Home > Columns, wwe, WWE NXT > WWE NXT Review for 2/23/10 by Doctor Money

WWE NXT Review for 2/23/10 by Doctor Money

Note from John: Even though I wrote a blog post on NXT last night (it can be read here: https://johnreport.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/the-john-report-quick-thoughts-on-wwe-nxt/) I’m not going to be doing that every week. I might write quick notes some weeks, but never a full review. I’ve enlisted the help of a regular blog reader to give you the details of WWE NXT on a weekly basis. Every Wednesday this review will get posted right here on the blog. Enjoy it.

Hello, John Report readers. I am Doctor Money and I will be covering WWE NXT for The John Report. No, Doctor Money is not my real name; that would be Christian. Don’t ask me how I got the name Doctor Money because I don’t really know. It’s something my friends came up with and I like it as a pen name. Just to tell you a little about myself, I am 26 years old and I live in NJ. I’m a huge Yankee and New York Giants fan. As you probably figured out already, I’m also a huge WWE fan. I have been hooked on wrestling since I was 5 years old. It happened right after WrestleMania V when WWF held a Saturday Night’s Main Event. My dad woke me up to watch Hulk Hogan defend the WWF Championship inside a Steel Cage versus The Big Bossman. It’s still one of my favorite matches as it’s the one that got me hooked.  The Hulkster was my favorite as a kid, and then when I grew out of him it was Shawn Michaels, then during the Attitude Era, Stone Cold was my man. As I’ve gotten older I wouldn’t say I have a favorite anymore, more as I’m a fan of guys that have good matches, but I especially like Randy Orton, Christian and John Morrison. Of course my old favorite HBK is still around. I have my own blog set up at www.doctormoney.wordpress.com, where I write daily about WWE, sports and whatever else is on my mind. I want to thank John for this wonderful opportunity and I hope that you guys enjoy my writing. I’ve often called John the Godfather of internet wrestling bloggers and it’s truly an honor to write for him. Well, that takes care of the introductions, let’s get to the premier episode of WWE NXT!

I’d just like to give a head’s up to those that haven’t read me before, when I write WWE TV reviews, I write while I watch. It’s just easier for me that way. When I cover a match, I don’t do a full play by play, I cover main points and offer my opinion then rate the match on a 5 star scale. This WWE NXT blog is going to be a work in progress because I’m not sure of the format of the show yet, but in a few weeks everything should be down pat.

* * *

The opening video runs showing all the “Rookies” with their “Pros”. The show starts off in the backstage area with all 8 Rookies in their wrestling gear. The Miz walks in and looks over the Rookies. Miz calls his Rookie, Daniel Bryan, to come stand next to him. He mocks him for being an internet sensation. He asks Bryan if he’s ready for the WWE, Bryan thinks he’s ready. He really is as boring as an accountant. His wrestling ability is going to have to carry him. Miz tells him to go to the ring and show some personality. He sends Bryan to the ring with his music playing. Miz is now talking to just the audience at home saying if Bryan doesn’t show some personality, he’s going to slap it into him.

We go to the arena and the show is being taped right before SmackDown, just like ECW was. The announcers for NXT are “Vintage” Michael Cole and “Annoying” Josh Matthews. They send us to the back to our host of NXT, Matt Striker. Striker says he will be in the back waiting for Bryan’s reaction.

Bryan is in the ring and starts talking. He stumbles a bit as can be expected; he’s probably never been in front of a crowd this big before. He tells his fans he’s sorry for having Miz as a pro, he would have preferred William Regal; I guess they have a history together. Bryan tells us a bit about his career and then says he’s finally getting his opportunity in WWE. Miz comes out to interrupt him. Miz says he has his work cut out for him. Bryan says Miz better watch what he says or he’ll make him submit right now. Miz says he may be a submission machine, but where’s his personality? Bryan makes fun of Miz’s faux hawk and reality TV past. Miz wants Bryan to try a catch phrase to which Bryan responds, if they were ever to get in the ring and fight, Miz would have only 2 options, he could either tap or get snapped. Tap or snap? I like it. The fans, oh wait I can’t say that, the WWE Universe thinks Daniel Bryan belongs in the same ring as Miz, but the Miz doesn’t. Miz says Bryan failed and he slaps Bryan and walks out of the ring. We see a replay of Miz slapping some personality into Bryan, and then Bryan says there will be a time when he will slap Miz back. I don’t think Daniel Bryan failed here. He seemed a little nervous at the beginning, but gained his composure and did much better than I thought he would. He can actually talk decent on the mic. I like the “Tap or Snap” thing he came up with; you can just see it on the back of a T-Shirt. I can’t wait for Bryan to “graduate” and feud with Miz. It should be a lot a fun.

