After last night’s WWE NXT, I guess the question is, would I rather have an episode that focuses more on the Nexus angle than the objective of this series, or an edition capped off with another lame obstacle course? Actually, the answer is obvious: the latter, because it gives Husky Harris the chance to shine (and Eli Cottonwood to f’ up and need to improvise). However, when a few rookies are left out of the ring and kept to the microphone only, opinions and perceptions change, and not necessarily for the better.
1) Alex Riley. God, this guy is amazing. As usual, his wrestling was good, his mic work was excellent, and him yelling at the referees during the obstacle course was classic. By the way, he’s super jacked up for not being a “big guy” by typical WWE standards, so for that reason alone, the 6-foot-1 blond kid is basically guaranteed a job. His god-given abundance of talent is just the icing on the cake.
2) Percy Watson. I cannot get over how great his mic skills are — sure, he’s a little rough around the edges, but only compared to the polished and waxed scripted WWE promo delivery, but he’d have been an amazing territory promo — and the way the crowd reacts to something as simple as, “You know what I’m sayin’?” He showed glimpses of another dimension last week with his bowing up and this week with his sorrow, and that’s good when all we’ve really seen up to this point is Johnny B. Badd Version Two. Watson’s also athletic as heck, even evidenced during the obstacle course; did you see the ease with which he shoved that cart up the ramp?!
3) Kaval. We’ve seen six weeks of his in-ring work, which keeps him high on this list. But last night’s promo? Pee-yew! I’ve never agreed with Michael Cole the way I agreed with him last night when he said of Kaval’s promo: “That was horrible!” Sorry, Kaval, but it was.
4) Michael McGillicutty. His pre-taped promo with jibber jabber from the pros summed up McGillicutty well: He’s a great hand with a hint of a character behind that generic-ass look. His hair is stupid, his tights are trash, and his entrance through the curtain is cheesy. And he’s totally miscast as a babyface, but the good thing about that is that it’s as plain as the nose on my face that McGillicutty will make an amazing cocky heel.
5) Husky Harris. Harris tripped over his first promo a little bit (and laughed it off, which isn’t a good idea on live WWE TV, where everything should be taken 100 percent seriously lest Kevin Dunn chew you out with his big buck teeth), but he wrestled another good tag match (a situation that plays to his strengths) and came across as the bad-ass high school bully we’ve come to love when demolishing the obstacle course. I’m sorry, seeing him get down in the three-point stance and then barreling over that hurdle had me in stitches.
6) Eli Cottonwood. Whoa, did I just do this?? Yes, only because when he flubbed during the obstacle course, it forced him to improvise, and his reaction was memorable and even a little funny (see: John Morrison’s face). I actually want to see him stick around one more week to watch him clutz around just a little longer.
7) Lucky Cannon. The pros in Cannon’s pre-taped segment summed it up well: He’s athletic but super generic. And his pandering promo didn’t do him any favors. Yawn.