February 24, 2010
Philip DiLiegro

NXT TV Report for February 23, 2010

The broadcasters for the program are Michael Cole and Josh Matthews behind the desk and Matt Striker backstage. So, Byron Saxton, who was inoffensive but not all that insightful as a color guy, is apparently history.

The show began with Miz walking in front of the eight “rookies”. Miz said that Daniel Bryan is an internet darling and a star on the indies. But Miz then started intimating that Bryan had no charisma (“his personality is as dry as the Mojave desert”) and told Bryan to go out to the ring and give the people a reason to watch him on Tuesday night. Miz then said that if Bryan doesn’t show personality, then he would slap some personality into him. I think it’s OK if the heel (Miz) makes the point that Bryan has little or no personality so long as Bryan proves that wrong by being allowed to showcase his wrestling ability and personality. If, however, it’s played up at all that Miz is correct; than Bryan is way behind the eight ball. Just ask Doug Furnas, Phil LaFon, Steve Blackman, Lance Storm and even Kurt Angle (for a mercifully brief time around his debut in WWE before they shelved the idea). On that note, Matt Striker then said NXT highlights the “personality or lack thereof” of the rookies. Not a good start.

Anyway, Bryan began his promo thanking the fans for cheering him even though he had the Miz as a coach. He would have preferred William Regal or someone else. He mentioned that he had been wrestling all around the world for ten years but was happy to finally be in WWE. Miz then interrupted and said he knew he had his work cut out for him and that Bryan had no personality. As a retort, Bryan made fun of how Miz got to WWE through a reality show. When asked for a catch phrase, Bryan said that when they wrestled, Miz would either “snap or tap.” Miz concluded the segment by saying that Bryan failed to show charisma or personality and lightly slapped Bryan. Since he did in fact show a fair amount of charisma and personality, this segment worked for me. Obviously, they need to have Danielson shine in the ring as well.

After the break, Bryan argued with Striker who said he needed to show respect and listen to the Miz. They also cavalierly announced that Chris Jericho wrestles Bryan later in the show. Carlito came out and introduced Michael Tarver. His gimmick is that he is a boxer and can knock out anyone in 1.9 seconds. They showed clips of him in FCW; he was better-spoken in the video package than last night. They did a video package for Heath Slater, showing clips of him as a child playing with Wrestling Buddies and backyard wrestling.

Christian & Heath Slater v. Carlito & Michael Tarver
Slater started Carlito with a quick rollup but quickly lost the advantage. Tarver tagged in and threw punches immediately (he wears MMA gloves) but Slater got a crossbody forearm off of the middle rope and an arm drag to begin. Tarver countered with a drop toe hold. Carlito came in with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Carlito and Tarver worked a rest hold. Slater got a hot tag to Christian who came in with a clothesline and a missile dropkick. Carlito slipped out of the kill switch twice, but did get caught with a springboard sunset flip for a two count. Carlito made a tag and the heels tried to double-team. That failed as Christian caught Tarver on a charge and Slater pulled Carlito to the floor. Christian used the kill switch on Tarver for the victory.
By the way, they shot some of this match with a slightly different camera angle; looking down on the ring at about a 30° angle. It’s different enough that you notice it, but not different enough that it makes a substantial difference in how you watch the match.
Christian & Slater d. Carlito & Tarver.

Darren Young v. David Otunga
CM Punk cut a strong promo acting disgusted as to why he was here, saying he wanted to mentor Gallows and Serena and not Darren Young. They then went to a video package on David Otunga, who has a combination gimmick of “I’m from Hollywood” and “I’m from Harvard.” They showed pictures of him with his fiancée Jennifer Hudson, Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson. Otunga started with a couple of clotheslines and a botched slam or spine buster for the pin in less than thirty seconds. What was the point of that?
Otunga d. Young.

Chris Jericho v. Daniel Bryan
Wade Barrett was with Jericho at ringside and was asked to do the ring introduction. Barrett has a potentially interesting dichotomy here where his gimmick is that he’s a former bare-knuckle fighter but he wears a wool cape as a ring robe and speaks with a Sir John Gielgud-like British accent. Michael Cole got the match off to a ringing start by saying he has never heard of Daniel Bryan. And then he went on and on about how Bryan has to respect the Miz. That’s what they cannot do is have the announcers give any credence to the Miz’s side of this feud. If it’s that Cole is supposed to be a heel on this show, then it makes no sense to have him be the straight man on Raw.
They started by exchanging dropkicks with one another. Jericho hit a back suplex to ground Bryan. After a quick attempt at a rollup, Jericho landed an enzigiri. They then inexplicably cut to Striker interviewing Barrett for all of thirty seconds. Jericho missed a charge into the corner and rammed the post. Bryan hit a shining wizard for a near fall. Matthews and Cole kept up a silly argument about Bryan’s credentials with Matthews trying to put him over while Cole kept burying his past (“high school gym in front of 50 people”, “dirt sheets”). Meanwhile, the match continued with Bryan getting a near fall off of a clothesline. They actually blew a spot as Bryan didn’t get Jericho over the top rope on a clothesline spot. Jericho rolled out and Bryan hit a plancha dropping Jericho but also sending himself into the announce table. Back inside, Jericho stepped back from a springboard move and tried for the Walls of Jericho. Bryan rolled into a heel hook which Jericho sold effectively before getting to the ropes. Jericho then hit the codebreaker and used the old Lion Tamer. Bryan tapped immediately which is an awful finish. It would have been much better to have Jericho just get the win off of the code breaker, because having a babyface tap out clean in the middle immediately is just stupid. After the good match, Cole said Bryan was as boring as watching paint dry.
Jericho d. Bryan.

After the match, Miz did a beatdown on Bryan.

Backstage, Striker plugged next week’s show. Standing behind him were the other six rookies, including Darren Young who was smiling after losing in thirty seconds.

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