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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S WWE NXT TV REPORT 3/2: Complete coverage of Week 2 for WWE's new show

Mar 2, 2010 - 10:05:00 PM
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WWE NXT TV Report
March 2, 2010 - Season 1, Episode 2
Taped in Wichita, Ks.
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


The second week of WWE's NXT show started with a highlight video package on last week's debut show focused on Daniel Bryan and The Miz's pairing. After the NXT intro on eight Rookies, eight Pros, and one dream aired, they went to the arena for R-Truth's music. Out came David Otunga behind him sporting a hoodie, shades, and jeans. Otunga ripped the jeans off and strutted to the ring to get his shine.

Backstage: Matt Striker was standing by in the back to talk about the NXT concept. Striker recapped the format of the show trying to impress the other Rookies and Pros. "Success or failure" is determined by a vote, he said. Striker added that no Pro can vote for or against his own Rookie. "Some will fade away into obscurity and some will garner success in WWE," he said. Good effort to offer more details, but there are still too many blanks to fill in on how/when the voting works. Back in the arena, C.M. Punk's music hit to bring out Darren Young with the Straight Edge Society. Michael Cole said Young requested the re-match after losing last week.

1 -- DARREN YOUNG (w/Straight Edge Society) vs. DAVID OTUNGA (w/R-Truth)

Young lasted longer than last week here, as he worked over Otunga with matholds. Meanwhile, Cole and Josh Mathews talked about Otunga garnering headlines last week after his debut. Young looked for approval from Punk, who simply shot him a "stop looking at me" look from underneath his dark black hoodie. They cut to break with Young in control.

[Commercial Break]

Back to the action, Young had Otunga in a headlock working him over on the mat. The announcers talked about Young possibly having a conversation with Punk during the week to help him out this week. Where's the video footage of that? Where's Punk pulling Young aside to talk to him about how to take down a guy like Otunga? This show is missing something more than just the usual WWE TV presentation. Otunga teased a comeback at 8:00, then scored a two count with a roll-up. Young clotheslined him to take control again, though. Cole repeated some of the rules Striker went over, adding nothing. Young and Otunga collided mid-ring, then Luke Gallows got in Otunga's face on the floor, which prompted R-Truth to get in Luke's face. The ref was distracted and back in the ring, Punk tripped Otunga. Young then hit Otunga with a spinning arm drag of sorts for the pin and the win. Punk then gathered the troops and casually walked away while Young celebrated the win. Meanwhile, Otunga shoved R-Truth and walked out of the ring upset with the loss.

WINNER: Young in 10:00. Well, both men have room to grow in the ring. The Rookie-Pro interaction was good at the end and in the post-match, but this show isn't quite what I had to mind. This felt like something you would see on your average ECW episode. (*)

[Q2]

Video package: Cole and Mathews fed to a video on Daniel Bryan making an impression last week. Cue up a Bryan showcase video ala Heath Slater and Michael Tarver last week. They showed magazine covers, clips from Japan, and some FCW footage. They focused on his submission arsenal. He talked about being trained by Shawn Michaels with early TWA photos. Bryan said he's really laidback in life and very focused on friends and family. Bryan said he's been waiting ten years for this opportunity and his goal is to headline WrestleMania. Bryan said he'll keep taking steps toward that goal and nothing will stop him from achieving his dream.

Announcers: Cole and Mathews picked up their argument last week on-camera. Cole said Bryan hasn't impressed on the WWE level yet. Mathews said Bryan impressed last week against Chris Jericho in the NXT main event. They rolled footage of the suicide dive spot into the announce table and played up Bryan refusing medical coverage. Mathews said Bryan took Jericho to the limit last week. Cole disagreed and talked about Miz teaching Bryan a lesson

Backstage: They showed Bryan being tended to by a medic, then Miz walked in to talk to Bryan about learning a valuable lesson that he is dirt, scum, and nothing in WWE. "You will respect me as your mentor," Miz said. He told him his next lesson is that even with a boo-boo, he has to compete. Miz told Bryan he's up against Jericho's rookie Wade Barrett...and it's next. He slapped Bryan on the side before leaving. The medic then taped up Bryan for the taped ribs gimmick.

