It’s Tuesday night which means it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the premiere of the fifth season of NXT! This season has promised to be huge, groundbreaking, something we’ve never seen before. Will it be any of those things? Well it’s time to find out!
Apparently it’s all about redemption… so I guess we will have a season full of former rookies. I was looking forward to some new faces but, oh well.
But wait, Todd Grisham has a new broadcast partner… WILLIAM REGAL!
Mark out moment!
Another mark out moment, Maryse is now Matt Striker’s co-host!
The contestants are Darren Young from NXT Season 1, Conor O’Brian from Season 4, Lucky Cannon (wearing a ridiculous robe) from Season 2, Byron Saxton and Jacob Novak from Season 4 and Titus O’Neill from Season 2.
Underwhelming to say the least. Calling it now, Byron Saxton is this season’s winner. Also, I want Aksana.
This time, the guys are competing for “redemption points” to make it onto season six. So basically, the winner of this season will go on to compete on season six. This is too complicated for the WWE.
And time for the pros!
Darren Young has… Chavo Guerrero!
Conor O’Brian has Vladimir Koslov. Nice reference to the Ruthless Roundtable from William Regal.
Lucky Cannon has Tyson Kidd.
Byron Saxton has Yoshi Tatsu! Haha! Non-Americans everywhere, this is great!
Jacob Novak has JTG and apparently, JTG still has a job. It’s a night of surprises!
“Vladimir Koslov was easier to understand!” You go Todd Grisham!
Oh my god… Hornswoggle is Titus O’Neill’s pro. Hornswoggle is a pro. Hornswoggle.
I guess this show is officially completely unserious.
The first match tonight will be Darren Young vs. Jacob Novak.
How can the WWE talk about Women’s History Month after this week’s Raw? Ugh.
Okay, I’ll leave my feminism at the door, time for the first match of NXT Season 5.
First Match: Jacob Novak vs. Darren Young
The bell rings and the two men lock up. They end up rolling out of the ring and Darren Young gains the upperhand. Novak then strikes back and hits a big clothesline.
The match switches again when Young hits a great belly to back suplex to an oncoming Novak.
The action continues on in this hard hitting way, with Novak giving Young absolute hell.
The two men are really giving it their all here; I guess they really are all fighting for that spot in the next season of NXT.
Whoa, Darren Young has really picked up his game recently. He hits a spinebuster and two clotheslines, tosses Novak over his shoulder and onto the mat. He then picks up the win with his signature move “Heatwave” and wins the match.
Winner: Darren Young
Decent, short bout. Darren Young has improved so much in the ring, so maybe this redemption season isn’t such a bad idea after all?
We cut backstage to where the gorgeous Maryse is strolling down the corridor. Behind her, Yoshi Tatsu comes running, shouting her name. He congratulates her on being the host of NXT. Then, he says he has something to tell her.
Saxton comes in and totally ruins the moment! He talks about strategizing and winning NXT and Maryse tells Yoshi she’ll talk to him later and leaves. Yoshi then shouts at Saxton, telling him his "timing is no good." Saxton watches him as he walks away, shocked and confused.
Wait, is Maryse face now? This is either going to be really bad or really good, but I’ll just go along with it for now.
I think this whole Maryse/Yoshi thing is a good way of getting Yoshi over and finally allowing him to show personality. Everyone strives on NXT, so I guess it’s Yoshi’s turn!
And it just hit me…Where's Derrick Bateman?!
Next is a Raw Rebound. As if none of us watched it anyway.
Back to NXT and we get a nice little video package on Conor O’Brian. It looks as if the rat gimmick has been dropped, and I must say, he is a lot better this way. I could see him on the main roster now, for sure.
Up next is a Rookie Obstacle Course!
First Challenge: Rookie Obstacle Course
Maryse starts us off, wearing a lovely little camouflage outfit. She says it’s worth three redemption points, so don’t mess it up rookies!
