Quick hits on WWE NXT

• WWE promised on last week's episode of WWE NXT that one of the rookies would be eliminated on Tuesday night's show. It turned out that there were three eliminations. Two were predictable – Michael Tarver and Skip Sheffield – but the elimination of early favorite Daniel Bryan was a shock. The explanation for three rookies being sent home instead of one was that the pros eliminated Sheffield, but it was WWE management that got rid of Tarver and Bryan because they both said last week that they deserved to be eliminated.

• I couldn't believe that Bryan got the boot – especially after he finally won a match the night before on Raw – but it made more sense later in the show. When Bryan was interviewed by Matt Striker after his elimination, he cut a promo in which he basically said that Daniel Bryan was a WWE creation and a loser, but Bryan Danielson is an accomplished wrestler who has held titles all over the world. He even pointed out that he was able to wrestle a competitive match against Batista yet, oddly enough, he lost to other rookies. The insinuation was that he was scripted to fail on NXT, which is an interesting approach for a wrestling show to take. So it looks as if Danielson just might get a push in WWE after all and that there was a method to WWE's madness in having Bryan look like a geek who was the butt of Michael Cole's jokes every week. We'll see how it works out.


• After Bryan's elimination, Cole – who has been all over him since Day One – surprisingly said that he was dumbfounded and that he was impressed with Bryan's performance on Raw Monday night. Later in the show, Cole reverted back to his old ways and said that he was sad to see Bryan leave the show because he enjoyed making fun of him every week.

• Now that Bryan is out, it's almost certainly going to come down to Wade Barrett and David Otunga, and I'm going with Barrett. I don't see Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater or Darren Young having much of a chance.


• Barrett was impressive in his win over Slater. By the way, as one reader recently pointed out, whatever happened to Barrett getting his own entrance music for winning one of the challenges?

• Sheffield had his best in-ring performance to date in his win over Young – and then he was voted off. He was portrayed as a powerhouse heel rather than a comedic babyface on this show, and I think he has a much better chance of making a mark with the more serious persona. I have a feeling that we haven't seen the last of him.

• Speaking of getting serious, for Young to be taken seriously he has to lose that goofy hairdo.

• Otunga got a clean win over Gabriel in a match that didn't stand out either positively or negatively.

• Striker actually wished Tarver the best of luck in his future endeavors.

• Here are the results of the pros' poll (Tarver and Bryan were eliminated beforehand):

1. Barrett

2. Otunga


3. Gabriel

4. Slater

5. Young

6. Sheffield (eliminated)