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COMMENT





WWE NXT: Jericho pinned by a rookie
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on WWE NXT: With some of the pros still stranded in Europe, NXT was down a couple pros tonight. After this week's inane contest, a rookie got the opportunity to go one-on-one with former World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho. And this rookie got the win of a lifetime, pinning the 2008 Wrestler of the Year clean in the middle. Should be a good one!

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

Striker is ringside. He introduces the rookies and says in three weeks, we'll have our second Pro's Poll. The last-place rookie will be eliminated. This week's challenge will be "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Rookies," a jousting competition, and the winner will receive global exposure on WWE.com in a feature.

First up is Heath Slater vs. David Otunga, which Slater wins. Second is Skip Sheffield vs. Wade Barrett. Barrett goes tumbling forward and knocks Sheffield off. Barrett throws his stick at Sheffield and they have to be pulled apart. Next up is Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan. Tarver just throws his stick down and jumps off. Final matchup is Justin Gabriel and Darren Young, which Young easily takes.

The semifinals of this competition will continue later in the show. I'm brimming with anticipation.

(Ads)

Match #1 - David Otunga (Hollywood, Calif.) vs. Justin Gabriel (Cape Town, South Africa)

Otunga keeps the high-flying Gabriel ground early. He locks in a chinlock ith a knee in the back. Otunga gets up and misses an elbow. In the corner. Gabriel hits a head-scissors that flips Otunga out of the ring. He follows it up with sommersault senton to the outside.

Back inside, Otunga throws Gabriel out of the ring. Gabriel hops to the apron and hits a sunset flip near the ropes. Otunga calls for R-Truth to grab his hands but he no-sells it and Gabriel pulls him down for the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Justin Gabriel

(Ads)

Well, it's time for the semifinals of the "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Rookie Challenge." In the first semi, Sheffield takes out Slater. In the second, Young takes out Bryan to advance.

Tarver comes out and issues an open challenge to any NXT pro or rookie. It's answered by Skip Sheffield.

They are just about to begin when CM Punk's music hits. He says those two aren't the only ones looking for competition. He says his rookie, Darren Young, is looking for competition, too. He inserts Young into the match to make it a triple threat.

Match #2 - Michael Tarver (Akron, Ohio) vs. Skip Sheffield (College Station, Texas) vs. Darren Young (Miami, Fla.)

Tarver and Sheffield beat Young down. They continue the beatdown for awhile until Sheffield goes to pin Young and then Tarver takes exception to it. They post Young and then go at it. Young gets back in and goes to work. He goes to the top but he is pushed off by Luke Gallows. Gallows also takes out Sheffield and tells Tarver to get Young. Tarver lines Young up for the knockout punch but Young sidesteps it and hits his full-nelson facebuster for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Darren Young

(Ads)

Before tonight's main event, it's time for the final of the "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Rookie Challenge" between Young and Sheffield. It's a close call as both go off nearly at the same time but the referee declares Sheffield the winner. On replay, it appears to be a tie. Striker then says anything can happen on NXT, so they're going to do it again. This time, Sheffield wins decisively.

Match #3 - Chris Jericho (Winnipeg, Manitoba) vs. Heath Slater (Pineville, WV)

Jericho is all over Slater early. He drills him with a picture-perfect dropkick. He goes for the Lionsault but misses. Slater fires up out of that and hits some flying forearms and a neckbreaker for two. Jericho gets up and goes for the Walls of Jericho but Slater counters into a small package and actually pins the former World Heavyweight Champion.

Winner via pinfall: Heath Slater

Jericho goes nutty after the match, screaming at the ref that he is the best in the world at what he does. He pulls the top of the announce table and throws a chair into the ring. He them goes up to the ref and tells him "YOU'RE STUPID!" as we go off the air.

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!.