[Commercial Break]

During the break: Striker approached Otunga backstage to ask what happened. Otunga said he was about to win, then Punk grabbed him by the foot. R-Truth then jumped into the interview and told Otunga that it doesn't work like that around here. They had a shoving match, then Truth and Otunga started brawling in the walkway area. It took three refs to separate them with the fight still going on. "Hey man, this is Versace!" Otunga shouted in the melee. Nice development.

In-ring: World Hvt. champion Chris Jericho walked out on stage sporting a freshly-pressed suit. Wade Barrett then walked out behind Jericho and stood next to him. Jericho told the failures to meet the new success story in WWE: Wade Barrett. Cue up a highlight video package on Barrett with the sit-down interview from FCW with Wade sporting a fancy suit. Wade talked about needing to make money where he can beat people up. He said he wants to win a contract and fatten his bank account. Back to the show, Wade was in the ring and Jericho was on commentary. The Miz's music then hit to bring out Daniel Bryan with the taped ribs. Mathews asked Jericho about Bryan taking him to the limit last week. Jericho put over Bryan for wowing crowds around the world, but not in WWE yet.

2 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. WADE BARRETT (w/World Hvt. champion Chris Jericho)

The super-tall Barrett immediately went to work on Bryan's injured ribs, which Jericho said were his instructions to him this week. Cole talked up Bryan working hard and Jericho said there's a fine line between bravery and stupidity. They cut to a shot of The Miz and Carlito watching backstage on a monitor. Bryan then side-stepped Barrett and Barrett flew to the outside, which drew a pop. Bryan followed with a running knee smash on the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan tried a springboard move, but slipped to the mat. They sold it as the injured ribs causing the slip. Barrett then hit a finishing move for the pin and the win.

[Q3] Post-match: Jericho entered the ring and slapped on the Walls of Jericho on Bryan to add insult to injury. Bryan sold injuries as Jericho and Barrett celebrated the successful night at the office while Cole continued to downplay Bryan on commentary.

WINNER: Barrett in 3:00. They're trying to build sympathy for Bryan here, and the crowd was responsive when Bryan landed the offensive move sending Barrett to the floor mid-way through. They also effectively covered for the top-rope slip. I understand what WWE is trying to do with the whole "break 'em down and build 'em back up" process on TV, but if they tear him down too much, it leaves little room for rebuilding. (*)

Later tonight, it's a tag match with Matt Hardy & Justin Gabriel vs. William Regal & Skip Sheffield.

[Commercial Break]

Raw Rebound: Shawn Michaels's music played leading to footage of Michaels's show-opening speech, Triple H's pep talk, clips of WrestleMania 25 vs. Taker, their tag title match, Undertaker's mind games costing DX the tag title match, and finally Sheamus attacking Triple H.

Announcers: Cole and Matthews talked about Sheamus assaulting Hunter and talked about finding out the motivation behind that next week.

Last week: They showed clips of the tag match on the show with Christian & Heath Slater defeating Carlito & Michael Tarver.

Earlier today: Slater talked himself up in the gym while Christian was finishing his workout. Christian said Slater needs to learn the difference between confidence and overconfidence. He said he likes him, but he needs to see more. Cue up a seated shoulder press with Christian telling Slater he's evaluating him along the way. I thought we would see more of these segments, but in a different presentation with a "reality show" camera shot rather than the usual "backstage talking segment" camera shots typical for Raw and Smackdown.

Backstage: Justin Gabriel was standing by with Matt Hardy to talk about being excited to be paired with Hardy. Gabriel had wings on the back of his solid white outfit. Get it? He was an Angel in FCW. Anyways, Hardy talked up Gabriel reminding him of a young Matt Hardy.

