NXT Thoughts

So WWE’s NXT, their newest series, premiered this week. Of course I was going to watch it, but sometimes I have an opinion about things, and sometimes those opinions are made up of multiple words, so… Analysis ahoy.

The opening segment with Daniel Bryan and The Miz was pretty strong. In the hype for the series, I just figured we’d have a quick “VINCE HATE INTERNET” type of deal, but seeing it fully executed on the series, I really like where they’re going with the angle. Having Bryan rebel against Miz is a good way to drum up support for someone who’s mentored by a heel. And I don’t know how Bryan’s mic work was in ROH or whatever, but they’re not exactly lying about The Miz being full of personality. With a situation like this, he can still “learn” from Miz through their rivalry, by being challenged to talk the talk like this and show off some character.

The first match was really solid, but Slater looked a little sloppy at times. Carlito can be sloppy too, so it takes me a little out of the moment to see him as a mentor. Christian, on the other hand, is absolutely a believable mentor, and I like that it’s almost a continuation of the way he sort of looked out for guys like Yoshi Tatsu on ECW. But anyway, both of the “rookies” here look promising. But I think Tarver looked a little stronger.

The second match was waaaaay too short, so I don’t feel like I got much of a grasp of their in-ring ability. But I dug CM Punk’s “Why am I even here” attitude, and I wonder how long until he makes Young shave his crazy hair? Speaking of which, Young’s facial structure looks disturbingly similar to John Cena’s, albeit with a slightly different complexion. I have absolutely no clue who his supposedly famous wife is, but Otunga definitely seems like he could be Miz Jr as far as personality goes. Oh, and R-Truth wouldn’t really be once of my top choices for mentor, but he’s a lot more credible than Carlito for the job, I think. He is a former world champion, after all, though WWE will probably never acknowledge it.

I had high hopes for the main event, and they really delivered. Jericho never disappoints, and though I’ve never watched ROH, I did get to see Bryan’s awesome dark match against Chavo at the January 4th Raw, and he’s apparently picked up his game since then. (Speaking of whom, Chavo would be an interesting mentor. Maybe next “season”?) Jericho’s rookie is a decent talker, if nothing else. But this also introduced the possibility of a physical feud between Bryan and Miz, which would probably serve both of them well. It would give Bryan a chance to practice against the “WWE style,” and give Miz a good opportunity to work with someone more experienced. Oh, and a lot of people have been talking about Michael Cole’s tirade against the internet during this match. But pretty much all I have to say about it is, “Well, okay.” Not buying it, and still wouldn’t care about his opinion of Twitter even if I did.

So there was great action and writing, but the format of the show still confuses me. One of the guys mentioned “winning,” but they never really got into whether or not there’s actually something to win. Are they going to just keep wrestling until they get “drafted” by the Raw or Smackdown brands, or will guys actually start getting voted off at some point, a la Tough Enough? As it is, the format is basically not much different than the final incarnation of ECW. And on that note, it’s since been revealed that the name change is pretty much why Tommy Dreamer left. But he worked in WWE for years before they started any ECW revivals, and he’d be a very believable mentor in a series like this. It’s basically what he did on ECW, and to a greater extent than even Christian did. But I do like most of the mentor choices, other than Carlito and R-Truth. Whoever chose to replace MVP with Regal was really smart, too.

I definitely enjoyed this show, though. I’m not sure it’s quite as innovative as they keep hyping, but it is a nice change of pace. It could potentially draw in non-fans who are into reality shows, too. Especially with all the fourth-wall breaking and anti-internet stuff to provide a greater sense of “realism” than most WWE shows do lately.

Tags: ,

Categories: Pro Wrestling, Review

Comments are closed.