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WWE NXT: Season 4 begins with new pros, less Cole
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on WWE NXT: It's time to get "Wild and Young" once again! For better or worse, Michael Cole is not with us on tonight's debut of Season 4 of NXT, but six new rookies are. In the main event, Daniel Bryan teams with his rookie Derrick Bateman to battle Alberto Del Rio and his rookie Conor O'Brian. Should be a good one!

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

Striker welcomes out the pros who introduce their rookies. Best part of this is Ricardo Rodriguez not only introducing Alberto Del Rio, but also his rookie, Conor O'Brian.

All rookies and pros are in the ring and it's time for each rookie to have 30 seconds to introduce themselves.

Johnny Curtis gives shout outs to the WWE Universe and his fourth grade gym teacher, Coach McIntyre. He says "Vote for Curtis! A vote for Curtis is a vote for freedom!"

Brodus Clay is next. He's coming into this competition with lemon juice and razorblades. This was something.

Byron Saxton says he's looking forward to building a bond with everyone so he can become WWE's next breakout star.

Jacob Novak asks the crowd if they grew up playing board games. He says his favorite was Monopoly because you could own your competition. And that's what he's going to do here on NXT, he's going to own the entire board.

Derrick Bateman first says he's so proud to be debuting in his home state of Ohio. He gives a shout out to FDR's Pearl Harbor speech.

Conor O'Brian is next. He says he's been made fun of for looking for a rat. This was just weird. Alberto Del Rio jumps in and says if O'Brian is going to be his rookie, he has to do a better job, because he's boring. He compares him to Daniel Bryan. Bryan said O'Brian did a great job. Bryan says Del Rio is jealous because, even though he has his own ring announce and car, he hasn't won a championship.

Striker then signs Del Rio and O'Brian against Bryan and Bateman.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Johnny Curtis vs. Jacob Novak

Back-and-forth match in the early going. Scoop slam for Curtis gets a two count. Curtis throws Novak into the corner and hits a dropkick. He goes to the top and hits a guillotine leg drop and that's it.

Winner via pinfall: Johnny Curtis

(Ads)

It's time for our first competition. It's a capture the flag-like competition. Curtis finishes at 28.6 seconds. O'Brian finishes at 28.2 seconds. Clay comes in at 33.5 seconds, a respectable effort for his size. Saxton takes his sweet time and finishes at 56.8 seconds. Novak finishes at 26.9, a new leader. This is just riveting television. Bateman finishes at 27.3 seconds, so Novak is the winner.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Daniel Bryan & Derrick Bateman vs. Alberto Del Rio & Conor O'Brian

Because of the stream being completely awful on not one, but two computers, I have to recap the seemingly condensed WWE.com version.

Bryan gets going on Del Rio and brings in Bateman who is the proverbial house of fire. Corner dropkick connects on Del Rio for two. O'Brian breaks up another pin and Bryan takes him out. Del Rio reverses an Irish whip but Bateman drills him with an elbow. Bateman goes to the second rope and misses a flying crossbody. Del Rio takes advantage and locks in the armbar to force the tap.

Winners via submission: Alberto Del Rio & Conor O'Brian

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.