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Thread: The NXT Files - Season One

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    WWE NXT The NXT Files - Season One


    So, some of you might remember I used to review TNA PPV's from 2002, which kind of fell apart after 10 reviews because I couldn't handle watching three hours of garbage just to review one show. I'm finding myself zoning out on a lot of the current products on offer at this moment in time, so I thought I'd start up another review thread that would be less taxing than my previous TNA one to fill some time. NXT seemed the natural choice what with me being such a fan of the show, it only being an hour long in length, and being interested in how the show has evolved over the last 4-5 years.

    Now in 2014, NXT is one of the most entertaining things about the WWE, in my opinion it's the most enjoyable weekly wrestling show, it has a great, varied roster and there's a clear identity of it being WWE's developmental brand that gives the Superstars of tomorrow their first big break in the company. Back in 2010 it was very different show altogether; a hybrid of WWE's live scripted wrestling shows and gameshow/reality television whereby 8 developmental wrestlers competed against each other to be the 'Next Breakout Star' whilst being trained and advised by 8 WWE Pros. On paper, it sounds fairly interesting, like a WWE version 'The Ultimate Fighter', but in practice it wasn't great, some of the guys were too green to work in front of live crowds, the challenges sometimes had nothing to do with wrestling and made it almost impossible to take the competition seriously, and too much of the show is just Pros/commentators/interviewers telling the rookies they aren't good enough to be here. As the seasons went on, the quality of talent got worse, the Pro-Rookie choices became bizarre, and I think they stopped caring in general so the shows continued to get worse up until Redemption time; In particular the Women only season is going to be a chore to watch, but then again, so is Raw in 2014.

    So here we go, NXT from the very beginning..........

    Index:

    Episode 001 - Mojave Devert
    Episode 002 - YEP YEP YEP WHAT IT DO?
    Episode 003 - Heath Slater's Sob Story Promo
    Episode 004 - Daniel Bryan's Manliness Meter
    Episode 005 - Wrestlemania 26 Hype
    Episode 006 - 427 Green MNM's
    Episode 007 - Michael Tarver Fails At Life
    Last edited by Ed; 05-27-2015 at 03:52 PM.
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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    SEASON ONE - EPISODE ONE
    February 23rd 2010



    We open up backstage with the 8 rookies all on show and wow have some people changed, you've got Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel and Daniel Bryan as clean shaven as the day they were born, Ryback/Skip Sheffield is wearing a cowboy hat, Darren Young has his outrageous haircut and a caveman jacket, Otunga's in a hoodie and shades.............and Heath Slater looks pretty much the same The Miz shows up and introduces his rookie Daniel Bryan, and instead of talking him up, he says no-one cares about what he's achieved on the minor leagues, he has a lot to learn if he wants to succeed in the WWE. 20 seconds into the episode and you've already got one of the main themes of the season - everyone buries Daniel Bryan for being an internet/indy darling . Miz orders him to the ring to introduce himself to the WWE Universe so he can prove to people that he has the charisma to shine here. The highlight here was that in a segment where Miz was supposed to show that he was far more charismatic than his rookie, Miz botched his putdown by saying Bryan's personality was drier than the Mojave devert, yes not desert, but devert.

    At ringside, Bryan talked a little bit about not really being a rookie because he's wrestled all over the world for 10 years and made fun of the Miz which always goes down well with the crowd. Miz comes out and surprise surprise says Bryan isn't showing any personality, Bryan retorts by mocking Miz for his time on the Real World which gets him more pops. Miz suggests Bryan try a catchphrase as a way to make it in the WWE, because everyone recognises him for his catchphrase 'I'm the Miz and I'm Awesome', which is kind of funny looking back considering how big 'YES' became as Bryan moved into the Main Event; his effort here of 'You've got 2 choices - TAP OR SNAP' didn't catch on as much as YES! Miz takes a survey with the crowd, asking them if they think Bryan showed enough personality, they cheer quite loudly proving him to be a likeable fellow, Miz however disagrees and says he failed the challenge. He bitch slaps Bryan before leaving the ring. Seeds well and truly sown, NXT Pro and Rookie do not get along.

