WWE NXT: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone?

Paul AustinCorrespondent IJune 30, 2010

I have to confess, I was never happy with the concept of NXT, a faux-reality show that would take a sizable chunk of the WWE development roster to pit them against each other and give them a planned 17 weeks to compete in silly challenges in order to win an already booked bout at a PPV.

The original concept was to produce three series a year of 17 episodes. Not only did I question the concept, but also as to whether they could produce 24 wrestlers a year worthy of high-profile television exposure.

As the "Nexus" attempt to convince us that they are tearing through Raw, and as the first contestant was "eliminated" from the second series last night, I felt my misgivings were being proven. Not least because I feel, even this early in season two, my concerns about the ability to produce 24 good enough wrestlers a year, have already been shown to be founded.

Despite all my misgivings I tried to watch the first series, with an open mind. I wanted it to work because I wanted to be entertained, but almost from the start it was obvious that some of the contestants just were not up to the mark, neither as wrestlers, nor as entertainers.

Over three months later, on Monday night, as the "Nexus" invaded Raw again, it also became clear that no amount of time is going to be enough to allow some of these people to mature to an appropriate level.

With one member fired, and their "leader" absent because of work permit problems, the deficiencies were even more obvious so much so that I was rooting for Arn Anderson (51), Ricky Steamboat (57), and Dean Malenko (49) to break Kayfabe and kick their butts!

And yes, I know I missed out Jerry Lawler (60) Michael Hayes (51), and Mike Rotunda (52), but let's face it, the "Nexus" six where that unconvincing that you'd have bought a smackdown just from half of the old men in the ring. And this is all coming from a guy who constantly asks retired wrestlers not to wrestle!

What else can they do with "Nexus"?

It's not like half of them can wrestle, or that you'd trust half of them near a mic, so you have to keep them in the same unconvincing attacks where we witness the same tired moves, over, and over again.

All those people who have complained in recent years about John Cena's move set being on the limited side, have you been watching the "Nexus" angle?

Between the six remaining on the show last night, we had a celebrity boyfriend with adequate mic skills and a Justin Gabriel who is having a crisis of confidence over his 450 splash, and not a lot else.

I have to confess I'm actually getting worried about that 450 splash. He's taking longer and longer each time. He's clearly been missing it either in training, or in untelevised events, and the other night he didn't hit it cleanly either.

It was admittedly close, but for anyone who gets an opportunity to see footage from the other angle, as opposed to the broadcast angle, it wasn't perfect, and while no real damage would have been done, on the reverse angle you can see the pained look on Steamboat's face as well as Gabriel clenching his stomach.

You could also see the look on Gabriel's face as he walked away. He was obviously concerned about the fact he hadn't hit it cleanly, which makes me worried that he'll get even more nervous.

The obvious answer is to give him a break from the move or take him out of the angle, but can WWE afford to do that?

They've already lost one member permanently, and the "leader" temporarily. How much weaker can they make the angle?

It's obvious: before the next year or two are over, most of these guys (like the Spirit Squad before them) will be either back in development or off the books, and I do have to wonder whether WWE wouldn't be better off cutting their losses and finding a rapid conclusion to the angle while sending them off early.

Then I look at season two of NXT, and I don't see much more to be enthused about there.

There are a couple of stand-out performers, for that level, most notably Kaval aka Low Ki, but not a lot to write home about.

Interestingly, it was notable that Kaval's finisher wasn't hit perfectly on that show either, which has to be a concern. It left me asking, is this summer madness?

And the Husky Harris V's MVP match was one of the strangest matches I've seen on television for a long time.

I'm used to spotting the occasional signal or whispered direction, but during that match, watching MVP was like watching someone with a cross between Saint Vitus's dance and Tourette syndrome.

I don't know whether Harris has proven difficult to work with, whether he lost the plot in there, or whether MVP just had no faith in the guy. None of those explanations leave me filled to the brim with faith.

I know many will disagree with what I've said here and others may even feel I've been harsh, but personally, between the two series I have only seen a handful of guys who have the potential to make it in this industry. Some of them still need a lot of work and development, but I don't think the NXT format gives them that.

I know the old WWE ECW format wasn't popular, not least because it had nothing to do with the ECW it was named after, but I think people like CM Punk, John Morrison, Swagger, Sheamus, and the Miz showed it was a better environment to develop talent in before moving them onto the main shows.

It also gave WWE the luxury of time and the ability to move people when they were ready, and not just when the next series was scheduled to start.

To me NXT seems like a dead end. As the Uso's have already shown, if someones considered to have the talent, they will still be fast tracked, and by pass NXT, and NXT will be padded out with wrestlers who are not going anywhere.

Is that really what fans deserve?

I'd rather watch FCW or a new franchise run along the lines of a proper show than the faux-reality show we've been given.

So what do you think?

NXT a good idea that did not quite work or the best thing since Hornswoggle?