Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NXT 2/23/2013 - NXT's First Episode

NXT 2/23/2013 - NXT's First Episode

I watched this when it originally aired and haven't seen it since. For a lot of people, this was their first ever exposure to Daniel Bryan and the other rookies at the time.

 I'm not sure what spurred me to watch this other than finding it in 720p.

Click on the pictures for bigger versions.

The pro's and their rookies:
 Skip Sheffield is the present day Ryback. He got put into a comedic role as some meathead cowboy after playing a Terminator muscled-up character. Not many people saw much happening with him until he started hitting stiff clotheslines a long time later.
 Darren Young was seen as Black Cena and I remember more people being weirded out by him than anything else. It all makes sense in hindsight.
 Gabriel really isn't much different now than he was then. He's a better worker but opinions on him are basically the same.
 A lot of people figured Wade would have a chance due to being British and being tall, and they ended up being right. His career peaked as the leader of Nexus and he hasn't gotten close to where he used to be.
 Believe it or not, people were really high on David Otunga. He was playing his character well at the time and he had the look.
 Most people were pretty upset with DB being paired with The Miz and a lot of people were insulted that he was even on this show to begin with.
 Tarver was a lot more liked than he probably deserved but his punching gimmick always doomed him.
 I think Slater was seen as having some upside but I always thought he looked like a goof and he still is today. The big thing is that he has lost weight.
The Miz instructed his rookie, Daniel Bryan, to go out and basically win the crowd and more impotantly "have a good catchphrase". He pimped him as an internet darling.
"What Dainel Bryan and the WWE live audience doesn't know is that Daniel Bryan's personality is as dry as the Mohave Devert." - The Miz | NOTE - He said Devert, not Desert.
"If Daniel Bryan doesn't show some personality, I'm gonna slap some personality in him." - The Miz

 Daniel Bryan was billed from Las Vegas for some reason. I have no memory of this.
Matt Striker is the host.
Angela Fong aka Savannah was the ring announcer for this. She is one of the WWE's biggest diva's misses. I only saw her a few times but she was a tremendous face and a good worker. I really think she could have been something.

"To all my fans around the world, I have two words - I'm Sorry. I wish my pro was William Regal." - Daniel Bryan
The Miz cut off DB quick as he was introducing himself. Miz didn't like his comment.
"You better watch what you say or I'll submit you right now." - Daniel Bryan
Miz had him come up with a catch phrase to match "I'm Awesome" and DB said he'd make Miz "tap or snap".
"You failed." - The Miz
Miz then slapped him and left. DB said "You know what Miz, there will be a time when I'm gonna slap you back".

As we are accustomed to, WWE loved trolling the IWC through Daniel Bryan. They loved it then and love it now. The WWE was purposely trying to piss off fans by making Miz in a power position with DB and they ended up doing the same thing when they put Low-Ki/Kaval with his mentors, LayCool.

"Miz, I guarantee you one thing. I slap way harder than you do." - Daniel Bryan
Striker again warned DB that to be a star, he has to listen to the Miz.

Michael Tarver came out with Carlito, who was in his I could care less phase, which was at its peak.
Carlito said with his knowledge, Tarver would be the next superstar.

"They call me Mr. 1.9 Seconds because with a single strike, I can knock out any man in 1.9 seconds." - Michael Tarver
Tarver said his dad trained with Mike Tyson.

"I am Michael Tarver and this is my destiny." - Michael Tarver

"My name is Heath Slater. I am a rockstar without the instruments." - Heath Slater

He said no one believed he could get here and he's about to blow our minds.

Carlito and Michael Tarver vs Christian and Heath Slater

Christian beat Michael Tarver quickly with a Killswitch. This was too short to be anything and was very forgettable.
CM Punk was with his Straight Edge Society here and looking very thin. DY had a party gimmick at this time, making natural drama.

"If Darren Young wants to be mentored by the Straight Edge Savior CM Punk, I recommend him accepting Straight Edge into his life." - CM Punk
"I've been to the White House twice." - David Otunga

"Come on man, google me." - David Otunga
Otunga cut a really good promo here. He talked about knowing the president, visiting the white house, appearing in magazines, going to Harvard and marrying a famous actress. Right from the start, he looked immediately above everyone else and still to this day, it's amazing that the WWE cannot figure out what to do with a guy with such a legit background. He's still not a great wrestler, but if he cut this promo every week, he'd be a main eventer.

Darren Young vs David Otunga
I don't even think this would be a good match in 2013, yet alone 2010.
David Otunga won in seconds with a sloppy standing spinebuster.

Chris Jericho vs Daniel Bryan

Jericho had Wade introduce him and Wade went off a little, making Jericho say "I just wanted you to introduce me".

Striker interviewed Wade during this and Wade said he is learning about quality.

Chris Jericho beat Daniel Bryan with a Walls of Jericho in a quick match. It only went 9 minutes but it was good. DB did a tope and got slammed into the announcer's desk and got a big welt from it. He brought it Y2J with a great heel hook but got caught after for the loss. Rating:***
The Miz beat up Daniel Bryan after.

"This is the future. This is unique. This is NXT." - Matt Striker

Overall thoughts: The show was eh to okay. Not great at all and WWE really went out of their way to bury Daniel Bryan, similar to what they do these days. The main was memorable but not as good as I had remembered it being. Otunga's promo was also a highlight of the show.


  1. wow ! I just saw this today on youtube and it was in good quality and decided to watch it, too ! what a coincidence, eh ?

    do you do these retro reviews regularely ? will you do more like this ? like, will do a royal rumble ppv review from the past for example before the real ppv comes ?

  2. Hey Tarek,

    Thanks for all your comments.

    That is quite the coincidence!

    I usually do a lot of retro reviews, just with the G1 and other things, I haven't been in the mood to do other stuff.