    During the commercial, Matt Striker (RIP) interviewed Daniel Bryan...........I'm sure there's supposed another 7 rookies on this show Anyway, Bryan says he's not embarrassed by Miz's slap, because one day he'll get to slap him back, and it'll be a lot harder. Striker keeps interrupting Bryan's promo with 'you've achieved nothing, this is the WWE, you have to listen to your pro yadda yadda yadda'. STFU Striker.

    Carlito comes out with his rookie Michael Tarver, who he says with his knowledge, skills and mentoring, will become the next breakout WWE Superstar. Neither man would be employed by the WWE a year later. We get a little Tarver video package and he comes off well in it, decent talker, his gimmick is that he's heavily influenced by boxing because his dad sparred with Mike Tyson. His nickname is 'Mr 1.9 seconds' because that's how quickly he can knock someone out in. His dress sense out of the ring is certainly......interesting.


    Christian comes out with his rookie, Heath Slater and we get a video package on him as well. Slater hasn't really changed much in 4 and a half years, he played the goofy heel well and described himself as 'A Rock Band without the instruments', I think we all know what that nickname evolved into. He also does a silly little dance when he's happy.

    Carlito and Michael Tarver Vs Christian and Heath Slater
    Oh man Tarver sucks. Because of his boxer gimmick, 90% of his offence is just punching/striking and it gets old fast. Slater shows early signs of how good a seller he'd become when he takes a stiff kick from Carlito, but you can see that cocky side of him already, when he lands a move sweet as a nut he screams YEAH BAYBAY. The finish of the match revolves around the relationship of Rookie and Pro; when Tarver and Carlito go for a double team move, they botch it through miscommunication, which gives Christian the chance to hit the Killswitch on Tarver, whilst Slater pulls Carlito out of the ring. Teamwork FTW, ok tag match.

    CM Punk comes out flocked by The Straight Edge Society and his rookie 'The South Beach Partyboy', Darren Young, and all three of them clearly want nothing to do with him. They air an interview with Punk where he says he doesn't know why he's on the show, he doesn't know who Young is, but he only mentors those that follow the ways of the Straight Edge Society, so if Young wants to his advice and guidance, he need to become Straight Edge. I gotta hand it to them, this was a great pairing of pro and rookie storyline wise because they are polar opposites of each other, Punk gives Young the dirtiest of looks whenever he's with him, he obviously doesn't give a fuck about the young rookie's career.


    Out next comes R-Truth and his rookie, David Otunga. They air Otunga's video package, and my word did this guy come off as a star, he carried himself very well. He talked about his famous fiancé Jennifer Hudson, going to Harvard, going to the White House twice, general 'I'm so much better than you' type of thing, all the makings of a good heel character. He reckons he has the charisma of the Rock, the cerebral attack of Triple H and the power of John Cena. If you only ever saw this video of David Otunga you'd think he was a star for the future. Unfortunately when he wrestles, he's proven to be bad.

    Darren Young Vs David Otunga
    Dud match, Otunga overpowered Young and beat him in 30 seconds after a sloppy as fuck spinebuster. How concerned was Punk about his rookie's quick defeat?


    Punk couldn't give a fuck

    They air a video package for Batista Vs John Cena which is coming up at Wrestlemania 26. KISSING BABIES AND HUGGING FAT GIRLS Michael Cole says that tonight is a Wrestlemania of sorts for these NXT rookies.


    Newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho comes to the ring, and insists that his rookie, beardless Wade Barrett perform his ring introduction instead of the Asian chick that's been doing it all night. Miz leads Daniel Bryan to the ring for his first WWE match, but Bryan nudges him out of the way down the ramp, more tension brewing between them.

