Michael Cole and His Amazing Friends

The first season of WWE’s pseudo-reality show, NXT, apparently ended last week, and the second season already starts tonight. I have many things to say about both of those matters.

One of the (many) things I hate about reality shows is the fact that I get attached to someone, and then they get eliminated. And that’s what happened here. I spent a few months getting to know all eight of these guys, and now seven of them are gone. I wasn’t particularly a fan of all of them, but none of them ever made me think, “Get off my TV.” Not even Michael Tarver, because towards the end, he was starting to amuse me. And it’s pretty rare that I can say that about a wrestling show.

Luckily, WWE has a tendency to ignore logic and reality, so I probably will get to see most of them on the main roster in the near future. Of course, Daniel Bryan Danielson is a given. I don’t think I ever expected him to actually win, because that would have been too obvious, and it wouldn’t have been fair to anyone to turn all the other guys into fodder for him. Once he was “gone,” though, it seemed pretty obvious that Wade Barrett would be the winner, and I approve of that choice. I think I would have slightly preferred Justin Gabriel (whose accent always reminds me of Ba’al), but I have a feeling I’ll be seeing more of him in the near future. I’d like to see more of everyone, for one reason or another, but I think some of them (like David Otunga and Heath Slater) still need a little more work.

But as for the show itself, one thing that originally confused me was the format. It was not initially clear how or when a winner would be determined, and though it was touted as a reality show, it started out as just a pure wrestling show with a few profile videos. But about halfway through, they began adding wild and crazy competitions, as well as a lot of 4th-wall-pushing drama. Though I typically don’t care for that kind of thing, I really enjoyed it in this case, because they did it very well. (Take note, Russo.) Many an “oh snap” was had over the Cole/Bryan/Miz issues, and the problems between Otunga and Darren “Cena Palette Swap” Young and their respective pros were interesting, too. As I mentioned before, Tarver’s eventual bitchiness also amused me. As much as I’d prefer pure wrestling, I’d have no problems with them doing similarly awesome drama bombs in the second season.

As for said second season, I think I know slightly more about the new crop of “rookies” than I did the first time. At least in the sense that I’m very familiar with Kaval through his TNA runs, and I’m sure he’ll be the “star” of this season. The idea of Layla and McCool as his pros is hilarious, and I hope it proves true in practice. Most of the other pros almost feel like jokes this time, though. Other than Mark Henry, none of them really have the veteran or main event qualities to them, and even Henry is very bottom of the barrel as far as those qualities go. But as for the rookies, I’m most interested in seeing what Michael “Not Hennig” McGillicuty and Percy “What If Urkel Loved Eddie Instead” Watson have to offer.

But overall, NXT has consistently been a highlight of my week since its debut back in February, and I have a feeling that’s going to continue for the next while. I just hope WWE can find a new outlet for the series so that it gets a third season.

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Categories: Pro Wrestling, Review

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