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Quick hits on WWE NXT

• Tuesday's episode of WWE NXT may have been the best one since the inception of the series. The highlight was a heated angle between Daniel Bryan (that's the name he was called, so that's how I'm going to refer to him) and his tormenter, Michael Cole. Bryan and Michael Tarver, who were both eliminated last week by WWE management, were back to deliver farewell promos. Tarver, pretty much like everything he has done on NXT, was unspectacular, but Bryan was very good in delivering a "shoot" promo. He talked about the backstage politics in WWE and how Vince McMahon prefers big guys and only wants to push wrestlers that WWE has created regardless of whether they can actually wrestle. He also said that he doesn't miss Matt Striker interrupting him all the time, and then he turned his attention to Cole. Bryan said that Cole is just a parrot who repeats what McMahon tells him in his headset. He continued to cut a promo on Cole as he walked down to the announce table to confront him. Cole stood up and Bryan began smacking him around and kicking him before he was pulled off by officials. So now we know that Bryan's losses and lack of personality and Cole busting on him every week was a work from the start. Time will tell if the approach is successful in getting Bryan over. One thing is for sure: WWE fans have never liked Cole. Roughing him up seems like a sure-fire way to get the fans behind someone.

• Darren Young was eliminated via the pros' poll, so we're down to the final four. Wade Barrett and David Otunga remained Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Heath Slater was third and Justin Gabriel was fourth. I'd be surprised of Barrett doesn't win, as he is more ready for TV than the other three.

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• The two matches on the show – Barrett defeated Young, and Gabriel defeated Slater – were nothing special. I'm still not sure if Gabriel is anything more than a guy with a spectacular finishing move and not much else.

• Six of the pros sat on the stage taking notes throughout the show, which I thought added something. R-Truth and Carlito were not there, and their absence was not acknowledged (unless I missed it).

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• In a video package, the pros were dead-on in their assessment of Otunga. The consensus was that he had the most charisma and more of a presence than the other rookies, but was the least impressive in the ring.

• Punk was hilarious with his facial expressions during the match between Young (Punk's rookie) and Barrett. He looked totally uninterested and unimpressed. Punk also was the harshest critic of Otunga.

• Otunga was wearing headphones at the end of the show after the voting results had been announced. That was a nice touch.

• Striker's frequent interruptions of Bryan throughout the series may have been annoying, but I popped when Striker mercifully cut off Tarver during his long-winded promo Tuesday night.


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