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Falls Count Anywhere


...and Maverick is the spirit of the west.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and Cinequest is here!

I managed to break away from my week at Cinequest this week to spend a little time watching WWE’s newest show on SyFy, WWE NXT. I knew that the concept was a way to get new guys over by having eight Rookies partnered with eight Pros and have them go and try and make their mark. I was hearing it would be something like Tough Enough, but I was hoping it would be something more like the AWA’s Team Challenge Series. What I got was neither, but was actually pretty good.

Let’s start with the obvious: the eight rookies. They include David Otunga, a Reality TV guy who has a great body and is getting married to Jennifer Hudson. There’s a dude named Heath Slater who’s supposed to be a Southern rocker of some sort. There’s this guy who’s supposed to be a party animal, a guy who’s English, a guy from South Africa and a dude who I have no description for other than he’s a dude.

And there’s Bryan Danielson, now known as Daniel Bryan.

He’s the star of the first episode, largely because they obviously see value in the guy. They had him appear in the ring for the first segment, having him start to deliver a promo, only to be interrupted by The Miz. Great line: ‘I wanna say one thing to all my fans around the world: I’m sorry. I wish I could have had William Regal as my Pro, but these things happen’. The Miz came in, ran him down and slapped him.

Why this is important is that it not only shows they have faith in him enough to have him open the first show, but they gave him a storyline to start with, and they focused on it. It’s a great sign for the future of Daniel, but it’s even more important that they let him talk. He may not be a charisma machine, but he started to connect with the crowd already. The segment was pretty good.

They had a tag team match where it was Heath Slater, who they are obviously pushing as the second guy (and in the promo package for him, he showed some good flashy moves), teamed with Christian against this guy Tarver, who is the son of a former Prize Fighter, and Carlito. Tarver’s got a good look, and while he isn’t terribly fluid, he’s got a bit of potential.

The match was pretty average, but it was also very obvious that Heath was bound for nothing but Enhancement Talent. He’s a decent seller, he pulls moves out OK, but he’s got no crowd pull. Christian got the pin on Tarver. It wasn’t a bad segment.

There was a terrible sign about the depth of talent with the next match. CM Punk is the Pro for Rookie Darren Young. Darren is pushed as the South Beach party boy. CM Punk is the head of The Straight Edge Society, the anti-partying stable that’s managed to become solid heels. They let Punk cut a taped promo, which was pretty good. I love Punk’s gimmick (and let me say this: Serena is the hottest of the WWE’s Divas right now, especially with her shaved head) and having them team together would be cool if they did real angles and such, and you know what, I’m betting they will at some point.

David Otunga came out, and I have to admit that he did an OK promo, he’s got some charisma. The match started and Darren went off the ropes, Otunga caught him and gave him a Batista-style Spinebuster…sort of.

You see, he basically lifted him a bit and threw him down on his shoulder. It was so ugly. I mean, I’ve seen some botched moves, but this was the ugliest I’ve ever seen that didn’t result in serious injuries. It was terrible and I’m not expecting Otunga to get much better. The worst part is that Darren is now completely buried.

The big main event was Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan. This was a pretty good match, Jericho and Daniel worked well together, but the best part was a simple moment when Daniel went for a Tope through the ropes, Jericho caught him and put him into the side of the announcer’s table. It was just about the biggest bump I’ve seen in my life. It was awesome. Daniel got a hot submission attempt (they seem to be pushing him as a submission expert), but he tapped pretty quick from the Walls of Jericho. It wasn’t solid, but it was good to see Daniel put as the star. And the crowd took to him.

After the match, The Miz attacked Daniel, said that he’d been embarrassed. It really seems like they’re ready to give him a push by starting off with a feud with The Miz, perhaps including a WrestleMania match between the two of them.

Still, I don’t think they’ve taken full advantage of the format and made The Pros and the Rookies have to work together with only one of the Rookies going forward. They’ve built up an idea that could work, but it’s really just another show. I’m hoping it works, and if they keep going in this direction, they’ll at least get Daniel over as a new star!

Chris Garcia

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