WWE: NXT Season 1
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
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With the Red Sox on, DVR's the season finale of WWE NXT. I was a big fan of WWE Tough Enough on MTV, but liked this version more in different ways as it was a combination of work and shoot. My biggest problem with the show was the pacing - it went on way too long with only eight guys, it seemed like the season would never end with some of the foolish, ridiculous "challenges" created that were never going to generate fan interest or sell a ticket.
I had Wade Barrett pegged as the winner for awhile now. His alliance with Jericho and size made him stand out from the rest even if he could use some more seasoning and a strong dose of personality. The winner is supposed to receive a championship shot on PPV?? Yikes, that would almost make me think David Otunga, as he could at least talk his way into an interesting situation. We'll see. . .
After the triple threat match, Justin Gabriel was the first to be eliminated. With my naked eyes, he's the winner. Like the work and the charisma, would have been perfect for the former ECW for a few months and now even Smackdown. His accent made him a little different, as well.
During the program, they showed several vignettes for NXT Season 2 (more to come below). . .
Another "challenge". . .a rookie stand-off with Otunga and Barrett verbally "shooting" on each other. This is and should be a very important factor to the show overall. Otunga has it when it comes to it verbally. Whether it was booked or "written" that way, he's been great when it comes to presenting himself as an asshole. Barrett cut his promo, he just sounds like a 50 year old guy with little passion. Just my opinion. . .
Looking back at past eliminations. . .
Michael Tarver - liked the rugged attitude he displayed, could have been the non-convict Nailz of 2010.
Daniel Bryan - without a doubt, the standout professional wrestler on this program
Skip Sheffield - I believe he was on one of the Tough Enough incarnations, not sure of his name. Interesting "gimmick" that could be a fine undercard gimmick on one of the shows.
Darren Young - fantastic look with personality. Work could use some work, but he's someone that could break out as a star if given the chance.
Health Slater - he did well in the polls, however those were created. Never overly impressed me.
The other three, see above. . .
The pro's poll picked. . . . . . the WWE's next breakout star. . . .I like how they teased putting Barrett with William Regal if Koslov is going off with Santino Marella. The pro's started jawing back and forth with each other to eat time. And the winner. . . .WADE BARRETT. . . .as I just wrote, hopefully going to Raw with Regal. . . .
Overall, this show got eight guys faces on television in a short amount of time. The Bryan/Miz/Michael Cole storyline has caught fire. Barrett will likely get a push out of the deal. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Otunga, and hopefully we'll see more of these guys get a chance on TV as time goes on and they gain more experience. . .
Other than some of the comedy writing that's done on WWE TV, my biggest complaint on a tremendous product is the lack of depth on each roster. With few exceptions, I cringe anytime I see anyone is released. I find Diva's to be an even bigger waste of TV time, as they've never been ticket sellers, and the old "less is more" saying never holds true more than with the girls. If they cut it back to 6-8 total, the company would get more bang for their buck. How many are there now, 20?? You can't even name half of them there's so many. Another thing I liked on NXT was that it was eight guys, no girls involved like on Tough Enough. . .
I'd be interested in a reality show where WWE brings back eight superstars they should have never released and in the end one or more comes back. There's so many quality bodies out there that never got the chance they deserved or needed more time in developmental and died on the main roster it isn't even funny. . .different story for a different time. . .
Another change I'd like to see. . . .have actual PRO's be the coaches. Dig up eight, able bodied legends, veterans, whatever you want to call them. Some of the pro's on the first season were iffy. . . when I saw who they had lined up for the second season, good God. . . .I'd still have some in the rookie category, or someone that has no business being on a program like this. . .let's take a look. . .
Husky Harris (aka Windham Rotundo) coached by. . .CODY RHODES?? They clearly pushed Husky as the grandson of the great Blackjack Mulligan, and Mike Rotundo/IRS as his father. I don't know, what's wrong with Windham Rotundo??
Eli Cottonwood coached by John Morrison. . . .this guy looks like an indy rip-off of Great Khali. . .never seen his work, but doesn't look like box office from my first impression. . .
Percy Watson coached by MVP. . .again, comes off as a bad indy gimmick. . .like Cottonwood, never seen him work but just don't see it. . .
Titus O'Neill coached by Zack Ryder. . .looks like a real, legit athlete and a winner. . .never seen him work, he could be horrible, but in his ten second soundbite, he's someone I'd expect to go far in the competition. . .
Kaval (Low-Ki/Senshi) coached by Michelle McCool and Layla. . .seriously. . .it's a disgrace to have these two even labeled as "pro's." Kaval is another tremendous athlete that should be on the main roster as we speak and should be the winner of the show unless they have some gimmick planned like they did for Daniel Bryan. . .
Lucky Cannon coached by Mark Henry. . .nothing good or bad stood out in the short time he was shown. . .
Michael McGillicutty. . .coached by Kofi Kingston. . . .this is Joe Hennig, son of "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, grandson of Larry Hennig. I love Kofi Kingston, I think he's someone that has all the potential in the world to be a breakout, top talent for the next decade. . .but a coach, a pro?? If he has half the talent of the father he'll be the winner as Kaval will have his size working against him. . .
Alex Riley coached by the returning Miz. . .great choice as a personality to coach. . . .Riley came off as having an indy type gimmick in his short promo. . .what he can do once the bell rings remains to be seen. . .
Another tweak I'd make would be removing Matt Stryker as a host and replace him with a "pro" whose job it is to put over the issues / challenges / winners / losers / promos, etc. Stryker came off as a poor man's Ryan Seacrest
Just my two cents, and it might not even be worth that much. . .I'm looking forward to it. . .much more than the other three national programs. Worth noting that this could be the final season of NXT, as Smackdown will be taking the WWE position on SyFy (on Friday's) in October. Hopefully WWE can find a new home for this show, even if it's on-line. . .