    Chris Jericho Vs Daniel Bryan
    Well this is a nice treat for the first episode, Daniel Bryan facing someone of Jericho's calibre in his debut match. The match only lasted about six minutes, but it was a hell of a good watch, as Jericho allowed Bryan the right amount of offensive to look like he can hang with WWE Main Eventers, but ultimately the experience of the World Heavyweight Champion saw him over the line. Bryan shows a lot of fight in the match which impressed the crowd, but the turning point came when Jericho countered his suicide dive and threw him into the announcers table, immediately causing Bryan's ribs to bruise up, a replay we've seen time and time again on the 'Don't try this at home' packages. Bryan got a decent nearfall tease in when he locked in a heel hook, but Jericho hit back with the Codebreaker, before Bryan tapped out to the Walls of Jericho. During the match, Matt Striker questions Wade Barrett about what he's learning watching Chris Jericho at work, then when Barrett starts answering about how great Jericho is and how he can learn everything from him, Striker interrupts him because he doesn't like how vague the answer is. The way Striker butts in on the rookies talking is getting really irritating.

    Post match, Jericho and Barrett leave the ring as Miz gets in Bryan's face saying his defeat has embarrassed him. The Miz beats up his rookie to end the show.

    Overall Thoughts:
    This was a decent season premier but they botched it in some places. It delivers in being a show that's different to anything else the WWE produce to an extent with the Rookies/Pros concept, there's already some interesting relationships striking up between rookies and pros, and there's no way you could of watched this episode and not want to tune in next week to see Daniel Bryan. He was the star of the show; his storyline was the focus of the evening, he was the only one to cut a live promo, and he had the main event against The World Heavyweight Champion. In terms of what wasn't so good, they didn't explain how the show works once, not even briefly, there was no mention of how anyone wins or that there would be an elimination process, or that there would be immunity challenges. I know you don't want to bore people on the first show with Matt Striker reading the NXT rule book for 10 minutes, but if you keep pitching this as a 'revolutionary concept in television history' give us more information about how the competition works so you get that point across better. Also, there's way too much negativity from interviewers and commentators about how the rookies are doing, and Tarver, Otunga & Young seem too green/bad in the ring to be in front of live audiences. Bit of nitpicking, but Skip Sheffield and Justin Gabriel did nothing on this show, they just stood around backstage; ideally I think all 8 rookies should have had something to do on opening night to introduce themselves to the audience, and if they had managed their time a little better they could of easily done that.
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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    Good idea Ed, I actually really enjoyed certain aspects of the first season of NXT before it became old very quickly. Needless to say it was a great platform for Nexus debuting and nowadays it is a hell of a show as well. Interesting journey to get there though for sure.

    The Bryan and Jericho spot with the announce table was awesome in this match, I remember thinking Holy Shit at the time.

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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    It is very interesting to look back and see how far NXT has come along since it's humble beginnings.

    Looking forward to your next review.

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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    Ohhhhh, yes.

    This is going to be good, so good.

    NXT back then is significantly different than the wonderful developmental show we have now. Obviously, I mean I don't even need to mention that, but it's still jarring to wade into that faux-competition cesspool and try to make sense of it. 'What does drinking slurpees have to do with wrestling? What are these vague immunity points everyone keeps mentioning that don't appear to have any effect on the show itself? Why has no-one punched Matt Striker yet?'

    That being said, I've always had a soft spot for this competition idea. By no means would I actively campaign for it to be back in today's NXT - though seeing Mojo Rawley and CJ Parker stumble and trip their way through a 'Talk the Talk' challenge might be fun, the same way a fiery train accident is fun - but it had it's charm, the same way a drooling toddler smacking a crayon against a wall has it's charm.






    Spoiler:



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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    Ah, the Mojave Devert. Still classic to me.

    Keep this up.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    Awesome idea Ed. Be great to relive all of NXT. Can't wait for the next review.

