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The W - Pro Wrestling - NXT #11 5-4-10 "Obstacle Course"
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Karlos the Jackal
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The City of Subdued Excitement

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
This week's Rookie Challenge is an obstacle course! The prize is immunity -- the winner of the challenge can't be voted off next week!

  • Monkey Bars (scaffolding over the entrance ramp)

  • Suspended ladder, ring the bell at the top

  • Run down the entrance way, through the crowd and up the steps

  • Drink a soda

  • Run back down the steps and into the ring

  • Juggle two balls for five seconds

  • Do that Dizzy Baseball Bat thing

  • Push a large equipment case (on wheels) back up the ramp and over the finish line


Up first is Daniel Bryan, with taped ribs from last night's Batista-bombs. He struggles but grimly carries on. He wastes the most time drinking the soda; Michael Cole (who is, mostly, grudgingly respectful) points out that Bryan doesn't like soda, and he's sipping it like a cup of tea. Bryan finishes in 2:45.

The Miz comes out and is ASTOUNDED at how LAME Bryan is -- and also informs him that he's putting his losing streak up against Michael Tarver's -- next!

Daniel Bryan vs. Michael Tarver: Tarver gets in some good hits early, focusing on Bryan's ribs. When Bryan gets going, though, he gets going good -- at one point getting Tarver on his knees and just kicking the CRAP out of him.

Bryan suplexes Tarver and goes for a pin -- two only -- switches to an armbar! Tarver, in the armbar, MUSCLES Bryan into the air and SLAMS him down -- nice. Tarver gets Bryan up again, this time for a powerslam with a little twist to it -- there's the pin.

Tarver is STUNNED by his first win. Carlito comes in to congratulate him, and encourages him to lift up Bryan -- so that Carlito can give Bryan the Backstabber! Bryan is now 0 and 10.

In back, CM Punk lays down the law to Darren Young regarding Young's suggestion last week that he wanted to take on Punk. Darren want to make an impact -- but Punk cautions him not to try and do it on Punk's back. Young needs to figure out who he wants to be.

Heath Slater is next, and finishes up in 1:37.

Darren Young's turn and he's pretty clumsy -- falls off the monkey bars, trips over the barricade coming back to the ring. Can't juggle -- none of them can, so far -- but I don't get the point of having a timed segment in a time trial anyway. He goes over two minutes but still beats Bryan.

Justin Gabriel takes his turn -- he's very quick and agile, but he makes up the most time in the soda drinking segment, which interestingly is the part that takes the longest for most guys. (It occurs to me at this point that this would be a good place to rig it -- give the guy half a cup of soda instead of a full cup and he's got a huge advantage that we at home can't perceive.) Gabriel can juggle, too, showing off by juggling the two balls one-handed. He finishes with 1:29 -- the new time to beat.

David Otunga is next, and also slips off the bars. He does well on the rest, but 1:35 only gets him second place.

Otunga is disappointed to hear that his match is next!

David Otunga vs. R-Truth: Otunga's power is overwhelming at first, but Truth's speed and experience are too much for Otunga. Once Truth starts dodging, Otunga can't land a blow, and Truth runs rings around him before putting him away with the corkscrew back-elbow.

Wade Barrett tries the course next. He falls from the monkey bars twice, blaming sweaty hands, complains to the ref, and walks off. Disqualified!

Skip Sheffield is up next. He lumbers through the first part, but slams the soda and finishes up with 1:31 -- a very close second place.

Michael Tarver is the final contestant, and despite falling off the bars a couple of times, he surprisingly keeps going! Well, until the soda segment -- he has trouble getting it down and finally quits.

Justin Gabriel is the winner, and is immune from being voted off!

I don't know how rigged it was, if at all, for most of the guys. The times were mostly pretty close, and as long as the guys who are most in danger of elimination -- Tarver and Bryan, both of who threw the challenge -- don't win, it probably doesn't matter who gets immunity.

Now everyone is at ringside and Matt Striker asks Tarver who he thinks should be eliminated. Tarver says it should be him -- for the safety of the other rookies! As long as he's there, none of them are safe.

Skip Sheffield agrees with Tarver -- that he should be sent home, not that he's dangerous. Slater agrees as well. Otunga and Gabriel argue amongst themselves while Barrett fourths the Tarver takedown. Ouch.

