Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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NXT Lay-Kav-Ool Watch (June 29th, 2010): Who Needs Victories When You Have The Internet Behind You?

Last week on NXT, we were promised that not only would us fans get a chance to vote, but the pros would cast their votes as well. I’m sad to say that I wasn’t home to vote due to a prior engagement, but had I been home, then maybe Titus wouldn’t have left the competition. But nonetheless, the fourth episode of NXT proved to be full of drama, suspense, highs, lows, tears, ect. To date, this has to be the best episode and we finally got a chance to see where the WWE was going to go with this. In addition to the first ever rankings, we got two matches (one awful and one great), and a surprise elimination followed up by a heartfelt speech. Missed NXT? Go watch it. But read this first, of course! Our adorable Kaval was in the great match of the night so before we get into anything else, lets take a look at that.

Joining our sweetness on Team Kaval was Michael McGillicutty and Lucky Cannon. Their opponents were Team Weirdo comprised of Eli Cottonwood, Alex Riley, and Titus O’Neil. No Laycool at ringside! McGillicutty and Cottonwood kick things off with Mr. Perfect’sspawn going for the early advantage. Sweet Eli simply isn’t having that tonight. He attempts to behead the perfect child with a clothesline and McGillicutty ends up flat on his back. Cottonwood looms over his opponent and when he drags him towards the Team Weirdo corner, Titus tags himself in. Cottonwood is none to thrilled about this but he can’t really do anything about it. McGillicutty is able to get away and tags in Lucky.

Titus powers Lucky into the ropes, and Riley shows off good heel instincts by grabbing a handful of the Pretty One’s hair. That’s enough of a distraction to knock Lucky off his game and he gets taken down with a clothesline. The referee never saw it because Cottonwood had him locked in some type of conversation. They were probably trying to figure out which shampoo is better for damaged hair: Herbal Essence Hydralicious or something fruity smelling by Garnier Fructis. O’Neil stomps away on Lucky and the heels decide to isolate the handsome young upstart by keeping him in their corner. Titus makes the tag to Alex Riley, and we get our first look at Miz 2.0.

Alex Riley dominates the whole portion of the segment with Lucky. Mark Henry’s rookie is able to get in virtually no offense. Riley baits Kaval and McGillicutty and they attempt to charge the ring. The referee puts a stop to this, but sadly it allows the heels to basically triple team Lucky. Eli gets back in the ring and tosses Cannon around like a small child. He beats the snot out of the helpless Lucky Cannon and then Titus gets tagged in. Lucky continues to be the bitch of the match. Miz 2.0 gets back into the ring and he puts Cannon in a headlock. McGillicutty and Kaval are basically beside themselves on the outside. They want in this match so bad! Cannon finally gets to the ropes but Riley stops him. They fight a little bit and eventually Cannon finds some luck and escapes the Varsity Villain’s clutches. He makes the hot tag to our precious Kaval!

Kaval takes over and Michael Cole pointed out that since Kaval has such a dismal record, he has to impress in this match. His strikes on Riley are perfection and he even goes for a quick cover. Riley isn’t going to be taken out that easily and kicks out, but our main man goes right back to work. He uppercuts Riley into the corner and then sends him into the next one. Kaval does a beautiful little cartwheel and then just slams himself into Riley. It’s truly amazing to me because I can’t do a cartwheel let alone follow one up with a vicious wrestling move. The crowd loves Kaval and they get excited as Kaval flips onto Riley for another cover. Titus and Eli break this up and toss our poor muffin to the outside of the ring. Awwwwwwwwwwww! Bullies.

The referee attempts to restore order but of course he is an epic fail at this. McGillicutty sneaks into the ring puts Riley away with a swinging neckbreaker. Eli tries to stop the madness, but McGillicutty pulls down on the ropes and sends the big freak to the outside. Titus comes in but Lucky Cannon is ready. He takes down Ryder’s charge and the faces have a firm grip on this match now. Kaval is quick to scramble back into the ring and scale the top rope. He flies off, lands right in the middle of Alex Riley’s chest with his two feet, and he goes for the pin. Kaval gets the one, two, three, and we all start celebrating. Laycool are marking out on the stage and I’m marking out as well. Michelle McCool and Layla are so freakin’ excited and so am I!

Great, great match and finally, Kaval gets a much deserved win. Now, here’s what happened on the rest of the show:

– The show begins with the introduction of the rookies a la Ashley Valence. She still seems fake and phony to me, but at least she toned down the false enthusiasm. All the rookies come out and for some reason, someone out there thought it would be fun to give some of the rookies their own T-shirts. These things are clearly cheap and horribly made, but I would so wear a Titus O’Neil shirt just because I like him! Kaval looks pretty spiffy in green and bless him, he has his Property of Laycool top on as well. Ashley explains to them that tonight is the first step of their journey and then tells them that the fans are basically voting as she speaks. She reminds them that Wade Barrett, last year’s winner, was never ranked below number two, but she emphasizes that it was last season. She also teases the rookies with a surprise. Unfortunately, she screws up on the microphone and has to correct herself as she tells them that whoever is last, will be eliminated.

Is it wrong that I laughed a little at her mistake? Matt Striker never makes them, haha. Best line of the night: “Can we eliminate Ashley?” – Josh Mathews. Brilliant.

