Saturday, June 19, 2021

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NXT Lay-Kav-Ool Watch (July 6th, 2010): Kaval Shines Even In Defeat

Last week on Season Two of NXT, we were all privy to the first elimination of the season, as well as a shocking revelation of the who the number one rookie happened to be. Titus O’Neil, the rookie charge of Zack Ryder, was sent packing, and Laycool’s little package of dynamite, Kaval, was announced as the NXT number one. With the rankings in place, this week’s results count more than ever. Those who are highly ranked, now have to perform with the pressure of living up to expectations. Those who have a low ranking, can only hope to move up. How did the rookies fare and more importantly, how did our NXT number one Kaval fare?

skip ahead to 4:15 if you only want to watch Kaval vs. Miz; match will continue in another video

The Miz comes to the ring first and he has Alex Riley in tow. As usual, The Miz is brimming with confidence and Riley definitely has similar mannerisms. The Miz is looking to avenge his rookie’s loss to Kaval last week. NXT goes to commercial in the middle of The Miz’s entrance but nothing is really missed because when the show returns, Miz and Riley are standing in the corner, talking. Kaval is out next and Michelle McCool and Layla both spring from their seats. Both women absolutely come alive when Kaval appears in front of them. They rush to his side and start fussing with him. Michelle even takes her fingers and forces Kaval’s serious look into a smile. Eventually he’s had enough and takes off down the ramp and this forces the girls to practically sprint in order to keep up with him. They manage and Layla even strokes Kaval’s head along the way. He gets away from Laycool and enters the ring. He strips his pink shirt off and jacket, and gets ready for the match. Both men are intense, including The Miz, because he knows this is going to be no easy task.

The bell rings and the two combatants circle each other, both looking for the perfect opening. Kaval is the first to strike with a nice kick to Miz, which prompts the United States Champion to take a step back. They start staring one another down again and Kaval once again hits Miz with a nice, crisp strike. The Miz backs off again. Finally, the two lock horns and Miz forces Kaval back into the corner. Kaval is able to turn this around on his pro opponent, but the referee is quick to get in there and pull the men apart. The Miz comes flying out of the corner with a devastating boot to the face of Kaval and Laycool shriek in terror on the outside. The shot has forced Kaval to the mat. The Miz goes on the attack and slams a vicious knee right into Kaval’s lower back. The smaller rookie is hurting and Miz begins to strike Kaval near his collarbone with some pretty hard looking elbows. All this is taking place in front of Laycool and the co-Women Champions are beside themselves. They’re screaming and begging Kaval to fight through this attack. They just want him to stay strong.

The Miz throws himself into the ropes in an attempt to gain some extra momentum and he comes back in Kaval’s direction. The Brooklyn native ends up on the receiving end of another boot to the face and Miz follows it up with a pin. He nearly gets a two count, but everyone figures that he will need to do more in order to dispose of Kaval. A shot is taken of Alex Riley on the opposite corner and he is all smiles. His teacher is doing the dirty work and the Varsity Villain couldn’t be happier at this moment. Miz throws Kaval throat first across the second rope and starts choking him thanks to forcing his leg across the back of Kaval. Michelle is screaming at the referee to get in there and break up this illegal choking, and finally Miz is forced to relinquish his hold on Kaval. The Miz slowly walks back towards Kaval, berating him in true Miz fashion. Kaval shows off his fierceness by throwing up a few shots to the gut of his larger opponent. Miz puts a stop to that by kicking Kaval down into the mat. He stomps on Kaval a time or two before bringing the other man up to his feet. Kaval is tossed face first into the turnbuckle and then is forced to eat even more punishment from The Miz. Kaval ends up in a sitting position and Miz tucks his foot under Kaval’s chin and, using the ropes as leverage, begins to choke his opponent again.

After Miz backs off, he begins to pose. Riley is beaming from ear to ear, and the crowd is letting the former Real World star hear it. The Miz doesn’t seem to mind and next thing you know, Kaval is hit with Miz’s trademark running clothesline to the opposite corner. The NXT number one is down and Miz goes for another pin. He doesn’t get it this time either, so Kaval is forced to endure the pain that comes from being locked inside the awful camel clutch. To his credit, Kaval does start to fight back. Laycool and the crowd are cheering him on and he manages to knock Miz away, even if it’s just temporary. The Miz gets Kaval up in the air and he looks to be going for some kind of high impact move, but being crafty, Kaval reverses it and lands on top of The Miz. Charles Robinson gets down to count the pin and Kaval very nearly gets an upset! The Miz is furious and  he kicks Kaval in the stomach, then sends him head first out of the ring. Time to regroup.

Alex Riley has come in from the other side, but Laycool have rushed to Kaval’s side. Riley receives an earful from them, Michelle especially, and eventually Riley walks off. Kaval is pissed off and annoyed by the turn of events and he punches the mat in frustration. The girls are comforting him and NXT goes to commercial break.