Bryan, bucking the trend, humbly suggests that he should be eliminated -- his win/loss record speaks for itself.

Darren Young says it won't be him because he wants it more than anyone else -- "more than YOU, more than YOU, more than YOU," he says, going down the line -- until he gets to Barrett, who pie-faces Young away. Young takes umbrage and charges Barrett, but Barrett gets him in a headlock and they both go down. Ref try to separate them and we're done for another week.

--K

(edited by Karlos the Jackal on 5.5.10 0133)


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Since: 28.2.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.58
I could have DIED laughing when Miz admonished Bryan for failing the obstacle course: "You don't use INJURIES as an excuse, EVER!"

Doctor's Note! http://www.backofthehead.com/​​2010/​​05/​​doctors-​​note.html

Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan, the two guys who nominated themselves for elimination next week (Tarver was kidding but everyone believed him, to his chagrin), were tossed in the ring against each other. And then it turns out Michael Tarver vs. Daniel Bryan was BY FAR the best match between two Rookies we've ever seen on NXT. That was a terrific match. They fucked each other up. After I saw that match, I don't think EITHER man should be eliminated.

Tarver actually seemed like a new man. Cole and Mathews even brought up how suddenly motivated he seems. When motivated Tarver is actually a really good heel, and he seems to have ability. He also has the best T-shirts on NXT. That has to count for something in the Pros poll.

Can we all agree by now that David Otunga is the most worthless in-ring wrestler that has graced a WWE ring in many a moon? He is absolutely terrible in the ring. Just by his wrestling, Otunga deserves serious consideration for elimination. The guy can't wrestle. His gimmick is arguably the best of the NXT Rookies but should that be enough to save him from elimination when he's such a piss poor wrestler?

That looked to me like a real fight at the end between Barrett and Young. When they went at it, I thought to myself, "Wade Barrett is gonna kill this guy!" That seemed to be the referees' opinion as well as they piled on top of Barrett to stop him instead of Young.

Honestly, I'm not sure who they eliminate. I can make a case for everybody except Slater, Gabriel, and Barrett (who quit the challenge this week, a big no no).

My gut says Bryan is out - but whether or not that occurs will indicate to me whether NXT eliminations are shoots (like the challenges seem to be) or part of the work like the rest of the show is.

(edited by John Orquiola on 5.5.10 0501)

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Chourico








Since: 18.7.02
From: Brantford, Ontario, Canada

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.93
It's difficult to predict who will be eliminated, as so much of it is scripted. Obviously they had a reason to give Daniel Bryan a winless record for the entire competition thus far, not that I understand what that reason is yet.

Tarver hasn't shown much at all until tonight, so I do think he is most at risk. Otunga has a good look, but I haven't been impressed with him in the ring or with his promos. Slater someone else summed up perfectly with "the one bland rock band". Young looks so much like John Cena facially to me, and he's alright if average. Gabriel is a good worker with a pretty boy look, so he's solid. Sheffield's gimmick doesn't seem to suit him, he should be more of a bad-ass than a redneck. I know so many people love Wade Barrett, and he is a great talker, just something about him doesn't click with me so much. Bryan is a great worker, and I think he's fine at promos, but like I said earlier, I'm not sure what story they are trying to tell with him.
The Game
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Since: 5.5.09

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.30
A 1 hour show and most of it was spent on an some "obstacle course"? The 2 matches were pretty brief and I sure as heck hope Barrett is not turning into the next Tarver because Wade Barrett in my opinion is head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of in-ring ability and the all important mic skills.

In terms of in-ring wrestling, I will agree with John Orquiola that Dave Otunga is pretty worthless. His gimmick I will not give so much credit for just because his gimmick is focused on his connections and take that away and what do you have? A pretty worthless wrestler and an even more worthless gimmick.

I think Tarver will and should be the first eliminated. The guy's gimmick and persona never matched what he did in the ring. He says he is the most dangerous rookie and says he has proved it but what exactly has he done?

These obstacles or challenges have nothing to do with becoming the "next breakout star" and I honestly don't see NXT having another season the way the WWE keeps butchering it every week. However, my curiosity to what happens next week keeps me watching it which may be the glue for the show after-all.
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Since: 2.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.26
I don't buy the challenges being shoots, but I don't buy NXT being a "competition" either, cynical codger that I am.

Skip Sheffield is sneaking up and impressing me though. He's slowly improving, has a bit of a personality, and I'd watch NXT to see him destroy Otunga and Slater.

Thought it was strange that Otunga stressed "Gay" so much when he said Justin Gabriel last night. WWE should be too smart to allow that if it was planned and even if it wasn't planned (CRZ convinced me a long time ago that if it's on TV it's a work) it demonstrates 3rd grade level wit on the part of Otunga.



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JustinShapiro
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Since: 12.12.01
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.53
    Originally posted by The Game
    Wade Barrett in my opinion is head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of in-ring ability


Everyone?


GameCrazy
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Since: 13.1.10
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.60
At times, I hate to admit it, but I'm a really big fan of this product. Yes, the competition stuff can be shiteous, but it's crash TV. If it weren't live, that would eliminate about 75% of the fun of watching it. But as it stands, it's enjoyable if for no other reason than to see to what extent it's a shoot or a work, and to see how badly they guys flub things up. WWE is pretty brave for putting this on TV, since their amount of control over what happens is limited when the NXT rookies have to give an impromptu promo or do a physical challenge. Even when it comes to the wrestling, yes they all have a certain level of prior experience unlike Tough Enough, but they're still mostly very green. The margin for error is high, and watching them sink or swim is compelling. I care more about these guys within a couple of months than I do about some of the midcarders WWE has had around for a couple of years. A lot of them have potential, they just aren't quite sure what to do with it yet. After watching the whole season thus far, I rank their in-ring ability (which, to me, is a reflection of how much I enjoy watching them wrestle) like this:

1. Bryan - Awesome arsenal of moves, knows how to sell, good in-ring strategy, good sense of how to pace a match, makes others look good.
2. Gabriel - Really fun to watch on offense, probably the least sloppy of anyone other than Bryan, sells alright.
3. Tarver - I had faith that it was there with him, and last night he showed it. I don't think he's absolutely settled on what kind of wrestler he wants to be, but his skills are really solid, he sells well, and he puts a lot of personality into his wrestling.
4. Barrett - It kills me to even rank him this low, because I really like him. He looks like he has a good in-ring ethic and really solid mechanics, and he knows how to wrestle to his size's advantages. Unfortunately, he can be a bit TOO slow and methodical and he needs to put some character into his work.
5. Young - I don't really have anything bad to say about his ringwork, I just don't have anything great either. He's solid in just about every department, but nothing stands out. He wrestles like the generic mid-carder he would probably end up being. He comes out with something fresh about once a match, and the rest is just there. Not bad, just not stellar.
6. Sheffield - I really want to like him, and I think he moves well for the mass he carries. So far, he's been sloppy at times, but when he really plants a power move, it looks great. He could be a beast if he plays to his strengths.
7. Slater - He just absolutely bores me to snoresville. Everything about his wrestling comes off lazy and half-assed. I can't say that my dislike for his persona doesn't rub off on how I view his ring work, but that's part of the package deal so there it is.
8. Otunga - Just abominable. I actually love watching him wrestle to see how badly he fucks up. I love to hate him when he's in the ring, and not in the way they want me to. I'm worried he may really hurt himself or someone else in there. This guy is riding on gimmick alone, and it's not pretty.

On the other hand, in terms of character and mic skills, I rank them like this:

1. Barrett - He's unequaled on his mic skills. He's eloquent and well-spoken, which is essential to his gimmick. He doesn't have a ton of charisma, but just his look in combination with his mic work makes up for it.
2. Tarver - I said it a couple weeks ago, and I still stand by it. Tarver could be an amazing Booker T-style heel. He messes up his promos because he talks in circles and doesn't really know how to verbalize what he's trying to get across. But in today's wrestling world of everything being scripted, that's an easy fix. He oozes personality, and has Heel Reactions 101 mastered.
3. Sheffield - Another one who could be great if given some direction. He's been a face most of the time, and even though his catchphrases can be a little obnoxious, they reflect who he is and the fans buy into it. He comes off as extremely likable, which goes a long way. Even when he teased a heel turn the other week, it looked like he could really play it up and get into it. He has MASSIVE monster heel potential.
4. Bryan - He's been played off as a face the entire time, and does fairly well on the mic. He occasionally strikes me as being a bit bratty, and I think if he ran with that, he could be a great Jericho-esque heel. Make everyone tap out, and whine about everything. As a face, he's a little vanilla, but he has a lot more personality than Michael Cole wants us to think he has.
5. Otunga - I really hate him, but when compared to the last three guys on this list, he has more mic ability. He's got a bit of a slow drawl, almost like he's thinking everything through verrry hardly as he says it, but he puts personality into his mic time even if it lacks oomph.
6. Young - Nothing special, but he's not bad either. The SES angle saves him from being ranked lower, in my eyes. He can talk, but not extraordinarily well. Just enough to serve his purpose. I don't think he knows what he wants his character to be yet.
7. Slater - Really, really bland. At times even bad. I don't think the lights are on upstairs.
8. Gabriel - Has the unfortunate combination of having nothing interesting to say AND not being able to pronounce it correctly because of his usually thick accent. Do not let him anywhere near a mic. His personality is also just genero-Generation X type stuff, which has been enough for the fangirls and the young kids, and I guess that can do well enough for him.

So yeah... Interesting that the two people that are most in danger of going home next week, Bryan and Tarver, are in the top half of both my lists. I unfortunately think it's gonna be Tarver, since they'd have a really hard time justifying keeping Bryan around if he's eliminated and they've placed WAY too much focus on him for him to be the first one out. I think Tarver was just cursed with underexposure. If it were up to me, I'd rather see Otunga or Slater go. Otunga because I'm afraid he'll hurt someone, and Slater because I just don't get why he's been given as many opportunities as he has considering his bland EVERYTHING.

Sorry for the long posting, I was bored alone at work all morning.
Loosie
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Kitchener, Ontario

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.18
I'm still not impressed with Tarver, and I think he'll be the first to go.

I really think last night should have been Bryan's first win, but I guess were holding that back a little bit longer.

The challenges haven't been meaningful, with the exception of the 'talk the talk' challenge. I think the fact that Bryan, Otunga and Barrett have all competed on RAW shows that they are the 'top picks' by the WWE but man I can't stand Otunga and he sucks in the ring too.

I guess we'll just have to 'tune in next week'



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wannaberockstar
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.76


I noticed that too and I thought that they missed a perfect opportunity for Bryan to bring that up.

I think it's good to know that WWE is competing with TNA for the coveted award of being able to put on the worst show of the week. I can't understand why they would question why the show is tanking when part of it involves watching someone drink a drink on television.

I will agree with everyone else about Tarver/Bryan - that was a pretty decent match (even if I still can't fathom where they're going with the whole winless thing). Also, wouldn't it have been better to determine immunity with, oh I don't know, a series of WRESTLING contests? They used a beat the clock challenge just last night on Raw - why wouldn't they decide that that would be a heck of a lot more entertaining then a Double Dare style obstacle course?
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
    Originally posted by wannaberockstar
    Also, wouldn't it have been better to determine immunity with, oh I don't know, a series of WRESTLING contests? They used a beat the clock challenge just last night on Raw - why wouldn't they decide that that would be a heck of a lot more entertaining then a Double Dare style obstacle course?
Because these challenges aren't supposed to be worked, and a beat the clock challenge is worked by necessity.

Clearly, booking the Tarver/Bryan match last night means it's all but guaranteed that one of them is gone next week, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's Bryan after all. After all, wins and losses either matter, or they don't - hopefully someone has already decided which philosophy will help the overall product in the long run. (Insert tired Meltzer "of course, this decision will change five times between now and then" joke/cliche here if you wish....smark)



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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.04
I thought the thought process the last ten weeks has been 'they're jobbing Bryan on purpose so when he beats Miz for the US title is a big surprise', the winner of NXT gets a title shot on PPV, and Bryan was #1 in the last poll. If he gets eliminated next week, I'd be stunned.



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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.12
    Originally posted by Psycho Penguin
    I thought the thought process the last ten weeks has been 'they're jobbing Bryan on purpose so when he beats Miz for the US title is a big surprise', the winner of NXT gets a title shot on PPV, and Bryan was #1 in the last poll. If he gets eliminated next week, I'd be stunned.


If Bryan's match against Miz at a PPV in the future will be his first win ever, after winning NXT without ever winning one single match, he will be what by then ... 0 and 40? That would be career suicide. It's bad enough as it is right now. He has to win soon. Either the U.S. title or some matches on NXT.
The Game
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Since: 5.5.09

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.29
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
      Originally posted by The Game
      Wade Barrett in my opinion is head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of in-ring ability


    Everyone?





I tried to elude to the combination of in-ring work with mic skills. Daniel Bryan has the best overall in-ring skills but Wade Barrett has solid in-ring skills and combine that with his mic skills, he is the complete package which no rookie on NXT really has.

(edited by The Game on 5.5.10 1840)
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.50
    Originally posted by wannaberockstar


    I noticed that too and I thought that they missed a perfect opportunity for Bryan to bring that up.

    I think it's good to know that WWE is competing with TNA for the coveted award of being able to put on the worst show of the week. I can't understand why they would question why the show is tanking when part of it involves watching someone drink a drink on television.


Yeah that was really awful. This was the first episode of NXT I've seen, and I tuned in right as someone, Heath Slater I think, was approaching the soda stand, and Cole was making comments about "the VEGAN Daniel Bryan" not being able to drink the soda fast enough. I made it to Darren Young, and the announcers made jokes that he was chugging a beer instead of soda because he fell coming over the wall by the ring. After that I muted it except for when there was a match on. It was pretty awful television.

This whole show is ridiculous. I'm hardly the first to say it, but all the signs that they are clearly making everything up on the fly, with no indication what the show is supposed to be exactly, combined with the weekly gimmicks that seem like something out of Real World meets Survivor, make for a pretty pointless show, based on what I've read and now seen. It sounds like it has gotten progressively worse, based on the comments on here.



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Since: 17.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.85
People are giving Sheffield way too much credit, and I think he will be the first elimination. Tarver is a close second. I would be stunned if anybody else goes, especially Bryan. There is no way that WWE wants to end this Bryan vs. Cole storyline this quickly, as this week Cole has started to slowly warm up to Bryan.

I love this show in all its terribleness, but you have to be doing something else while NXT is on. I guess this is akin to TheBucsFan's thoughts. If I had to sit there and watch eight people do the same obstacle course, I would go insane. But if I can have it on in the background and only look over if Josh or Cole say something funny, I can "watch" NXT all hour.



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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23

As I said when they did the keg race, it gave me flashbacks of the Diva Obstacle Course and how some of those girls almost killed themselves trying to climb over a wall.



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CruelAngel777
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Since: 7.4.02

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.95
I keep coming in here each week to read "Wow, what an awesome match between those rookies. It reminded me of a Jericho vs. Eddie match during Wargames yadda yadda..."

Drink a soda? Monkey bars? Winless streaks still going strong for the guy with the most credibility? What the what is wrong with this show?! It started with such promise. Why can't they just wrestle? It's like a Nickelodeon version of Tough Enough.
The Game
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.29
    Originally posted by CruelAngel777
    I keep coming in here each week to read "Wow, what an awesome match between those rookies. It reminded me of a Jericho vs. Eddie match during Wargames yadda yadda..."

    Drink a soda? Monkey bars? Winless streaks still going strong for the guy with the most credibility? What the what is wrong with this show?! It started with such promise. Why can't they just wrestle? It's like a Nickelodeon version of Tough Enough.


A Nickelodeon version of Tough Enough...that might actually be the best way of describing the show up to this point; unless they turn the show around somehow, I honestly do not see NXT making it to a 2nd second.
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.87
Sing this special song. It's just for you.
    Originally posted by CruelAngel777
    It's like a Nickelodeon version of Tough Enough.
It's time to replace Striker with Mark Sommers.

Go back to the first five episodes before this became the Heva Search, Tarver was given nothing to do. Nothing. But you know what? Carlito's been in need of a new Jesus for a while, DiBiase wants a Virgil 2.0, and there are two free floating members of Cryme Tyme... To bring him up slowly, Batista style and get him away from this mess wouldn't be the worst thing.

And since they're making this up as they go along, why not reshuffle the lower ranked guys among the pros after next week?

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.61
NXT is all, but shitcanned anyway when Smackdown makes the jump in October. Sure, the web series idea is interesting, but that is what 10-20% of the audience they are getting now. Its not that Daniel has a losing streak its the way he is losing. His loses are mostly clean and not through Miz screwing him over. They turned a guy who should be a good solid property for them into a jobber who is somewhat charismatic. He's Santino.
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