The Miz carries an injury into the show that threatens to impact the main event, whilst the NXT Rookies are tested on their ability to sell…
Heath Slater & Christian
Chris Jericho & Wade Barrett
(Winners via pinfall: Jericho & Barrett)
Michael Tarver (with Carlito)
Darren Young (with Luke Gallows & Serena Deeb)
(Winner via pinfall: Darren Young)
Skip Sheffield (with William Regal)
Daniel Bryan (with The Miz)
(Winner via pinfall: Skip Sheffield)
When you approach the main event of the show, and there are only two minutes left on the episode timer, you realise you’re likely to be disappointed by what you’re going to see. Then you discover that Daniel Bryan, under his current booking, will be in the match, meaning you know you’re going to be disappointed. Was the match as dire as the 0.5 I awarded it? Perhaps not, or perhaps the grade was too high? They had less than 120 seconds to wrestle a match that was the main event – the result was never going to be enjoyable. That Bryan found himself pinned cleanly, yet again, was like salt on the wound.
To be fair to that entire segment, The Miz using his injury to sub himself out, and Bryan in, was wonderful. It was something fresh to this show, and only this show, playing on the dynamic created by having rookies and mentors. Such a setup is perfect for a heel and babyface partnership, as it has been from day one with The Miz and Daniel Bryan.
The weekly challenge was a disaster, saved only in part by the ingenuity of those taking part in it. This time, the NXT Rookies were tasked with selling official programmes to fans at ringside, a competition that looked like it was going to fall on its arse when no one at ringside wanted a programme off of Skip Sheffield. Unfortunately for him, the crowd weren’t caught off guard by the nature of the challenge when everyone else attempted it, and pockets of eager young fans wanting to make a purchase formed throughout the arena. From Daniel Bryan’s decision to give them away for free, to David Otunga’s hilarious decision to have two fans give them out for him whilst he took all the money… this became a success when everything pointed to it being a disaster.
From a wrestling perspective, there was nothing here to really enjoy. That is the norm for this season of NXT, so I didn’t feel so underwhelmed this time, but the booking of the main event did have me wanting to tear the skin off my face in frustration. There are some great things going on in this show, but it’s sad that the wrestling is not one of them. The weekly challenges are ridiculous and vary in entertainment quality, but the wrestling matches have been consistently disappointing. That’s down to time and booking, not the talent involved.
Match of the Night
Heath Slater & Christian vs. Chris Jericho & Wade Barrett