NXT WTF: The first ten minutes were fucking absurd. They're making it even more up as they go along.
First, they did a complete 180 on the announcement two weeks ago that an NXT Rookie would be eliminated. No one was eliminated tonight. Instead, Matt Striker revealed that now, in another 6 weeks, the first elimination would happen, followed by three more each week until the final four remain.
The winner of NXT will receive a title match on a pay per view against any champion of his choosing (basically Money in the Bank without the briefcase or having to wrestle 9 guys in a ladder match).
So is that it, then, WWE? That's the format you're sticking to? It won't be something else next week?
Then they revealed the NXT Pro's Poll (it sounded like something dirty initially). These are the rankings based on the four criteria of quality of opponent, won/loss record, heart, and It Factor, except... the poll is a total work that had no bearing on those four criteria, or had any logic whatsoever based on the five episodes of TV we've been shown so far.
8)Darren Young 7)Michael Tarver 6)Skip Sheffield 5)David Otunga 4)Heath Slater 3)Justin Gabriel 2)Wade Barrett 1)Daniel Bryan
The crowd was generally not into any of this opening segment. Bryan mocked David Otunga's It Factor: "The truth is he can't wrestle", thus earning a Christmas card from me this year. Bryan also mocked Otunga's pants. He gets a Christmas gift from me for that.
WWE Pros 8 Man Tag Team Match: Smackdown Pros CM Punk, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, and Wade Barrett (substituting for the "injured" Chris Jericho) defeated RAW Pros William Regal, The Miz, Christian, and Carlito
Jericho on commentary ripping on Cole and Mathews was twice as entertaining as the match itself. Jericho even called the action, rendering Cole redundant and useless. Then Jericho interfered so Barrett could pin Christian. Chris Jericho is clearly the greatest mentor an NXT Rookie could ever have.
David Otunga won an 8 Rookie Battle Royal, earning the right to become the guest host of Monday Night RAW next week. Will Jennifer Hudson be there? What's the over/under on that? Otunga better wow everyone with the undeniable It Factor Charisma he keeps telling everyone he has or he's pretty SOL.
I should actually watch this at some point instead of reading recaps.
I will say though that as vehicles go, I think the show does a lot to showcase the FCW wrestlers they called up. But I also don't think it's a coincidence that two of the hottest heels in the business (Miz and Jericho) are on the show.
Jericho being a mentor to Barrett and speaking so highly of him does WONDERS for Barrett, and the Miz is providing great foil to Daniel Byran (what are the odds he wins and then challenges the Miz for a shot at the US title?).
You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
1) As if the fakeness of the "pros vote" wasn't obvious enough, they totally exposed it when Cole asked Jericho whom he voted for, and Jericho immediately said "Barrett" and Cole had to point out to him that voting for your own guy is against the rules.
2) I can be a bit prompous about grammar, as shown by my correct if pretentious-sounding use of "whom" above. I mention this because Striker was attempting to be even more pompous by using the word "whomever" at least twice. Here's the thing, though: you have to use it *correctly*. He kept saying "whomever wins". That's wrong, but thank you for playing.
3) If you're going to do a big fake "pros vote", and purposely make it so that the results don't correlate with the results we've seen so far, you really ought to take care to see that the fake votes don't correlate with whiteness! I'm not saying it was purposeful--I would in fact be shocked if it was--but I can't have been the only one who noticed that the top four was all white and the bottom four was mostly black (since they had pictures in the graphic), and it's just the sort of thing that someone could get offended about. This is probably low-profile enough that no one will care, but better safe than sorry. And insert joke here about Daniel Bryan Danielson being whiter than most wrestlers.
No complaints about the wrestling, which was reasonably good for an 8-man tag and a battle royal. If Otunga doesn't use his GM powers to give himself a shot at some title (and there's no good onscreen explanation of such), he'll look like a dumbass. I believe he's the first guest host who was an active wrestler. (Others ended up in matches, but they had no wrestling careers to advance.)
Originally posted by Peter The HegemonIf you're going to do a big fake "pros vote", and purposely make it so that the results don't correlate with the results we've seen so far, you really ought to take care to see that the fake votes don't correlate with whiteness!
Ha ha, I noticed that too, but mostly I was SHOCKED that Otunga was #5. He's top three at LEAST. They (and Daniel Bryan) say he "can't wrestle," but his 3-1 record says otherwise -- and it includes a pinfall on Daniel Bryan!