The show returns and we find out that Miz has been in complete control since the show has been away. They show highlights of what happened and meanwhile, Miz maintains that control. Michael Cole mentions that Kaval is going to have to dig deep down if he wants to prevail in this match, and unfortunately, Cole is right this time. Perhaps Kaval heard the man, because he manages to duck a wild swing by The Miz and turn defense into offense. He gets Miz down with a pretty sunset flip but instead of going for the pin, he stands up jumps right into Miz’s chest. The crowd is thoroughly pleased with this turn of events, as is Laycool. They’re cheering loudly for their man. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Alex is mad. He’s pacing on his side of the apron and screaming at Miz to get up. Michelle and Layla continue to love it and turn to the crowd to get them into the action. The Miz has gotten back to his feet and he manages to catch Kaval. It doesn’t bother Kaval all that much and he starts to show off his impressive array of martial arts training.

Match continues in the video below!

Kaval wows the crowd with his unorthodox form of offense and The Miz has no response for it. He takes Kaval’s punishment and ends up in the corner. Kaval turns a sweet looking gymnastic routine into a pretty convincing kick and The Miz hits the mat, back first. Kaval goes for the cover, much to Riley’s horror, and The Miz is barely able to to kick out. Michelle shouts at the referee that he just botch a perfectly good three count, but Kaval goes to the top rope. Michelle and Layla realize what’s coming and they’re all smiles on the outside of the ring. They dance in glee as Kaval scales the top rope but their joy is short lived as Miz gets to his feet. He punches the crap out of Kaval a few times before going up top and attempting a superplex. Kaval blocks this and headbutts Miz right off the ropes. Miz shakes off the hit and goes back for more, knocking Kaval off the ropes in the process. Kaval lands stomach first across the turnbuckle and you can literally hear all the wind being sucked out of the arena.

Alex Riley has regained his composure on the outside. Laycool are no doubt terrified for Kaval and his future in this match. The crowd have been privileged to see an amazing back and forth contest. And now The Miz is looking to end things. Kaval is crawling on the mat towards his corner, and Laycool are begging him to get up. They don’t want to see him suffer another loss, but his fate is inevitable. The Miz takes a moment to let the drama build but once he gets to Kaval, it’s over. Kaval is put in the Skull Crushing Finale, and it’s lights out for the number one ranked rookie of the season thus far. Laycool are crying on the outside but it’s no use. The Miz gets the victory in one of the most impressive matches seen on WWE television in awhile. The Miz and Riley watch as Kaval and Laycool leave the ringside area clearly disappointed. Kaval doesn’t even get treated to any loving because he’s sweaty and gross, and neither girl wants to touch him at the moment.

– The show kicked off with a video package of last week. It highlighted the rookie challenge and of course, O’Neil’s elimination and Kaval’s number one ranking.

– Striker is in the ring to get things started. He says that there are seven rookies left and they all have the same dream. He reminds the fans they’re important and that their vote stands for a lot, as we noticed by the first ever poll. He says we’re only half the story and introduces the pros. Striker goes to the pros for their opinions. Zack gets the microphone and demands to know why people voted Titus O’Neil last. Michelle said she voted him last. He’s basically in disbelief because according to Zack, Titus had it all. He says that Titus was robbed and now that has to rest on everyone’s shoulders. John Morrison is next. Striker asks him point blank what he would have done different with the pro’s poll. Instead of immediately answering, JoMo plays to the crowd a bit and then basically agrees with Zack Ryder. He says he wouldn’t have eliminated Titus, he would have eliminated The Miz instead.

The rookies get announced next and Alex Riley comes out and steals one of Laycool’s clipboards. They’re not really happy about this and scream at him as he walks down the ramp. They also go nuts when their bb Kaval comes out. Once all the rookies are in the ring, Striker starts talking to them. He goes to Husky first. Husky tells Striker that he, of all people, should know that he (Husky) is better than seventh. He asks everyone if they think he’s seventh, and to make a long story short, Husky is not amused he’s been ranked seventh. Another rookie who isn’t impressed with his position is Alex Riley. Alex believes that his ranking of fourth is some kind of joke and he’s truly baffled that someone “who isn’t even tall enough to ride the bumper cars at Six Flags” is ranked ahead of him.

Enter Kaval.

Striker goes to him next and gives Kaval a chance to answer his critics who say his ranking of one is a fluke. Kaval very simply states that if Alex Riley feels that his ranking is a fluke, then all he has to do is listen to the members of the WWE Universe.

