While watching the premiere of WWE NXT last Tuesday, a few things popped into my head.
The first thing I realized is that Michael Cole could be a very good heel announcer, but he was really starting to get on my nerves during the Daniel Bryan/Chris Jericho match (More on that later).
Second, the WWE doesn't care how well you can wrestle. If you can't speak worth a lick, you are essentially worthless to them.
Watching Daniel Bryan (former ROH star Bryan Danielson) walk out in front of that huge, unfamiliar crowd, gave me a strange sensation. When he got on the microphone, I was a bit worried.
Here is a guy who has never really needed to let his charisma shine through. It's clear he has some, because you don't get signed by the WWE if they don't see something in you, however, for the majority of his career, he has let his in-ring ability do the talking for him.
Which was fine, but the WWE is an entirely different animal.
Much to my surprise, Bryan didn't bomb. No, he went out there and held his own. He even came up with a halfway decent catch phrase.
I silently began chanting, "Tap or snap! Tap or snap!"
He made me want to cheer for him. He made me want to see him succeed. That has to count for something, right?
Daniel Bryan is representing the hundreds of independent wrestlers who may never make it to the WWE. He already has a decent fan base I would imagine, considering all of the people who have followed him throughout his career on the indie circuit.
I won't pretend to know a lot about independent promotions, but lately I have been branching out a bit and watching some past ROH and PWG footage, cultivating my appreciation for guys like Bryan, Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, and others who don't exactly fit the "WWE Mold."
As a matter of fact, Austin Aries is one of my top five favorite wrestlers right now. He is one of the greatest heels in the business today. Of course, most WWE fans will never realize this.
Which brings me to my next topic: "Vintage" Michael Cole.
As World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho was wrestling Daniel Bryan, Cole was basically trampling all over everything Bryan ever accomplished in his 10 year career.
Here is a sample quote from Michael Cole:
"So because he's wrestled in a high school gym in front of 50 people, OK he was impressive there. You're like the rest of these Internet guys. Tweetin' and bloggin' and believe everything you read on the dirt sheets."
Though all of that was directed towards Josh Matthews, the first line about the high school gym, of course, was regarding Daniel Bryan.
Upon first listening to Cole's commentary, it got under my skin. He was rambling on and on about the NXT rookies having to show respect to their mentors. In hypocritical fashion, Cole was disrespecting Bryan by belittling all of his accomplishments.
Daniel Bryan is no rookie: he has wrestled in Japan, where pro wrestling is still looked at as a sport rather than a three ring circus. So basically, that shows what Michael Cole's opinion is worth.
Then, I had a revelation: Michael Cole got me. He pissed me off.
That was what he was out to do the whole time. Many "smark's" on the Internet enjoy giving Cole a hard time due to his use of the word vintage and repetitive commentary.
This was his revenge. By cutting the IWC's golden boy down to size, he was collectively spitting in all of our faces. Michael Cole fooled us all.
Kudos to you Mr. Cole, you have won.
All I know is, I will be watching NXT again tonight, to see how these young guys develop. I suggest you do as well, it's an interesting concept.