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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    Miz/Bryan interactions were gold and WWE made Bryan and did a great job with him.

    The nerds at the time couldn't see it though. Dude even had a competitive match with Jericho! ...Granted, Jericho would lose to a rookie soon and had lost to JTG a few years earlier I believe but still....

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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    SEASON ONE - EPISODE TWO
    March 2nd 2010


    Now I moaned in the last review that they didn't explain the show's process of how they decide a winner, and right off the bat this week Matt Striker tries to rectify that. As the season goes on, rookies will be voted off one by one until there is a winner, votes would be cast by the NXT Pros, but the twist is that they cannot vote for, or against, their own NXT rookie. Nice job Striker, but I'm still left asking the question why exactly that 30 seconds couldn't of been on the debut show?


    David Otunga Vs Darren Young
    We open up with a rematch from last week where Young put in a shocking performance and lost to David Otunga in about 30 seconds. We jumped to the other side of the wrestling spectrum this week because the match went on far too long, almost 10 minutes, and fuck me were these guys not ready for 10 minute matches. I must of counted about 6 chinlock restholds in this dull affair. Story of the match is Young unlike last week is holding his own, and in a shocking turn of events, CM Punk who we all thought wanted nothing to do with his rookie and was a statuesque onlooker during the match, tripped Otunga up to provide a big enough distraction for Young to win. Young's finisher was some sloppy full nelson slam move, but sloppy or not, he's off the mark and we're all left pondering what Punk's intentions are. Otunga shoves R-Truth after the match, not happy with his loss.

    They air a Daniel Bryan video package explaining his backstory, he says he wants to main event Wrestlemania one day. Yeah, keep dreaming kid. Amazing looking back at his stuff knowing what he'd go on to achieve.

    Backstage, Bryan is having his ribs taped up, selling the effects of his suicide dive into the announcers table from last week. His pro Miz informs him that it's time for another important lesson 'just because you've got a boo-boo doesn't mean you don't compete'. Miz says he's organised a match with Jericho's rookie, Wade Barrett for tonight, and it's next.

    R-Truth and David Otunga have the lamest scuffle backstage, they don't throw any punches, they just aggressively hug and roll around the floor until a gang of referees pull them apart. Otunga tells them to watch out because he's wearing Versace pants and he doesn't want them ripped.

    Wade Barrett Vs Daniel Bryan
    Bryan as usual is pretty great here, he's selling the effects of his injury well but still gives it his all and has his moments against Barrett, like a running knee off the ring apron. Bryan, running on adrenaline, goes for a springboard move, but slips on the top rope which allows Barrett to capitalise with the 'Wasteland', to the untrained eye it might of looked like Bryan botched the springboard, but it was more clever selling from Bryan, due to his injuries he didn't quite have the balance to pull of the move. It's vintage babyface stuff, you can't question his heart for the fight, but his body can't handle it. Jericho was on commentary and it was refreshing to hear a pro talk positively about their rookie, even if it was Jericho putting himself over as the best mentor in the world. After the match, Jericho enters the ring and locks Bryan in the Walls of Jericho, clearly still miffed at how Bryan nearly beat him last week.



    Video package of the GOAT, Shawn Michaels, and his upcoming final match with The Undertaker. AKA Ed's favourite ever match.

    'The Two Man Christian Rock Band' are CLANGIN' AND BANGIN' in the gym. Slater is ecstatic over his win last week, but Christian brings him right back down to earth saying no-one was cheering for Slater, that was the Peeps cheering for Christian, those were Christian's pops last week. Christian says he likes Slater, but he needs to keep working hard to earn the support of the fans, before making him hit the weights again (then taking a shower....then getting a clue #KevinNash) .


    Matt Striker is standing by with Matt Hardy and his NXT Rookie, South African Justin Gabriel, who seems to be wearing a reject attire from the Mordecai collection. When asked what Gabriel can bring to the competition, Hardy answered a lot of exciting, high flying, high tempo aerial moves, kind of like a young Matt Hardy. Kind of like an in shape Hardy too.

