NXT: Tarver and Bryan Steal the Show

Bryan's personality shone though, as did his ring skills, briefly

This week’s NXT was probably the best episode since they started doing the weekly challenges. The fact that the challenges were spread out, rather than in one, irrelevent segment, was a real improvement, and the best superstars used it to show off their character well. David Otunga, Michael Tarver, Wade Barrett and especially Daniel Bryan instantly garnered interest in a challenge that, being a whole minute a piece, could easily have dragged. On the flipside, you have your less interesting stars, Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield, Darren Young and especially Justin Gabriel struggling to make it interesting (for this was surely the real aim of the challenge).

I’d really like to compliment Michael Tarver’s performance this week in the ring too. He doesn’t seem to get much credit for this, but every week he pulls out really innovative stuff. Second only to Daniel Bryan, he’s probably the most innovative in-ring performer of the rookies. His reverse/inverted scoop slam, for instance, was something i’ve never seen before, and it was fantastic! I also like his non-commital approach to the challenges, and his angle was strong when he said ‘I don’t need to sell programmes, i’m the product,’ and quite right he is too.

I was glad to see Daniel Bryan get (slightly) more ring time. But even in the short time his match took, he looked great in ring. What a dropkick he delivered! He is just naturally a really solid performer when it comes to the more basic stuff too. A joy to watch. I wonder when he’ll get his first win. I get that it’s an angle, but I still don’t quite get how the angle helps him. I’m sure we’ll find out sooner or later.

Loving the pro’s video packages by the way. Really enjoyable and interesting. Another layer to the NXT story.


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