In-ring: William Regal and Skip Sheffield came to the ring with Sheffield trying to play to the crowd while Regal's ominous heel music played. Cole said he had a good story to tell after the break.

Next Monday: Vince McMahon vs. John Cena. "He may be manipulative and obsessive, but he's not dumb," the voice-over man said. They're plugging first-time-ever between Cena and McMahon with Criss Angel guest-hosting next week.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Regal and Sheffield were standing in the ring with Regal unhappy to be standing within two feet of Skip. Cue up a Sheffield video package profiling the "crazy, cornfed meathead." Skip said he's not the smartest man in the world, doesn't know much, but he's an entertainer and he's darn good at it. Muscle with Hustle. Skip said when he goes to the ring, he serves up knuckle sandwiches and slices of humble pie. They showed photos of Skip as a fan back in the day standing next to a life-size Shawn Michaels cut-out. He said his catchphrase: "Yep Yep Yep what it do?"

In-ring: Cole went nuts trying to make sense of what Skip said. Oh, Mike. Cue up Matt Hardy's music to bring out Hardy and Justin Gabriel. Gabe has a real nice look and oozes babyface charisma. Cole recapped a conversation with Regal about Skip, with Regal saying Skip's "workrate is not there" and his personality is like an open grave. "Workrate" on a WWE show?

3 -- MATT HARDY & JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. WILLIAM REGAL & SKIP SHEFFIELD

Cole tried to prove "he's hip" by knowing who Adam Lambert is from last year's American Idol, with Gabriel drawing comparisons to Lambert. Gabriel worked on Skip early on before Hardy tagged in and they double-teamed Skip. Gabriel then tagged back in and ran off Hardy's back for a corner splash on Skip. Cole said it looked like the old Hardys. Cut to break with Hardys v.2 in control.

[Commercial Break]

Back to the show, Regal was working on Gabriel taking him apart. Regal cut off Gabriel's comeback attempt before blasting him with hard left forearms in the corner. Regal followed with an exploder suplex before telling Skip this is what he needs to do. In the meantime, Gabriel rolled to his corner and Hardy tagged in. Regal capitalized by attacking Hardy and knocking him to the floor. Regal and Skip then engaged in a conversation as Hardy continued to sell injuries on the floor.

[Q5 -- over-run]

At the top of the hour, Skip tagged in and landed power offense before doing the Skip Shuffle and landing a big splash after a little shake dance. Nice. This is my kind of guy. Skip then rammed Hardy into the heel corner and tagged in Regal. Regal and Skip worked over Hardy, who came back with a neckbreaker on Skip. Regal then called for a tag and cut off Hardy. "Don't mess around doing stupid stuff!" Regal shouted at Skip. Regal then landed a left hand to the forehead and Hardy dropped to the mat. Suddenly, Hardy hit a desperation Twist of Fate and tagged in Gabriel, who landed a big 450 splash from the top rope. Beautiful. Gabriel with the pin and the win. Post-match: WWE replayed the 450 splash a few times and showed Gabriel and Hardy celebrating the win in the ring.

WINNERS: Hardy & Gabriel in 11:00. Felt like your typical Tuesday night ECW TV match, with NXT becoming just a different version of ECW with some different tweaks and wrinkles and a format to introduce eight new stars. That said, Skip has an engaging personality and Gabriel looks like a star. He has the look and the Evan Bourne finishing move to have the appearance of a total babyface package. (**)

Backstage: Striker was standing by with the other six NXT rookies with Striker plugging that one of these six men or the other two in the ring will become breakout stars. Carlito then walked in and chewed some apple. He stared down Bryan, who looked like he was about to puke while selling the ribs. Carlito then spit the apple in Heath Slater's face. "That's cool," Carlito said. Slater wasn't happy and shouted back, "You're going to walk away like that? ... That's cool?" Striker closed: "That's NXT." End show.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "NXT TV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on NXT, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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