Join me, if you will, as we travel back to a time most people only dimly recall. A more innocent time… a time when we were certain in our beliefs… a time of almost mythological stories of bravery and heroism… a time forever known as “THE WEEK BEFORE WRESTLEMANIA!”
What great deeds were performed by man in these hazy, almost primordial days? What amazing feats have been lost to time? More importantly perhaps, is there a way we could someday revisit this period and experience the thrilling savagery of the mortal perils these gladiators put themselves through for the entertainment of the masses? Well, yeah… of course we can. NXT’s on Youtube and everything. Unfortunately, last week’s NXT was hardly the epic stuff of legend I may have led you to believe thus far. In fact, it was quite disappointing as we shall see. But, as always, there were flashes of brilliance to light the darkness.
As a premise, this week’s NXT episode showed a great deal of promise. All 8 NXT Rookies would be in action, spanning two tag matches. First though, Striker announced that the WWE Pros would reveal their “standings” for the Rookies next week, hopefully giving us a clue as to how the hell the voting process is supposed to work.
The first match was pitting Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel up against Skip Sheffield & Wade Barrett. On the way to the ring, Sheffield’s mentor William Regal showed his usual disdain for his rookie, while showing a great deal more interest in Wade Barret (given the short train ride between Blackpool North and Preston they’re presumably good friends anyway, Regal popping down to meet Barrett for a mooch around the Fishergate now and then.) Ray has already commented on certain aspects of this match in her ongoing attempt to convince the world that pro-wrestling fans are even more camp than previously suspected by concentrating on fashion. However, there was some confusion in the Wrestlegasm Bunker over Skip’s trunks and their “NXT BIGGEST THING” motif. NXT BIG THING would have made sense, but NXT BIGGEST THING implies that there is something bigger than Skip’s arse in the WWE Universe, and Skip seems to be a pretty big guy to me. What on earth could be bigger than that?
This was a pretty good match, Gabriel taking most of the punishment from Sheffield and Barrett until Slater got the hot tag for the win. This, however, was where the alarm bells began to ring. As you may be aware NXT (once the ad breaks are removed) runs for approximately 45 minutes. This match was over in 10 minutes. Assuming roughly the same length of time for the only other announced match, how would we fill over half the show? Maybe there’ll be a bonus match? CM Punk vs Chris Jericho? The Miz vs William Regal?
OK. Daniel Bryan video’s cool, but we’ve seen it before. Anyway, time for a bonus match…
Hmm. Undertaker vs HBK. Pretty epic promo, but we’ve seen this before too. Right, bonus match time…
Yep, after 30 minutes of promos and recaps and 8 hastily bodged together patented Wrestlegasm screengrabs, somebody decided it would be a good idea to interrupt the ring entrances to show another clip, this time of The Miz and David Ortunga at the Syfy Awards. Therefore, to spite the WWE I shall restrict my review of the main event to the following. Punk was awesome – Bryan was awesome – Ortunga pinned Bryan. What did you think of the match Punk?