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Inside The Wheelhouse: Can’t wait for NXT week

Daniel BryanI hate doing a play on words in the title but I had to. The WWE names a show NXT and there are so many titles I could have gone with. Who’s NXT, What’s NXT, Who is that sitting NXT to you, NXT week I have a doctors appointment…you get the picture.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the very first episode of the WWE NXT show. I went into the show with an open mind, not really sure of what I’d be watching. What I did know are a couple of the contestants or “rookies” as WWE has deemed them.

Former Ring of Honor (ROH) World Champion “The American Dragon” Brian Danielson, now known as Daniel Bryan became everyone’s favorite going into the show due to his extensive background. Then you had David Otunga who I recognized from VH1’s I love New York 2. Not that I’m a fan of the show or anything…I swear my girlfriend made me watch it. Then finally the last recognizable name was Skip Sheffield also known as Ryan Reeves who competed in the third edition of Tough Enough. The same edition of Tough Enough that brought us The Miz.

The transformation of The Miz in the last year is a whole separate blog in itself and the show NXT may be the next stepping stone for this future main eventer (still can’t believe I’m writing that). The way he has handled mentoring Daniel Bryan has been extremely entertaining thus far. Daniel Bryan & The Miz were the focus on the very episode and may be the main focus of this entire first season as the weeks continue to past till we crown a season one winner.

I was extremely happy with getting Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan on the very episode. You knew that despite the lack of television time allowed that the match would still be pretty solid. It lived up to the prediction as Jericho and Bryan put on a decent match showing a good percentage of people what”The American Dragon” could do in the squared circle. It wasn’t by accident that WWE put Jericho/Bryan in the very first match; they knew that this match would be the foundation for the show and would bring viewers into the program.

Other things to note were the David Otunga (mentored by R-Truth) vs. Darren Young (mentored by CM Punk) match. The match itself was pretty sloppy. Otunga has the look that WWE loves but I’m sure that isn’t the first impression he wanted to give to the WWE audience. Not much to mention about Darren Young from the first episode; the one thing that stood out from me is that the CM Punk/Darren Young interaction is going to get more entertaining throughout the course of the show. I really enjoyed it and it should be fun to watch as the show continues, as for his ring work hopefully we will see a better example of what can come from Darren Young.

The Christian/Heath Slater vs. Carlito/Michael Tarver tag match was decent as well. Not on the same par as Bryan/Jericho but well beyond Otunga/Young. Slater looked good in the ring but his gimmick comes off annoying which may work to his advantage down the line. As for Tarver, I feel bad that he got paired with Carlito who is almost non-existent on regular WWE programming. His gimmick is pretty interesting as he has the whole Boxer/MMA persona going on right now. It’s something we really haven’t seen since Ken Shamrock and with the current popularity of MMA it should only benefit Tarver.

Now that the first episode is in the books I’m really looking forward to this show which is something I couldn’t say with the WWECW that used to air in the same timeslot. It’s something new and different; hopefully it continues to be entertaining. As for stars coming from this show, without a doubt the show is going to be built around Daniel Bryan. There hasn’t been this much hype for a developmental star since CM Punk, “The American Dragon” should do very well and it might lead us towards a Miz/Bryan feud down the line.

As for other stand out stars I enjoyed the quick mic work Wade Barrett (who Chris Jericho is mentoring) prior to the Jericho/Bryan match. The guy has the look and is obviously going to give people the idea that he is a younger William Regal based on looks, appearance and where he’s from. Hopefully he can break out of that British mold Regal has given WWE fans.

When it comes to everyone else I need to see more out of them before I can make a decision. Otunga has the WWE look, Darren Young/CM Punk interaction should be fun to watch, Slater has good ring work and Tarver has a cool looking gimmick. I’ve heard good stuff about Justin Gabriel (being mentored by Matt Hardy) and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do next week. I enjoy what WWE gave us this week with the first episode of WWE NXT, hopefully this will continue as the show continues to grow.

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

You can visit The Wheelhouse’s official website where you can download “high quality” shows and see all the latest happenings with the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com

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You can follow “The Champ” Jeff Peck on twitter by going to www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck or you can follow Wheelhouse Radio! on Twitter by visiting their page @ www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse. You can also e-mail them @ [email protected]

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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