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WWE NXT: Feud between Cole, Bryan ignites further
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on WWE NXT: We're down to the final four rookies -- Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. With next week's season finale looming, one rookie is eliminated, setting the stage for next week's show. Also, Michael Cole calls out Daniel Bryan following last week's attack, setting off another epic brawl. Should be a good one!

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

Striker brings out the Pros (CM Punk is not there because of what happened at Over The Limit, Striker says). They will sit on the stage again. Then he brings the rookies to the ring.

He says this is the semifinal and next week is NXT's season finale. He asks the rookies to tell everybody who they think should go home.

Wade Barrett runs everybody down, especially when he calls David Otunga "The Benny Hill Show." He also calls Heath Slater "the Ginga Ninja." Justin Gabriel says he'd get rid of Otunga because he's not good in the ring. Otunga said he'd get rid of Gabriel because he's a "glorified gymnast." Slater says he'd get rid of Wade Barrett because he doesn't understand how his mug is still on TV "with a nose as crooked as a road."

Now it's time for tag team action, Striker says.

(Ads)

Match #1 - R-Truth (Charlotte, N.C.) & David Otunga (Hollywood, Calif.) vs. Christian (Toronto, Ontario) & Heath Slater (Pineville, WV)

Things don't look good for Otunga when Christian gets the tag to face him but he gets the tag to R-Truth, who is quickly rolled up by Christian for two. Side kick connects for Truth and that gets things rolling for his team. Otunga in with a Level 1 Randy Orton Chinlock on Christian. Shoulderblock connects for Otunga. But Christian gets going with some slaps and a boot in the corner. He hits the flying European uppercut and tags in Slater.

Slater to the top with a flying crossbody, but Otunga rolls through and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: R-Truth & David Otunga

(Ads)

Michael Cole is in the ring with four security guards in an attempt to get his apology from Daniel Bryan, who attacked him last week. They come back from the video package of last week's attack and the crowd is cheering.

Bryan comes out to a big ovation. Bryan says there is no need for the security company. Cole says he doesn't believe that. Bryan says being in WWE is his dream and that if it takes apologizing to Cole to make things right, that's what he's going to do.

Cole says he's going to be a man about it, shake his hand and let bygones be bygones. Bryan said he did things last week that he probably shouldn't have done. Cole dismisses the security to the outside as the crowd chants "kick his head in." Ha! Bryan officially apologizes. They shake hands and Bryan says he's sorry that Cole is the worst announcer in WWE history. He tells Cole "you wanna be a man but you can't even escape a handshake?" as security comes sliding back into the ring. He then rips on Cole's use of security, hiding behind them and an announce table. Bryan says since day one, WWE management has been holding him back, especially by putting him with The Miz, who is the worst pro out there, who only talked about himself when he bothered to show up. He says Cole never earned his job. Cole asks Bryan if he wants to know the truth: Cole says he ripped Bryan because he didn't deserve it. Cole says Bryan might be the best wrestler in the back, but he's no longer in the competition and maybe he should look in the mirror. Maybe he should take a step back and stop making excuses and blaming Cole, Miz and management.

Cole says Bryan fancies himself as the submission expert, but the only person he saw tap in this competition was Bryan and that he tapped out of the competition because he's a loser and losers have no heart. Then Cole slaps Bryan and high-tails it out of the ring as security holds Bryan back. Bryan, though, escapes through the ropes and chases Cole down, slamming him against the dasher and pulling him to the floor. Security is quickly on him as Cole lays holding his head.

Security drags Bryan up the ramp where The Miz gets in Bryan's face, so Bryan drills him right in the mouth, dropping Miz to the stage and setting off a pull-apart brawl between the two.

(Ads)

Striker steps in on commentary for Cole.

Match #2 - Wade Barrett (Manchester, England) vs. Justin Gabriel (Cape Town, South Africa)

Barrett steamrolls through Gabriel early. He plasters him with a big boot and locks in a submission, but Gabriel kicks his way out of it. He hit a leg kick and two body kicks on Barrett and a roaring elbow. Gabriel hits a crossbody in the corner and a springboard crossbody for two. Gabriel gets going, hitting a sunset flip powerbomb. He follows with the 450 Splash and picks up a huge win.

Winner via pinfall: Justin Gabriel

(Ads)

The Pros have met and it's time to find out who is the next elimination. The rookies are in the ring with Striker.

1. Wade Barrett
2. David Otunga

Otunga's placement came to boos. That leaves Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. One of these men is going home tonight. That man is Heath Slater. Striker asks Christian to explain why Slater was eliminated. He says he thinks the cards were stacked against Slater from the start. He says he thinks he could've done it. He says Slater has a lot of work to do, but he sees big things for him.

He goes to The Miz next. Miz says Slater never showed the "wow" the passion from his heart. Never saw him go all out. Slater's shaking his head. R-Truth says it's the survival of the fittest and wishes him the best of luck next time. Jericho is up next. He says it was just a matter of time and that Barrett is the best. But he rips down Barrett for losing, telling him being No. 1 means he is at a different level.

Slater says he's done too much on the show to go anywhere. He says get ready for the One Man Rock Band's encore.

One more week to go for the first season of NXT.

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!.