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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Winds of Change


The NXT attacking RAW angle was probably the best angle WWE has done in a decade.

Now, unfortunately, I have little doubt WWE can and will fuck up "nXt" in the long run. Much like the entire NXT season one, I'll bet they didn't think it through and made it up as they went along. Regardless, last night was one of the best angles WWE ever did. Where it goes, well, that's another story.

But for 15 minutes WWE created 8 stars as a single anarchic entity and injected an air of danger and unpredictability - Attitude - that has been missing from their programming for most of the last decade. Will it end up like the Invasion and the Alliance? Probably. Hope not, but probably. But it was still one of the most incredible angles WWE has ever done.

For that angle to have worked the way it did, two things have to be implicitly accepted:

One, that by having the season one NXT Rookies band together in this fashion and attack the company that they all wanted to be employed by - and Wade Barrett actually is by winning NXT, right? - WWE is acknowledging that season one of NXT was bullshit. For the Rookies, who throughout the season didn't seem to like each other very much, to stand by each other against WWE in this fashion, it acknowledges they felt like they were fucked over by WWE. Which they were in a ridiculous, ill-conceived debacle of a "competition". Selling programs. Carrying beer kegs around. Obstacle courses. Random eliminations. No reasonable structure or format to their "competition". They were treated like clowns and goofs, and judged by the company and by their Pros to be lacking, when they themselves were earnest and serious about trying to be WWE Superstars.

Two, that some time in the last 7 days, the Rookies got together, even Wade Barrett who won NXT and has a free ride to join either brand and face either World Champion at a PPV, and put aside any differences they had out of dissatisfaction and anger at WWE. They were all angry enough that they formed a pact to stand alongside each other to attack and destroy the flagship program of the company, RAW, and the number one guy in the company, John Cena. Cena never did anything to them, but he's the symbol of the company. Cena is WWE today. And they beat him to a pulp and stretchered him out. They beat up CM Punk because he was there and he was one of the Pros who thought he was so much better than and above them. The NXT Rookies have every right to hate WWE. Even Barrett, who got along with Chris Jericho, has beef with the way the Pros treated the Rookies and the way the company treated NXT as a whole. (Hey, did Barrett ever get his entrance music?)

Wade Barrett has always said The Winds Of Change are coming. I would think a logical master plan for NXT would be for all of them to do whatever it takes together to have Wade Barrett beat John Cena in his guaranteed title shot and win the WWE Title. I would also hope that they don't do "infighting" and "mistrust" within NXT for a while, that they all stand united as one asskicking unit until they accomplish whatever they're trying to accomplish. If WWE has thought this through that far. If.

Worst case (and unfortunately the likely) scenario going forward, given WWE's track record at something like this, would be what happened in the Invasion, where WWE injects their own guys to "lead" NXT, and book each individual Rookie as worthless nothings who can't win a match against "real" WWE Superstars without help. The Rookies will look like ineffectual pussies in the long run, proving WWE's point that they were never good enough. But for right now, that hasn't happened yet. And Lord willing, who's to say WWE Creative did not learn from the Royal, Epic Fuck Up that was the Invasion?

I love the yellow and black  armband instead of T-shirts like the nWo had. It's a subtle identifier that keeps each Rookie distinctive. And it sure is hilarious that Vince Russo has been trying for a decade to recreate the nWo in WCW and in TNA (Main Event Mafia, The Band) and NXT did it in fifteen minutes.