WWE NXT 3/23By Jason · · 2 Comments
Apparently, we’ve only got two matches tonight, both tag team action getting all eight competitors onto the show in one night.
Also I provide some thoughts on the rookies at the end.
We open with Matt Striker explaining that next week the pro’s will reveal the standings.
Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel team up, the graphics now have their in ring records by the way, and they’re facing Skip Sheffield and Wade Barrett. Regal is the only pro at ringside and he’s talking to Barrett as they come to the ring.
Cole puts over Barrett, who I expect to be near the bottom of the standing. During this match we get some info on how they’ll decide. Standings will be determined by Record, Quality of Opponents, It Factor and I believe the other was work ethic.
Skip and Slater start. Sheffield pushes Slater to the corner, but Slater puts a foot on the secodn rope and uses it to push back out. Slater gets a headlock but is overpowered. Christian strolls to ringside. We get tags. Barrett hits a knee but Gabriel gets some kicks.
Gabriel hard into the corner and Wade gets a rollup, then goes to a abdominal stretch on the Matt. Rear kick to the guts as Gabriel hits the ropes then a gutbuster. Sheffield in. Delayed Vertical Suplex. But he turns it into a nice Gourdbuster. Big splash. Shoulders in the corner and Barrett tags himself in. Traps him in the corner and hits some gut shots then tags Sheffield in. Shoulders in the corner. He misses a charge in the corner. Slater in with a crossbody and a running forearm, then a neckbreaker. Running forearm in the corner. Gets a boot up after Sheffield reverses a whip. He slips out of a powerslam for a rollup. Barrett comes in and kicks Skip by accident. Garbriel tries to springboard in, instead he just lands on his feet and attacks Barrett while Sheffield gets pinned. Regal looks annoyed.
There’s a profile on Bryan.
Promoting HBK and Undertaker at Mania.
Bret vs Vince recap
We’ve got a Darren Young interview.
Darren Young and David Otunga come out with the Straight Edge Society. Young is pissed at Gallows with good reason. It seems kind of odd that CM Punk has a sweatshirt with his hood up, matching Otunga. But Otunga isn’t his rookie.
Daniel Bryan is teaming with Michael Tarver. Otunga with a powerful shoulder block and a headlock. Bryan armdrags out. Otunga with a head scissors. Bryan escapes and gets a facelock. Otunga with an armbar. Bryan with a dropkick and tags out. Tarver tries to hold the armbarbut Otunga fights out. Young tags in and gets a kick then applies an armbar. Schoolboy. CM Punk is chewing bubble gum. Tarver with a shoulder. Gallows causes a distraction and Tarver isn’t happy. Carlito comes over to check things out. Tarver avoids an attack by Young and hits a big punch.
Daniel Bryan with a hammerlock. Young elbows out. Dropkick by Bryan. Tarver in with a kick. Armbar on the mat. Knee to the gut by Young. Young traps Tarver in the ropes and hits a shot to the back then slams him down. An odd bodyslam by Otunga and a neckvice. There’s a chant I can’t make out. Otunga switches to a chinlock. Tarver punches out. Bryan in. Euro uppercut. Snapmare and kicks in the back. Young tags in.Bryan gets a guillotine choke after come fancy footwork then a modified crossface. Rope break. The crowd loves it by the way. Crossbody. Tarver is jawing with Gallows. Bryan sends Otunga into Tarver then misses a dropkick. Otunga hits his spinebuster for the win.
I promised some thoughts on each of the guys but never delivered. Sorry. Here it is now, better late than never.
Daniel Bryan is obviously one of the top stars of the show. He’s only wrestled rookies twice, though one of his tag matches was a pro and rookie tag team match. I’m actually looking forward to an explosion between him and Miz and it seems possible his first win will be against his pro.
They also seem to be pushing David Otunga. They’ve teased some tension between him and Truth, but after the one fight it seems to be behind them. I’m surprised they haven’t had Miz pushing him as what a WWE superstar should be. After his first match was a little rough he’s done much better. I believe he’s mostly faced rookies though and has a loss.
Darren Young seems to be the third most pushed guy, because of his connection to Punk and the Straight Edge Society. He’s got a kick ass finisher but a mixed record. And despite his problems with CM Punk’s life style he’s tried to get along with them. Of course it might be worth noting he looks a hell of a lot like John Cena, so theoretically we know he’s got the look of a WWE superstar.
Christian’s rookie, Heath Slater is undefeated. Much to my surprise. Slater’s also one of the few guys to beat a veteran. He’s yet to display a finisher and has mostly won due to other’s mistakes. Although in Slater’s defense he might finally be learning to get people’s attention. For the first time since this started.
The WWE seems to have faithJustin Gabriel considering they allow him to do a 450 splash, a move that’s normally banned. He’s also got a win over a vet, William Regal and he might have been the first to do so. His style is questionable as the first week he was on his ring attire was terrible. Since then he’s tried to match his pro, Matt Hardy.
Wade Barrett is the guy Michael Cole is pushing. Since Cole is a heel here, I wouldn;t be surprised if he ends up low man on the totem poll. He has a weakass finisher, an average win loss record and one of his opponents was injured. Also, in my opinion he doesn’t seem to recognize a discongruity in his gimmick. He’s apparently just a cocky upperclass Englishman. But to me a trenchcoat with a flower in the lapel hung over the shoulders says Mafia not English gentleman.
Michael Tarver has a win, but damn if I can remember when it happened. He’s talked about two things mostly. His father was a prizefighter, his mother a preacher, so it’s like having an angel and a devil on his shoulders. He apparently deals with the discrepancy by being average. He also brags about a knocking a man out in 1.9 seconds. He’s yet to show a real strong punch though. I’m hoping the first guy he knocks out with it is his pro, Carlito.
And finally we have Skip Sheffield. He’s in a rough position. Not only is he in story not working well with Regal despite wanting to very badly, but the music he’s stuck entering to doesn’t even work well with him. It totally works against his style. Skip’s probably done the least of all the rookies so far. Still last week he displayed surprising speed and agility. He’s a lot of fun to watch.
Although it’s not the way I put them I expect the NXT rankings next week will look something like this:
1. Heath Slater
2. David Otunga
3. Daniel Bryan
4. Justin Gabriel
5. Darren Young
6. Michael Tarver
7. Skip Shefield
8. Wade Barrett
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