The final four NXT Rookies tried to make a last-minute impact on the impending Pros’ Poll during semi-finals week. In an effort to influence the WWE Pros – minus a noticeably missing CM Punk, whose head was shaved bald at Sunday's Over the Limit – each NXT Rookie told them who they thought should be eliminated and why.
WWE Pro R-Truth brought his newly acquired United States Championship to WWE NXT Tuesday night where he teamed with his NXT Rookie, David “A-List” Otunga. The pair – who hasn't always seen eye-to-eye in the past – put their differences aside to earn a win over WWE Pro Christian & NXT Rookie Heath Slater. Otunga was certainly playing Slater's tune, as the A-Lister reversed the “One-man Rock Band’s” roll up and pinned him for the win. With this semi-finals victory, Otunga's record increased to 6-4, while Slater's fell to 5-6.
On Monday Night Raw, announcer Michael Cole gave eliminated NXT Rookie Daniel Bryan an ultimatum – apologize for the previous week's attack, or he'll sue him. On WWE NXT, while surrounded by personal security guards, a traumatized Cole called out Daniel Bryan and offered him the chance to publicly apologize or else he'll take him to court on the advice of his team of attorneys. Daniel Bryan did shake Cole's hand and began to say he's sorry, but his words soon twisted.
“I’m sorry. … I’m sorry that you are by far the worst announcer in WWE history,” Daniel Bryan said with conviction.
Cole told Daniel Bryan that he tapped out of the WWE NXT competition because he is a loser with no heart. Then, the emotional announcer slapped Bryan and ran from the ring behind his security guards. Daniel Bryan chased down Cole and a brawl erupted. After Daniel Bryan was pulled off a distraught Cole, he retreated up the ramp where he was further taunted by his WWE Pro, The Miz. Daniel Bryan reacted by attacking The Miz and another brawl erupted as Cole yelled from ringside that Daniel Bryan is a “maniac.”
After Michael Cole's explosive confrontation with Daniel Bryan, the announcer was replaced with NXT host Matt Striker at the announce table, who joined Josh Mathews as Justin Gabriel took on fellow NXT Rookie Wade Barrett. Hoping to make an impact on the WWE Pros before the final Pros’ Poll, Gabriel earned an impressive victory over Barrett after hitting the bareknuckle British brawler with an astonishing 450 Splash. Gabriel upped his record to 7-3, while Barrett's dropped to 7-5.
The WWE Pros’ Poll revealed the NXT Rookie Rankings for the semi-finals, and this week, Heath Slater was eliminated. While Slater's WWE Pro, Christian, said he thought the cards were stacked against Slater from the start, he predicts Slater still has a big future ahead of him. On the other hand, The Miz said the “One-man Rock Band” didn't have enough passion and heart.
“You never showed us the ‘wow.’ You never let loose. You never gave us your all,” The Miz said. “Sometimes you were good. Sometimes you were off. You can never be off in WWE.”
Before departing, Slater pointed out that he was the first NXT Rookie to win a challenge and beat a WWE Pro. He also defeated six-time World Champion Chris Jericho. Slater promised this isn't the last the WWE Universe has seen of him.
“Pros, you might have pulled the plug on the ‘One-man Rock Band,’ but ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the encore because I'm about to blow your mind!”
The semi-finals week Pros’ Poll results were as follows: 1. Wade Barrett 2. David “A-List” Otunga 3. Justin Gabriel 4. Heath Slater
Next week is the season finale of WWE NXT and just three NXT Rookies remain – Wade Barrett, David “A-List” Otunga and Justin Gabriel. Who will achieve his dream of becoming WWE's next breakout Superstar and earn a championship match at a WWE pay-per-view?
- David Otunga & R-Truth defeated Christian & Heath Slater (5:25)
- Justin Gabriel (w/ Matt Hardy) defeated Wade Barrett (w/ Chris Jericho) (3:31)
- Gold - Winner of competition
- Green - Safe in competition
- Red - Eliminated from competition by Pros' Poll
- Purple - Eliminated from competition by WWE management
- Blue - Won immunity prior to that particular poll and is ineligible to be eliminated