    It's time to learn about Skip Sheffield. Years before Ryback squashed matched his way into our hearts, he was the 'cornfed meathead', a simple country boy who's cowboy hat was too small for his head and had the greatest array of sayings. Who could forget the classic 'YEP YEP YEP, WHAT IT DO'? Treat yourself to his video, because my words don't do it justice.


    It was at this moment that Ken knew this guy would be a star one day.

    William Regal and Skip Sheffield Vs Matt Hardy and Justin Gabriel
    I completely forgot how golden the relationship between Regal and Sheffield was, it's perfect to showcase Regal's comedic side. Not for the first time in his WWE career, Regal has been lumbered with a dimwit against his will, and it's driving him up the wall. To quote Regal 'Sheffield has the personality of an open grave, his work rate isn't much better than his personality and that being his mentor on NXT is the biggest challenge of his career so far. Hardy and Gabriel get off to a good start, they show signs of being a seasoned tag team with a couple nice double team moves, they even threw in a little 'Poetry in Motion' nod to the Hardy Boys. Regal gets increasingly irate at Sheffield and his performance as the match wears on; what's great is Regal's reaction to Sheffield giving advice to Regal from the apron. Regal kicks Hardy out of the ring, but Sheffield instructs Regal to bring him back straight away in so they can pin him, Regal moves over to Michael Cole and screams 'he's a bloody moron'. There's more frustration later as Hardy pounces on Sheffield's naivety to get his team back into the match; Regal insists Sheffield tag out, and goes onto wrestle the match all on his own, barking insults at Skip like 'STOP DOING STUPID THINGS YOU PILLOCK' whilst striking Hardy. But with his concentration split, Hardy manages to catch Regal off guard with a Twist of Fate, before tagging in Justin Gabriel to finish things off with his impressive 450 Splash. Just like last week, the team with the better Rookie/Pro relationship came out on top.


    but that's not the end of the show, oooooooooooh no. We go backstage to Matt Striker who's standing by with the other 6 rookies, giving his farewell/tune into next week message for the audience when Carlito comes into shot. He takes a bite of his trademark apple, and looks the 6 rookies up and down as he chews it. He teases who he's going to spit at for an age, before spraying Heath Slater right in the face with apple. Well if you need someone to sell the big moments, Slater is your best choice.


    Carlito says that's cool, and then Striker butts in with 'THAT'S NXT' and is so pleased with his joke he then pulls a fracto face If the cliffhanger of a potential Carlito/Slater program isn't enough to make you tune into next week, I don't know what else will.

    Overall Thoughts:
    The show was off to a shaky start in the first quarter, Darren Young and David Otunga suck in the ring so them going over 10 minutes was a dud. Things would pick up later on with good storytelling in the Bryan/Barrett and Tag Team matches, and the Skip Sheffield character looks like one that will entertain throughout the season, especially with Regal as his pro. Whilst they gave us a bit more information about how the competition will work, that really hasn't become part of the show yet, this was just another introduction episode to NXT that's essentially 'here's another rookie, let's see him wrestle'. We've seen all 8 rookies now, Bryan looks a cut above, whilst Barrett, Gabriel, Sheffield and Slater show promise; Otunga, Young and Tarver are the shits however.
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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    The original version of NXT was only good for the laughs. You should start with the 2012 reboot version. Personally, I think that will be cooler to read.

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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    gtfo plz ^

    Good review. Skip FTW.

    It's funny how they did NXT. Just so unprepared. But it was really entertaining.

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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    YEP YEP YEP WHAT IT DO

    Another good review Ed. Like you said, it's really interesting to look back and see Daniel Bryan before he became a big star.

