Just finished up Tuesday night’s WWE NXT and came away with a greater appreciation for a few people, equal appreciation for others, and somehow more disdain for one poor sap.
1) Alex Riley. He’s got it. Riley is a shoe-in for future WWE superstar. Does that mean he’ll win NXT? Not necessarily; WWE might want to call up someone else from this season but feel as though that person needs the prestige of winning this competition as a feather in his hat. But Riley, with his fine wrestling skills, his timing, his ability to sell, his great look and his microphone skills, is the best thing this season has going for it.
2) Kaval. I’m glad a bigger-than-normal audience got a chance to see Kaval work, to see his unique but effective offense, his timing and his pre-taped promo where he not only explained his personal background — and the inspiration for his dedication, which is important in character development — but his professional background as well, including his title reigns overseas. Did Michelle “Vacuum” McCool and Layla “You’re Not Still With William Regal?” El do Kaval many favors on commentary? Not really; they didn’t explain what Kaval brings to the table, nor anything tangible they’ll offer him. But again, those two as his pros keep Kaval in the spotlight for as long as the WWE writers continue to enjoy this perverse humor. (Oh, and how about Cole already ragging on Kaval for his interest in “The Simpsons”? Geez, buzzkill.)
3) Husky Harris. Thirty years ago, Husky Harris would have been a beer-drinking shit-kicker. Twenty years ago he would have been a little bit sloppier hard-nosed brawler. I don’t know what I’d call him today, but I like him. He’s big, his look is unconventional, he’s fairly agile, he’s from good stock, he’s got a nice little story to tell, and he tells his stories well. Let’s keep it coming, Husky.
4) Percy Watson. Once again, Teeth McGeeth steals a scene in which he’s not even all that involved. How can you deny this guy? Even standing in a line with seven other guys of all shapes and sizes, Percy Watson stands out. I would have liked to have heard him talk or seen him wrestle, but we can’t see or hear from everyone every single week.
5) Michael McGillicutty. The third-generation wonder, the son of my hero and the grandson of the biggest teddy bear I’ve ever been afraid of, is missing something. He doesn’t look like a babyface, but he acts like one. He’s not the size of a light heavyweight, but at times he tries to wrestle like one. He’s a little too exuberant in his mannerisms, especially his bush-league walk through the curtain and down the aisle. But his timing is good, his bumps are great (he actually waits until he gets hit to take a fall), and he can kinda sorta talk. I’m glad I got to see him wrestle.
6) Titus O’Neil. Literally because he repeated his “Make it a win” line in that backstage surveillance footage with him and Zack Ryder, O’Neil makes it two notches higher in my rankings this week. I’m sure he’ll slide back down after the next time he wrestles on TV.
7) Lucky Cannon. Eh, still amateur hour as far as I’m concerned. Cody Rhodes was right: Cannon does have a stupid look on his face. His wrestling didn’t wow me; it didn’t even make enough of an impression on me for me to remember whether or not he was any good. His back story, which I thought had to do with him being shot twice while in the line of active police duty, turned into someone clubbing him in the head with a steel pipe and putting him in a coma. Now there’s a hero, folks. Worse things have happened to personal friends of mine in my hometown, and I wouldn’t call them “lucky,” nor would I call them “future WWE superstar.” Bleh.
8 ) Eli Cottonwood. Fuck this dirtball. I couldn’t give two shits about this no-talking, no-wrestling idiot if I were born with a pair of assholes. Get a haircut or go the fuck home. (P.S. John Morrison, learn how not to fumble over your pre-planned insults and your only two lines before pandering to the crowd, you weak-ass fucker.)
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