United States Champion and Unified Tag Team Champion The Miz Interrupted Daniel Bryan
Quite honestly, when Bryan said during his debut promo that he would one day headline WrestleMania and win a world title, I laughed, never thinking that would actually happen. To be fair, I wasn't aware of him whatsoever before he arrived in WWE. Nevertheless, Bryan mentioned in his book years later that almost everything that happened promo-wise on NXT was a shoot, so if Bryan's dialogue wasn't scripted, then he did fairly well for himself here. I enjoyed his interaction with his pro Miz, and those two would have far and away the most compelling story on this season of NXT.
Christian and Heath Slater def. Carlito and Michael Tarver
I liked the video packages that aired before the bout highlighting both Tarver and Slater. It gave us a good albeit brief look at what they were all about, and Tarver's vignette impressed me more. That said, neither of them did anything to impress me in the ring here, but it did help that they had seasoned veterans Christian and Carlito to fall back on. It was a nice little matchup on the whole, but Christian pinning Tarver in Tarver's debut match may not have been the best booking decision.
David Otunga def. Darren Young
The video package that spotlighted Otunga beforehand was longer than the match itself! Seriously, even at 30 seconds (if that) at length, this was absolutely terrible. I wouldn't be shocked if someone in the back told the referee to cut this thing short because the finish felt abrupt as hell. Otunga proved in his vignette that he had the presence of a star, but he failed to back that up in the ring.
World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho def. Daniel Bryan (Non-title)
At the time this aired, I had no idea how actually epic it was to see Bryan (the king of the independent wrestling scene) face off with Jericho in the premiere episode of NXT. For as long as this lasted, this was a ton of fun and Bryan was allowed to look excellent in defeat against the newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion. He also sold that Liontamer like death. Miz attacked Bryan afterward to put more heat on himself, therefore causing fans to sympathize for and side with Bryan.
I know WWE hyped this up huge as "the next evolution of television" or something along those lines, but aside from the new names, this was basically a glorified edition of what ECW was before it was cancelled by WWE. The audience in attendance largely couldn't have cared less about what they were watching. Sure, there were plenty of fresh faces featured (which WWE desperately needed back in 2010), but most of them were unsuccessful in standing out on the first night, aside from Bryan. It would be a while before the brand would become what it is today, but this show certainly is worth checking out for historical purposes.
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