May 31, 2010
Philip DiLiegro

NXT Report for May 4, 2010
From North Charleston, South Carolina

Matt Striker began the show by noting that next week is the first binding pro’s poll which eliminates someone from the show. This wasn’t mentioned, but they announced earlier that they would have four eliminations via vote and hadn’t come up with an idea on where to go from there. I’d wager they still haven’t. The challenge this week was a fairly elaborate obstacle course: monkey bars, climbing a ladder, running up and down the stairs to the concessions, drink an entire beverage (many fans did this part of the course later on in the evening when Jack Swagger came out to do an interview, according to reports), run back to the ring, juggle (?), spin around a baseball bat (??) and push a crate up the ramp. They actually gave away something worth having as a reward: immunity from elimination.

Daniel Bryan went first, selling his ribs from last night, and completed the course in 2:45. This was incredibly boring as it they actually spent about 50 seconds of TV time watching Bryan drink a soda. Miz, who apparently has the ability to make matches on Raw and NXT, made a match between Bryan and Michael Tarver.

Daniel Bryan v. Michael Tarver
Tarver started by working on the ribs. Bryan caught Tarver charging in the corner with a big boot and hit a leg lariat. Tarver quickly regained the advantage as the match went to a quick commercial. After the break, Bryan was landing some stiff kicks on Tarver. Bryan hit a snap suplex for a near fall. Bryan went for an arm bar on the canvas, but Tarver picked Bryan off the canvas and slammed him to break the hold. Tarver then hit his inverted body slam for the pinfall. After the match, Carlito nailed Bryan with a back stabber.
If there was any credence to the argument that giving Bryan a semi-competitive six minute match with Batista last night was a step in the right direction; well, this answers your question. They actually had Bryan lose to the guy whose gimmick is that he’s a loser who is completely indifferent to the whole NXT competition. Even Michael Cole is showing some mercy as he has turned the dial down on the heelish, anti-Bryan character he had been portraying.
Tarver (1-7) d. Bryan (0-10)

Backstage, CM Punk confronted Darren Young over Young knocking Punk last week. He vaguely threatened Young if he did not win the obstacle course.

Heath Slater completed the obstacle course in 1:37. Darren Young slipped off the monkey bars, struggled badly on the ladder, tripped over the barricade returning from the crowd and limped home in 2:08. Justin Gabriel was next and went ahead with a time of 1:29. Otunga was next in 1:35.

R-Truth v. David Otunga
They went to a break after R-Truth did his intro and about thirty seconds of wrestling. Returning from break, Otunga was using an abdominal stretch for a bit before R-Truth reversed. Truth hit about five kicks and a flying back elbow for the pinfall to conclude the six minutes of wrestling on this broadcast.
This was similar to when Heath Slater won the keg challenge only to have his “reward” be to job to Kane in the main event. Why have guys win challenges when it leads to them losing a match to an established star?
Truth d. Otunga (4-4)

Wade Barrett failed royally on the monkey bars and was disqualified. Justin Gabriel still has the time to beat and WCW Thunder under Kevin Nash still has the record for worst wrestling show of all-time, but WWE NXT is charging hard for the lead in that race. On that note, Skip Sheffield was next up and finished in 1:31. Matt Striker congratulated him as if he took the lead, but he actually finished two seconds behind Gabriel. Tarver was the last to compete and he couldn’t master the monkey bars. He couldn’t even hold down his soda and was disqualified by Charles Robinson. Matt Striker identified Justin Gabriel as the winner this time. Josh Matthews salvaged something from this show with this exchange:

Cole: You hang out at the playground.

Josh: Cole, this is Tuesday, not Mondays. That’s your partner, Jerry Lawler.

Gabriel cut a weak promo on David Otunga: “your ego outweighs your talent.” Otunga came back and said he talked to the Nielsen folks and said ratings were up when he was on-screen, so he should stay. Tarver said he hopes he gets eliminated next week because that would mean everyone else was still alive (no clue what he was getting at there). Sheffield cut a weak promo (he’s a babyface, again) saying Tarver should go next week. Slater said the same thing basically. Barrett cut the best promo, saying that Tarver should go as well. Bryan went next and said that as the only guy who hasn’t won yet, he should go home. Young said he wanted it more than anyone and went at it with Wade Barrett to close the show.

This may have been the worst episode yet of what is becoming a nearly unwatchable show.

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