All right, she’s face now.
First up is Titus O’Neill, so Hornswoggle begins barking. It’ll be interesting to see how O’Neil does this time around, seeing as he really flatlined on Season 2.
Titus speeds through the obstacle course while ‘Swoggle shouts from the stage. He does it in 29.8 seconds.
Next is Jacob Novak who does it in exactly 24 seconds.
Saxton gets 26.5 seconds, which means Novak is still in the lead.
Maryse tells Lucky Cannon to go but he instead shakes his head and takes the mic. He says he refuses to be a circus monkey. Lucky, “Stupider” is not a word.
“That’s right! Don’t be no circus monkey!” I think JTG is going to be the Dolph Ziggler of this season.
Lucky then says that the only challenge he will be taking on this season is stealing Maryse away from Ted DiBiase. “And that won’t be much of a challenge, will it?” Wait, they’re still together? Too many complications!
O’Brian fails to beat Novak’s time, getting 27.1 seconds.
Wait, Darren Young wins in 23 seconds! Whoa!
Winner: Darren Young
Why hasn’t anyone spoken about Nexus yet? Are we just pretending he wasn’t a part of the biggest angle of 2010?
Another Raw Rebound? Oh well, Stone Cold Steve Austin is the man. JBL kicks butt too.
We come back to a video package on Byron Saxton. He is one great mic worker, but you already know that.
Main Event: Titus O’Neill vs. Lucky Cannon
Todd Grisham compares the pairing of O’Neill and Hornswoggle to George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men. I just hope O’Neill stays away from any red-lipped women he may come across.
The match starts off aggressive; the two men take their lockup to the corner. Lucky tosses Titus to the outside of the ring and kicks him in the torso repeatedly.
When they get back into the ring, Lucky locks in some sort of submission. Hornswoggle barks to pump his rookie up, but he ends up in the hold again.
The crowd gets behind Titus, making his opponent become even more aggressive.
Can I just say, William Regal has a great commentary voice. From one Brit to another, I am loving him here on NXT.
Titus O’Neill powers out of Lucky’s offense with several punches and a big backdrop.
The two men get to their feet and exchange forearms. Titus then turns it up a notch and throws some big running clotheslines.
Outside, Tyson Kidd and Hornswoggle appear to be having a cat and mouse chase. I don’t think Kidd’s forgotten about the AA he got from little Horny at the Royal Rumble.
Lucky Cannon gets onto the top rope, but ‘Swoggle interferes and he staggers back to the canvas. O’Neill takes advantage and hits his Omega Slam and makes it a win!
Winner: Titus O’Neill
Decent match. Both men have improved greatly in the ring and Lucky Cannon is definitely better as a heel. I think O’Neill is doing better as a face, funnily enough.
As the rookie and pro celebrate in the ring, Tyson Kidd gets involved and tries to lock in a Sharpshooter on Hornswoggle. Grisham calls him a “bearded child," seemingly forgetting that Hornswoggle is actually a man in his 20s.
O’Neill makes the save and kicks Kidd in the knee. He rolls out of the ring.
Kidd and Cannon make threats as they walk back up the ramp, leaving me terrified of the prospect of a Kidd-Hornswoggle feud. Please… Don’t do it WWE.
And thus ends the season premiere of NXT Season 5! The concept isn’t something I’m too pleased with, as I would have preferred some new faces, but it’s okay so far. I am loving Maryse as the host, as she is one of the only Divas who can pull that off really well. It gives her something to do and she does it well, so why not?
William Regal on commentary is another major highlight. He’s always been a great mic worker, and having wrestlers on commentary just makes it a whole lot more interesting.
I’m also pleased with Yoshi Tatsu getting some face time!
So far, I think Darren Young is the stand out. Weird, because he’s technically on the main roster anyway. But I suppose we just have to pretend he isn’t.
Overall, a so-so episode. I hope the season picks up later on.
Leva Lies, over and out!
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