WWE NXT 22/06/10 Oh Yeah!!

I am wild and free just like the Rookies. Ashley Valance will do for me.

In Ring – Voting opens, half for us mere mortals the other half for the mortals, I can only help but think that surely this just means that if they don’t like the way the Public Vote is going then they can just manipulate the vote for what VKM believes is best. Introducing the Pro’s takes a wee while doesn’t it?

Match #1

The Miz & Alex Riley v MVP & Percy ‘Showtime’ Watson

Poor Eric ‘Showtime’ Young, oh wait its OK he’s NWO now! Anyway, Miz & Riley out first followed by the hardest working face in WWE MVP, he works so hard for a pop and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. The Rookies start off, I can’t work out if Watson is meant to be a face or portrayed as a face with the potential to turn heel through sheer annoyance value, I can’t help but look at him and go ‘Eddie Murphy??’ Watson and Riley start off; Riley wins the opening exchange with a shoulder block and with a nice heel move celebrates by sitting in the corner on the top turnbuckle. Watson comes back though wit h a couple of nice dropkicks and a headlock which sees MVP in who promptly throws Riley out of the ring.

Ooooo Miz isn’t happy, ‘You need to beat a star to be a star’, Riley doesn’t go for this and tags Miz in which leads to Watson coming in to make the point that he’s a face and he wants to beat a star. A quick bit of heel double teaming and Watson is down. We enter the ‘rest hold zone’ to build to the finish, Watson makes it to the corner and MVP throws out the move set, I really don’t like the two handed throat chop, it looks goofy, anyway we get to the Ballin’ elbow, it hits. However a nice touch saw Miz screaming at Riley he has got to move; that gives the move more impact and also shows a relationship between Rookie and Pro. Riley hols the ropes and that brings Miz and Watson in, Watson gets some serious air on a jumping clothesline, and then perhaps spends a little too long showboating before going for a nice twisting splash. Riley comes in to break up the 3 which leads to MVP taking him over the top. Miz is up first and a slingshot and SCF later and his team get the Win.

Verdict – Good opener there is definitely something good about both these Rookies, I would like to see more from Riley in the ring as at the moment his move set seems a bit generic.

Josh Matthews and Michael Cole give us some blah and we get a Titus O’Neil package, his story sounds remarkably like R-Truth’s except less gangsta. He’s got a nice back story but I’m not over excited.

Match 2 – WooWooWoo you know it! I like Zack Ryder. Boom Boom Boom Kofi retorts.

Titus O’Neil v Michael McGillicutty

This was short, really short, they explained the name issue, which was a smart move, it’s nice he loves his mummy. I actually don’t mind the name. The match was basically Titus being big and strong and in the end going for one move to many with the splash and Double M getting his knees up. There was a botch with what looked like a crucifix attempt which was half covered by the announcers. Matched finished with MM hitting a neck breaker with a great deal of snap on it, I was impressed with that manoeuvre.

Verdict – Not long enough to judge but I am struggling to see any difference between Titus O’Neil and Ezekiel Jackson.

In amongst all the promotional work for WWE.com and the PPV theme tune we get a Tale of the Tape for Kaval v Eli Cottonwood. Basically Kaval is small, Cottonwood is big, or as Josh Matthews says ‘The Avatar v The Hurt Locker’, gotta keep it mainstream, anyway on to the match.

Match 3

Kaval v Eli Cottonwood

Kaval sure flies about the ring, though we knew this already, the armbar in the corner was a nice innovation and the reverse Warrior’s Way was a good way of showing that he was doing anything to get the bigger man down without giving away his finisher  as not being enough to end the match. Match ended with one springboard kick to many and Kaval getting caught and put into a reverse chokeslam. Faceplanted and that was game over.

Verdict – Short again, Kaval got enough offense to stop this turning into a squash but Cottonwood’s finisher needs some work, he seemed to take an age to grip Kaval’s neck, nice impact for the finish. My one question: WWE likes their big man to destroy jobbers, Cottonwood is on NXT, I doubt he is winning it, so what is going to be his hook? Cottonwood didn’t have to move anywhere, I think Kaval suited his T-shirt from Laycool, pink’s his colour.