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    Re: Ed Reviews NXT

    SEASON ONE - EPISODE THREE
    March 9th 2010


    The show opens up with R-Truth heading to the ring with David Otunga in tandem, showing no fallout from when they were fighting each other on last week's show. 2 lines into Truth's rap, they head to commentary for a minute, then they throw it to Matt Striker for a minute to explain the same rules he explained last week with no more detail about when these eliminations are going to take place. They skip back to Truth as his rap ends. They're here for a tag team match against another Pro/Rookie partnership that have had a rocky first fortnight together; Miz and Daniel Bryan


    Miz cuts a promo just before the match telling Daniel Bryan that if he's the 'weak link' and costs them the match tonight, he will make sure that Bryan never works another day in the WWE. It's amazing how this Daniel Bryan storyline keeps coming full circle. The whole arc of season 1 is Daniel Bryan trying to prove the heels wrong about him being just an indy darling who wouldn't make it but had the support of the crowd with his great wrestling and never say die fighting spirit a la the feud with The Authority. The first word he ever said on the show was 'Yes' and was later told if he didn't have a catchphrase he wouldn't be able to connect with the crowd, he also stated his goal was to main event Wrestlemania. Here in the 3rd episode of NXT, the idea of Daniel Bryan possibly being the weak link in a tag team is introduced, which is exactly how Bryan broke away from a comedy tag team and into the main event picture in 2013.

    The Miz and Daniel Bryan Vs R-Truth and David Otunga
    Daniel Bryan still thinks he's in ROH to start and offers a handshake at the bell to R-Truth, who replies by having a seizure and humping in Bryan's direction. There's a chance it was a dance. Truth and Otunga got along the entire match which annoyed me because it felt like they just dropped the angle from last week where they hated each other. With them being on the same page, their teamwork controlled the match against Bryan and Miz who were very much wrestling the match as two singles guys trying to prove a point to their partner. Bryan looked really good being back to 100% with his ribs healed, his kicks in particular looked stiffer this week. Otunga looked sloppy as fuck, especially in his hot tag. The finish is perfect; Bryan has Otunga in a heel hook, but Miz and his ego can't allow his rookie to win the match so he reaches over, slaps Bryan on his head to tag himself in, the two of them have a shoving match and the end result is Otunga hitting his one handed slam to pin Miz. Daniel Bryan lost again, but he wasn't the weak link. Post match, Daniel Bryan and Miz argue some more, with Bryan hilariously flinching out Miz

    They're doing a sit down interview with Heath Slater. It's all rather serious, there's no goofing around by Slater and there's some gentle keyboard music in the background. They play this so straight and serious you'd think the interview was about Slater being in the final of NXT talking up his big chance, or an X-Factor style sob-story to get sympathy from the audience about the death of his beloved family dog. What it's actually about is Carlito spitting an apple in his face last week in the most drama lacking cliffhanger to a wrestling show I can remember. The tone they've set to this interview about the dopey build to a one off match between Slater and Carlito is hilarious, this is hands down the most serious Slater promo in his 5 years in the WWE.


    More backstage stuff with Daniel Bryan and The Miz. Striker bravely asks Miz if he let down Daniel Bryan tonight, which starts him off on a rant. Bryan interrupts and tells Miz that he is carried by every tag team partner he ever had and that he was the reason they lost tonight, it was nothing to do with Bryan.

    Video package with Justin Gabriel which uses the music he used once the Nexus broke up. He talks about South Africa and how his style of wrestling is a hybrid of British mat based wrestling and Japanese kicking and striking.

    In a hit and miss segment, Matt Hardy and Justin Gabriel are talking; Hardy is pleased with Gabriel after his debut win last week, but he needs to do the same thing again this week against Wade Barrett. Jericho and Barrett enter the locker room and Jericho tells Gabriel that he was good last week, but that's not going to be good enough to beat his protégé Wade Barrett. Justin Gabriel's retort is 'with all due respect sir....I respect you'. Jesus christ, what a cookie cutter dummy Gabriel is when he opens his mouth. Wade Barrett says that last week he defeated the fans favourite Daniel Bryan in 3 minutes, Justin Gabriel isn't even the frans fravourite so he'll beat him even quicker. WTF is a frans fravourite Wade? The rookie's attempted verbal slams were bad here, but at least Gabriel lost his weird Mordecai attire, he's borrowing Hardy's T-Shirt now.

