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Vintage Best And Worst: WWE NXT 5/25/10 Season 1 Episode 14

By 03.26.14

David Otunga roll-up

Worst: David Otunga Is Still Not Great At Wrestling

God bless poor WWE developmental, they’re doing everything they can to hide David Otunga’s in-ring weaknesses and validate that “A-list star in the making” thing, but woof, the guy is straight-up feces in wrestling matches. What you’re looking at in the picture is him “holding down Heath Slater’s shoulders” after reversing a high crossbody by rolling through. He puts no effort into it, and Heath just kinda has to lay there with his arms stuck to the ground, flailing around like a goober.

One of the major problems with NXT season 1 is how there are these threads of logic and reasoning happening, but they conflict with one another and start and stop without warning. They spent 11 episodes painting Daniel Bryan has a helpless nerd, then turned him into a cool bad-ass out of nowhere. You know, once he got eliminated. They portrayed Darren Young as a loser, had him win a bunch of matches in a row to impress his pro, then get eliminated so awkwardly nobody could care. David Otunga had the “IT Factor” but needed to work on his in-ring stuff, but here he’s showing zero personality and just winning matches with roll-up reversals. It’s maddening. It’s so clearly a show run by committee when at the end of the day, a wrestling promotion needs one guy saying, “okay, here’s what we’re doing.”

Johnny Gargano NXT

Best: Michael Cole Uses Cleveland’s Best Security Force

Watch out, Bryan, if that guy starts slapping his thigh YOU’RE DEAD.

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Best: Daniel Bryan Goes HAM

As seen in last week’s Vintage Best and Worst report, a meek, eliminated-by-mercy-killing Daniel Bryan was humanely removed from NXT and came back as FURIOUS KILLER BRYAN DANIELSON, a guy who is tired of this shit and wants to kick your head in with logic BUT ALSO HIS FEET. It was the character tweak he desperately needed, and gave us hope that the asinine 11 weeks of nonsense we’d sat through watching him helplessly lose to everyone and be a sad baby would pay off.

The good news? He’s the same guy this week, coming to the ring to apologize to Michael Cole for throwing hands at him. Cole’s nervously hiding behind Team Local Wrestling Promotion here, confidently calling Bryan an undeserving loser as long as he isn’t in fear of repercussions. Things get heated and eventually Cole MINES UP and slaps Bryan, setting off one of the coolest fights I’ve ever seen on WWE TV.

The security guys try to hold him down as Cole scurries away, and you think that’s gonna be the end of it … but Bryan finds his way out of the ring and BOLTS around to catch Cole, slamming him into the barricade. Security swarms him as Cole kinda limply kicks his feet and yells APOLOGIZE! over and over, and Bryan heads up the ramp. You think that’s gonna be the end of it AGAIN, but The Miz starts running his mouth. Instead of getting into another argument, Bryan just hauls off and pops him with an elbow as every part of my wrestling fandom goes YES HIT HIM AGAIN, HARDER. They have a brief pull-apart that Miz is clearly not physically able to handle, and that’s finally the end.

I won’t say NXT season 1 paid off the abuse it gave Bryan, but weeks 13 and 14 did a hell of a job in helping. All I’ve ever wanted is for Bryan to respond to crappy naysayers by saying, “sure, but here’s me kicking you.”

Matt Hardy entrance

Best: These Cool Dudes Love Matt Hardy’s Entrance

This is like the Cthulhu of crowd shots. Every inch of it reveals something sinister.

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