Another elimination looms, whilst one previously eliminated competitor directs his anger at one particular announcer…
Wade Barrett (with Chris Jericho)
(Winner via pinfall: Wade Barrett)
Justin Gabriel (with Matt Hardy)
Heath Slater (with Christian)
(Winner via pinfall: Justin Gabriel)
As the wrestling continues to underwhelm, I find that my time processing NXT #013 is best served focusing on one of the greatest segments of the entire seasons: Daniel Bryan’s in-ring promo.
It was a thing of beauty, displaying a talent for mic work that Bryan simply hadn’t shown previously. Here, he chose to tell everyone that he was the best in the competition, WWE‘s next star, and that he was above everything that NXT had him do. On that last point, he certainly wasn’t wrong.
The memorable moment came when he turned his attention to Michael Cole. Whether Cole knew this was coming or not, he played his role perfectly, as Bryan finally called him out for all the negative things he has said about Bryan on commentary [since NXT began]. Even calling out those who were passing the bad comments along to Cole via headset, Bryan went in on Cole, physically pushing the retreating commentator. After repeating “you are a poor mans replacement for J.R.,” several times, Bryan launched into a full-on physical attack on Cole, and it was glorious. As people tried to pull them apart, Bryan displayed a side to his character that we had yet to see in a WWE ring, and one that everyone in attendance had wished we’d seen sooner.
Until this point, we genuinely had not seen a single promo like this. One where raw emotion and heart could reveal themselves, instead of a 30 second promo about a random word chosen by Matt Striker. If NXT had encouraged more of this, who knows how good this first season could have actually been? It showed us, yet again, what amazing things can happen when the shackles are let off the talent. Over seven years after this first aired, it’s still one of my favourite promos I’ve ever seen.
Match of the Night
Darren Young vs. Wade Barrett
(+0.5 for Daniel Bryan’s promo segment)