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WWE NXT: And the winner is ¿ Wade Barrett

WWE tried its best to create some drama during the Season 1 series finale of NXT Tuesday night, but it was futile. Anyone who has been paying attention knew it was a foregone conclusion that Wade Barrett was going to win.

Barrett began to distance himself from the pack as the series progressed, and once early favorite Daniel Bryan was eliminated three weeks ago, the competition was Barrett's to lose. While Bryan may be the best worker of the eight rookies, and David Otunga may be the most charismatic, Barrett is the most complete all-around performer.

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It also was no surprise that Otunga was the runner-up and Justin Gabriel finished third. Gabriel being eliminated before Otunga was not a popular decision with the crowd. I got the sense that the negative reaction was partly because Otunga is a heel, but also because fans saw that Otunga was clearly the worst worker of the three finalists (and perhaps the worst among the eight rookies).

Otunga's fate was sealed when he and Barrett were told to cut promos on each other, and Barrett knocked it out of the park, while Otunga's was mediocre at best.

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Despite Otunga not winning, there is little doubt that he will be on either Raw or Smackdown sooner than later. Obviously, Bryan will be as well.

By virtue of winning the competition, Barrett will receive a title match on a WWE pay-per-view against an opponent of his choice. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Other thoughts on Tuesday's show:

Just as the winner was about to be announced at the end of the show, the seven pros began bickering on the stage. The bit went on too long and was starting to become annoying. With that being said, however, William Regal was pretty funny and Christian got off a good one-liner when he said that Regal hadn't won a fight in a year. The greatest part of it was CM Punk walking to the back while all of this was going on. Punk just owns every segment that he's in. …

I was surprised that nothing was done on this show to further Bryan's feuds with The Miz and Michael Cole . …

Chris Jericho taking credit for Barrett's victory and trying to share the spotlight with him was funny. …

When Barrett was cutting his promo on Otunga, he brought up how everyone says that Otunga has the "it" factor. Barrett then said that if you put two letters in front of "it" you'd have what he thinks of Otunga. That was dangerously close to the edge of WWE's PG approach. …

The triple threat elimination match between the three finalists was good, especially when it got down to a singles match between Barrett and Gabriel (which Barrett won). …

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Darren Young, who was seated at ringside along with the four other rookies who had been eliminated prior to this show, cut a heel promo, and then when he was asked who he thinks should win, he chose Barrett. That was odd considering that he and Barrett engaged in a brawl on NXT last month. …

As he did throughout much of the series, Michael Tarver came off looking like a goof. When he was asked by Matt Striker who among the three finalists should be eliminated first, he said, "Me." I wonder if WWE was scripting him to be so off-the wall. …

During the triple threat match, Josh Matthews referred to Gabriel as a "one-trick pony" and said that he should be eliminated. Then a few minutes later, he said that he had been impressed with Gabriel. So which is it? …

One thing I won't miss about NXT is the theme song – assuming of course that there will be a new one for Season 2. It's not really a bad song, and I certainly didn't mind it the first 200 times or so, but then it started to wear on me. ...

The rookies and pros for Season 2 – which begins next week – were announced. Here's the lineup: Husky Harris and Cody Rhodes; Eli Cottonwood and John Morrison; Perry Watson and MVP; Titus O'Neil and Zack Ryder; Kaval and LayCool; Lucky Cannon and Mark Henry; Michael McGillicutty and Kofi Kingston; and Alex Riley and The Miz. ...

Kaval has to be the odds-on favorite to win it – unless of course he is booked to be a loser the way Bryan was. Pairing up Kaval – formerly known as Low Ki and Senshi in TNA – with Michelle McCool and Layla is interesting to say the least. WWE just loves sticking it to the smart marks, many of whom are likely outraged over Kaval being put with LayCool. Just like the Miz-Bryan odd couple pairing, there is potential here for some entertaining conflicts. …

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Alex Riley, who does a heel collegiate athlete gimmick and has worked a number of dark matches on WWE shows, has shown promise. Another guy to keep an eye on is McGillicutty, who is the son of the late "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig. Why WWE would want to give the kid such a horrible ring name is anyone's guess. …

I don't know a whole lot about Cannon, but he has a great look. If Cottonwood – who is billed as being 7 feet 1 – shows even the slightest hint of athleticism, he will eventually be in WWE. …

Like McGuillity, Harris has a wrestling pedigree. He is the son of former WWE star Mike Rotunda (Irwin R. Schyster) and the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan. …

It was announced that the rankings during Season 2 will be evenly divided between the pros' poll and fan voting.


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