– Tonight’s rookie challenge is aptly titled “Talk the Talk”. Each rookie gets thirty seconds to connect with the crowd by speaking on a certain topic provided to them by Striker. The winner gets to host his own talk show next week. Percy Watson is up first and his topic is “glasses”. Percy says that he doesn’t want to just talk about glasses, he wants to talk about his glasses. He likes to see where he is going in life and that’s so, so important. He says that you have to be able to know where you’re going and have the vision to get there. He’s really perky about it too. Kaval is up after Percy and his topic is chicken. Kaval says that chicken is just not something that can exist in the WWE. He tells us that despite the fact he is the smallest competitor, he has the biggest heart. He says that he is not a chicken but he knows that he can’t survive without the WWE Universe and together they will go on to become the winner of Season Two of NXT.

Eli Cottonwood is third and his topic is “mustache.” Eli asks the crowd what is a mustache and then follows it up by saying it’s hair that is grown over the top lip. He claims that no one on NXT has a mustache, himself included, but then he says he does sport one and in a few days it will be nice and thick. The buzzer buzzes on him before he can get any further and the cameras cut to a shot of Morrison on stage hiding his face with his clipboard because he’s just that embarrassed by his rookie. He also has his cellphone out. Is he texting during work?!

McGillicutty is fourth and his topic is “breath.” He begins by saying that everyone knows who his family is and where he comes from because it was shown at the beginning of the NXT season. He says that he is the grandson of a legend and the son of a WWE Hall of Famer. He tells us that his name is Michael McGillicutty and by the end of NXT, he is going to take our breath away. Husky has to follow that up and Striker tells him to talk about a doorknob. Husky gets a smirk on his face and says that he used the doorknob to get in here and like Mr. McGillicutty, his father was also a wrestler. He also gets onto the crowd for voting him seventh and because of that, the crowd doesn’t deserve to hear him talk. And that’s that.

Up sixth is Lucky Cannon and he has to talk about “deodorant.” Lucky begins by explaining the basic functions of deodorant encase some of us were confused by the whole concept. He says that deodorant is needed to make a smelly person not so smelly and eludes to the fact that deodorant would be pointless if not for said smelly individual. He likens himself to deodorant and calls the WWE the smelly person. Like deodorant needs that smelly person in order to work and vice-versa, the WWE needs Lucky Cannon in order to work, and vice-versa. Last, but not least is Alex Riley and his topic for tonight is “pigeon.” He says he has dealt with a lot of animals in his lifetime and he is still dealing with them right now. He brings up Kaval getting to talk about chicken and he calls himself the rooster in this hen house. He starts to say something else, changes his mind, and says he began this competition with seven dorks. But now it’s all about Alex Riley and six pigeons. The Miz looks like a cross between horrified and amused.

Striker goes to the crowd to pick the winner and they decide to give Percy the opportunity to host his own show next week.

– Percy Watson versus Michael McGillicutty is the first match of the night. We get a great shot of Jamie Keyes announcing and once again, she comes across as super confident and so strong on the mic. The pros, MVP and Kofi Kingston, are standing outside on the ropes so they can coach their rookies during the match. The match is pretty back and forth, with both men getting in good offense. Watson controls the early stages, but McGillicutty is quick to turn the offense in his favor. He attempts to keep Watson grounded with some strong mat wrestling, but the crowd encourages Percy to fight back. He valiantly tries, but McGillicutty is just to much for Percy Watson to handle. They managed to cram in a lot in a short amount of time and to no one’s surprise, McGillicutty picks up the win to remain undefeated with a very weak pin. Percy isn’t pleased to say the least.

– Cole and Mathews talk about last week’s rookie challenge, and that launches into a discussion about Titus O’Neil’s elimination. Eventually they go into a video package of what the pros had to say about Titus. They’re very complementary about O’Neil’s physical presence and how stacked he is. They rip apart the man’s bark and Morrison even points out that the pose O’Neil did as he came out from behind the curtains is probably the best thing we will ever see from Titus O’Neil. MVP compares O’Neil to a dumptruck and the Miz pokes fun at O’Neil’s dramatic speeches. Apparently his in-ring work is awkward and “Dashing” Cody Rhodes wraps up things by saying Titus O’Neil should definitely brush his teeth. Once that’s finished, they highlight O’Neil’s goodbye speech from last week then the scene fades into The Miz’s ring entrance. Miz versus Kaval is up next.

– Eli Cottonwood is also highlighted on this particular night. The pros give their opinion on the massive superstar. Michelle makes a fun remark about how even she has to look up to Eli because he’s just that tall. Most of the pros who speak mention Cottonwood’s height as his advantage, but they also list it as his disadvantage because he doesn’t really use his size all that well and he is very clumsy in the ring. His mic skills don’t impress anyone but Mark Henry actually says he thinks Eli being so quiet is his biggest weapon because he allows his angst to build up inside of him. Cottonwood’s reviews are pretty mixed, but they’re not as harsh as they could have been.

