This Week in ‘E – NXT Generation

All the information you need about NXT, Undertaker damn near goes up in flames and WWE changes up their PPV schedules…again…

Opening Witty Banter
Tonight’s column is brought to you DVRed versions of Fox’s Sunday night Animation Domination comedy block. It’s the little things like that get you through the day.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
WWE’s newest program, NXT, will be starting this coming Tuesday in the old ECW timeslot, 9 PM CST, on the SyFy Network. A lot of information has surfaced explaining the new program, which has been explained as a mix of WWE’s old Tough Enough reality program and the UFC’s current Ultimate Fighter competition.

According to a press release sent out by WWE, NXT will be a hybrid live event combined with a reality show.
”WWE NXT is a hybrid live event/reality show featuring eight well-known, popular WWE Superstars (‘Pros’) mentoring eight WWE ‘Rookies.’ These Rookies, who are learning the ropes, are athletes who epitomize pop culture and personify strong attributes – they are opinionated and aggressive – which means inherent conflict between Rookies and other Rookies, conflict between Rookies and Pros, as well as, conflict between Pros and Pros. The trials and tribulations of the WWE NXT cast ensure action-packed, innovative entertainment – WWE Style.”

The idea is that they will be split along two groups of eight (four pairs of Rookie/Pro heroes and four pairs of Rookie/Pro villains.) The initial season should last about sixteen weeks, thus allowing for three “seasons” in one calendar year.

Variety reported on the change from ECW to NXT as well. In the article WWE Chairman Vince McMahon explained the need to change from ECW to NXT.

“This is an opportunity to show another side you’ve never seen. ‘ECW’ feels old, it feels tired,” McMahon said. “Sometimes our brands need freshening up. You have to continue to reinvent yourself.”

He also went to explain that this will be instrumental in finding new talent, which is a constant struggle in today’s wrestling marketplace.

“These kids crash and burn a lot,” McMahon said. “By putting them into this environment we’ll find out if they can make it. There’s no better way to develop skills than being in front of an audience. And that makes for good television.”

On the final episode of ECW the eight Rookies were announced, along with their corresponding mentoring Pro. The final list includes:
Wade Barrett, who will be mentored by Chris Jericho
Justin Gabriel, who will be mentored by Matt Hardy
Skip Sheffield, who will be mentored by William Regal (originally announced as MVP)
Michael Tarver, who will be mentored by Carlito
Daniel Bryan, who will be mentored by The Miz
Heath Slater, who will be mentored by Christian
Darren Young, who will be mentored by CM Punk
David Ortunga, who will be mentored by R-Truth

Brett DiBiase, Joe Hennig and Kaval were all on the short list for this season and expect to be featured in the next installment.

While many hardcore fans heads figuratively exploded when the Miz-Bryan pairing was announced it can end up being a good thing. The fictional nature of pro wrestling allows them to downplay or outright ignore Bryan’s previous accomplishments and the pairing will probably see student and teacher clash from the onset. And in reality, while Bryan can wrestle circles around not only his fellow rookies, but also half the current WWE roster, he has little in the way of the charisma and interview talent that WWE demands from their main event talent. Miz was born with charisma to spare and the ability to tell a story on the microphone many do not possess. He will be able to impart that type of knowledge onto Bryan in making him a better-rounded performer. Regardless NXT should be a fun program and concept to watch unfold. It has been a while since yours truly has been this excited and curious to watch wrestling on a Tuesday night.

According to Variety, Ed Harris and Amy Madigan (some chick from Grey’s Anatomy) have joined the cast of the WWE Film Big Red. Chase Ellison (Tooth Fairy), Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination), Molly Parker (HBO’s Deadwood) and Mia Rose Frampton (Family’s Make It or Break It) are also in the film, which stars Randy Orton.

Sounds…interesting…I have a feeling Harris is doing this strictly as a “paycheck” movie. I’m still not sure on the premise of the film but if Orton goes around punting people it has potential.

WWE has continued to f with their PPV schedule, changing things around and creating even more new pay per views. Here is the updated list:

March 28th: WrestleMania 26
April 25th: Extreme Rules
May 23rd: Wild Card
June 20th: Fatal Four Way
July 18th: Money In The Bank
August 15th: SummerSlam
September 19th: Night Of Champions
October 3rd: Hell in a Cell

Okay I don’t mind Extreme Rules being moved up as Backlash was always pretty much just WrestleMania redux, so the Extreme Rules change will at least make the rematches a little more interesting. As for Wild Card, I’m guessing its either going to be like BattleBowl or Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal, either way I’m all for it. Fatal Four Way just sounds dreadfully boring as a show title and have no real idea on what they have up their sleeve, perhaps some sort of tournament format. Money in the Bank sounds awful as I’m assuming the show will be full of qualifying matches leading up to Money in the Bank at the end of the night. It’s great as a WrestleMania staple and should remain that way, as a way to get “boys on the card.” The Night of Champions gimmick works any time of the year and I’m glad it’s sticking around.

Tiffany (under her real name Taryn Terrell) will appear in the next issue of Playboy’s Lingerie issue.

Too bad in WWE’s new PG format it will go un-promoted on WWE TV. When is it Kelly Kelly’s turn?

During his entrance last night at Elimination Chamber, Undertaker was hit by pyro during his entrance, setting his coat on fire. Immediately he threw the coat away upon his entrance and once he got into the Chamber and in his pod he was pouring water all over himself given to him by the referees. He then went through the match as planned but after the match he stormed up the ramp and gave a piece of his mind to the pyro guys. No updated has been posted regarding the extent of his burns.

