After reading the comments last week, a few of you expressed your opinions and said that you didn’t enjoy the long recaps and whatnot. The majority of you, however, enjoyed having the whole show spoken about so in the interest of fairness (I’m not a World Cup referee), I’ve decided to try and come to a compromise. Hopefully no one will complain about my writing style this week, and if you do, then oh well. It’s not my problem because at least I tried. Anyway, lets get down to it! Last week, Kaval saw his first in-ring action against standout rookie, Alex Riley. He came up on the short end of the stick, but this week he had a chance at redemption against creep-o, Eli Cottonwood. Were Michelle McCool and Layla able to cheer their man to victory or did John Morrison’s psych ward reject steal the win?
skip ahead to 5:15
Kaval versus Cottonwood begins after a commercial so that means we have to miss Kaval’s entrance. That saddens me because this week Laycool is standing at ringside. They have on matching tops and skinny jeans, with porn star shoes, and of course, yours truly is already jealous. These two are so hot! Speaking of hot, the man who needs no mic skills comes out with Eli Cottonwood and Josh Mathews begins throwing out a million different analogies to describe this match. Kaval tries to start the match off on his terms, striking the much larger man in the legs. Cottonwood just brushes it off and bullies Kaval into the corner. Kaval fights back and gets Eli to back off, and he hits him with a fancy air move. Eli staggers but he doesn’t go down, much to Lay-Kav-Ool’s chagrin, I’m sure. Kaval bounces off the ropes and attempts to slide under the legs of Eli, but the monster freak catches our plucky little Brooklyn boy and carelessly tosses him half-way across the ring into a turnbuckle.
Cottonwood takes over the match and begins to punish Kaval for just getting into the ring against him. Eventually he ends up lifting Kaval up into a huge bear hug. Laycool begin cheering on their man and bless him, Kaval begins to fight back. He strikes Eli in the head a few times and that prompts the big man to slam Kaval into the opposite corner from where they began. Kaval keeps trying but Eli grabs him by the throat. Kaval doesn’t give up and he turns Eli’s offense into an illegal submission armbar or something on the ropes. Now that’s pretty damn cool. Kaval breaks the hold right before the five and stands up on the second rope. Eli lumbers towards him but Kaval kicks him back. Eli presses forward and tries to throw Kaval across the ring again. The crafty Kaval lands on his feet and runs towards the ropes. He springs off the middle one and nails Eli in the mouth with a stunning kick.
But the man beast still doesn’t go down. In a true Cena-esque move, Cottonwood acts like nothing happened and he picks up Kaval, and yes, he throws him again. Kaval almost flies out of the ring this time, but he catches himself on the outside apron. Eli goes for Kaval, but Kaval kicks him away, leaps on the rope, and jumps. He lands on Eli’s head and that FINALLY brings the weirdo down. It only took all match, but Cottonwood is grounded and now it looks like Kaval is going to get the advantage. Laycool beg Kaval to get up and pin Eli, and eventually he does. He gets a two count and for his efforts, Eli bench presses him into the air. Kaval lands with a thud and nearly takes out the referee as well. Kaval crawls to the corner, gets on the top rope again, and goes for his finisher. In an unfortunate turn of events, Eli catches him by the throat. He scoops up the little one, slams him face first into the mat, and gets an undeserved victory. Cottonwood celebrates by stroking Kaval’s cheek in a loving manner, and I’m totally creeped out now. Kaval gets out of the ring and Laycool rush to his side. They help him up the ramp while the rest of the pros look on.
skip ahead to :50
NXT fades into a commercial with a promise to show the Nexus attack on Vince McMahon when it returns. Luckily for us, a backstage segment featuring Lay-Kav-Ool is first. Poor precious Kaval is down on the ground and he’s clutching his ribs in pain as a shrieky, well-time “Awwwwwwwwwwww” rings out. Laycool rush to their charge and drop to their knees so they can console him. Michelle tells Kaval that he’s lost twice now and the third time is going to be the charm for him. Layla scolds her BFF for shoving Kaval’s shortcomings in his face but Michelle defends herself saying that Kaval will totally win next time. Layla gives in to her and agrees and both girls launch into Laycool “real talk” time. Michelle asks Kaval if he’s with them. Layla repeats it as if Kaval didn’t hear it, and Kaval says yes, he is with them. Laycool beam and declare that Kaval is with them. Michelle says that they have just been dying to give Kaval a gift and they basically force the man to close his eyes. When he opens them he is presented with a pink, “Property of Lay-Cool” shirt and Kaval’s expression is freakin’ priceless.
