May 31, 2010
Philip DiLiegro

NXT Report for May 18, 2010
From Ottawa, Ontario

Matt Striker brought out the WWE pros, even the pros of the people who were cut last week except for Carlito for whatever reason. Chris Jericho was largely cheered on account of the show being held in Canada. Striker asked everyone what they were looking for from the next breakout star. Miz said he was looking for someone who would increase the viewership of the show. Regal said he was looking for someone with adaptability, in-ring skills, interview skills and personality. CM Punk’s moral compass dictated that he didn’t have to speak to the people here. Christian basically agreed with the Miz. He then had an argument with William Regal that ended with him saying he beat Regal a bunch of times a few months ago. It’s nice to see someone in WWE actually remembers stuff like that. Matt Hardy had an interesting comment, saying he was looking for someone who could survive in the locker room as well as in the ring. Jericho was up last and said he was looking for someone who he’d pay money to see. He then knocked all the rookies except one (Barrett, presumably) and the fans. It fits with the theme of the show that none of the pros made much mention of winning matches or wrestling ability. It was also striking how much better these guys were verbally than the rookies are.

Darren Young v. Wade Barrett
Barrett tripped Young on the apron to start. Back inside, Barrett nailed Young with a big boot for a near fall. Young made a very generic comeback with a spinning back elbow and an atomic drop. Young hit a jawbreaker on the top rope but was caught going up to the top rope. Barrett then hit his slam out of a fireman’s carry for the victory. This was a short and very generic match while it lasted. The announcers all but told you this was an elimination match for Darren Young, which was in fact what would happen by the end of the night.
Barrett (7-4) d. Young (7-4)

They had the pros do a piece on David Otunga with Jericho, Miz and R-Truth putting over his supposed charisma but CM Punk and Christian being pretty brutal about his in-ring ability. Punk actually went as far as to say that he was going to hurt himself in the ring.

Matt Striker was then in the ring with Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan (using that name). Tarver, to deafening silence (I mean shockingly quiet, given how loud Ontario crowds usually are), cut a lame promo. There was a very tepid “loser” chant that broke out. Bryan got almost no reaction either when he began to cut a promo. He mentioned that WWE did not make him and that WWE had a bias in favor of guys who they did make. He then criticized WWE for not picking the best people for the job. How many times have we heard that on a message board somewhere? He then engaged the Miz and challenged him to come to the ring. Nothing came of that, so Daniel Bryan then went at Michael Cole. He said that he had more personality in his finger than Cole had in his whole body. He then threw a couple of shots at Cole before being pulled off by Matt Striker and a couple of referees. Bryan was excellent on his promo though he needs to be feuding with Miz and not Cole, obviously.

After the break, Michael Cole was at the desk visibly upset, but not selling any injury.

Justin Gabriel v. Heath Slater
Cole stormed to the back to deal with the Daniel Bryan situation about a minute into the match. WWE showed Cole walking all the way to the back missing much of the beginning of this match. Gabriel missed a plancha landing on the floor, allowing Slater to take the advantage. Gabriel quickly came back, selling nothing, with a spinning forearm and a spinning heel kick. Slater came back with a flapjack and a spinebuster for a near fall. Gabriel then came back with a series of kicks and went up top for the 450 splash. He connected and scored the pinfall. After the match, the two men and their pros shook hands.
Gabriel (7-3) d. Slater (5-5)

Backstage, Skip Sheffield blamed his elimination on the fact that the WWE superstars thought he was a threat.

Michael Cole rejoined the broadcast to plug Sunday’s pay-per-view. They did a fairly non-descript piece on Darren Young with the pros commenting on his performance.

Now it is time to find out who gets cut and goes home (or more likely is on the show next week to cut a promo which kind of removes the drama from this segment). Matt Striker had the five rookies down at ringside. They did the reveal of the pros poll on the Titantron again: 1) Wade Barrett, 2) David Otunga, 3) Heath Slater, 4) Justin Gabriel and 5) Darren Young. So, it was the same poll as last week except they switched Gabriel and Slater, probably as another pointless swerve. Young then thanked the fans for giving him the chance to perform. He walked up to the pros on the stage and said he had respect for all of them. Despite his best efforts to be a babyface, the crowd recited the “hey, hey, goodbye” song.

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