After an interminable Season 5 (aka Redemption) of WWE's NXT, we have finally arrived at the newest season with a fresh crop of stars.
Based on early results, this season has the potential to be really special. I enjoyed the show and thought that they are being smart with who they are bringing up. If it's done right, there's an excellent chance that there will be some championship gold in these rookies' futures.
Let's take a look at some of the new talent on NXT, as well as some random thoughts about the show in general.
First, a special thanks to B/R's Chris Humphrey for the video. Without further ado…
Ah yes, the next wave of third-generation superstars, starting with Bo Dallas (aka Bo Rotunda), IRS’s other kid. We’ll have to see if he measures up to the considerable bar set by his brother.
The first thing I notice about him: These promos skills are going to need some serious TLC.
His opening promo: While the content was not bad (a little too generic babyface, a little cheesy, but it gave us a clear idea of who he is), the delivery is a little too…how can I put this?
A little too Rob Van Dam.
He needs to show some more emotion when he speaks—that opening promo was just begging to be cut by someone like Ric Flair or even Dusty Rhodes (especially the rhyming, which someone like Flair could make work).
However, Dallas delivered it in a way that made you think of a surfer dude lounging on the beach—I could almost imagine him ending it with a “cool, bro.” He needs to quickly resolve where his character is going, laid back or high-impact.
I think he needs to go the southerner, fiery route and pick up the emotion in his promos, because what you notice immediately about him in the ring is that this brother can go.
He is obviously a very good worker and technician, but he is not as good as Kaval, Daniel Bryan or even Alex Riley were early on, and some of his move set is a bit too methodical (and almost a bit too heel-ish), and he needs a more original finisher than a spear.
However, there is tremendous upside to Dallas when he steps into the ring. Regal and Ross commented a lot about his “fire” and “energy” and “temper” (though I didn’t see a ton of any of those three things in his debut match) and I think if he keeps going with that, he can do very well.
However, while he can do well, the matter of whether he will do well depends on how he tweaks his promo skills. If he’s going to fly high—and I think he will, seeing as how WWE loves to push guys with bloodlines—he needs to start making his personality a bit more energetic to match the rest of his persona.
If not, he seems like he might start going down the Rocky Maivia track, and that’s a place you don't want to go.
Here he is, ladies and gentlemen: the IWC’s newest dreamboat, Mr. Seth Rollins (aka Tyler Black of ROH).
He didn’t wrestle tonight, but from the clips they showed of him, plus what I’ve seen of his matches, I know that he’s got the goods in the ring. He’s a smaller-ish guy, and his move set reminds me a little of Bryan or Punk (not totally surprising, since they all came up in the same organization).
We got a promo from him instead of a proper debut match, so I’ll judge him by his promo. It was good, but for someone who claims to want to be “his own man” he seems a lot like CM Punk or even Raven on the microphone.
Not that emulating those two is a bad thing—they are two of the best promo guys ever—but I want to make sure we see something original from Rollins as he gets going.
His overall persona definitely seems to be the iconoclastic, CM Punk-style superstar with a bit of Jeff Hardy thrown in (anyone who’s a ROH-phile can feel free to tell me if that’s not his angle). I actually love the idea, but I hope he doesn’t go the way of Kaval and instead makes it to the big-time and stars like Bryan or Punk have.
If he’s as good a high flier as Hardy was, I can definitely see him rising to those same heights, but time will tell if he’s going to have to get hazed a bit like some of the other Indy stars were, and we’ll see the kind of resiliency he shows.
For now, I like what I see…stay tuned.
I don't know if they are doing the competition aspect of NXT this season, but if they are, then these two are the clear early favorites.
First of all, that entrance was all kinds of awesome. Reminds me a little bit of the early days of Edge and Christian when they were a part of The Brood. It’s been a while since we’ve seen one of those entrances that cut back and forth between the video and the competitors (DX did it wonderfully).
I love the creepiness of this team, and it’s nice to see Conor O’Brien involved in something that makes him seem relevant, though his partner (Kenneth Cameron) certainly brings the creepy as well as anyone.
If there’s anyone from this season of NXT that is likely to make a big impact on the main roster in the near future, it’s these two, if only because they are an excellent tag team (I loved both their viciousness and their…well, cooperation as a team).
If WWE is really serious about bringing the tag division back to prominence, then these two would be a great way to do it. They are different, they work great as a team, and they have the promo abilities to be believable.
I want to see more from these two. They could be tag champions within the year if WWE invests some time into them.
The repackaging of Husky Harris continues in what was one of the most disconcerting, interesting, disturbing video packages I’ve seen in quite some time.
I love it.
Harris/Wyatt has been arguably the most improved performer—at least on the mic—since his debut on NXT Season 2, and if this new character is as awesome as it seems to be, then he’s going to be making some noise back up on the main brands really quickly.
The only nitpick I really have is: What is his exact gimmick? Whatever he’s doing, it’s terrific, but is he a revivalist preacher? Is he the boogeyman (what was all that about hiding under kids’ beds)?
Is he the Waylon Mercy 2012/De Niro in Cape Fear character? I’m leaning more towards the latter, since Mercy did not achieve the potential he could have, mainly due to Dan Spivey retiring early on.
I’m wondering how his move set is doing (the FCW match I saw him in, it looked good but still needed work), so I guess we’ll have to wait until he officially debuts to see him in action. For now, I’m intrigued.
The video I linked to isn't the one from NXT, but it is seriously one of the most disturbing promos I've ever seen. To think: this guy used to be known for just being fat and weird.
What was the point of having Dusty Rhodes on the show?
I see that Antonio Cesaro is coming to NXT next week. Is this a demotion for him? I doubt it, but the man needs to get some more exposure and ring time. His gimmick is not entirely fleshed out yet, and he needs to develop it while still being visible.
Every time I see Damien Sandow, he reminds me more and more of Triple H when he first came into WWE. The mannerisms, the promos, the sudden viciousness in the ring (well, maybe not tonight, though his “I cannot and will not compete” shtick is growing on me)…let’s hope his career follows the same trajectory.
Can someone explain to me why Johnny Curtis won NXT Season 4 over Derrick Bateman and Brodus Clay? The segment they had together didn’t seem to help Curtis’s case. I know he’s been languishing on NXT Redemption, but I have no idea what his gimmick is supposed to be.
I remember he brought the funny when he was first supposed to debut on Smackdown, but then Mark Henry squashed him and that was that. What’s happened to him?
Jim Ross and William Regal on commentary: Both are tremendous talkers, but this pairing isn’t working for me. They don’t play off each other as well as King and Ross always did, but it’s still early in their partnership, so we’ll see. Ross can blend with anyone with enough practice, and his presence alone makes this show more legitimate.
I absolutely love Tyson Kidd’s finisher, The Dungeon Lock. He looks great in the ring, and I think WWE needs to give him a shot to make some noise on Raw or Smackdown. If nothing else, he’d be a more convincing U.S. Champ than Santino.