We come back from commercial and they air an interview with Daniel Bryan and Matt Striker that took place during the break. Striker asks Bryan how he feels that he was just embarrassed on national TV. Bryan doesn’t consider getting slapped an insult and tells Miz he slaps harder than him. Striker asks how could he say that about his mentor. Bryan says he’s been in this business twice as long as Miz. Striker stops him and says he’s only been in the WWE a minute. Bryan says he can be a star without The Miz to which Striker says if he wants to be a star he’ll need to listen to Miz.

Carlito comes out to the arena with his Rookie Michael Tarver. Carlito says with his mentoring Tarver will become the next breakout star in WWE. Yes, Carlito who hasn’t won a match since 2006 is going to the mentor of the next breakout star. It doesn’t say much for Tarver when he’s paired with a guy that’s basically been a jobber for a while now. We get a video package on Tarver showing him knocking out guys in FCW and talking about his hard luck life. His father used to be Mike Tyson’s sparring partner. All right, we are going to get some wrestling! Carlito and Tarver are going to take on Christian and his Rookie Heath Slater. Before the match they run the same type of video for Slater that they just did for Tarver. Slater is a rock star without the instruments. If I was typing this on my BlackBerry this is where I would type in the “thumbs down” symbol.

Christian and Heath Slater vs. Carlito and Michael Tarver

This is our 1st ever match on WWE NXT, let’s see what these Rookies got. Christian is set to start it off with Carlito, but Carlito wants the rookie Slater to start and he obliges. They are using some new camera angle where it’s almost like you’re standing on the ring apron. I’ve never seen it before. Slater almost gets a quick 3 as the match starts, but Carlito kicks out, roughs up Slater a bit and tags in Tarver. Tarver lands a few punches, but Slater uses speed and athleticism to gain control of the match. It’s not long before Tarver takes control of the match and tags Carlito in. Carlito and Tarver tag in and out wearing down Slater. I’m not really a fan of this camera angle they are using. Slater creates a chance for himself to get a tag with a powerslam on Tarver. He tags Christian and Tarver tags in Carlito. Christian hits most of his usual offense on Carlito, but Carlito is able to tag Tarver. Tarver and Carlito try to double team Christian, but it doesn’t work. It leads to Christian hitting the Killswitch on Tarver for the win. The match went about 5 minutes and you really didn’t see enough from the Rookies to know if they’re any good or not. I also don’t like that Christian got the pin here. I would have liked it if Slater got it. I thought the concept of the show was to get these Rookies over. He could have used the pin much more than Christian.

Winners- Christian and Heath Slater. *1/4

We go backstage and see CM Punk and the Straight Edge Society with Punk’s Rookie, Darren Young. Punk doesn’t look happy with him as Cole describes him as a “South Beach Party Boy”. We cut to a hallway to see R-Truth talking to his Rookie, David Otunga. The two rookies will meet when we come back from commercial.

Before the match, we see a pre-taped interview with Punk saying he doesn’t know why he’s on NXT. He mentors Serena and Luke Gallows. If Young wants to be mentored he needs to accept Straight Edge into his life.

They run the “Rookie Video Package” on David Otunga. He’s getting married to American Idol’s Jennifer Hudson, good for him. He comes off as a cocky pretty boy.

David Otunga vs. Darren Young

Young looks like Orlando Jordan, that’s not really a good thing. Otunga wins with a botched spinebuster in under a minute. Why would you have this Darren Young fellow on NXT if you’re just going to bury him like that? Vince is a hard man to read sometimes.

Winner- David Otunga. DUD

As we head to the commercial we have a graphic for our main event, The World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan. Wow, that’s the way to get this show over. That should be a hell of a match. Jericho is in the ring with his Rookie, Europe’s number 1 bare knuckle fighter, Wade Barrett.

Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan

I think we are all excited for this. Jericho shoves Bryan to start, but Bryan responds with a slap and a dropkick. Jericho quickly takes control of the match with some stiff kicks and suplexes. Matthews says to Cole that the entire WWE Universe despises him, this is true. Striker interviews Barrett during the match. I really hate this. It takes away from the match. Can we please have our attention focused on what is going on in the ring? If they want to let Barrett talk, that’s fine but not during the match, come on! Bryan gains control of the match after Jericho goes shoulder 1st into the ring post. Cole is playing a major heel on commentary putting down everything that Bryan did so far in his career. Wow, that was NASTY!!! Jericho is on the outside and Bryan goes to dive through the ropes and Jericho catches him in almost like a belly to belly suplex right into the announce table, ouch. Back in the ring Bryan counters the Walls of Jericho into a submission of his own, but Jericho fights and gets to the ropes. Jericho gets up and Bryan walks tight into the Code Breaker. We see the Rookies watching in the back, and then Jericho locks in the Walls, the real Walls from his WCW/ECW days and Bryan taps. Miz gets in the ring and beats the hell out of Bryan. That’s going to be a hot feud once this season of NXT runs its course. The match went about 5 minutes. It was ok for what it was. I’d really love to see a Jericho/Bryan match for real when NXT is over.

