A quick note about the date: NXT airs on Tuesdays in the US, I think (as far as I know it’s in the same time slot on the sci fi channel that ECW was in), but I’m Canadian and we get NXT on The Score, where it airs on Thursdays. So while it aired in the US a few days ago, I’m just getting it for the first time now.
– Opening Talky Segment
I didn’t see last week’s episode, so I have no idea what MVP and Percy Watson are talking about. Normally the WWE replays things ad nauseum, but in this case it would have been helpful. I don’t quite get why they set up MVP’s talk show set when there’s going to be a match right away, but the segment itself was decent. MVP and Cody Rhodes carried it, since Husky Harris isn’t very good on the mic and Percy Watson is just kind of boring. Husky Harris’ promo was almost good until he botched the end of it.
– Josh Matthews and Michael Cole
So is Michael Cole the heel announcer? But he’s the face announcer on RAW… ostensibly, anyway, since it seems like he and Jerry Lawler can’t decide which of them is the face and which one is the heel. I still don’t understand what the deal with Michael Cole’s Miz-boner is. God, if the Miz cashes in money in the bank and wins the WWE belt I wouldn’t be surprised if Cole just splooged all over ringside. Having the heel announcer do play-by-play is a bit of a twist, except that it means the face announcer is always in a weaker position, since the play-by-play guy naturally dominates the commentary. It doesn’t help that Cole’s idea of being the heel announcer is to just snark without any sort of wit.
– Husky Harris & Cody Rhodes vs. Percy Watson & MVP
Rhodes and Harris are my favourite pro/rookie combination so far, so I’m happy to see them in action. Husky Harris seems to be the best in-ring wrestler out of the rookies (at least that I’ve seen, keep in mind that I’ve missed about half of the episodes so far), and this match actually got some time to develop. I like the dynamic between Rhodes and Harris, with prettyboy Cody Rhodes supporting his looks-challenged henchman because he’s a beast in the ring.
– Miz/Alex Riley/Lucky Cannon promo
Generic babyface promo, generic heel promo, Miz ends up with all the heat.
– Alex Riley vs. Lucky Cannon
Well that… happened. Alex Riley puts away Lucky Cannon with a TKO in a match of Divas-esque length. Once again, The Miz ends up with all the heat after smashing Lucky onto the money in the bank briefcase.
– Morrison/Cottonwood/LayCool/Kaval promo
Boring. Eli Cottonwood has improved slightly by using the fact that he’s a freaking giant to his advantage, but other than that, meh. Also, could SOMEBODY give Kaval a personality? His promo is met with silence from the fans after he attempts to get cheap pops with name-dropping because somebody decided he should be the “I love you fans, we can do anything together!” babyface.
– Kingston/McGillicutty promo
McGillibuddies? I want to say I like this just to spite Michael Cole… but damn, that’s terrible.
– Obstacle Course Challenge
The challenges thusfar have been the weakest aspect of the show, but I don’t hate this one. It’s entertaining, visually, and there’s some decent character stuff happening. Alex Riley is a sore loser, Eli Cottonwood ain’t too bright, and Husky Harris rewards my favouritism with a great bit of development for his character. Smashing through the thing he was supposed to jump over and then swaggering his way through the rest of the course was both entertaining and really established his personality.
I can’t quite gauge who’s going to come out as the NXT champion, but I’ve gotta say that Husky Harris seems like a frontrunner. He’s weak on the mic, but his character and personality are engaging and he’s very good in the ring. With more practice on the stick or a manager I think he could do very well in the WWE. I want to root for Kaval because I’m a big Low-Ki fan, but goddamn is his gimmick bad. The rest of the cast seems like they could be serviceable WWEers, but I can’t see any of them getting the kind of push that winning NXT involves. Maybe add them to the Nexus if the WWE decides they want to replace some of Wade Barrett’s mooks.