Layla just has to know if Kaval loves his shirt and they’re all over him. Kaval forces out the answer they want and adds that he just doesn’t know what to say. It’s so funny. Michelle is like “you could say thank you” and Layla is like “duh” but all Kaval can do is ask if he actually has to wear it. They girls happily inform him that he does. Michelle and Layla tell Kaval he should wear the shirt when he’s with them, when he’s without them, when he’s sleeping, when he’s eating. Basically, they expect Kaval to wear the shirt all the time. Kaval is not smiling and that fact makes the girls very unhappy. They literally force his face into a smile and scold him. They say that the face is the money maker and start making a big deal about how cute he is when he smiles. Poor, poor Kaval.
I have mixed feelings about all of this. I love Lay-Kav-Ool and I’m pretty livid Kaval was forced to job to Eli Cottonwood. This match was awful from Cottonwood and Kaval exposed just how limited the seven footer is in the ring. Cottonwood has less moves than John Cena and that’s just sad. All he could do was pick up Kaval and throw him. That’s it. The only real move Eli managed to pull off was his finisher and it’s an outrage that this giant with his creepy dark gimmick is undefeated. We all know the WWE likes bigger men, but this is ridiculous. Cottonwood is going to end up being another Khali and it’s an absolute joke Kaval had to lose to him tonight.
Now as we all know, Lay-Kav-Ool aren’t the only people on NXT Season 2. Their competition is stiff and heavy, and with the first set of rankings due out next week, lets quickly go over the other action that happened on NXT.
- For some reason, the WWE saw fit to replace Matt Striker as the host last night. When the show opened up, we were greeted with a rather annoying female voice who was desperately trying to hype up the crowd. At first, I thought Jamie Keyes had been replaced but it turns out, the beautiful blonde is still our ring announcer. As far as the new girl goes, I wasn’t really impressed with her. She’s pretty enough, I guess, but her voice is far to high pitched for my liking and she came off as fake. I applaud the fact she was trying to be enthusiastic, but it’s going to be real hard for me to watch NXT every week if this gig for Ashley Valence is permanent. She’s just not my cup of tea and if they really wanted a female host or co-host, they could have brought someone up from development or used a diva who doesn’t get a lot of chances on Raw or Smackdown, such as Jillian or maybe even Savannah. (Turns out Savannah was just released. Hmmph.)
- Alex Riley and The Miz against Percy Watson and MVP was the first match of the night. It was a pretty even contest but what stood out the most to me, was the way the Miz treated Riley. He laid the law down to Riley and gave him a healthy dose of tough love. Riley didn’t seem to thrilled at the treatment, but he did what his coach said. Despite Michael Cole’s disgusting Miz love, I do not consider the Miz the Diego Maradona of NXT coaches. Percy Watson still remains as the most annoying rookie to me and nothing about him is impressive. He looks ridiculous, acts ridiculous, and if he actually ends up in the top four of this competition I’m going to give up on the WWE all together. The Miz and Alex Riley won the match after things broke down at the end. Watson hit a fancy little splash on the Miz, went for the pin, but it was broken up by Riley. MVP came in and took out Riley. Miz dropped Watson on the ropes and then nailed him with the Skull Crushing Finale for the victory.
- Zack Ryder came to the ring with Titus O’Neil and thankfully he didn’t look like the sun this week. He just looked like the Great Pumpkin. O’Neil’s opponent is Kofi Kingston’s rookie, Michael McGillicutty. A little pre-taped promo from McGillicutty aired as he walked to the ring. Apparently his mother got really emotional over his first win last week and his ring name is actually in tribute to her since it’s her maiden name. How adorable. The match was really short and O’Neil dominated the majority of it. What that means is O’Neil dominated the first minute and McGillicutty was able to pull out the win in the last thirty seconds.