So is that pyro guy already fired or is Undertaker going to kick his ass first?

The Road to…WrestleMania XXVI
expected matches
John Cena v. Batista for the WWE Title
Edge v. Chris Jericho for the World Title
MVP v. The Miz for the US Championship
Shawn Michaels v. Undertaker
Triple H v. Sheamus
Rey Mysterio v. CM Punk
Ted DiBiase v. Randy Orton

The WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2010
”Million $ Man” Ted DiBiase
Antonio Inoki

Wrestler of the Week
Week of February 15 – 21: Chris Jericho
In what was an actual expected result from Elimination Chamber, Chris Jericho came out of the pay per view as the World Heavyweight Champion, even going so far to close the show. He also opened up SmackDown by declaring his intentions to win and had a great promo to set up his victory. Now he looks to embark on a great high profile rivalry with Edge that could lead to Jericho finally getting his WrestleMania moment. Jericho constantly shows his ability bounce up and down the card with reckless abandon and still be constantly over with the fans.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Ty Murray and Jewel will co-host RAW tonight. Jewel, a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, known for songs like “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “Standing Still” and “Intuition” has a new album dropping in June and new single on the soundtrack for the upcoming film Valentine’s Day. She will also be promoting her charity Project Clean Water, an initiative that is not surprisingly about promoting clean water to everyone around the world. Her husband, Ty Murray, is renowned professional bull rider and is a legend in the sport of rodeo. He is the co-founder and key figure in the Professional Bull Riders organization. The PBR will host its first ever World Cup in April and Murray will be a prominent part of that. As for the actual wrestling stuff Edge will be on the show to announce his opponent for WrestleMania, which means Chris Jericho is bound to be on the show as well. Plus expect an update on Bret Hart’s “injury,” more on the dissolution of Legacy and hopefully an update on crazy Shawn Michaels. Also will we finally see the finale of the Divas Title tournament?

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown

RAW recap and judicial review

How They Rated
SmackDown! (2.5.10) – 2.1

Superstars (2.11.10) – 1.02

A.M. RAW (2.14.10) – .6

RAW (2.15.10) – 3.4

ECW (2.16.10) – 1.14

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Pruett breaks down the potential choices for new potential WWE PPVs.

O’Mahony talks NXT.

In Case You Didn’t Spend the $40
PK brings the great Pulse coverage for Elimination Chamber.

Here’s the quick ‘n’ dirty results:
In the dark match that happened live before the pay per view went on the air, Christian pinned Ezekiel Jackson.

In the opening match, John Cena won an Elimination Chamber match to win the WWE Championship. Also included in the match were Triple H, Kofi Kingston, Ted DiBiase, Randy Orton and then Champion Sheamus. Sheamus and Kingston started the match. Triple H entered third, Orton was fourth, DiBiase was fifth and Cena entered last.
Order of elimination:
DiBiase pinned Orton after a shot from a lead pipe, which was brought down to the ring by Cody Rhodes.
Kingston pinned DiBiase after Trouble in Paradise.
Sheamus pinned Kingston after the Razor’s Edge.
Triple H pinned Sheamus after a Pedigree.
Cena made Triple H submit to the STF.

After the match, Mr. McMahon came out and announced that Cena would defend the WWE Championship against Batista. Batista pinned Cena in mere seconds after hitting him with a Demon Bomb.

Drew McIntyre retained his Intercontinental Championship against Kane after hitting him with the Future Shock DDT.

Vickie Guerrero changed the Gail Kim-Maryse match for the vacant Divas Championship into a tag team match against Michelle McCool & Layla.
McCool & Layla beat Kim & Maryse. Maryse deserted Kim and McCool pinned Kim after the Faith Breaker.

Backstage The Miz talks NXT and his mentoring of Daniel Bryan. Montel Vontavious Porter interrupts him and challenges him to a US Title match tonight.

In the ring Wiliam Regal comes out to also hype up NXT, but is interrupted by Edge, who makes fun of him and spears him.
WWE United States Champion The Miz (accompanied by The Big Show) beat MVP (accompanied by Mark Henry) when Show hit Porter with a KO punch.

Chris Jericho won an Elimination Chamber match to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Also included in the match were R-Truth, John Morrison, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and then Champion Undertaker. CM Punk and R-Truth started the match.
Punk pinned Truth after Go To Sleep.
Mysterio entered third.
Mysterio pinned Punk after a springboard splash.
Jericho entered fourth.
Morrison entered fifth.
Morrison pinned Mysterio after hitting Starship Pain.
Undertaker entered sixth.
Undertaker pinned Morrison.
Jericho pinned Undertaker after Shawn Michaels snuck into the ring under the steel grating and hit Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music.

IP Staff Roundtable Results for WWE Elimination Chamber
The staff got together to talk Elimination Chamber and here was what our expert analysis revealed. However thanks to the underbooked nature of the PPV and the fact that the Divas Title match was scrapped, leaving only three eligible matches.

Matthew Michaels: 2-1 (184-163)
Raffi Shamir: 2-1 (127-110)
Andrew Wheeler: 2-1 (173-103)
Widro: 2-1 (67-57)
Steven Gepp: 1-2 (30-42)

Check out issue six of The Wrestling Press, featuring yours truly, among many other talented scribes…

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For more relevant, interesting and exciting wrestling information from your truly, check out my gig as the Pro Wrestling Examiner over at Examiner.com.

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