Are you guys feeling wild and young? Then I guess it's NXT time!
Last week, season five of the Yellow show had its big debut, but instead of us meeting new rookies, it was revealed that this season would be all about “redemption”.
Jacob Novak, Darren Young, Conor O’Brian, Byron Saxton, Lucky Cannon (still in the ugly robe) and Titus O’Neil make their way down to the ring. Hornswoggle gets a HUGE pop.
Maryse greets the men and Striker announces that the first challenge of tonight will be the all too familiar, Talk the Talk Challenge.
First Challenge: Talk the Talk
Jacob Novak tries to rap and gets booed. REALLY loud. God, this guy is awkward. And bland. JTG tries his best to get the crowd behind his rookie, but to no avail.
“I’m trying to think of something good to say, but I want to go up there and punch him in the mouth.”
I think William Regal is an amazing commentary replacement for CM Punk. I love it.
Darren Young plays the babyface and I find it very difficult to ignore his Nexus past. I have no idea how everybody else is doing it so easily.
Conor O’Brian takes the mic next. He says he doesn’t have some elaborate speech; he just wants to be real. He talks about how he’s just like everyone in the audience. The whole “living the dream” thing is brought up. Alright, he’s going to be a serious contender this season, which is great for him. Please, no more “ratitude”.
Byron Saxton is next. He gets a big pop by comparing Lucky Cannon’s robe to something from Lady Gaga’s closet and simply thanks the WWE Universe for giving him a second chance.
Lucky Cannon is next and tries to hush the crowd in an excellent display of douche. He does the typical d-bag heel thing and talks himself up. For some reason, I just find him so awkward to watch and listen to. Maybe it’s this gimmick.
“MAKE IT A WIN!” Who else to close this challenge than Titus O’Neil! Hornswoggle barks from the stage and gets even more pops. Titus pretty much makes noises but gets some massive support anyway.
It’s sad that Hornswoggle is the most over pro here.
Time to decide the winner!
Only Darren Young, Byron Saxton and Titus O’Neil get cheered. Titus wins by far, thanks to his pro Hornswoggle.
William Regal makes a great comment about how it’s not about the moves you do in the ring, you’ve got to connect properly with the audience to get over for real. And he’s right!
We then have a little video package on Titus O’Neil. He vows to be himself this season, unlike his time on Season 2. Watching this and considering his pro makes me think O’Neil has a fairly big chance of making it pretty far this season.
First Match: Darren Young vs. Conor O’Brian
The match starts with the usual lock up and Darren Young gains the upper hand. He strikes and strikes hard before O’Brian turning the tables and throwing him shoulder-first into the turnbuckle. Young is sent flying and ends up out of the ring.
O’Brian gets him back in the ring and begins working the shoulder,
Young gets onto his feet and hits a big clothesline. He then hits a spinebuster and another clothesline, selling the shoulder injury all the while.
O’Brian tries to strike back but Young hits a Fireman’s Carry into a Gut Buster (I have no idea what this is called, sorry) and picks up the win!
Winner: Darren Young
A short match, good showing for Young nonetheless. He just impresses me more and more every week!
Next is a Raw Rebound, recapping the Del Rio-Cena match that I didn’t get round to watching.
Hey, where the hell is Johnny Curtis? I can’t believe Clay’s made it to the main roster before the actual winner. And the week after he comes second place too! Okay, I’m not going to get into this.
Backstage, Yoshi Tatsu is working out while a French woman talks in the background.
Hey, it’s Maryse!
Yoshi tells her she did a great job last week and calls her pretty. If only DiBiase showed more affection while the two were together!
In comes Lucky Cannon, who apologises for coming on too strong last week. Maryse tells him not to worry about it and says goodbye to Yoshi before walking away.
I guess we’ve got ourselves a love triangle here, as Lucky tells Yoshi he’s not going to get Maryse because he isn’t “lucky”. He leaves and Yoshi looks on, confused.
After a break, we get another video package, this time on Jacob Novak.
Second Match: Lucky Cannon and Tyson Kidd vs. Yoshi Tatsu and Byron Saxton
Kidd and Tatsu start the match and trade several speedy, athletic exchanges before Yoshi sends Kidd down to the mat with a kick to the abdomen.
Kidd gets a cheap shot in on Byron Saxton which keeps the referee distracted long enough for Lucky to get a cheap shot of his own in on his love rival, Tatsu.
Lucky gets tagged in and strikes Yoshi’s back with a couple of knees. He botches a backbreaker but recovers from it.
He locks in a body scissors in a continued attempt to work the torso of Yoshi Tatsu. Yoshi powers out but Lucky keeps control.
After some more knees and strikes, he locks in another body scissors. He breaks it before long and sends Yoshi running into the ropes. He counters with a clothesline at the same time Lucky hits one and the two men are knocked to the ground.
They quickly tag in their partners and Kidd and Saxton get into the ring together for the first time.
Byron hits Tyson with several forearms and clothesline, executing every move with intense energy. He gets in an armbreaker and goes for the cover, only getting a two count.
Byron then hits an Irish Whip but Kidd shows off his athleticism by rolling backwards over the ropes and onto the apron. He kicks an oncoming Byron Saxton in the head and he hits the mat. This opens up an opportunity for Lucky Cannon, who quickly tags himself in, picks Saxton up onto his shoulders and hits something like a reverse F5.
Winners: Lucky Cannon and Tyson Kidd
Tyson looks irritated that his rookie stole his spotlight and gives him a hard time for it.
Apart from that one botched backbreaker, a nice little match. I enjoyed the opening exchange between Yoshi and Tyson, if only they gave us more stuff like that on the main shows.
Hey, who’s going to buy me the True Story of Wrestlemania?
Another Raw Rebound plays, this time showing the encounter between Trish/Snooki and John Morrison and Vickie/LayCool and Dolph Ziggler.
Third Challenge: St.Patrick’s Day Keg Carry
Matt Striker recaps Titus O’Neil’s keg carrying disaster from Season 2. We even get a video package on it. Slow-mo’s and everything. Good lord.
First up is Novak.
JTG raps a little cheer for Novak and gets no reaction. Hah!
Novak sets the time with 9.9 seconds.
Darren Young beats Novak’s time by a tenth of a second! 9.8.
Next is Conor O’Brian who gets 9.4 seconds. Apparently, he’s Irish too!
“Go, go, Byron!” cheers Yoshi Tatsu. Imagine this in a monotonous Japanese accent. Gold. Byron gets 9.5 seconds, just missing the mark.
Lucky “Fabio” Cannon is next and decides to recite a poem instead of “winning this challenge, again”. Oh my.
He starts speaking really, really bad French. Maryse asks if she can go throw up, please. I don’t know how this could be any more creepy. Oh wait, he starts touching her hair. A referee runs over and tries to get him to back up. Maryse dares him to touch it again. The poor man accepts the challenge and gets slapped in the face by the French Canadian beauty!
He retreats to the back, so I’m guessing he’s not winning the keg carrying challenge.
Titus is last, hoping to make it a win. Wow, he’s REALLY got the crowd behind him this season!
He carries the keg around the ring effortlessly and picks up the win with 9.1 seconds. He gets one hell of an ovation!
The show closes with O’Neil and his pro Hornswoggle hugging and celebrating.
Winner: Titus O’Neil
It’s NXT, so it is what it is right?
I still love Maryse and William Regal on this show; I think they bring a lot to it. I’m really surprised with how over Titus O’Neil is getting as a face, but I guess that’s down to his pro.
I was entertained by this episode and that is all I can ask for.
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