(or: 63 minutes of stalling with one useful minute hidden inside.)
Tough Enough season recap, the start of a lot of time killing.
Family man Andy trains hard, with the help of both his very pregnant wife who's an exercise scientist and also giant tires.
What are you doing, Luke? "Since I've got home from Tough Enough, it's been one big party." This is not at all subtle. They so show him working out in the forest, wearing no shirt. Also, in a ring, but at least the no shirt makes more sense there. Every conversation Andy and Luke have with civilians sounds incredibly scripted, even Luke's conversation with his mom.
Luke and Andy report to FCW, meeting with DeMott & Ricky Steamboat. Ricky takes credit, on behalf of FCW, for Alberto Del Rio (hmmm), Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett and Sheamus. Though it was suggested last week that they'd face each other in an exhibition match, DeMott reveals it'll be him. Bill hands the kids off to Steamboat for the week.
Steamboat watches them work together, and evaluates them for a match with DeMott. Andy can do things, but is reckless. Luke has to take risks to face DeMott. They're treating this like this is a real fight with DeMott. And that's the only training we see.
Match day. Booker T is here to announce. Have to support fellow trainers/MIA members. Eddie Guerrero's daughter, unidentified, is the ring announcer. Both guys talk to the cameras a lot to kill a segment.
Clips from both matches set to the show theme - so we can't hear crowd reactions. Or really get an idea of who's did better - they do appear to be doing the same matches with no finish. Steamboat is visibly more fired up about Andy's performance.
Booker and DeMott talk to them backstage, where apparently they have their own locker room. Booker asks if they did their best - Luke seems doubtful and down. This is the only thing that matters until the end. They'll see them on Raw for the winner. Wait, there's 25 minutes left - 30 with this extra five they've tacked on. They can't keep going back Cole (and I can't keep ignoring it) to kill all that time.
Live in Richmond, the trainers come to the ring - to the Booker T music, sweet. DeMott brings out the eliminated people. Martin looks to be walking fine. Ivielese looks fine. Lawler fakes like he's been watching this show. It's not good. Trish introduces the finalists, who have their belts. Andy has a Silent Rage t-shirt. Booker introduces Austin. It's weird how Austin stopped aging at some point. DeMott, wearing a t-shirt, gets heckled "Thanks for dressing up tonight!" - "You're Welcome!" DeMott picks Andy. Trish picks Andy. Booker says Andy has the It Factor (where's he hiding it?) but leaves the choice up to Austin. Luke knows he's losing. Austin asks Luke why he should win, and he's booed two seconds into his heel superstar promo. Andy says he should win because he's a real (ex-college) athlete, unlike Luke.
Cut to a limo in the back - it's Vince, of course. People in the ring react with surprise. Break.
Vince does the big strutting posing entrance. Everyone but Austin, Andy and Luke have vanished from the ring during the break. Vince wants a hug from Austin, Austin offers a Stunner. "I don't think we need to be hugging on national television." Dave Meltzer just marked out. Andy is so nervous with Vince right in front of him. Andy starts his promo with a Guaran-Damn-Tee, and that's the end of his alloted time. Luke heel speech. Andy isn't nervous because he knows he won, he says nervously. Vince admits he's already determined who's going to win before coming out here. Thanks for wasting my time. Vince and Austin argue about who gets to pick. Vince gives way. Austin looks them both over. Vince insists on a drum roll. Spotlight comes free with. Austin looks them both over. Hey, we've got 90 seconds here, might want to pick while the show is still on the air. Andy starts yelling for no discernible reason - Silent Raging up? Austin drags it out a little longer - Andy wins. Austin hugs Luke and says something to him, which actually gets the focus over Andy's celebration. Luke almost gets away while keeping his belt. Austin hands it off to Vince for words of advice - and that's where this show ends according to my DVR. Off the clock!
(Okay: Vince slapped Andy to welcome him, and Stone Cold gave him a Stunner for the same reason. And then the copyright came up.)
I probably would watch a season 6 but I wouldn't be heartbroken if there is one. I hope they don't run out of ideas about one episode short if they do it again.
I think Vince would have said that no matter who Steve picked.
I'm not happy with either, but I think Luke was playing to the camera with his tearful talk with Luke Mama. And his admission that he could have done better in the match smelled fake. I'm not even in the room with the guy, and he comes across as the weasel people claimed he was.
OK, Andy, prove me wrong.
The Lovely Mrs. Tracker compared Andy's training to that of Pixar's Mister Incredible.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
It was so weird to see places I've been when I lived in Auburn, Maine when they showed the Luke package. I never heard of him before, but I guess he wrestled in some local indies and was trained by local Tony Atlas.
I know it was close, but Andy a unanimous choice, really?
Vince added nothing to the ending and it seemed like just an excuse to get him in the ring with Austin.
Poor Jericho. He's had the best 12 month period of his career, and he STILL can't beat HHH. To be fair, from a kayfabe perspective (and that's all this is, was, and ever will be), HHH has been the top guy over the last year.