WWE NXT #004 (Review)

Skip Sheffield battles Wade Barrett in the main event, whilst Darren Young is taught a tough lesson by his mentor, CM Punk…

Darren Young & CM Punk (with Luke Gallows & Serena Deeb)
Matt Hardy & Justin Gabriel
(Winners via pinfall: Young & CM Punk)

Daniel Bryan
The Great Khali
(Winner via pinfall: The Great Khali)

Heath Slater
Michael Tarver
(Winner via pinfall: Heath Slater)

Wade Barrett (with Chris Jericho)
Skip Sheffield (with William Regal)
(Winner via pinfall: Wade Barrett)


For a show that focused almost entirely on in-ring action, episode four of NXT once again was an underwhelming experience for those who like to watch the action between the ropes. In fact, it’s someone that can be said of a lot of weekly televised wrestling even now, and one reason we don’t often cover such shows here at TalkProWrestling.com. Commercial breaks and such just work to the detriment of the product being shown.

I’d certainly not claim that there was nothing to enjoy here. Daniel Bryan’s ongoing storyline with The Miz saw further progression, even in the absence of his NXT Pro, with a quick defeat against a former World Heavyweight Champion (The Great Khali) adding to Bryan’s win/loss record. Big Show, tag team partner of The Miz at this time, also came out to stick the boot in post-match, reminding us once again that Bryan is not worthy of being a WWE superstar. Thankfully, he has an ally on commentary in Josh Matthews, who’s arguments with fellow commentator Michael Cole about Bryan are entertaining to hear. Cole hasn’t completely turned on Bryan at this point, but you can sense it is coming.

CM Punk seeing ring action was a pleasant surprise, as he successfully teamed with his rookie to hand Justin Gabriel his first loss of the series. His celebration with Darren Young after the match did seem out of character, until we realised that he’d planned for Luke Gallows to attack Young soon after. At this point, I think we’ve had three brawls/attacks between rookie and pro, and we are only four episodes in? It seems excessive, to be honest. Young and the Straight Edge Society continue to be an entertaining part of the show though, with the former sharing none of the SES’s values to the point that you can’t help but smile any time they are all on TV.

The final two matches were by-the-numbers. Slater extended his win record, but his match was too short and lacked any real match psychology. Tarver needs to do more, but he’s not really had the platform to do so, four hours into this series.

Barrett gets his second main event spot in a row, and is clearly the won who WWE management have their eye on. Jericho is hilarious in his role as a mentor, shouting at the announcers to discuss how wonderful his rookie is, and sharing in all of Barrett’s glory when the latter takes another win. Sheffield has the build, and we know he’ll go on to become a main event talent in the company, but at this point he couldn’t look any more farther from his future Ryback persona if he tried.

The freshness is wearing off of NXT at this point, and once again it plays as another rushed idea by WWE that wasn’t developed in the slightest before its launch. There’s no plan, at this point, and it just feels like a standard weekly WWE show but with some new names. Change is coming soon, however!

Match of the Night

Darren Young & CM Punk vs. Justin Gabriel & Matt Hardy



Click here to watch this show on the WWE Network

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