    Heath Slater Vs Carlito
    Carlito cuts a promo on the way to the ring talking about how Slater shouldn't be pissed he was spat on, he should be grateful that a veteran like Carlito chose to spit on him over the other rookies, it's a badge of honour and he should beg him again to spit on him to make him famous. They have a passable match which Carlito controlled, but Slater ended up picking up the surprise win with a rollup. Christian is elated that his rookie picked up the win, Carlito looks confused and dejected.


    There's a great little segment backstage now where the SES talk amongst themselves about how Darren Young is nothing without there help as Young is standing literally right behind them and is being ignored. Young finally grabs Punk by the shoulder and swings him around to plead with him about appreciating different lifestyles; 'why can't I live the life I want to, why can't I be me' he says. This is a conflict of straight edge Vs Young's partying, but knowing what we know now about Darren Young, I can't get the idea out of my head about an alternative angle where Young was 'out' right from his debut, and the homophobic CM Punk can't accept the fact his rookie is gay and is forcing him to change his lifestyle if he wants him to continue mentoring him. Anyway, back to what REALLY happened. Punk gives him the ultimatum, if Young wants his help, he has to drop his partying lifestyle and accept Straight Edge into his life. Punk says he can lead a horse to water, but he can't make him drink, which I'm not sure is the greatest phrase to use when your message is anti-drink.

    We get two hype videos for Wrestlemania 26 sandwiched in between Chris Jericho and Wade Barrett's entrance. They were still a good three weeks off the event at this point, so I don't know why they felt it necessary to take up a decent chunk of this show to promote that. I mean, there was no Skip Sheffield and William Regal for crying out loud!

    Wade Barrett Vs Justin Gabriel
    Both men undefeated at this point in time, so something had to give. Cole spent too long talking about Barrett's jacket rather than call the match. He said Barrett wears it on his shoulders rather than puts his arms in the sleeve because "A jacket slows you down in a fight", well surely if you're heading for a fight, don't take the jacket at all if you're so concerned with it slowing you down, that might be why Barrett walks down the ramp at a snail's pace, he's still got the damn jacket on. The flowers on the lapel mean something btw, apparently we were supposed to notice they change colour every week. He had a white rose on week one to say he was sorry, week two was a purple rose to show 'Love'; are we sure Barrett isn't in the closest with Darren Young? Michael Cole invites us to read Barrett's weekly blog to find what this week's orange flower meant; I think I'll pass. There's a USA chant here between an Englishman and a South African wrestling, go figure. Barrett and Gabriel have a fine match, but the star of the main event was Chris Jericho with his brand of guest commentary where you don't wear a headset, you just stand next to the other commentators and yell at them. HE'S WORKING THE BACK - THAT'S MY INFLUENCE!" Justin Gabriel wins with the 450 Splash which is starting to become a finisher to fear, once Gabriel hits it, it's over. Jericho, annoyed at the result, attacks Hardy and locks in the Walls of Jericho on Gabriel to close the show.


    Overall Thoughts: Another good episode of NXT here, and for a change, there wasn't a bad match, keeping Otunga out of singles matches will help in that respect. The show continues to be carried by the great Miz/Bryan program, I know Miz went on to win the WWE Championship and main event mania and all that, but I think this is the best work he ever did in his career. There's also some good potential in the SES/Young relationship, Hardy living vicariously through young Justin Gabriel and Jericho being the pro who gives the greatest fuck about his rookie winning the competition because that means it's one more thing he can brag about being the best in the world at everything he does. The show's low moments came when they asked the rookies to talk, but that was kept to a minimum tonight.