Worst: Is Matt Striker Wearing A Short-Sleeved T-Shirt Suit Jacket?
You haven’t been in Express For Men for a minute.
Best: The Start Of A Beautiful Friendship
The opening match on this week’s show is the first “all rookies” tag match, pairing Skip Sheffield and Wade Barrett up against Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel. This is the first time Slater and Gabriel teamed up together, and this is important from one of two perspectives:
1. They ended up becoming three-time WWE Tag Team Champions and were such good friends that they stuck together through three incarnations of The Nexus: the original team, the New Nexus and The Corre. They once refused to hit each other (or CM Punk) with kendo sticks because they are Ultimate Bros.
2. They made up the bromance affectionately known in fan-fiction communities as SLABRIEL. They are wild and young and happy and hairless and EXTREMELY INTO TEAMING WITH ONE ANOTHER. And they believe in a thing called love, apparently.
Either way you look at it, the first pairing of the team is notable, and the only notable thing in this episode. They get the win, too, when Wade accidentally boots Skip in the face and costs his team the match. Okay, one other important thing:
Best: Skip’s Underpants Are The Only Thing Keeping Him In This Game
If you can’t make it out, his ass says NEXT BIGGEST THING. Last week they said SHOOOOOOT. Considering that the only character development Skip’s gotten since his introduction video has been “William Regal hates having to look at him,” the Message Trunks are doing him a favor.
I really hope he has a pair that say YOU’RE NEXT.
Worst: And Now, Three Straight Expanses Between Commercial Breaks About WrestleMania
In the last few columns I’ve joked about WrestleMania hype videos taking up too much of these shows, but holy shit, this week’s NXT has completely given up being a revolutionary concept in television history in favor of being an hour-long episode of Smackdown.
They have the opening match, go to commercial, and come back to a WrestleMania hype video. When that’s done, they go to commercial again. They come back to a SECOND WrestleMania hype video, go to commercial AGAIN, and return to a THIRD EXPANSE BETWEEN COMMERCIAL BREAKS DEDICATED TO WHATEVER’S HAPPENING AT WRESTLEMANIA. Batista is there, I don’t know, you wouldn’t be able to identify. They’ll occasionally toss in one of those “meet the rookies” clips from week 1, but the actual wrestling content of the show is the first match and the main-event, and that is sad. How do we get Heath Slater over? WHY, DEDICATE SIX MINUTES TO BRET HART AND VINCE MCMAHON SIGNING A CONTRACT, OF COURSE.
I might be thinking about it too much, but is/was there a single person in the world watching NXT that wasn’t interested in WrestleMania? That’d be like the Charleston RiverDogs stopping for three innings per game to make sure we know what the New York Yankees are.