Match 4 – Main Event

5 Minute Challenge – Cody Rhodes v Lucky Cannon

Rhodes cut a promo saying that he was going to prove that Cannon isn’t so lucky. A pretty nothing match, Cannon didn’t show anything that makes me think he will be anything more than a jobber, really don’t have a lot to say about this, very disappointing for a min event. Finish came when the rookie hesitated and Rhodes hit a sharp looking kick out of the corner and then Cross Rhodes with 1:02 to spare.

Verdict – Meeeh.

The Closing Arguments

Matt Striker went through the public vote aspect before passing on to the rookies for 45 seconds each. Alex Riley says he was a big bully at school and called everyone a nerd, he was good and confident on the mic. He wouldn’t shut up, nice and heelish as the buzzer kept honking. Kaval next, he is small and he has heart, he sounds a bit like The Undertaker. Titus O’Neil says he is like everyone else and he worked for everything he has before bigging up his achievements. Double MM up now he says he has no weakness, he is undefeated and he is the next breakout star, timed to perfection. Big Eli, he is seriously weird looking, like the alien in the farmer’s skin from Men in Black. He’ll hide in weeds and shadows: must be some huge weeds. It’s Percy, Oh yeah! Good times with WWE and he ain’t no quitter, Oh Yeah! He is pretty funny. Lucky Cannon was pretty boring, actually really boring, living the dream and loving USA blah blah blah. Husky Harris is last he doesn’t need 45 seconds, he just takes out Striker and hits the running senton he walks up the ramp with a smirk and into the pleased arms of Cody Rhodes.

Show closes with a replay and the other rookies helping Striker out the ring.

In conclusion: It was a good show; every rookie got some exposure, in ring Kaval impressed, while Double M, Riley and Watson definitely have potential. Watson definitely grew on me by the end of the show. I can see a Rhodes & Harris tag team, they look a good fit, and what about poor Matt Striker he keeps getting his ass kicked. Not sure what to expect next week other than the vote which they did make a point of getting across which was good.

My NXT Poll:

  1. Alex Riley
  2. Michael McGillicutty
  3. Percy Watson
  4. Husky Harris
  5. Kaval
  6. Eli Cottonwood
  7. Titus O’Neil
  8. Lucky Cannon

There you go the first of many I hope.

Chris

TNA v WWE MondayNightWars II

I’m a wrestling fan, last night I stayed up till 4am so I could watch the biggest night in wrestling history since Shane O’Mac popped up on Monday Night Nitro. That signalled the end of Monday Night wars I, could II be on the horizon. I’m still struggling to decide whether it was worth it. I primarily write articles about football, or as its called stateside soccer, and various other sports but I thought this was worthy of comment. What follows is my assessment of the night.

The Good
Bret/Shawn – It was emotionally charged, it was gripping it was tense, and you were just waiting for the superkick. I hope that that is the hatchet buried and if it is full credit to them. It may still be the greatest piece of Wrestling TV in 2010 by the end of the year.

TNA Knockout Tag Team Title Match – Just breathtaking, and when considered that at the same time Raw had Maryse against Conquistador Uno and Dos, sorry I mean the Bellas, it was a massive win for TNA. Fantastic ring work all round and unlike the earlier title change done really well.

Impact Zone Audience – Didn’t stop all night and it is amazing the difference that
live TV made to the atmosphere on the screen.

Christy Hemme – Lauren who?? All you can say is oooft.

Vince/Randy/Legacy – The Legacy have been searching for a storyline for about a year now is this going to be it, I like the look of where it is going. Also like that for a change WWE remembered recent history with Vince turning down Randy’s proposal. Feel for Kofi Kingston, hope there are big plans for his future.

AJ Styles/Kurt Angle – Should have finished the show with that. Angle permanently looks ill but boy he can still go. Counters, finishers, near falls, plenty of build. One black mark, the masked man shtick needs some direction and fast.

