Promos/First Elimination
-Percy Watson is only vaguely intelligible, and is eliminated. McGillicutty and Riley’s promos are solid but unspectacular. Kaval’s rap is entirely different from the lacklustre promos he’s been giving so far, so in that sense I approve of it. He clearly forgot a bit of it in the middle, which dragged it down (as did Michael Cole’s jackassery on commentary), but it’s probably one of the better bits of mic work he’s done on NXT. Speaking of which, Husky Harris’ promo was fantastic, and easily the best one he’s cut all season. The reference to Barry Windham’s championship boots was a nice nod to the past, which I always enjoy, and the line about “they say the devil wears cowboy boots. Ain’t that a coincidence?” was a sublime finish.

Michael McGillicutty vs. Zack Ryder
– The WWE isn’t really doing much with him, but I like Zack Ryder. He’s a decent worker with an interesting character that seems to be falling victim to being on star-crowded Monday Night RAW. I’d actually like to see him work with McGillicutty in a situation where they have more time, since this was a pretty entertaining match that kept me engaged throughout its length.

LayCool segment
– I enjoy LayCool’s antics (somewhat inexplicably, really), and this added a bit more story to the next match, beyond the one that’s developed over the course of Kaval and Harris’ previous encounters, so in my estimation this segment accomplished what it needed to.

Husky Harris vs. Kaval
– Once again Harris and Kaval work together very well, although the ending of this one got awkward and sloppy-looking. Kaval’s rolling heel kick looked like it caught Harris square in the temple with a substantial amount of force, which could have been a contributing factor. The double-stomp to finish things off looked absolutely brutal. Some wrestling finishers don’t really look like finsihers… that one looked like it would kill the average person stone dead.

Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley
– Well that sure didn’t take long. Another match I’d like to see again but with more time. But it’s WWE C-show, so that’s probably not going to happen. I didn’t like it as much as the previous two matches, but it wasn’t bad.

Matt Striker/Michael Cole/Josh Matthews promo
– Michael Cole is a giant douchebag. I can’t even think of words slanderous enough to describe my opinions of Michael Cole and his petty attention-whoring, disrespect towards independent wrestling (you know, the wrestling that keeps new blood pumping into the industry so that you continue to have a job?), and the verbal excrement that he calls commentary. This entire segment is completely unnecessary and did nothing but make me angry.

Second Elimination
– Husky Harris is out, which isn’t cool. Cody Rhodes kind of took over the segment, which worked despite the fact that I would have preferred to see if Husky could match his promo from earlier. I liked that it took msot of the pros in a combined effort to take down Husky, and it seems like they could be setting up some kind of angle where Rhodes brings Harris up to the WWE as his muscle (and to protest his elimination, since they’ve developed the most interesting pro/rookie relationship this season).

Final Thoughts
– Husky Harris’ elimination leads me to believe that Kaval is going to win the show. McGillicutty is a little bland and I don’t think he could hang with the main eventers convincingly like Wade Barrett is doing on RAW right now. Alex Riley is the best of the three on the mic, though, which gives him a strong chance. Actually, that alone might be enough to give him the win. I can see Alex Riley being injected into the Smackdown main event scene and holding his own (RAW’s upper card is far too crowded). Michael McGillicutty and Kaval are both good examples of why managers need to make a comeback. With a Bobby Heenan or a Jim Cornette that could carry the bulk of the promo load, either of those guys could easily find a place in the upper-mid-card.