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By Alex Blinkoff


Hey there, I’m Alex Blinkoff, and I’ll be your master of ceremonies. Of course, this particular ceremony is the WWE symbolically castrating the IWC, but I digress.


 The show begins with our 8 rookies creepily staring at the camera. The black boxer dude (Michael Tarver) seems to be beating the air without mercy. The Miz shows up to call Bryan Danielson/Daniel Brian (I’ll call him the latter for the sake of convenience and hopefully an angry email) an “Internet darling.” He tells Daniel to go to the ring and show some charisma. Uh-huh. After Daniel leaves Miz then points out Bryan HAS no charisma, so he’s going to slap some into him.


Our commentators are Michael Cole and Josh Matthews. That’s what we all want: more of these two guys, not Matt Striker. Just as I write that, Matt is shown to be our backstage announcer. Brian heads to the ring to The Miz’s music. He apologizes to the crowd, and tells them he wishes his pro was William Regal. Just then, The Miz heads out and tells Daniel that he has no personality, or even a good catchphrase, like say, “I’m AWESOME.” Don’t get me wrong, The Miz is a great promo, but even he can’t make that pile of horse semen work.


Daniel responds by making fun of The Miz’s reality TV stint, and with his new catchphrase, telling The Miz if they ever had a match, Miz would have two choices: “To tap, or snap.” Eh. I’ve heard worse. The Miz responds with a slap (that Brian entirely no-sells) then he leaves the ring. The main event is announced to be FUCK YES Daniel Brian vs. Chris Jericho, and it’s time for commercials.


When we get back, Matt Striker is interviewing Daniel Brian. Brian makes the good point that he’s been wrestling twice as long as The Miz, but Striker counters by saying he hasn’t been in WWE for a minute.


            We go to our first match EVAR, that being Carlito and his rookie Michael Tarver vs Christian and his rookie Heath Slater. Before the match we get a promo from both rookies. Michael Tarver is a boxer whose dad was buddies with  Mike Tyson. He reprised his role last night on RAW talking about being “Mr. 1.9 seconds” (dirty…joke… overload) and the angel and devil on his shoulder. “The One Man Rock Band” Heath Slater, who looks way too much like Jack Swagger, is a guy who flips his hair. Seriously, that’s it; he flips his hair and smiles too much. He also briefly mentioned his mother’s womb.


Team “1.9 Apples” vs. Team “One Man with Charisma”


The match begins with Carlito and Slater. Carlito beats the hell out of him for a second before tagging Tarver. He hits a few punches. Carlito and Tarver take turns before Slater escapes and tags Christian in. Christian beats on Carlito, before Carlito escapes and tries to do the springboard elbow. Christian counters by trying to hit the Killswitch, but Carlito escapes again and tags in Tarver. They double team Christian, but when they Carlito tries to Irish Whip Tarver into Christian, Tarver reverses and lets Christian dodge, so Carlito hits his head on the turnbuckle. Tarver charges, but Christian elbows him. As Slater rolls Carlito out of the ring, Christian hits the Killswitch for the win.


Winners: Christian and Heath Slater


Further Notes: Nothing special, a pretty average match. It was short, so no restholds, which I like. I also kind of like Tarver’s character, but he didn’t impress me wrestling-wise.


We then see our next rookie, the somewhat black or very tan Darren Young, happily bouncing about and chatting away to CM Punk, Luke Gallows, and Serena as they look on him disgustedly. He will be facing David Otunga, who is slowly nodding to advice R-Truth is giving him.


Young gets no video profile, only a series of icy stares from his mentor. CM Punk say that Young should become Straight-Edge. So, if Punk is Jesus, Gallows is Peter, and Serena is Mary, what does that make Darren Young? Did Jesus have any black disciples?


Otunga is playing the ole’ “I’m better than you” shtick. He claims to have gone to Harvard Law, to be famous, and to be good-looking. He delivered it pretty well, so it’s okay.


“The South Beach Party Boy” Darren Young with Cm Punk & the Straightedge Society vs. “A-List” David Otunga with R-Truth


Darren Young hits a couple forearms and such before Otunga Irish whips him and hits him with a shitty-looking uranage and pins him.


Winner: David Otunga


Further Notes: If the above description was short, that’s because the match was only 45 seconds. Otunga stood out a bit from his well-done promo, but I still can’t form an opinion about either of these guys.


When we get back from the break, Jericho and his rookie Wade Barrett head to the ring. Jericho is wearing the world title, and here he is wrestling on WWE’s C show. Bless him. He has Wade Barrett, an extremely cockney bare-knuckle fighter introduce him, but Wade was more concerned with kissing Chris’ ass. Jericho cuts him off and tells him to just introduce him, which he does. The Miz and Daniel Brian come out, and Brian runs ahead of The Miz to get into the ring and start our main event.


“The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson Daniel Brian with The Miz vs. Chris Jericho with Wade Barrett


Brian temporarily forgets he’s not in ROH and offers a handshake to Jericho, who responds by slapping him. Again, he no-sells it. He slaps Jericho back, who falls to his knees, thus making him look like the biggest bitch ever. They trade kicks for a few minutes, before Matt Striker comes to ringside and begins interviewing Wade Barrett. That’s right, right in the middle of the match. Barrett says Jericho has great ability just as Daniel throws him into the ring post.


Meanwhile, Michael Cole and Josh Matthews are having a duel on commentary. It’s hilarious, in that Cole is playing an ignorant mark and saying he’s never heard of Brian before, and just because he entertained 50 people in a high-school gym doesn’t make him Space-King of the Universe, while Josh tells him everybody loathes Cole. You’re preaching to the choir, Josh. Daniel does a great back flip over Jericho’s head and throws him out of the ring. Daniel goes for a suicide dive, which Jericho responds to by sickeningly throwing him into the announce table. Seriously, there was this enormous welt on his side and everything. Daniel shows how badly he’s hurt by shaking his fists and getting before Jericho, before throwing him into the ring and almost getting put into the Walls of Jericho. He counters by putting Chris in a leg lock that Chris sells like his leg was about to come off before getting a rope break. The ref pulls Brian off, when Jericho springs to his feet and hits a Codebreaker. After about 15 seconds, Jericho puts Daniel into an old-school Liontamer for some reason and gets the tap-out win.


Winner: Chris Jericho


Further notes: A really good match, fast-paced and entertaining. There are enough talented heel workers on NXT to ensure we’ll have plenty of good Daniel Brian matches in the future.


After the match, The Miz comes into the ring and punches Brian a few times, taunts him, and leaves to end the very first episode of NXT.


Final Thoughts:  A lot of people thought this would be a new version of Tough Enough, but the WWE has put in the interesting dynamic of mentor/rookie relationship. The first match was lack-luster, the second a non-match, and the third was quite good. I was intrigued, so a thumbs up. See you all next time.

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).