TNA Teases – What did Ric Flair have to do with AJ? Who attacked everyone? Who is the masked man? Is the nWo back? Brilliant use of teases to try and capture casual fans for the next episode.

The Miz – Did anyone else notice the crowd joining in with ‘I’m Awesome’, I liked that, and if the WWE are going to need to get edgier he could and should be a man to push.

Unified Tag Titles – Four men who knew they had to raise their game and they did, highly entertaining and hopefully the end of the Jericho to Raw campaign. I like Jericho but he can’t do everything although I’m sure given the chance he would.

The Bad

Ad breaks – Now I understand that Spike TV is a business and advertising revenue is a huge part of the survival of that business but my oh my, I think I counted 12 Mississippi’s in between ad breaks. At one point Kurt Angle had popped his hips and before AJ Styles hit the mat I was being advised to buy an 89 cent burrito. It was poorly edited and poorly done.

Triple H – Playing with a midget, then a disparaging aside about one of the greatest reconciliations in wrestling history. Childish, though the brainwashing maybe working, I thought Hornswoggle was quite amusing.

Sound edits – You cannot pitch a show to 18-34 year old males and then fuzz out the crowd shouting ‘This is Bullshit’, that in itself was bullshit.

The Introduction to TNA of Ric Flair – He comes in through the back door, shakes a few hands and then disappears into a locker room. If he was going to come to the ring during the AJ and Kurt match then surely he should have just come out with no introduction. Imagine the reaction, imagine the surprise, it would add even more intrigue as to why he was there.

Sean Waltman/Scott Hall – It was just lame. Hall is a mess, and I really, really, really hope he does not appear in a ring at any time. I got excited when Hogan said things were going to be different and there is no band. I hope they are only here for a short term angle to help Hogan establish he is determined to push the young guys.

The Beautiful People/ Strip Poker – A ratings grabber in 1992 not now, I was even disappointed with The Big Valbowski’s role in it all. And not being pernickety but do the TBP not always dress like that anyway, there was nothing new to see.

The WTF

The Nasty Boys – I really don’t feel like I need to say anything else, a jobber tag team from the WWF and while I’m on that since when was Orlando Jordan a Legend!! Though I have to say his appearance was worth it purely for The Pope calling him ‘Whoopi’, boy has Vince missed the boat with that guy.

Jeff Hardy – Well I guess he is done with WWE either way. If indeed he had failed a third test and was banned from the WWE for a year then Vince surely must have been aware that one of his biggest assets of 2009 would be at TNA. Full credit to TNA, that is plenty star power right there, I just hope they keep an eye on Jeff’s well being and if he is found guilty they do not glamorise his situation in anyway.

The End of Impact – They had an ideal opportunity to end on a high with AJ/Angle/Flair and Hogan congratulating them both and saying this is the future, perhaps bring out one more star from their back pocket to end the show. Instead we were transported 15 years in the past to some crappy backstage beat down of a bunch of guys who would qualify for SAGA Insurance (for over 50’s). And then of course Hogan at the end. It was such a damp squib.

The End of Raw – Speaking of damp squibs, WWE totally blew the Vince confrontation with Bret, it was so blatantly obvious what was going to happen and to end with a kick to the gut was just disappointing. What they should of done was, as Vince was backing up the ramp, the guitar hits and the Hart Dynasty appear, back him back down the ramp, into the ring, Vince grovels for Bret not to hit him, Bret just pats him on the head and walks away. Leaves Vince furious, angle continues, Bret Hart night ends with Bret with the upper hand and also goes towards elevating The Hart Dynasty.

So that’s my assessment, there were other things but that’s what stood out for me. Bobby Lashley is just boring, US Championship match was just there and the Steel asylum was a spot fest that never got started. TNA brought the star power but did nothing with it, though they did plant seeds for future stories. Raw was a normal flat raw save a couple of good matches and Bret Hart, what they needed was a big turn, a heel HBK/Triple H something to seal the deal. I just give the edge to TNA but they need a plan because at the moment it just seems to be throwing everything together and seeing what sticks.