Funnily enough, there is little to say about this action-packed episode. A spectre was hanging over the arena in the shape of the brutal attack from the NXT season 1 rookies the previous night, and though we were introduced to our new rookies, their introduction was only part of the much bigger intra-promotional war going on since Monday.
Before I elaborate on that, i’d just like to comment on what were somne nice tag matches between Rhodes/Harris & Morrison/Cottonwood, and MVP/Watson & Ryder/O’Neill. Both introduced a decent level of quality to the competition early on. The MVP/Watson victory was especially impressive, involving some nice storytelling for the finish,where Watson warned MVP of a diving Zack Ryder. That’s the kind of basic but effective storytelling that makes for great matches.
What this episode really served to do though was cement the oppositions for the fued between WWE superstars and ‘rookie’ up-and-coming outlaws. The final segment started out with some subtle tells – like Matt Striker pushing a rookie (Husky, I think) away from his personal space – before turning in to an unambiguous statement by the pros in which they (like the NXT rookies) set aside their differences (i.e. in face/heel terms) to act as one. This was suggestive of a very inflexible divide unlike that of, say, the WCW/ECW invasion of 2001 where it seems the split is almost ideological, based on perceptions of what it takes to be a WWE superstar and whether it is possible ‘to pay ones dues’ outside of the WWE. This is a mouth-watering and fascinating prospect still in it’s infancy and I can’t wait to see if it carries over to Smackdown!
There still isn’t much to go on, but just like last season, i’ll rank the rookies in order of how impressive and viable they are as future stars:
1) Kaval (very much the Daniel Bryan equivalent. Lots of credibility)
2) Percy Watson
3) Alex Riley
4) Michael McGillicutty
5) Titus O’Neill
6) Husky Harris
7) Eli Cottonwood
8) Lucky Cannon