WWE, after two years, has chosen to restructure and revamp NXT. Doing away with the old format, the all new NXT showcases the talents of those under WWE’s developmental contract. So no more redemption points, no more games, no more judges, and no more nonsense. …it’s all NEW.
The new NXT roster is compiled of fresh new faces from Florida Championship Wrestling. In the first two episodes alone, NXT featured former FCW champion Seth Rollins (Tyler Black), Richie Steamboat, Bo Dallas, Leo Kruger, Antonio Cesaro, Jason Jordan, Rick Victor, The Ascension, and Derrick Bateman. Each competitor had an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in the ring, without any long winded introductions, just plain wrestling.
But just in case you are scratching your head trying to figure out who are these people, WWE did take the time to introduce these new superstars through the old technique of vignettes. Some very interesting ones have been those of Seth Rollins, Richie Steamboat, and the upcoming Bray Wyatt (Husky Harris).
Don’t worry, the all new NXT isn’t all about vignettes, there’s wrestling too. So far the matches have been short exhibition matches, with one or two actual wrestling matches at the end of the hour. The first main event was Tyson Kidd vs Michael McGillicutty–a long standing rivalry from NXT Redemption–saw Kidd come out on top with the Dungeon Lock. The second main event was Derrick Bateman against Johnny Curtis. These two have been at each other’s throats since Season 4, with competition for points, and the affections of Maxine being the differences. While the first main event had the fans wanting more, this one left a bitter taste as Bateman was victorious with the modified DDT known as DBT (I’ll let you guess what it stands for).
The change to the structure and format of the show was much needed because NXT–originally created to find WWE’s next breakout star– had failed to conceive any. Season 1 winner Wade Barrett, aside from a failed run as leader of The Nexus and The Corre, and an abysmal reign as Intercontinental champion, hasn’t accomplished much in the WWE. Low Ki, Season 2 winner, was shortly released after a brief feud with Dolph Ziggler. Kaitlyn, winner of the all-female edition of NXT, has yet to procure a Divas title match. Then Season 4 winner Johnny Curtis was given a strange gimmick that didn’t quiet keep him on SmackDown. Not only that, Curtis lost out on his WWE tag team championship opportunity, because his judge R-Truth was mixed in a feud with John Cena.
But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the NXT project was a total failure, it did introduce the WWE to its current top names Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee. These two–though favorites to win NXT–did not win NXT, but they persevered and ascended the WWE. Daniel Bryan is now a former World Heavyweight champion, and currently set for a possible celebrity match with Charlie Sheen, and AJ is the General Manager of RAW.
Speaking of GMs… WWE Hall of Fame “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes is the interim GM of NXT. As for the voices on commentary, Jim Ross and William Regal have taken the headsets and have called the action in the ring, (I know, very strange in this day and age of WWE).
And just in case you’re thinking that NXT is nothing more than WWE Superstars, you are wrong. The NXT superstars will soon (or already have) compete for the NXT championship. More on that on a later post.
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