WWE NXT. What is it? What’s the concept behind it? Well, from my eyes, I would believe it would literally be something like what my broadcast partner has said the former ECW should be. A brand new crop of talent from top to bottom fighting a set of programs against each other for the supeirority of the brand and the superiority of the talent evaluators in WWE in order to reach to the next level.
Looking at the current ECW Roster, I would think some of the members would remain, and some may get future endeavoured. Let me illustrate briefly.
Caylen Croft & Trent Barretta – I would think WWE would try and get some new tag team blood on to the program, and since these two men have had experience as a tag team, the novel idea would be to see how much further they can go with more time, more exposure, and more opportunities.
Ezekiel Jackson – I would think this man should be one of the cornerstones of this brand. A huge athlete with a lot of up side as a silent bodyguard to a top flight heel or face, this man has all the athletic tools to be a main eventer for the new brand, if given the opportunity to do so. I believe he will get that chance, as I suspect his present veteran mentor will remain on the brand as a “coach” for the forthcoming talent roster.
William Regal – I think Regal would be given the opportunity to truly show his technical and teaching merits by being a face of this program, and not a babyface, but a role model for the rest of the talent to follow. Regal has made a star of Big Zeke, and took Vladimir Kozlov to levels that he had no chance of obtaining on his own. When I think of William Regal, I think of Fit Finlay. An exact same mold, just from England instead of Northern Ireland. A true warrior to lead this new crop of warriors.
Yoshi Tatsu – I’m not sure if Tatsu’s talent set is truly ready to take it to the next level, but this rebranding will continue to give him the opportunities he needs to see where his potential truly lies.
Zach Ryder – I think this man could be a top contender for the new championship. I think he and Rosa Mendes would be a major possibility for babyface top couple in this new brand.
I have a feeling that you’d see Christian and Shelton Benjamin redrafted elsewhere, Christian because his skills are limitless, and Benjamin because he can still provide an incredible contest, even if his mike skills are limited at best.
I would suspect that men like Goldust and Hurricane Helms may be on the chopping block with this new endeavour because I suspect Dustin Runnels will not want to allow the youngsters to get much more over on him, and I suspect that Gregory Helms’s future in WWE is rather bleak since the major blunder he and Jericho suffered from in Kentucky recently.
I also think Vladimir Kozlov is done in WWE. I just don’t think Mr. Prudius has the tools to continue to evolve in to a star that Vince McMahon can find useful. It’s sad in this case. Kozlov has plummeted from beating Undertaker clean on Smackdown, to jobbing on ECW. It’s really been a fall from grace of epic proportions.
Looking at the present roster in Florida Championship Wrestling, I would suspect you’d see Curt Hawkins given a shot to return to television, perhaps alongside his former running buddy Zach Ryder. There’s chemistry there, and another tag team is never a bad thing. Also, Hawkins has run in FCW with Croft and Barretta as the Dudebusters, (what a corny name), so the utilization value along with recognition by die hard WWE fans would make Hawkins a viable asset.
I could see Paul Burchill or Lance Cade get reintroduced to television on this brand. Both men have experience, both men are still new at their crafts, and both men can provide some leadership for the forthcoming crop of youngsters I believe would have a shot to make it in this brand in the comimg months.
I have to admit, I don’t know a tremendous amount of information on most of the men and women in FCW, but I do know some. I would be remiss to say that I believe this show will be the coming out party of three individuals who have been in FCW for some period of time, some longer than others. Those individuals are Kaval, AJ Lee, and Bryan Danielson.
Kaval is a talent with all the tools. He is as hard hitting as they come, he can compete in the charisma department with anyone by not even uttering a sound, and he could be utilized in big man or small man feuds at will. AJ Lee, although I have not seen her personally, is a alumnae of my friend Sean “the MiC” McCaffrey’s WSU promotion, and I can tell you from all the press I have seen, this woman has the tools to be one major league star. Not to mention that she is as hot as can be. Hot, and talented. A devastating combination.
Danielson, in my opinion, is the next future star in WWE. I know I’ve said that about Punk, and even Evan Bourne, and although Bourne hasn’t reached that pinnacle yet, Punk has indeed, and I suspect Dragon will do the same. Bourne, on a quick side note, I would not be surprised to see Bourne re-emerge on this brand, because his experience competing on the main brands would serve as a nice point of leverage to give him a well deserved head start in this NXT brand, perhaps resulting in a championship run that I believe Bourne needs desperately to elevate his status to the next level.
Back to Danielson, he is as close to a complete package, in my opinion, as there is in pro wrestling. This opinion I will state from experience. I’ve seen him wrestle technical masterpieces, all out brawls, heel out the crowd to the point that they’re near rioting, and babyface the crowd to have nearly 2000 people singing the man’s theme song like he’s the next coming of Mahatma Gandhi. And I’ve seen him do this in ONE MATCH’S LENGTH, repeatedly. Bryan Danielson is as talented a competitor as I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, and if this brand is not used to catapult a talent like Dragon to the high ranks of WWE, then I will be ripping creative a new one, week by week, on the Rewind, you can mark that tape, or screen, Skipper, as the case may be.
So, let me try and shrink the roster down in a list form, and then go forward.
Serena (from Punk’s society)
I would be remissed if I didn’t suspect that Abraham Washington could potentially be used as an authority figure. And of course, where Abe goes, Tony Atlas is sure to follow.
I would not suspect many women in the NXT brand, although Serena going here would be a good fit because it would encompass more of WWE for Punk to “save”, and Mendes IS A WRESTLER, so the obvious thing would be to see her return to wrestling on a semi-regular basis.
I know this is a small sample of a potential list of talent for the brand, but personally, I think that this is a good core to work with.
I read somewhere where they thought NXT would be a reality show similar to Tough Enough. While Tough Enough had its merits, I doubt you’ll see Vince McMahon return to that level of television. It’s not his forte, by any stretch.
If you’re going to talk to me about titles in this brand, personally, I could see only one singles title, as I doubt that the brand would have the space available to develop a midcard or tag team title division. In contention for this title I would think would be Big Zeke, Evan Bourne, Zach Ryder, Curt Hawkins, either Kaval or Danielson or both, and one of he veterans, most likely Regal. Perhaps add Cade and Burchill to the mix, That would give you eight, and a good start to the brand by having a tournament to determine the first NXT Champion.
And as I said on the show, they BETTER design a new belt for this brand.
This topic is BRIEFLY discussed in this upcoming weekend’s Pro Wrestling Rewind radio show. Due to circumstances, I’m only on for the first part of the show. SO, I offer a challenge to my readers. I have given you, what I think, is a viable roster for the NXT brand.
Send your ideas to my email at Klac1102@aol.com. Or pop them on the Rewind fan page on facebook by clicking here. If you’re on facebook, and not a fan of the Rewind, I encourage you to check us out. The mp3s from the show are available there each week. We contribute to the page often, we encourage interaction, and suggestions for content for the show are more than welcome. We’re approaching 500 fans. We’re really anxious to get this page rolling even further than 500.
I’ll check out your ideas and respond in kind, either by email, or on the show, so be sure to check out the Pro Wrestling Rewind, each week on wrestleview.com/rewind, facebook at the fan page, or on iTunes.
My apologies for my lack of content on the site. If anyone has suggestions on future topics for columns, I welcome them by email or facebook, or any other way you can get a chance to find me. I’m all over the net. Speaking of that, Here is my twitter. Just to give you another shot to reach me.
Thanks for reading, everybody. Anyone in the Northeastern United States this weekend, be safe.