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COMMENT





WWE NXT: Bryan laughs first, Otunga laughs last
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on WWE NXT: Tonight, the WWE Pros engage in their first Pros Poll. But there's more on the line than just the No. 1 ranking. Later in the night, the eight rookies compete in a battle royal to see who will guest host next week's edition of Monday Night Raw. Should be a good one!

And we are LIVE! from Las Vegas, NV. Michael Cole and Josh Mathews are our commentators and Matt Striker is our host. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG,V).

We go to the ring with Striker who welcomes us to the most important night in the history of NXT it''s time for the Pros Poll, a standings system for the rookies.

Striker brings out the rookies and here is the poll:

1. Daniel Bryan
2. Wade Barrett
3. Justin Gabriel
4. Heath Slater
5. David Otunga
6. Skip Sheffield
7. Michael Tarver
8. Darren Young

Striker talks to Bryan who talks about being buried by Michael Cole and then rips on Otunga, who gets in his face. They have a back-and-forth.

Striker says when they will rank the rookies again, the bottom one will get eliminated. And each week after that a rookie will get eliminated until there are four.

The winner of NXT will get a pay-per-view title shot against a champion of their choosing. Tonight, all eight will compete in a battle royal in tonight's main event and the winner will be the guest host of Raw next week.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Christian (Toronto, Ontario), William Regal (Blackpool, England), Carlito (San Juan, PR) & The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) vs. CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.), Matt Hardy (Cameron, NC), R-Truth (Charlotte, NC) & Wade Barrett (Manchester, England)

This is a Raw pros against Smackdown pros match, except Jericho sends Barrett in for him. Jericho joins on commentary and says it's because of what Edge did to him after their WrestleMania match.

Lots of tags early. Jericho provides encouragement for Barrett. Comedy as usual. Not much happening early until Miz and Hardy take a spill over the top together.

(Ads)

Things get going when R-Truth gets in but he is quickly cut off by the Raw squad. Regal goes to work with knees and a suplex. Miz in and he goes to work on Truth. Miz to the top but is hit with a dropkick as he comes down. Truth looking for a tag and brings in CM Punk against Christian. Christian hits the flying European uppercut and goes for the Killswitch but Punk counters with a knee in the corner. Missile dropkick for two for Christian, broken up by Barrett, and then it breaks down and everybody gets involved, leaving Punk and Christian in the ring. Barrett blind tags his way in and eats a reverse DDT. Christian calls for the Killswitch but Jericho grabs Christian's leg behind the ref's back and Barrett capitalizes and hits his finish.

Winners via pinfall: Wade Barrett, CM Punk, Matt Hardy & R-Truth

(Ads)

Eight Rookie Battle Royal - Heath Slater (Pineville, WV - 4th) vs. Darren Young (Miami, Fla. - 8th) vs. Michael Tarver (Akron, Ohio - 7th) vs. Justin Gabriel (Cape Town, South Africa - 3rd) vs. Skip Sheffield (College Station, Texas - 6th) vs. David Otunga (Hollywood, Calif. - 5th) vs. Daniel Bryan (Aberdeen, Wash. - 1st) vs. Wade Barrett (Manchester, England - 2nd)

Everybody gangs up on Barrett and immediately dump him.

(Ads)

We're back and both Young and Sheffield were eliminated during the break. During a replay, Tarver was eliminated by Bryan and then Bryan is eliminated by Slater, who also dumped himself. That leaves us with Otunga and Gabriel for the win.

Gabriel drills Otunga with a kick to the back of the head and then hits the 450 Splash but just stands in the middle of the ring. He finally tries to pick up Otunga, but he can't. He finally gets him up but Otunga recovers with a rake to the eyes and sends Gabriel flying.

Winner: David Otunga

Striker enters the ring to talk to Otunga. Otunga gloats and says everything is going to be top-notch next week and he wants 427 green M&Ms in his dressing room next week.

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast -- Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.