nxt episode 10: in which glorious comrade bryan is crushed under the oppressive heel of capitalism

Well here we are again with Episode Ten of NXT, and I’m sure that, like me, you’re wondering what the Rookies will be tested on today. Anagram creation? Needlework ability? Who can make an omelette in the quickest time?  Don’t be daft, they wouldn’t do something as stupid and unrelated as that… would they?

So, as in previous weeks we start with the Rookies in the ring, with Matt Striker introducing the next task. Quick aside before we get to that, Skip Sheffield appears to be taking fashion tips from Mad Max-era Mel Gibson with his new outfit (but I’ll leave this to Ray’s fashion posts to cover in more detail.)

When even Heath Slater doesn't approve, you may have made the wrong choice

This week’s challenge was announced by Striker as being called “The Seal The Deal Challenge” – essentially each Rookie was given 60 seconds to sell as many programs to the crowd (at $15 a shot!), with the reward being a match next week against the WWE Pro of their choice.

First up was Skip “Road Warrior” Sheffield who’s sales patter was slightly more aggressive than you would get in Harvey Nichols – basically shouting at people until they caved in. This technique managed to net him a grand total of $60 for 4 programs sold.

More wonderful sales tactics to come, but first, and I’m aware this is quite novel, but there was a wrestling match – in this case, a tag match between Christian & Slater and Jericho & Barrett. Jericho was not a happy bunny following his loss to Slater last week, berating the referee and the announcers at every point. Barrett and Christian on the other hand were as impressive as always, while Slater was mildly less annoying than normal. Luckily, as is only right in a fair and just world, Jericho and Barrett won after Jericho pinned Slater following a Codebreaker.

Back to the Seal the Deal Challenge, this time with Ray’s favourite Daniel Bryan. Now Bryan might be the “best in the world” when it comes to pure wrestling ability, but that’s nothing compared to just how much fun he’s apparently having on NXT. Up until now, this promo with Paul London for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla was the most fun Bryan has appeared to have on screen.

Well no longer, Bryan announced that he isn’t “quite a capitalist” and he’s “not good with money” and proceeded to distribute the programs freely to the crowd, all the while proclaiming “Down with Capitalism!” and “We Don’t Need Your Money!” – all the while having the time of his life. Obviously this ended with him raising a grand total of $0 and managing another loss.

Next up, after a brief interlude where Carlito and Tarver had a bit of a chat in the car park, it was Justin Gabriel’s turn to sell his soul (and some programs)

See that kid? The one in the bottom left corner? He watches you sleep…

Gabriel did really well, selling 22 programs and making $330. Unfortunately “all the American money looked the same to him” so his score was conveniently retabulated to $210 just in time for Otunga to beat.

Yep, Tarver up next, with another promo featuring the Pros opinions on him (in case you’re wondering, pretty mixed but mostly negative.) Tarver was facing Darren Young (accompanied by Luke Gallows and Serena) After last week’s interference by Gallows, there was a lot of talk on commentary questioning whether he would try and scupper Young again. And would he?

Nope, in another twist in the SES-Young saga, Luke Gallows interfered on Young’s behalf, knocking Tarver off the apron and giving Young the win.

Anyway, that’s enough wrestling nonsense for now, we’ve programs to sell – Otunga is our next Arkwright, who declared that “celebrities don’t do manual labour” and ended up getting two assistants to sell for him. Apparently, while celebrities might not do manual labour, they’re quite  prepared to employ child labour. This frankly despicable tactic earned him $315.

After the obligatory Raw recap, it was Slater’s turn to sell. Now, I don’t mean to sound coarse, but Slater had a match less than half an hour ago, so I’m guessing he may have seen slightly “ripe” so sending him into the crowd might have been a tad inconsiderate.

This one's for Joey

Heath’s figure wasn’t disclosed, suffice to say it wasn’t as much as Otunga’s. Darren Young was selling next, much to the excitement of two young members of the crowd…

Once again, Young’s result was only announced as being less than Otunga’s – getting a hint as to who might be winning yet?

Tarver’s turn to sell next, although he obviously put off by Striker’s aftershave. I did tell Ray that buying him a bottle of Denim for Xmas last year would backfire…

... for the man who doesn't have to try too hard

After the severely shocking scent of Striker sent Tarver off his stride, he once again stormed off like a child – refusing to sell but somehow managing to still equal Bryan’s score. Barrett was the last Rookie to attempt the Seal the Deal Challenge – but, being that his gimmick is that he loves money, he just took the cash float and left.

Back in Preston, that cash would have bought 82 Steak Slices from Greggs

Before the headline match, the Seal the Deal winner David Otunga announced (to massed yawns) that he would facing R-Truth next week. So there’s something to look forward to…


The headline match was announced as The Miz vs Skip Sheffield, however after Big Show knocked out The Miz on Raw, leaving him looking like Harvey Dent, he substituted himself with Daniel Bryan. Predictably this was only a 2 minute match, that Bryan lost after this clothesline from Skip turned him upside down: