The Miz slapped Daniel Bryan after making him cut a promo in the ring to "show personality". Bryan got a good line in about wishing his Pro was William Regal, but you get what you get.
Christian and Heath Slater (the team of Christian Slater) defeated Carlito and Michael Tarver when Christian pinned Tarver with the Kill Switch.
David Otunga (with R-Truth) defeated Darren Young (with CM Punk and the Straight Edge Society) in a squash.
Chris Jericho (with Wade Barrett) defeated Daniel Bryan. The Miz attacked Bryan afterwards.
For everyone who couldn't understand how NXT would be different from Tough Enough: NXT is a work. Tough Enough was real. No parameters were given for how a Rookie is supposed to "win" NXT. Some Pros liked their Rookies, others like CM Punk hated theirs.
Daniel Bryan was the main focus of the episode. I'd never seen him before and he's stunningly little, but I liked him. There was a nasty, ugly spot where Bryan dove through the ropes and Jericho tossed him ribs and kidney-first into the hard edge of the announce table. Bryan was visibly bruised (http://ow.ly/1aDqn), but almost made Jericho tap, before Jericho reached the ropes, countered with a Codebreaker, and whipped out the old school Lion Tamer to get the submission. Really good match and debut for Daniel Bryan.
The booking was weird. Why have Christian get the win over the opposing Rookie? What was with the weird, quick squash Otunga did on Young?
However, I loved how the Straight Edge Society hated their Rookie Darren Young. Punk even cut a promo: "I don't even know what I'm doing on this show." I especially loved how Serena hated Young, even though just a few weeks ago she was FCW too before accepting straightedge into her life.
The announce team was Striker backstage with Cole and Matthews doing the commentary. The point of Cole being there became clear in the main event when Cole completely shit over Bryan's accomplishments in the indies, said he'd "never even heard of him before NXT", and then shit all over everyone who blogs, Twitters, or reads dirt sheets.
It was pretty amazing that A) NXT went out of their way to acknowledge the Internet and smart fans and B) took a crap over all of them/us. But it was also savvy of WWE to place Cole as the ignorant, corporate voice of WWE regurgitating everything Vince McMahon was probably screaming into his headset while Josh Matthews extoled the virtues of the "smart" Internet.
Oh, Wade Barrett is a better Drew McIntyre than Drew McIntyre.
I liked it and it'll have me coming back each week.
While it's all a work, as JQ pointed out, they were definitely trying to mix in some reality. Case in point, Cole's corporate temper-tantrum during the main event. And it wasn't even what he was saying that was so annoying (although it definitely *was* annoying and more proof that the backstage culture is set in stone) but the manner in which he said it. Cole was on the verge of yelling and screaming. It was almost genuine anger he was spouting off there. A really confusing and annoying moment during a show that was pretty good.
As for the show itself, the Miz/Danielson stuff is gonna be good. I've read all the stuff about Danielson but never saw any clips of him. From what had been said, I was definitely expecting a Lance Storm-like mic presence. That wasn't the case. In fact, aside from the Stryker interview, he seemed really natural and comfortable and had a presence. He was definitely conveying emotion and annoyance. By the time the main event rolled around, and Cole said he agreed with Miz that Danielson's personality was like "watching paint dry", I could only disagree with that. Danielson came off looking real good.
The pairings also seem to fit, except for R-Truth and Otunga. Otunga has a great character and hate-ability, so I don't doubt he'll make it, but the R-Truth pairing is just odd. They didn't compliment each other at all. Truth just did his rapping/dancing schtick. The only chink in Otunga's personality armor was him sorta visibly trying to figure out how to have an entrance during Truth's hopping around.
Jericho/Barrett and Christian/Slater are natural fits and they're gonna be great. But man oh man, Punk and his rookie are just going to provide the comedy. For as good as it was, I don't think they even needed Punk's 30-second promo. His (and the Society's) facial expressions and mannerisms told the whole story. They're gonna be fun to watch.
(edited by BoromirMark on 23.2.10 2343)
Michigan against the SEC: 20-5-1 (7-3 in bowl games)
Jericho/Bryan was a fun six minute match, and if they give me more of those, I really don't care about anything else.
Cole came off as a lunatic and a heel and I'm not sure that was actually the idea. Even when he had points, he killed himself in how he was expressing it. Cole really did a good job of sounding out of touch and uninformed, but I'm not sure that's the way to go.
They probably should've made up some rules for this thing before debuting it. Like, how people win and why the veterans actually care, those sound like starting points.
Miz is now JBL and Bryan is now Miz. What a world.
The Otunga/Young match looked U-G-L-Y...UGLY! It looked like Otunga wanted to finish with the Ron Simmons spinebuster, but it got botched all to hell.
Man, Daniel Bryan's size is distracting. There were a couple of bad spots in that match, like when Bryan couldn't get the "clothesline over the top rope" spot. It was a decent match, but it won't win naysayers over, especially those within the E.
I can appreciate Cole's gimmick. It's cute and all. But isn't he supposed to be this company's top announcer (by default)? Why saddle him with that gimmick when Striker's RIGHT THERE? Hell, why not get Lawler in there instead? I'd have more fun listening to him rail against whippersnappers.
Wade Barrett gives me a serious Alan Rickman vibe.
John, I love that you caught the Christian Slater portmanteau. I'm disappointed that Cole and Matthews didn't.
EDIT: How bad is it that I'm going to keep calling him "Bryan Daniel" until I get it beat into my head otherwise? I'm turning into Jim Ross.
(edited by It's False on 23.2.10 2116)
I'm gonna let you finish, but my pink shirt demands your attention!
I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. It was good to finally see Daniel Bryan in the ring.
I'm pretty sure I don't care for the cutesy smarky stuff. I was sick of hearing Miz repeat "personality" and "charisma" over and over again. Then he started talking about catchphrases before giving us his bush-league "I'm awesome!" To me, he ended up coming off amateurish, while Bryan sounded like not a rookie. Maybe that was the point. I say this as a fan of Miz but someone who took awhile to come around on him.
Otunga is already a star. And I didn't even pay attention to the match.
Punk is a deity. Loved the sign in the crowd: "Every time Punk speaks...drink!"
The camera angles during the matches were really distracting.
(edited by Mr Shh on 24.2.10 0053) You askew my mirror. I askew yours.
Originally posted by Mr ShhThe camera angles during the matches were really distracting.
Oh, yeah, glad you noticed this thing and reminded me that *I* noticed this thing. What do you suppose the point of that is? Experimentation? Trying to trick the crowd into thinking this isn't the same arena? Was "NXT" misspelled on the ring apron and they didn't want us to see it? Boy, I didn't like this at all.
Now I'll say that ROH eventually got me ignoring the fact that they didn't have the kind of "hard camera" shot I was used to in my wrestling program, but I don't know if I'll get used to this.....or if they stick with that technique.
The camera shots seemed really close up to the ring, and I thought it may be a way of making sure the new guys tighten up their ring work, because the camera would be more apt to catch their moves showing light.
I honestly feel bad for Darren Young. I'm not sure if that's what they were going for, but it's looking like all he is is the FCW guy who drew the short straw to be the lukewarm body that Punk gets to bury and then get fired.
Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but it looks like they never even planned on giving him a chance in the first place.
I liked the show. I really enjoy watching up-and-comers and not-ready-for-prime-timers (yeah, insert your own TNA joke here), so this was cool.
Bryan looked good and I'm pretty sure they're going for Cole heel/Bryan face here, since Cole is siding with uberdouche Miz. I'm hoping Miz gets a Cattle Mutilation sometime soon.
Is that dive/table spot what was supposed to happen there? I only wonder because Jericho seemed to sell it more than Bryan, who basically shook it off and had to throw Jericho back into the ring.
I didn't have high hopes for Otunga, but oh man, his video promo was AWESOME. His delivery, his attitude, his back story -- all great. His spinebuster was really horrible, but after that package I don't even care.
I assumed the camera work was to give the show a more "indie" or "amateur" look, to emphasize the rookie aspect.
Barrett seemed really comfortable speaking in front of the crowd.
I thought, overall, they were very canny in sketching the personalities of the rookies very quickly in a few broad strokes. The nicknames help tremendously -- like "The One-Man Rock Band," "A-List," and "Mr. 1.9 Seconds." They've already done more to define these guys than they did with some of the guys who were called up to ECW.
(edited by Karlos the Jackal on 24.2.10 0240) Last 5 movies seen: The Informant! **** - Sherlock Jr. **** - Revanche *** - Standing in the Shadows of Motown *** - Sherlock Holmes ***1/2
The Miz slapped Daniel Bryan after making him cut a promo in the ring to "show personality".
Chris Jericho (with Wade Barrett) defeated Daniel Bryan. The Miz attacked Bryan afterwards.
There was a nasty, ugly spot where Bryan dove through the ropes and Jericho tossed him ribs and kidney-first into the hard edge of the announce table. Bryan was visibly bruised...Jericho...whipped out the old school Lion Tamer....
Cole completely shit over Bryan's accomplishments in the indies, said he'd "never even heard of him before NXT"....
I didn't see the program, nor do I know who Daniel Bryan is, but I'm betting that he's had better days.
Originally posted by BoromirMarkCole was on the verge of yelling and screaming. It was almost genuine anger he was spouting off there.
We're being encouraged to side with Bryan against the ignorance of Cole and the douche-tastic Miz, so not for a second do I think it's a serious or genuine knock on the chattering classes on the interwebs.
Originally posted by odessasteps I think, given the low ratings for the ECW timeslot had before this, the WWE probably thinks the only people are watching are smarks.
So, they fill the roster with "internet favorites" (Jericho, Punk, Christian, Regal), build it around Danielson and have one of the announcers be anti-smark.
I think the whole thing was aimed at working those who frequent the wwe.com message boards into quite the tizzy. Current threads on there include:
"Shut your mouth Cole!" "Josh Matthews tore Michael Cole apart!!!" "PLEASE replace Micheal (sic) Cole with Matt Striker!"
so it seems to be going just swimmingly so far.
Originally posted by thecubsfanThey probably should've made up some rules for this thing before debuting it. Like, how people win and why the veterans actually care, those sound like starting points.
The veterans care because they're competitors and they want to win at whatever they do. The Ultimate Fighter largely gets by on coaches motivated by little but a desire to win, or at least stick it to the other coach.
Explaining how a winner will be decided though, probably not the worst idea in the world.
I agree with Big Bad. I would much rather be in a main event position and have a so-so record than to win midcard matches. Jericho is WAY better off in WWE than he was in WCW. How about Booker T.'s record, though? That's the one that surprised me.