I'm confused by, in particular, the high ranking of Bryan, since it seems to run precisely counter to the story that they're telling with him.
Furthermore, I knew that Otunga would win the Battle Royale as soon as they announced that the winner would host Raw. The fact that he's the only one imaginable out of the eight who could host -- and by a really wide margin -- says a lot about him.
Anyway. Barrett is also great, and is who I'd rank #1. The relationship between Barrett and Jericho is actually kind of sweet and touching.
And, yes, Jericho was awesome on commentary. My favorite part:
Jericho: "Look at [Barrett] standing up there [on the apron], how majestic he is -- the Eagle! -- getting ready to take his prey down. Regal comes in -- a countryman of Wade Barrett. Regal, from Blackpool. Wade Barrett, from Manchester. CM Punk, from Chicago."
Josh: "I'm from Chicago, too!"
Jericho: "Josh Matthews, from Peoria."
Last 5 movies seen: Dead Man n/a - An Education **** - The Men Who Stare at Goats **1/2 - 40 Pounds of Trouble ***1/2 - Alice in Wonderland (1933) **1/2
I am just not feeling the love for Wade Barrett. Jericho is fantastic -- we all agree about that. Jericho could put over anybody. Barrett is probably the tallest, which Vince likes. It was slightly interesting when Regal seemed to like him better than his own Meathead rookie; but that really can't go anywhere unless we have a round of Musical Mentors planned for down the road. What am I missing with this guy?
I wasn't real crazy about the almost-all-pro match. I'm all for mixing up the pros with the rookies in matches. We want to see how the rookies adapt & interact with the pros. But the 4-man pro teams were all pretty random, & didn't give Barrett a chance to do much.
I'm still begging them to pull the trigger on the SES haircut for Darren Young!
And, although I'm generally a fan of Cole on commentary, he's sucking at this foray into "heel commentator". However better to run that experiment here than on the big show.
Barrett would have been a much better choice to win the battle royal. I would have loved watching his guest hosting job consist of doing Chris Jericho's bidding. It would have been the best Raw since...well...last night's.
There's no way Daniel Bryan doesn't win this competition. It's the WAY he's winning that's going to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Does anyone EVER get over with a losing streak angle? Anyone?
So when Daniel Bryan wins, does he go for the Miz and the U.S. title or does he do the logical thing and go for the big prize? In a perfect world, the series would go full circle and end with a Bryan/Jericho rematch.
Originally posted by Peter The HegemonIf you're going to do a big fake "pros vote", and purposely make it so that the results don't correlate with the results we've seen so far, you really ought to take care to see that the fake votes don't correlate with whiteness! I'm not saying it was purposeful--I would in fact be shocked if it was--but I can't have been the only one who noticed that the top four was all white and the bottom four was mostly black
We noticed this in my house, too. Really, though, Tarver and Young are the worst guys on the show, and while Otunga deserves to be in the top three, the story they're telling demands he get placed lower so he can act offended by it (which, by the way, I thought he did a great job of last night). I guess what I'm saying is, I don't know that I could have done anything different in their position.
On another note, I like Wade Barrett alright, but they need to give him some mic time. He's got good presence, and he's pretty good in the ring, but I feel like I don't really know anything about the guy's character. He's too much of a blank slate.
Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon No complaints about the wrestling, which was reasonably good for an 8-man tag and a battle royal. If Otunga doesn't use his GM powers to give himself a shot at some title (and there's no good onscreen explanation of such), he'll look like a dumbass. I believe he's the first guest host who was an active wrestler. (Others ended up in matches, but they had no wrestling careers to advance.)
Batista was the very first one, but he was injured at the time.
Originally posted by emmaI am just not feeling the love for Wade Barrett. Jericho is fantastic -- we all agree about that. Jericho could put over anybody. Barrett is probably the tallest, which Vince likes. What am I missing with this guy?
What are you missing? Wade Barrett is majestic! He's like an eagle! He's most definitely the tallest of the NXT guys.
Barrett is also the brightest of the NXT guys, besides Daniel Bryan, judging by their Twitters. Barrett writes the most interesting blogs and has a personality NXT hasn't let him show yet. Worst by far is Skip Sheffield shooooot wut it do yep yep.
I gotta say, I've soured on NXT. I already know who I like and who I think should be on the main roster. The competition itself is anything but, makes no sense, and seems to drag something pointless out. If NXT goes a second season, WWE Creative should think long and hard about how they've bungled this idea they never thought through to begin with and decide what this show actually is.
