NXT RANT 2/23
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.
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
Daniel Brian with The Miz vs. Chris Jericho with Wade Barrett
Brian temporarily forgets he’s
not in ROH and offers a handshake to
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
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.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
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