In about one week, NXT will be giving out “report cards” to the NXT rookies. Last week I took a look at four of the NXT rookies and this week I will check out the rest. So let’s start.
Justin Gabriel: There are not that many rookies that have an easy time getting along with their pros. Justin Gabriel actually does. In fact, I may go so far as to call him “The Real Matt Hardy Version 2”. I’ve seen times where they dress up the same.
As far as records go, he has three wins and one loss. Not bad at all. Also in a tag team match, Gabriel pinned a pro in William Regal. Now, sure, everyone beats Regal nowadays but for a rookie to do it, it is still an accomplishment.
His actual in ring abilities do not stand out to me and I’m not sure if I’ve seen enough of him on the mic. It seems that when the report cards come out, it will show that he has some good wins, but nothing makes him stand out. Not terrible, but not great and there are others that I feel have a much better chance than Justin in terms of winning the whole competition.
Michael Tarver: When I saw he was paired with Carlito, my first reaction was “wow, sucks to be Michael Tarver”. Weeks later, I still say “it sucks to be Michael Tarver”. He has no wins and three losses. Carlito is just an awful mentor. Half the time, in the ring, it looks like Carlito just doesn’t care. Carlito has had more time off the air than anything else. Had it been anyone other than Carlito as Tarver’s pro, perhaps he would do better. Dare I say, if Kung Funaki was his pro, Michael Tarver would be doing better.
Much like Justin Gabriel, nothing stands out in regards to Michael Tarver. His wrestling ability doesn’t impress me and his mic skills aren’t great. To be fair, all of these rookies have very little time, if any, to prove those two things. However, since they are on limited time, I have to judge it on what I see. I see nothing in Michael Tarver.
Skip Sheffield: Sheffield was originally supposed to be mentored by MVP. However, at what seemed to be the last minute, he was assigned William Regal. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, that is an opinion that will be varied. What will not be varied, is how little of an impact he has had on NXT. Sheffield comes in with the same record as Michael Tarver. He has zero wins and three losses. To be honest, I don’t have much to say about Sheffield. Much like the previous two NXT wrestlers mentioned, he has nothing that sticks out to me.
Wade Barrett: Let me start off by saying I like Wade Barrett. He comes in at two wins and two losses. Not great, but unlike the previous two, not terrible either. I think he has the kind of look the WWE has. He’s a bigger guy and from the little he has done, I like his mic work. I think, out of all the wrestlers I wrote about today, he has the best chance. Overall though, he does not have the best chance.
He also has a great mentor in Chris Jericho. Definitely, the strongest pro of all the wrestlers named today.
I know it may be late but you can check out the “Mania Before The Mania” Wrestlemania special at sunsetflipwrestling.podomatic.com and this Sunday there will either be a short version of the show or just a “Jack Swagger Celebration/Good Riddance Shawn Michaels Show/Where is Samoa Joe Show”. I’m on the fence but something will be up by Saturday.
Happy egg hunting everyone!