I think I'm in the minority here, but I think Otunga as guest host on Monday was a baaad move. I agree that his gimmick is best suited to the job, but that's kind of the problem. From what I've seen on NXT, he's all talk. He and the announcers get himself over as having the most personality, but to me it seems forced. He wants to have a larger-than-life persona, but he can't quite fill the shoes yet. Having him host Raw is a big gamble. It'll make or break him indefinitely, and has a chance of exposing his gimmick as being full of hot air.
I don't think he'd have the ability to book himself for a title match, because technically none of the NXT guys have contracts yet, right? If you're not under a full contract and would possibly win the title, the "competition" would be null and void.
Is there any reason, given the criteria, that Heath Slater should be ranked so low?
At this point, given how little they've done with Tarver, I wish they would pull an angle where he starts getting involved with other people's matches in order to make a statement. Outside on going 6-0 now, I don't know how else he'd escape being the first elimination.
Bryan was blabbing wayyy too much last night. Since everyone was citing his charisma as his big drawback before NXT, he's taking every chance he can get to throw in a witty one-liner. He's like the obnoxious little brother I never wanted.
Other than Y2Js commentary, the best part of the night was the RUN NXT shirt.
Seems like they are making it up a LOT as they go along, with no real long term plans. I still like the camera angles better than the traditional hard camera. It just reminds me of the old Mid Atlantic days with the camera slightly above the top rope. Gives you more of a view of the ring than the straight on the side angles.
I actually really enjoyed this week's show, perhaps more than any week so far. I am biased by wanting Daniel Bryan to "win" it all, and by how entertained I was by Jericho sitting in with Cole and Josh. Cole in particular is awesome as the heel announcer when it comes to Bryan.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (myspace.com)
This week was the first in a while that it looked like they were actually doing some spontaneous stuff to try to give the rooks some more of that fire baptism. I don't think they'd done much of that since....well, since Episode #1, actually.
I'm sure Bryan got dinged for saying "Jeeeeeee-zus" - at least Striker cut him off before they had to mute a "Christ"
Next thing they'll learn is how to NOT eliminate anybody from the battle royal (oh, I think we can cross "battle royal" off the "banned terms" speculative list) during the commercial break...
The competition itself is anything but, makes no sense, and seems to drag something pointless out. If NXT goes a second season, WWE Creative should think long and hard about how they've bungled this idea they never thought through to begin with and decide what this show actually is.
I agree with all of this. I haven't watched many episodes (but wasn't watching a lot ECW either), but I did tune in part way this week to see who was eliminated and was lost for a bit.
As weird as it is, I think I could actually believe the list as being legitimately how the mentors voted, if they were voting on who they'd most like to work with. The guys seen as good workers are near the top, and the other guys are not.
But how does the voting actually work? To get rankings, you'd need the mentors to actually rank the trainees 1 thru 7 (leaving out their own guy). The announcers, and Jericho, implied they just pick a single person to vote for, which means there should be a lot of ties (especially for last place.) It would actually be a lot more exciting that way, especially if they had everyone do Survivor style confessionals about who they were voting for and why - that's the sort of reality show competition I thought they wanted out of this show, but haven't delivered on.
A lot of people are saying Otunga should be #3 but I would put him at the 4 spot behind Bryan, Gabriel, and Barrett (and as for my personal #1, it would be Wade Barrett because the guy can wrestle and can actually talk and make sense which is more than I can say for any other NXT rookie).
The format for NXT is questionable at best because they seemingly change the rules and stipulations every week now.
I like Wade Barrett but his finisher is just throwing someone on the ground from a fireman's carry position...he needs to have a different finisher, especially for a big man.
Bryan is good but I will agree or say that he doesn't have the "it" factor; Dave Otunga doesn't say too much so I don't know why he says he has got more charisma than any other NXT rookie or the "it" factor above everyone else (blame on the script-writing I suppose).
As for the winner, it makes me think of Bryan winning it and going after Miz's US Title but obviously we got some time to go now before the first official elimination.
The commentary on the show was funny because everyone was just taking jabs at each other with no one favoring someone else over the other.
I am not surprised Otunga won the battle royal and actually predicted him to win with him at #5 and something to prove and add to his "celebrity status".
First things first...welcome back to the CRZ recap, even if it's for one night only. How I've missed them. I'm assuming his recaps are like DX reunions - you know they're coming but ya never know just when.