- Matt Striker made an appearance and said he was just going to be professional about the whole situation. He made an excuse for Cody for his attack on Striker last week and they moved on from the situation. A recap was shown of the attack on Vince McMahon as well.
- Husky Harris came to the ring with Rhodes for the match against Lucky Cannon. Lucky Cannon remains really pretty and I find it interesting that he already has his own T-shirt. Cody takes the microphone and announces that tonight’s match will be a five minute challenge thanks to what went down last week. Rhodes dominates most of the match which really doesn’t surprise anyone. No rookie is going to fare well in a match against a pro because the WWE “writers” don’t believe in that sort of thing. Cannon does end up with some nice offense during the match. You can tell this guy has potential and I expect him to be around for the duration of the competition. He’s really promising and well, he is easy on the eyes. Rhodes wins at the four minute mark with the Cross Rhodes. After the Cannon/Rhodes match, Harris climbs into the ring and he celebrates a bit with his pro. The announcers recap the highlights of match while Mark Henry consoles his dude.
- The show ends with the closing arguments from the rookies. They’re all brought back into the ring and thank God, Matt Striker is there too. He reminds them that one week from tonight, the WWE Universe and the WWE pros will unite to voice their opinions on the rookies. Striker says he will give the rookies one last chance to try and win over the fans and the pros, and tell them why they deserve to be the next big thing. Alex Riley shows off his douchery and his impressive mic skills, might I add. He basically talks about how great he is and that’s that. His promo is really solid.
Kaval is up second and he’s wearing his pink Laycool shirt. The poor man gets a horrible look from Striker, and really, your heart just has to go out for Kaval. Kaval says that ten years ago he tried to become a WWE superstar but they told him he was to small. He says that ten years have past and here he is, a competitor on WWE’s own show, NXT. He continues to talk, well past his time, and eventually they cut his microphone off. Awwwwwwwwwww!
The rest of the rookies speak their mind too. Titus O’Neil is really great. He’s very passionate and in your face. McGillicutty cut a basic promo and honestly, it did nothing for me. He doesn’t really have a likable personality and he just seems stuck on himself. When you’re the son of Mr. Perfect, I guess that’s alright, but he doesn’t have the charisma his daddy had, so if he wants to get people to vote for him he’s going to have to step it up. Cottonwood cuts a promo that’s not bad, but it isn’t good either. He claims that he is patient and he is willing to wait for his opportunity to strike. It doesn’t really make sense but who am I to judge?
Percy gets a stupid pop from the little kids in the crowd and he starts to dance. I want to puke everytime he’s on my television. I actually didn’t even bother to listen to his promo because I don’t care about anything he has to say. Sorry Percy fans. Lucky cuts a generic babyface promo and talks about how he is lucky just to be living life. And finally, Husky goes. Harris says he doesn’t need forty five seconds to tell the world why he is the next breakout star. He kills Matt Striker better than Rhodes did last week and Rhodes seems happy. My poor Matty. I don’t like you anymore Husky Harris!
Tonight’s show was fun, yet disappointing. I don’t really know what it was, but I just didn’t enjoy this week’s NXT like I have the two previous weeks. The backstage segment with Laycool and Kaval was probably the highlight for me. I love their relationship and I hope we continue to see a lot of it. I have a feeling the pros poll will go something like this:
1.) Michael McGillicutty (2-0)
2.) Alex Riley (2-0)
3.) Lucky Cannon (0-2)
4.) Husky Harris (0-1)
5.) Percy Watson (1-1)
6.) Eli Cottonwood (2-0)
7.) Kaval (0-2)
8.) Titus O’Neil (0-2)
I hope I’m way off base on that and that the fans save Kaval and Titus. You never know what’s going to happen with the WWE, and next week’s episode should set us up for how the rest of the season will go. Hope you guys enjoyed. Until next time… Cryssi out!