Welcome peeps, to another edition of the hottest online column in the world today! Okay, maybe I’m a bit ahead of myself…step inside, and welcome all to another edition of The Dog Pound. A little over a week ago, I discussed what could happen to the members of the (now defunct) ECW roster. This week, I want to discuss the pairings of the veterans, and the new stars of NXT.
The concept of this “NXT” show really has yet to flesh out and in reality it could take more than a few weeks to really see the success it may have in the end for the young stars stepping into the limelight. Due to this, instead of focusing on what the WWE could or will do, I want to focus on the pairings of each team. As the roster..or should I say “cast” of NXT was announced earlier this week.
Each rookie is set to be pairied with a veteran, as a mentor and someone who will help these young guys fine-tune what they need to succeed within the WWE. Overall, I think this is a very solid idea. Much like Tough Enough did in the past, the wrestlers get the mentoring and expertise of the veteran guys. Only difference here, it appears to have a more one-on-one feel to it. This is also a very good thing; as with any new learning curve, a one-on-one teacher is always better, it gives you that undivided attention which could help you reach success faster.
One of the first pairings I want to look at is veteran Chris Jericho and FCW wrestler Wade Barrett. Barrett is a guy that has the size, look, and overall feel of a proto-typical WWE wrestler. For him this is a good thing. Even more of a good thing, having a mentor like Jericho. While I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Barrett wrestle, I do have high hopes for him. Jericho is a guy that has truly done it all in this business, and with his natural in-ring abilities, as well as the charisma to rock the mic as either a face or a heel, Barrett is in good hands. Watch out for this team down the line.
Another pairing to watch for is WWE’s Christian with FCW’s own Heath Slater. I personally have had my eye on Slater for quite awhile; back when the Sheamus and the Bella Twins were just entering FCW alongside him. Slater reminds me very much of Christian in his early days with the WWE, during his Brood run. Again, like Jericho, having a guy like Christian as a mentor can only help you. Christian can also play the face or heel role perfectly, and he has the added advantage of having worked outside the WWE for a time. Watch out because Captain Charisma could help produce a gem.
Matt Hardy has been paired with Justin Gabriel. Those unfamiliar with Gabriel will (or should be) pleasently surprised. Gabriel is a slightly smaller guy standing at just 6’1” but let me tell you this guy has the “IT” factor. Add to that, he is the current FCW Heavyweight Champion as well. Having a mentor like Matt Hardy will only help this kid in the long run. I truly expect big things from Gabriel when all is said and done.
Carlito and MVP have been paired with Michael Tarver and Skip Sheffield respectively. I haven’t seen much of these two, but I do know that under the leadership of Carlito and MVP they should be just fine. Sheffield especially. See, MVP as we all know has done some time behind bars; this really makes men think about their futures and their passions. I expect MVP to help teach this young gun a lot, and the respect will go a long way.
CM Punk is pairing himself alongside Darren Young. I’m not relly sure how these two will pair up together as I am quite unfamiliar with Young. I am however, familiar with Punk and his style. This guy has been a true highlight of Smackdown and I know that Young is in solid hands with this true professional.
There is one pairing that gets me however; and that is the pairing of the Miz…with Daniel Bryan. Anyone who is familiar with this man, knows that it is indeed, not Daniel Bryan..but Bryan Danielson. This is where the whole NXT show is still able to be scripted under the WWE umbrella. See, Danielson has been wrestling for just as long, if not longer then the Miz, yet the Miz gets to be his mentor. I believe this could already be the seeds of a fued being planted right before our eyes.
See, Miz is mentoring Danielson, who happens to be a well-decorated professional wrestler already on the independant scene. Even a multi-time Ring of Honor World Champion. I see (that since Miz is a heel) Danielson will begin to show signs of wanting to put Miz in his place. Thus, when season one wraps up, there could be a ready-made fued between the two already set up when Danielson moves to main roster.
That’s all for now folks, let me know what you all think. Until NXT time….