Winner- Chris Jericho. *3/4

We go to the back and Matt Striker is with the other 6 Rookies. He puts over the show and the Rookies and we get a video package of tonight’s show to end the 1st episode of WWE NXT.

Final Thoughts

The show wasn’t all too exciting. I think it will get better as the weeks go on as I think even WWE needs to figure some things out about how they want the show to be. I do like the fact that we will see wrestling on this show, but I think the matches need to be longer so the Rookies can get a chance to show what they can do. I’m ok with it being taped before SmackDown, although it would have been cooler in my opinion to see them do it in the FCW Arena before they “graduate” to WWE. I guess the point is to get them in front of the big WWE crowds to see what they are made of. The show is different and different is good. We only saw 6 Pro/Rookie teams this week as I figured it would have been hard to get all 8 on an hour show. Daniel Bryan dominated the air waves tonight and it shouldn’t be a shock that he’s the favorite to make it big after this is all done. They need to come up with a competition or something like that for the Rookies. I’m not going to like it if they are just having random matches each week. There needs to be points on the line or something to make it more interesting. It wasn’t too bad tonight, they just need to work on a few things and it should be a pretty good show. The 1st episode of WWE NXT gets a 5.5/10.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen my 1st WWE NXT blog and my 1st appearance on The John Report. I hope you all liked it. Please leave comments on the blog’s comment board letting me know what you thought of the show and what you thought of me. I accept and appreciate constructive criticism. It only helps me get better and makes it more enjoyable for you to read. If anyone wants to get in touch with me to chat about anything, I have 3 social networking sites set up.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Thank you for reading, see ya!

  1. Mike Legend
    February 24, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Very good summary, I like it. I said to @johnreport on Twitter that the first episode of any new series is always relatively weak until the show finds its feet, and I felt NXT was like that. I think your blog summarises this fact very well :)

    It felt a little bit random and disjointed – I think your idea of there being points, or possibly a league or something, would be a good idea. Make all the matches mean something without the need for promos in the first instance. Hopefully they’ll bring in a championship belt in the next few weeks too.

    And as for the Otunga/Young match… the only thing I hope for there is that Young gets destroyed for a few weeks before CM Punk convinces him that his lifestyle is contributing to his defeats and converts him to Straight Edge. Then Young goes on the rampage and the SES get involved in his matches. Could give Young a decent springboard onto Smackdown as part of the SES. That’s my hope anyway :)

    • Scoot
      February 24, 2010 at 2:26 PM

      Haven’t watched NXT yet (it’s recorded), but your idea for Young intrigues me. I’m all for the SES growing in numbers!

      I’m still waiting for the day when the SES members put the little X mark on their foreheads . . . kinda like the Manson girls . . . that’s what Punk’s character reminds me of anyway ;-)

      • Scoot
        February 24, 2010 at 2:27 PM

        Uh . . . Punk reminds me of Charles Manson and the rest are his followers . . . guess I wasn’t too clear on that.

  2. February 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Whoops – the link on my avatar is wrong. Just in case you wonder who I am :)


  3. jay
    February 24, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Bryan v. Jericho would be satisfying if it was a 60 minute draw.

    This was a great start. This may be the first time I have ever been enthused about a VKM original idea. (OK, I was enthused about the XFL until I got to know “He Hate Me.”)

    To all of the Miz sycophants, the Miz does not belong on the same card with Daniel Bryan. Tap or Snap is much better than Duh I’m Awesome! Duh.

    • Rated RKO
      February 24, 2010 at 12:20 PM


    • Sargon
      February 24, 2010 at 1:49 PM

      Bryan looks like one of the guys on the posters at liquor stores and auto part stores advertising matches at the local gym on a Saturday night. Wonder how many times he and Demolition Axe have gone at it over the last ten years? Every time they pushed the ‘ten years’ thing I looked at the guy and went, “No shit.”