Striker gets on the microphone and announces that they’re gunna have the first rookie challenge of Season 2. It’s the keg carrying challenge because as we all know, the WWE is so PG these days. Whoever wins ends up with immunity from tonight’s elimination. Since when did NXT turn into Survivor? The best thing about this whole segment is the fact that during Kaval’s turn he warms up by doing a squat and when the clock starts, he takes the microphone from Striker and refuses the challenge. He says that he isn’t going to pose any harm to his body unless it’s in that ring for the WWE Universe.

Lucky Cannon – 12.7
Percy Watson – 13.0
Eli Cottonwood – 13.3
Alex Riley – 13.8
Husky Harris – DQed (he dropped it and looked like he tweaked his knee; then he threatened Matt Striker. BOOOOOOOOOOO!)
Kaval – DQed (basically)
Michael McGillicutty – DQed (he dropped it)
Titus O’Neil – DQed (he tripped and fell; then cut a weird promo)

Lucky Cannon wins the keg carrying challenge and wins immunity. He also cuts a soppy promo but he’s pretty. He says that everything worth having in life is worth fighting for, or something. Bless him.

– There’s a Percy Watson video package. (I hit the fast forward button, sorry guys.)

– MVP versus Husky Harris is the first match of the night. This match moved in slow motion. MVP and Husky didn’t seem to have a lot of chemistry. They exchanged holds and MVP showed off some mat wrestling skills. Husky eventually tried to take a cheap shot, but MVP put him in his place. When Husky got sent to the outside of the ring, I could swear I heard someone scream “Get back in the ring, butterball.” (Yes, I died with laughter.) The match was interrupted with a commercial break and frankly, it should have just ended. It was even slower by the time it returned, and it did nothing help-wise for either man. Their holds and moves were nice enough, but Harris just didn’t have any ring presence. The crowd was dead and MVP didn’t really try to help, if that makes any sense. Even the pros on stage looked bored with what they were watching. MVP finally ended up winning and we got a nice side, profile shot of Cody Rhodes standing there disappointed. His nose ring was glittering.

– Cole and Mathews recapped the keg carrying challenge.

– After the tag team match featuring Kaval/McGillicutty/Cannon winning over Cottonwood/Riley/O’Neil, Striker returns to the stage and announces that it’s almost time to announce the poll. He tells the pros to start tallying up their votes and announces that fan voting is almost over as well. Nervous!

– They waste some time by showing the Raw Rebound and it’s announced that Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat has suffered a host of major injuries including a sprained neck and some internal bleeding (or something), and that the rest of old guys who were attacked got away with minor injuries. Apparently they’re all suffering from emotional trauma. Right. They continue to waste time that could go to Lay-Kav-Ool segments by showing highlights of Edge and his Money in the Bank success. Favorite much? We have to go through a commercial break and a Smackdown highlight package before we get to the good stuff.

– The rookies are lined up in front of the ring with Striker acting like a tease. He reminds us that no matter what happens, Lucky has immunity and can’t go home tonight. On that note, Striker gets to the poll. The number one ranked rookie is none other than…. KAVAL! AWWWWWWWWWW! Of course this great moment is ruined by Michael Cole saying he isn’t surprised because the Internet is voting. Laycool are happy, and rightfully so. The first ever female pros have the first number one ranked rookie for Season Two. For some unjust and ridiculous reason, Percy is ranked second. I guess it’s my turn to be Michael Cole and blame the Internet.

Actually, I’ll just blame children. I hate kids.

Michael McGillicutty is third, followed by Alex Riley in fourth place, Lucky in fifth, and Eli Cottonwood in sixth. The bottom two are Husky Harris (one of my early favorites) and Titus O’Neil (my current favorite). Striker does his best Ryan Seacrest and drums up the drama so we can see which of these two men are going home first.

Dum. Dum. Duuuuuuuuum!

Ranked seventh and safe from elimination isssssssssssss Husky Harris! BOO. Titus O’Neil has come in dead last and unfortunately he has now been eliminated from the competition. Striker passes the mic to O’Neil and he gives his farewell speech. Wow, it’s surprisingly passionate and full of emotion, and dammit, I want to cry now. The show ends with Striker reminding everyone that this is just the beginning, and that it’s far from over.

Tonight’s episode was great. I really loved the drama but I’m very disappointed Titus went home. He proved that he’s a pretty passionate speaker and the crowd gave him a heartwarming round of applause on his way out. I feel that if we would have gotten a chance to spend more time with Titus, the crowd would have warmed up to him and I could have continued to see Zack Ryder! It makes me so happy that Kaval was ranked first. I don’t give a damn if the Internet gave it to him or not. Everyone knows that Kaval is the best rookie in the competition. His skills are amazing. He could go out there and put on a match with anyone, and it would be brilliant. Michael Cole’s shitty comment was uncalled for, but you know what? Michael Cole’s presence is just uncalled for. His opinion is irrelevant and the fact remains, the right person ended up first.

I’m not going get into my feelings about number two, because I’m going to sound like a hypocrite. I still blame the children and the parents who allow their children to stay up at night and use a computer. But despite my bias, I think the poll ended up pretty fair. Riley and McGillicutty deserved their rankings because they’ve really been impressive thus far. They are definitely Kaval’s biggest competition this season and I can’t wait to see how this ends up playing out over the next few weeks. Kaval is going to be begging Laycool for more hoodies and T-shirts, because guess what? Their madness and his greatness got him to number one.

Who needs Team Edward or Team Jacob?! It’s all about TEAM LAY-KAV-OOL! Love it.

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