NXT (03/08/2010): Skewed Priorities from WWE Management

The Miz celebrates with rookie, Alex Riley, after making Michael McGillicutty's record less than perfect

I usually open my critiques of NXT with talk of the weekly challenge. So far, season 2’s challenges have generally been more time-efficient and meaningful, but this week’s ‘kissing challenge’ was the worst so far, out of both seasons. As Michelle McCool herself said, it didn’t tell us anything about the rookies as prospective superstars, and while it was funny at points, it took up far too much time for such a goofy segment. Beige (P)lucky Cannon won in the end, not that he actually won anything other than an elaborate joke from LayCool, and certainly nothing meaningful lik immunity, for instance. I’m sure many will agree that the only winner from this segment was Kaval, who got to kiss Layla (as opposed to the comedy ‘grenade,’ Margherita), but then again, I must admit having a thing for the English diva!

What was worse was the fact that despite the kissing segment taking up about a quarter of the show, there were still four matches booked for the hour – none of them getting the time of the kissing challenge. The first match was the most frustrating, with Kaval taking on Husky Harris in a rematch of the previous week. As I said last week, this match up is a mouth-watering one, but for some reason, and inexplicably, it was booked less ambitiously than last week. For one thing, Husky just won again, but even worse, it was in less time than last week. Last week’s match was good, but needed more time. This one was okay in a relatively short amount of time. Not only is the repetition seemingly uncreative (I can’t see any angles coming from this), but it went a little way to burying Kaval, by having him lose to the same guy twice in as many weeks. My only hope is that we’ll have some sort of rubber match in coming weeks to make the repetition worthwhile, and maybe one that would get good time to show the potential of both wrestlers.

Michael McGillicutty squashed Lucky Cannon in the next match to go on to face Miz in something of a grudge match for the main event. I have problems with Miz being put on some sort of pedastal through this, but i’ll talk about that more when I discuss the main event. Despite that, one positive aspect of this semi-final style match was that it hammered home the idea that both McGillicutty and Cannon were desperate to step up and face Miz, which ultimately added interest to the main event match – whether this helped McGillicutty or Miz more, remained to be seen.

Alex Riley took on Percy Watson in an okay match to lead in to the main event. On a side note, to me it seemed that MVP wasn’t very enthusiastic about the match. I don’t know whether that was intentional or not, but I just hope it’s not been because of his shocking lack of use on Smackdown recently. I’m stating here my hope that he soon starts a feud with CM Punk! Watson showed some good in-ring skills and athleticism, while Riley introduced a brutal new move; a second-rope DDT that, as opposed to Orton’s version, was executed from the apron side of the ropes, hitting the corner of the apron and leaving Watson hung up, teetering on the second rope around the stomach. However, despite these poitives, the match seemed more like part of a Miz-domination angle in the sense that it made Miz look strong by association, and was seemingly a lead-in to the main event, featuring Miz.

This was the main thing I disliked about this week’s NXT: the fact that it was more about The Miz than it was about the rookies. Eventhough McGillicutty wasn’t squashed and even looked strong at points, the point remains that it seems McGillicutty was made to sacrifice his perfect record for the benefit of Miz. This is almost the opposite of what NXT should be about, i.e. introducing and getting over the young talent on show. The pros should be there to help maintain a high quality of matches and make the rookies look strong in an engaging way. Having this follow Miz’s rookie’s victory made for an inordinate sense of domination from The Miz which overshadowed the efforts of the rookies. This was especially irritating seen as Miz is currently on a major push, and doesn’t even need this minimal kind of strength-enhancement.

Next week sees the next elimination,so, again, here are my personal standings split in to leagues, and prediction of which rookie will be eliminated:

1) Kaval
2) Michael McGillicutty
3) Husky Harris
4) Alex Riley

5) Percy Watson

6) Lucky Cannon

From this, it’s clear i’d like Lucky Cannon to be eliminated. He’s quite possibly the blandest wrestler i’ve ever seen and a huge disappointment as a face. He has almost no redeeming qualities in my eyes. As for who will be eliminated, i’m sure it will be either Cannon or Waston; the other four are real quality and all potential successes on the main roster. I think the WWE will be high on the warmth that Percy Watson breeds and must surely recognise that Cannon evokes barely anything from the fans. With that in mind, I predict that my least favourite, Lucky Cannin will be eliminated. A happy day it will be too.

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