheffield, but complained of his jaw being injured from last night. He was wearing a lot of makeup to sell the impact of the punch. Apparently, Miz has the power to change matches on the fly, so he inserted Bryan in his place. The match began at five minutes past the hour. It was over 72 seconds later. Bryan started quickly with a series of roundhouse kicks to the body and a dropkick. He then worked a leg grapevine on the canvas, but Sheffield reached the ropes. Sheffield caught Bryan’s leg throwing a kick and then hit Bryan with a short clothesline. Sheffield then got the pin with a modified jawbreaker.
Sheffield (1-5) d. Bryan (0-9)