– In order to promote the main event, a match between Lucky Cannon and Mark Henry against Husky Harris and Cody Rhodes, they roll yet another video package. This one showcases Husky Harris. The pros all love Husky Harris. The main comment that stands out is that Husky has the personality to make it far. They love his charisma, his attitude, and appreciate the fact he has a mean streak. Husky is complemented on being athletic, despite being “fat” (according to The Miz). They love his movement and Michelle even says that other than Kaval, Husky impresses her the most. She says she likes him a lot. The only negative thing that is really said about Husky isn’t really negative. Ryder says that wrestling is in Husky’s blood but he has to find his own way to the top.

– Speaking of the main event, Lucky and Husky start things off. Lucky gets the early advantage and Husky is quick to bail out. He tags in Cody and in return, Lucky tags in Mark Henry. Henry uses his strength to push around Cody, but eventually the Dashing One is able to make the tag to Husky. Husky beats down Henry for awhile and tags his pro back in. They do the whole double team thing on Henry, and Cody tags Husky back in. Husky continues to dominate until Mark Henry takes his head off with a clothesline. Husky gets the tag to Cody, and Mark gets the tag to Lucky. Lucky is able to get Cody into a situation where he is able to try a pinfall, but it’s broken up by Husky. Husky stays in the ring to beat on Lucky and this draws Mark Henry back into the ring. The World’s Strongest Man takes care of business but in the end, it isn’t enough. Lucky gets caught by Cody and ends up on the receiving end of the Cross Rhodes. Team Cosky wins the match.

Not a bad show tonight. This week seemed like a transition week and it’ll be interesting to see what next week brings with the Nexus making a return to their old stomping grounds. During the “Talk the Talk” challenge, Michael McGillicutty was pretty spot on and Husky has all the makings of a pretty decent heel. It’s to early to call any of these people the next big thing, but those two stood out as far as actual mic work goes. Alex Riley is usually spot on when it comes to speaking but he was saddled with a difficult topic to speak on, but he tried, and his effort wasn’t nearly as cringe-worthy as some of the others.

The in-ring action was dominated by the stellar match between Kaval and Miz. The Miz has come so far in his WWE career and that showed tonight against Kaval. Kaval is such a seasoned veteran and his chemistry with Miz was pretty epic. They meshed very well together tonight and it was probably the best pure match on this season thus far. Layla, Michelle, and Alex were on the ring apron for the match and those three played their roles beautifully. They didn’t take away from the action and they didn’t try and steal the spotlight from Miz/Kaval. Everything about this match worked perfectly and it was a lot of fun to watch. The Lay-Kav-Ool interaction was great tonight. This trio is destined for big things.

McGillicutty and Watson was a little to short, and the ending was predictable. McGillicutty seems like this season’s Wade Barrett and chances are his record will remain perfect throughout the competition; no pun intended, of course. As for the other match, it was pretty decent. Husky is fun to watch and with a little more coaching, Lucky will probably be fun to watch as well. All he needs is a little more charisma and personality, because he definitely has the look.

Just to do a little foreshadowing, next week Percy Watson is going to be hosting his own talk show. Anyone else think the Nexus will show up on during this segment?

Next week appears to be a very unpredictable show and hopefully everyone is looking forward to it.

With all that being said, I want to add a little personal sentiment to this. I wasn’t able to reply to the PRS comments yesterday because I couldn’t really think of anything to say. The backlash was unexpected and despite the fact I did not re-listen to the show to see what went wrong, I’m going to go by the comments and address the situation right now. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, and unfortunately that sometimes means people will have an opinion on your opinion. I was shocked, to say the least, that people were so disgusted by some of the things that were said on the show. It has never been my intention to purposely offend people or act in an unprofessional manner. We all have thoughts on what’s right and wrong, and where the line ends and begins. I’m not going to sit here and get into a debate on right and wrong, but I am going to say to those who were offended, I’m truly sorry. It has never, ever been my intention to maliciously hurt people and turn them away from the site. I love Diva Dirt more than anything (including Justin Gabriel) and this site has given me the first real opportunity to write and do something I love. I hate the fact people were upset over remarks made on the PRS and if you happen to keep listening to the show, things like that probably won’t happen again. I say probably because I can only control myself, but as a service to all of you and to this site, I’ll try and do a better job next time. Whether you enjoy me and my contributions is up to you, but at least I’ll be putting forth the effort and hopefully no one else will get upset. I’ll keep my opinions to a minimum from here on out so no one else gets upset. Hopefully all this clears up now. Thank you to everyone who spoke to me yesterday about this whether I was receptive to you or not. Thank you to those of you who were complementary towards me in my first attempt as a host. And once again and most importantly, I apologize to those who were offended.

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