The May 11th edition of NXT, which promised its first elimination, actually surprised everyone, including the rookies, by eliminating three rookies instead of one. A sign of great television, or a desperate ploy to build ratings?
The so-called revolutionary concept devised by WWE paired eight wrestlers contracted to Florida Championship Wrestling with eight mentors from RAW and SmackDown in order to determine WWE’s next breakout star. NXT, the replacement for ECW, was considered a mystery for three weeks leading up to its premiere. However, after twelve weeks, not only has the ratings dropped, but the first round of eliminations only managed a 0.8 in ratings. That is a drop of .62 million viewers from its 1.70 million debut. The reason for this is, no one cares to see these rookies compete in meaningless contests; and the simple fact that the WWE Pros are no longer regulars on NXT.
When NXT first started, much controversy arose when WWE management paired Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) with The Miz. Danielson has been wrestling in the indie circuit for ten years, becoming known as the best technical wrestler in the world. The only thing that Danielson has failed to grasp is having a personality/charisma. That’s where The Miz was supposed to come in. Love him or hate him, The Miz has always been a topic of conversation within the WWE Universe by obtaining championship gold, and being a loud mouth. Along with his former tag team partner, John Morrison, Miz was able to hone his mike skills and become an international mega star. Far be it that I play down Danielson’s accomplishments, but without charisma he wasn’t going anywhere.
As of May 11th, Daniel Bryan was eliminated from NXT competition because of his remarks of feeling he should be eliminated the week prior. But Bryan Danielson brings up a valid point, how can a guy who took Batista (current #1 contender for WWE Title and multi-time World Champion) to the limit, not be able to defeat one rookie? According to the WWE Universe poll, fans wanted Bryan Danielson to be the next breakout star. So why did WWE have him lose for eleven straight weeks?
Even good ol’ J.R. has mentioned on his blog how Bryan Danielson is the most gifted athlete among the entire NXT roster. If Daniel Bryan was actually given the credit he most rightfully deserved and actually allowed him to win, he could have taken the NXT rookies to the next level. More people would have tuned into watch if Bryan Danielson actually won matches, and was allowed to have lengthier matches versus the 3-minute squashes.
As for the other two eliminations, Michael Tarver was mentored by Carlito and Skip Sheffield mentored by William Regal. Now, William Regal should have been mentoring Bryan Danielson, who appreciates technical wrestling, but instead WWE paired him with a Texan Meathead. And why in the blue hell is Carlito a mentor? Carlito is the one that needs a mentor. Carlito hasn’t held a title since 2009 alongside his brother Primo. Michael Tarver was screwed from the start and was the obvious choice to be eliminated first. It’s sad that Skip Sheffield was eliminated, when he was just starting to grow on us. But then again, Skip failed to adhere to any of William Regal’s advice.
(A final note by the author) If Wade Barrett, mentored by Chris Jericho, gets eliminated from NXT, then that will be the final episode of NXT that I watch for this season.