February 23rd 2010, WWE had cancelled ECW and replaced it with a new show called NXT, focusing on new talent. It has been over four years since the concept of NXT was born, it lasted four seasons before becoming the WWE developmental brand we all rave about today. It’s a very common occurance that on every WWE card, a graduate from NXT is wrestling. With that thought, let’s look at the impact of NXT, today the impact of NXT season 1.
The inaugural NXT show opened up with The Miz talking trash about his NXT rookie Daniel Bryan, the only wrestler who had any real success prior to the show. A very bland looking former Bryan Danielson was sent down to the ring to introduce himself. The Miz would interrupt Bryan who used the catchphrase, “Snap or Tap”. This would begin a long rivalry between the two, which exploded shortly after Daniel was eliminated from the competition. Later on in the first show Daniel would have a classic match with then World Heavyweight Chris Jericho, proving he belonged in the big league.
Other than Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett looked like an early contender to win, being pair with Chris Jericho. David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Darren Young, Skip Sheffield and Michael Tarver rounded up all the rookies. Each of the rookies were teamed with Pro’s from the WWE. Some reflected the personality of the rookies whilst some were complete mismatch. My personal favourite was CM Punk and Darren Young. Punk just didn’t want to be there.
The first season was actually enjoyable, it was a unique concept to see how the wrestler developed over time, however they would all make “rookie” mistakes. Something I always found odd, wrestlers should always be booked strong, not weak due to inexperience.
After being voted number 1 during the first poll, Daniel Bryan was eliminated alongside Michael Tarver in week 12. The final three in the competition was Wade Barrett, David Otunga and the popular Justin Gabriel. Wade Barrett won the competition, winning a WWE contract.
|Rookie||Week 6||Week 12||Week 13||Week 14||Week 15|
|Daniel Bryan||1st||Eliminated by management|
|Michael Tarver||7th||Eliminated by management|
|Eliminated||N/A||Tarver, Bryan, & Sheffield||Young||Slater||Gabriel||Otunga|