This show is now the one I look forward to every week. Then, Smackdown. Haven't even watched the 3/8 Raw because I've been busy doing constructive things, like working and playing drums and listening to music and getting high on illegal drugs.
First segment had Daniel Bryan & the Miz losing a tag-team match against R-Truth & David Otunga. Of course, after the Miz told Bryan not to fuck up and cost them the match, Miz fucked up and cost them the match. Bryan has lost three weeks in a row (the first three weeks of the show), but already had the crowd chanting his name (albeit quietly) and has wrestled the current World Champion, Chris Jericho. Best part was post-match when Bryan made like he was going to slap Miz but pulled back, making the Miz flinch. Crowd loved to see him get punked.
Speaking of, CM Punk and his crew have been putting the slow burn on Darren Young. Dissing him the first week, Punk hooking the foot of Otunga to give Young the win the second week and this week Punk talking about him right in front of him, but facing opposite direction. This dude has a hairstyle begging to be shaved. His "party-guy" gimmick pales in comparison to Zach Ryder's, so ditching the hair, weird tan and big smile could be a good move, but would it make Punk's stable too big? We've already got the enforcer (Luke Gallows) and the vixen (Serena), so what role would Young play?
Carlito jobbed to Heath Slater after spitting apple in his face at the very end of NXT Week Two. Amazing. Who did Carlito piss off? Slater, by the way, needs to do something about his hair, and his happy-go-lucky, "rock band without the instruments" gimmick has no depth whatsoever. Harsh, I know, but it takes more than just being positive to stand out in the world of wrestling.
Main Event featured Matt Hardy's rookie, Justin Gabriel versus Chris Jericho's "protege" Wade Barrett in a good match. Jericho proudly strode around ringside exclaiming the virtues of his influence over Barrett, including a great moment that saw Jericho yelling in Josh Matthews' face about how great Barrett is, Matthews' suggesting that Jericho join them on guest commentary, and Jericho responding, "Maybe I should!"
Gabriel won with his crowd-pleasing 450 splash, but Jericho hit a post-match Codebreaker and stretched him out in the Walls Of Jericho. Like last week against Bryan, Barrett has targeted his opponents' back preceding a Walls Of Jericho from, um, Jericho after the match. Speaking of, this week saw a cool, brutal spot where Barrett lifted Gabriel like in an Atomic Drop, but bounced Gabriel's legs off the top rope and dropped him into a back-breaker. Springboard Back-Breaker? Modified Atomic Drop?
Once again it was interesting to note the difference in Jericho's, um, Walls Of Jericho between NXT and Superstars. He's used the Walls twice, now, in NXT, and both times really bent backwards the Rookie and put his knee to the back of their heads. Just brutal-looking. Meanwhile, over on Superstars, Jericho just put Goldust in a Boston Crab and Cole announced it as the Walls.
Overall, Week Three was another fun show, a good balance of storyline and matches. It's already becoming clear who the standouts are, but a few rookies (Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield) have yet to get a chance to shine.
No news on the voting process that was mentioned during Week Two. Here's what we know: at some point, the Pros will vote on the Rookies, the only rule being that the Pros cannot vote for their own Rookie. Also, some of the Rookies have alluded to the fact that only one of them will win this competition. What we don't know: if it's elimination-style or just one vote at the end, and when the competition ends. Basically, the two most important pieces to the puzzle.
Without this information, it's hard to root for any of the Rookies. One has to imagine that the voting will occur once the season ends, as not every Rookie gets to wrestle every week. Still, without a definitive end date, the audience can't get nervous for their favorite. If I knew that the show was only six weeks long, for example, I'd be worried that Bryan wouldn't make it because he's already lost all of his matches on 50% of the shows.
NXT could have been a great reality-competition knock-off from the start if they'd established the ground rules immediately, retaining an iota of kayfabe. Slowly leaking out information over the course of a month just reminds the crowd that this is just another predetermined WWE show.
The irony, of course, is that while the WWE probably has a good idea of who they want to bring up from FCW, every week really is competition between the Rookies to show what they've got in front of millions on TV.