We will begin with the soon-to-debut NXT (tomorrow night in fact). Much has been said about the end of WWECW, much has been said about the program replacing it, and much has been said about Miz being Danielson's "mentor" (see: My Opinion Is Right below).
NXT came to be due to the disastrous ratings ECW had begun to garner in the last year (there's something about Christian not being a draw either here). In full panic mode, as Vince is prone to enter, ECW was cancelled to be replaced by a new, "outside-the-box" WWE program. Combining Tough Enough with the Ultimate Fighter (and a little WWECW to boot, believe it or not), NXT was born.
The idea is that you pair a WWE veteran with a WWE rookie. The line-ups are as such:
Bryan Danielson | The Miz
Darren Young | CM Punk
David Otunga | R-Truth
Heath Slater | Christian
Justin Gabriel | Matt Hardy
Michael Tarver | Carlito
Skip Sheffield | William Regal
Wade Barrett | Chris Jericho
The first, and most obvious, question is this: who did Justin Gabriel piss off? His career is pretty much immediately doomed unless he just kills Matt Hardy somehow. All of the rookies have been assigned characters for them to interact with their mentors to varying degrees of entertainment. Skip Sheffield, for instance, is a cowboy. Can't you just imagine the interactions he'll have with William Regal (originally MVP)? Oh, ho ho ho. How funny. In any event, he's probably the first to be future endeavored. David Otunga is a rich black man, which counteracts R-Truth's poor black man. See how that works?
It's hard to determine or view where it exactly this concept will take us. I, for one, am genuinely excited by it. For over a decade, WWE has seemingly refused to evolve its programming. Even genuinely good ideas like the brand split have been muddied by having talents appear on any show whenever the writers feel like it. This idea, at the very least, is an incredibly fresh take on pro wrestling. Even ROH, the alternative pro wrestling that is in fact not alternative at all, doesn't offer something as unique as this.
Everything lies in the execution and it seems counterproductive to judge the product before we see it (as most are doing). At the very least, we'll get something we haven't seen on WWE TV before.
That said, Santino's comedy show starring Kozlov has epic fail written all over it. How'd they drop the ball on Santino, anyway?
My Opinion is Right
While in the future I'll try to provide two different areas for the central points of my blog, today's bits are intrinsically linked. Before moving on, I should stress that this portion of the column is bred out of my utter shock at something that someone said somewhere and the idiocy of that someone's something. I.E. I take a stupid comment I've read and refute it.
This month's comment has to do with Bryan Danielson and The Miz being partnered up on NXT. The IWC had a figurative heart attack last Tuesday night when The Miz popped up next to "Daniel Bryan." Immediately the floodgates of "LAWL Danielson is more of a pro than Miz" etc. were opened. The IWC went to war with very notion that someone as pitiful as the Miz could teach Bryan Danielson, indy wunderkind and indy-proclaimed "Best in the World," anything.
Before I continue, let me say this. Bryan Danielson is, without a doubt, my favorite wrestler of all time. I've driven 5+ hours TWICE just to see him wrestle. There is no doubt in my mind that he is, in fact, the "Best in the World."
That said, people proclaiming that this partnership of Miz and Danielson is anything but awesome are idiots. The end.
First, and foremost, we must tackle the issue of "Pro/Mentor" and "Rookie." Just as J.J. Dillon didn't truly manage all of Tully Blanchard's affairs, as Sunny did not truly take care of the financial aspects of the Smoking Gunns, and as Clarence Mason was not in fact a true lawyer, Miz will not actually be a "mentor." The "mentor" title is no more for show than General Manager, Sports Agent, or Handler of Kimala. To get hung up over that seems petty and, frankly, fucking stupid.
Second, I don't buy into this whole "Danielson has no charisma"-bulljive. That's crap. Danielson is not John Cena nor the Rock, but he has more charisma than Bret Hart, Matt Hardy, and Brock Lesnar on their best days. Yes, I said that. That said, the Miz could very well be the biggest main eventer in pro wrestling two years from now depending on how his career takes him (of course, Santino could be in that position right now but we see how that turned out). Add to that, Miz is one of the hardest working individuals in the 'E right now, and you have a great pairing of two students of the game who both have "It." What more do you need?
You need something more?
THIRD, this will inevitably lead to a Danielson/Miz feud. Seriously, Danielson could do a lot worst than being set up in a program with one of WWE's top heels.
Just wait, Miz/Danielson will be a great pairing for both men who will no doubt grow mutually from their partnership.
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