The Opening Segment
– Matt Stryker shows off the episode’s challenge with Michael Cole and Josh Matthews. Cole is a walking catalogue for the WWE merchandise line and goes about seems to have embraced the fact that the fans (well, at least internet jerks like me) think he’s a complete douchebag. He storms off like one after Josh Matthews beats him easily. Which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody, since the dude is built like a little bus.
Punching Bag Challenge
– They punch the bag. Alex Riley wins, making the dramatic moment at the end of the elimination poll less suspenseful. It’s not the worst challenge they’ve had and, even better, it’s short.
Six-Man Tag Team Match
– I enjoyed this match, and my only real complaint is that there was a commercial break in the middle of it. I don’t like having commericials in the middle of matches when they could just as easily cut down some of the other segments (like the challenge or the opening “here’s how the challenge works” bit). Lucky Cannon lives up to his name, since it looked like he could have very easily broken his arm on that dive over the top onto Alex Riley. I like that this match was noticeably different from the match on RAW, although the fact that this match was longer, better, and on the right show begs the question as to why the six-man was on RAW in the first place instead of Miz/Morrison, which had direct SummerSlam implications.
Morrison vs. Miz
– Good match, wrong show. This should have been on RAW, where it’s ramifications would have had more of an impact on a larger audience. It almost feels like the WWE is aware that Monday’s RAW was a weak lead-in to SummerSlam and were trying to make up for it a bit.
– Lucky Cannon being ousted wasn’t much of a surprise, since he has all the personality of the average coat rack. Even his farewell address seemed like he had no idea where he was going with it. He started off like he was going to take a heel turn, then went into a weird half-snark/half-trying-too-hard-to-be-a-babyface speech. I’m also pleased to see Husky Harris climb the rankings a little bit.
Michael Cole’s Miz-Boner
– Yep, it’s still raging. I don’t understand how the Miz can possibly be considered the best coach in NXT history by any conceivable metric, though. Daniel Bryan had a terrible record, then lost to Wade Barrett. Alex Riley has a middling record and was second last in the pro poll. If Cole is trying to help get the Miz over for his sojourn into main event territory, I’d suggest the best way to do that is to not have him be associated with Michael Cole.