Last week, we met the rookies and their pros. Let’s see what the second episode of NXT Redemption, has in store for us.
Well pilgrim, only after you eat the peanuts out of my shit
That’s right Private Joker, it’s time to talk the talk.
For the uneducated, in a Talk the Talk Challenge the rookies basically just have to cut a promo on a given subject. It seems useful at first glance, though this will probably be the first of many, with diminishing returns. From what I’ve seen of previous seasons, they hold one of these every few weeks with increasingly stupid themes. So, you get things like Naomi stalling for time because she doesn’t know what a toupee is and Aksana asking: “Camel? What is camel?”
This one is simpler, the rookies just have to talk about themselves for 45 seconds.
Jacob Novak goes first and he’s seemingly been listening to his pro, JTG, as he tries to cut a rap. Unfortunately, he gets booed immediately and it goes down like a lead balloon.
Darren Young goes next and he tries to pander to the fans. He heads down to the floor to be with the WWE Universe or something like that and doesn’t really say a lot. He’s confident and has a Guerrero, I guess?
Following him is Conor O’Brian and I can’t get over his real voice. I’m used to Konnor going: “Uuuuurrggghhh raaaaa, welcome to the wasteland,” whereas here he’s just so happy to be right here in Kansas City, Missouri. The most notable thing for me was learning that Kansas City is not in Kansas.
Byron Saxton goes for the quirky angle. His t-shirt says Saxxed Off! He’s got a hamster called Speedy! He likes Madden! He then compares Lucky Cannon’s dress sense to Lady Gaga. I’m sure that joke killed in the year 2k11.
Cannon himself goes next and my word, he is absolutely toilet. He’s trying to do an “I’m beautiful” thing but it’s dismally failing. Imagine if Tyler Breeze had no charisma and wasn’t the most super good-looking piece of gorgeousness you’ve ever seen.
Last up is Titus O’Neil. Firstly, I’ve been taken aback by how strangely over Hornswoggle seems to be. Whenever he’s mentioned, he’s getting cheered. It’s noticeable because the crowd is dead silent 99% of the time. I assume everyone in 2011 hadn’t learned he’s actually an arrogant dickhead who was once left handcuffed in a strip club for treating a stripper like shit. Anyway, Titus wastes most of his time and does a Hornswoggle impression.
The crowd has to choose the winner and it’s close between Byron and Titus but Matt Striker declares Titus the winner. That crap was the winning promo and sadly, they’re not even taking liberties, the standard really was that low.
Titus Prime Time
Titus took part in season two but was eliminated first and fell over while carrying a keg. Titus knows what he did wrong though, he wasn’t himself. What is it with all this nonsense about being yourself? Most of the rookies have said they didn’t act like themselves in previous seasons. I don’t want you to be yourselves. I want Gaelic demons and 1920s strongmen.
Darren Young v. Conor O’Brian
The third match of Redemption and its the second one involving Darren Young. Are we relying on him to carry all the matches already? He’s easily the best wrestler of the six at this stage, and probably the best in 2015, though Titus & Konnor obviously improved.
It’s nice having William Regal calling matches again, mind. He’s easily the best commentator going. He’s breaking down each move and explaining why it’s being done. He also points out mistakes which adds to the realism, which is frail at the best of times. This is supposed to be a legitimate sporting contest, not everything is going to be smooth.
The match itself was short, both men traded moves without either getting on top. Darren injured his left arm when he was thrown into the post but he somehow got Conor up for a Gutcheck with no difficulties. Darren goes to 2-0.
Yoshi just can’t get laid
Yoshi Tatsu chasing after Maryse is classic WWE. Yoshi unfortunately falls into WWE’s freakshow category, which consists of everyone who is not a tall, handsome white man. “You know what would be hilarious,” asks the writer, “Yoshi goes for a woman out of his league. It’s brilliant, he’s Asian, for Christ’s sake!” Reminds me of when Jim Ross said Vince McMahon was amazed to hear that there were Asian porn sites. He couldn’t fathom how anyone would find Gail Kim attractive.
Yoshi stumbles through some compliments to Maryse including: “You’re better than Matt Striker, he’s not as pretty as you.” Yoshi’s wooing is cut short by Lucky Cannon, who tries another tact. He apologises for coming on strong last week and Maryse accepts. She leaves to let Yoshi and Lucky bicker among themselves. I can’t wait to see two men fight it out to win the heart of a woman who isn’t interested in either of them.
White as a sheet
Jacob Novak gets the video package treatment and he talks about how he was ditched by his pro, Dolph Ziggler, last season. Damn I miss when Dolph Ziggler was a terrible person and we weren’t supposed to like him for it. Other than that, Jacob is a total dullard. Is he the whitest man alive? Lanky, gangly, skinny guy with a big nose. He’s even wearing the Bo Dallas white trunks without the phony charm of Bo.
Tyson Kidd & Lucky Cannon v. Yoshi Tatsu & Byron Saxton
The pros started the match and linked up nicely, then Tyson brought in Lucky and so ended the best minute of wrestling we’ve seen so far. Lucky worked Yoshi over with a bodyscissors for a while but a double clothesline spot set up the hot tag to Byron and, to be fair, he had a go but it wasn’t exactly Big Cass or Jason Jordan charging around.
However, the match fell off a cliff after that. Lucky Cannon is supposed to tag himself in but I don’t think he knew the rules as he tagged Tyson while Tyson was standing on the apron. Look at the screenshot, how the hell is that a legal tag? For some reason it stood and Lucky hit Byron with a modified fireman’s carry slam to get the win. Tyson wasn’t happy that his rookie tagged himself in, and presumably because he just botched the finish, so congratulations if you had week two in the when will we first see rookie/pro dissension sweepstake.
Once again, if you suffered through 2011 WWE, you have my sympy.
The main event is a St. Patrick’s Day Keg Carry. It’s no different to a regular keg carry challenge, there’s just some Irish tat decorating the ring. Between this and Hornswoggle, I dread to think what the next Irish stereotype will be. Potato juggling? Riverdance-off?
The rules are simple, pick up the keg and run around the ring. Fastest time wins. We start off by showing Titus falling over again while doing this challenge last year but complete with numerous camera angles and circus music.
- Jacob goes first and sets the pace at 9.9 seconds. The highlight is Tyson Kidd asking “which one’s the pro?” as Jacob & JTG have a meeting of the minds.
- Darren is next and gets an official time of 9.8 seconds. In reality, he did it in about 9.2 but the timekeeper is very sloppy.
- Conor follows and is introduced as a true Irishman by Striker in your Strikerism of the week. He flies to the top of the leaderboard with a time of 9.4.
- Byron steps up to plate and falls short in 9.5. Striker cracks up hearing Yoshi’s accent.
- Lucky won this challenge last year but instead of winning again, he decides to recite a poem. He delivers a French poem but Maryse slaps him and asks to throw up in response. “C’est la vie” says a noticeably in pain Todd Grisham. He also commends Maryse on her enthusiasm. He may not have been totally serious.
- Titus redeems himself as he doesn’t fall and wins it in 9.1, earning himself two redemption points. Though I have photographic evidence he did it much quicker.
We’re doctoring keg carry results in an attempt to create drama. God knows what awaits us in episode three.