  4. Anonymous
    February 24, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    I loved the show. Well mainly because I’m such a Miz fan and seeing Bryan Danielson for the first time on TV was great. He was really good. This whole “Miz will teach him how to talk and show charisma” is really exaggerated. The guy has charisma and he can talk. It was nice to see the crowd getting behind him.

    I’m hoping CM Punk tells Darren Young to become a straight or something. Can’t burry the guy like that. Oh and I can’t wait for Justin Gabriel to debut next week. <3

    Nice column btw. I do wish that you'd adapt a John Canton-like style. By that I mean give more thoughts about things as they happen instead of just reporting it. It's easy to find reports out there. But I get it I guess, you cannot do that since you watch it live. Would have been nice though since you're the only one to review NXT here.

  5. Rated R
    February 24, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    I loved the show. Well mainly because I’m such a Miz fan and seeing Bryan Danielson for the first time on TV was great. He was really good. This whole “Miz will teach him how to talk and show charisma” is really exaggerated. The guy has charisma and he can talk. It was nice to see the crowd getting behind him.

    I’m hoping CM Punk tells Darren Young to become a straight or something. Can’t burry the guy like that. Oh and I can’t wait for Justin Gabriel to debut next week. <3

    Nice column btw. I do wish that you'd adapt a John Canton-like style. By that I mean give more thoughts about things as they happen instead of just reporting it. It's easy to find reports out there. But I get it I guess, you cannot do that since you watch it live. Would have been nice though since you're the only one to review NXT here.

    • February 24, 2010 at 8:06 PM

      I’m a man of the people, I’ll try to switch it up a little next week. Thanks for reading.

  6. Rated R
    February 24, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Oops, I forgot to type in my username the first time. =(

  7. February 24, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Loved the show, very cool and innovative. A nice way to debut some new stars, and I think we know who the true star of the show is…Miz! No, just kidding, it’s going to be Danielson obviously, but I think Otunga is going to be huge too. Was a very cool show, and looking forward to next week.

    Check out my WWE/TNA recaps at

  8. Sargon
    February 24, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Good column. If you can accept critical comments on something that you obviously put some time and effort in to, I would agree with Rated R. I’d argue many people reading this blog saw the show last night, so less rundown and more personal thoughts, etc. Plus, and as I’m sure John will attest, it’ll create some interesting banter for the commenters.

    • February 24, 2010 at 3:32 PM

      Thanks for reading and thanks for the feedback. Like I said, this blog will be a work in progress until I get a feel for the show, but I will definitely consider your suggestion when writing next week’s review. I want to make this as enjoyable as possible for the people reading.

  9. Andre
    February 24, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    Danielson wanted Regal to be his mentor because Regal Trained him. I’d give this blog post a 7/10. It would be an 8 but Doctor Money is a Giants fan(Go Eagles!!!!)

    • February 24, 2010 at 8:04 PM

      Really, minus 8 point for being a Giants fan? Really? Sorry I couldn’t resist. It’s ok my cousins are from Philly are we have constant “disagreements” when it comes to football. A 7/10 nonetheless is a good start. Thanks!

      • February 24, 2010 at 8:04 PM

        that should say minus a point, not minus 8 point

  10. Alex
    February 24, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Congrats, doc money. You did well, just add some more vintages, Crazy vince’s, and serious voices and it’s a lit like johns column. Good column, you got a regular reader on your hands.

    • February 24, 2010 at 9:38 PM

      Thanks a lot man! I’ll let John have those as I’ll try to come up with my own. Be sure to check my blog out daily as I post something new everyday.

  11. Anonymous
    February 25, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    I agree about the rundown, I watched the show, I was hoping it would have alot more thoughts about each segment right after teh quick rundown, as opposed to the end final thoughts

    • February 27, 2010 at 10:45 PM

      Thank you for the feedback, I will try to incorporate that into the next review.

  12. Anon
    February 27, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    I thought it was better than you did personally, but each to their own.

    I don’t think they are “burying” Young. I think like Danielson, they are using NXT to get some storylines over and I think the Punk/Young relationship will be interesting. Far from burying him, I think they have big plans for him.

    • February 27, 2010 at 10:44 PM

      I thought about it after I wrote it that maybe they would use this to turn Young straight edge and align with Punk, but I write while I watch and it didn’t seem to be like that at the time. I think if they go that route where Punk reforms him it could be good. I gave it a 5.5 because I only liked the stuff with Bryan and Miz. The other Rookies didn’t stand out to me in the 1st week, but like I said I think WWE is still trying to figure the process out themselves and I think it will get better in the coming weeks. The show is a good concept and I hope it works.

  1. March 3, 2010 at 7:42 PM

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