Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WWE NXT Thoughts - March 2, 2010

As R-Truth & David Otunga made their entrance to start the show, we got a little insight from Matt Striker into how NXT will work in terms of deciding a "winner."  The NXT Pros will vote for the Rookies, but they cannot vote for or against their own guy, which is  interesting, and would be cool if it was actually real.

David Otunga vs. Darren Young was our opening contest and a rematch from last week.  Typing that sentence took longer than last week's match, so Darren Young's already improving.  The ring work here was fine, but the Rookie/Pro concept threw me off; since Otunga is paired up with R-Truth, the crowd was cheering for him, though based off his hype video last week and his "I'm famous" gimmick, you'd think he should be a heel.  On the flipside, since CM Punk is Darren Young's mentor, the crowd booed, but Young just looks like your average face that's there to have a good time.  Towards the end of the match though, things started to come together - the Straight Edge Society cheated to help Young get the victory, and Otunga shoved R-Truth out of frustration after the match.  I have a feeling the tension between Pro and Rookie is going to be the big story throughout this entire first season, and concerning myself with who's "face" or who's "heel" right now would be a bit premature.

Great hype video for Daniel Bryan, playing up his history as a ten-year veteran who's wrestled all over the world, but that one goal eludes him - headlining WrestleMania.  Good stuff after the video from Michael Cole as well, defending his words from last week and brushing off Josh Matthews & his Twitter geeks.  I said it last week and I'll say it again, A-hole Cole > Michael Cole.  Backstage, Bryan took another verbal (and physical) assault from his Pro, The Miz, who set up a match between Bryan and Jericho's rookie, Wade Barrett.

During commercial, Matt Striker asked David Otunga what happened in his match, but before he could explain, R-Truth attacked, letting Otunga know he wasn't going to come into WWE and make a name for himself at his expense.

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan was up next, with the added bonus of Chris Jericho on commentary!  Big size different in this match, Barrett is about 6'6", Bryan is 5'10" with shoes on... maybe.  The big story here was Bryan's injured ribs, which Barrett exploited at every turn and made easy work of the American Dragon.  After the match, Jericho got in a few kicks on Bryan's ribs and again locked in the LIONTAMER!  Yeah, they're definitely testing how tough Daniel is here.

I could really do without the Raw Rewind on NXT.  I know we got shows to sell, but can't NXT be its own thing? 

Liked the stuff in the gym with Christian & Heath Slater, this really sold Christian as a mentor and coach, which we haven't seen from the Pros yet.

Main Event time!  William Regal & Skip Sheffield vs. Matt Hardy & Justin Gabriel.  Hardy and Gabriel seem like a natural fit, but Regal and Sheffield are definitely an odd couple.  Skip is the "crazy, cornfed meathead," which could provide some very entertaining moments with the classy Master Regal.  Josh Matthews makes a crack about Justin Gabriel "dressing like an astronaut," but if you missed it, let me clarify, Gabriel dresses like an astronaut that's not wearing pants.  Speaking of ring attire, I think I forgot to mention this when I saw on Smackdown, but Matt Hardy's gone back to his camo pants instead of the tights.  Wonder what brought on that change?

Okay, the Project Runway portion of the review is over, let's talk about the actual match.  Mostly Matt Hardy vs. William Regal with a little bit of Gabriel & Sheffield on the side, but there's nothing wrong with that.  At the end of the match, Hardy nailed Regal with a NASTY! Twist of Fate and Gabriel followed up with a gorgeous 450 Splash for the win!  For those keeping score, Gabriel's the first Rookie to score a pin on a Pro.

Backstage, Carlito spit apple in Heath Slater's face, saying "that's cool," giving Matt Striker an opening for a painful line to close the show, "That's NXT."  Wow.

Despite Matt Striker being a dork, another good show for WWE's new concept.  The wrestling wasn't quite on par with last week, but last week we had both Christian and Chris Jericho in action, and Daniel Bryan wasn't selling a serious rib injury.  The Rookies all looked good here, there was no one I watched and said "well that guy doesn't have a chance in hell," and the crowd seems to be reacting to everyone, which is a good sign.  I can't really think of anything to change right now because everything's still just getting started, so another solid thumbs up for NXT.

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