When the WWE announced NXT, it seemed like a poor man's, scripted version of their then-defunct reality show Tough Enough. Quasi-reality, it seemed to be and it didn't make for very compelling television.
At least not until it ended.
The week after Wade Barrett was announced the winner of the inaugeral season of NXT -- and privy to a WWE contract along with a title shot at the pay-per-view (PPV) of his choosing -- he appeared on RAW at the top of the entrance ramp during a match between John Cena and CM Punk.
What happened next was some of the most exciting booking the WWE had undertaken in quite some time. Here were eight young men who were relatively unknown -- aside from Daniel Bryan -- taking part in one of the biggest angles of the year.
It truly seemed like Vince McMahon and company were finally devoted to creating new stars rather than sticking to Superstars that were already wrestling on borrowed time.
For me, it came during a time in which watching RAW wasn't a necessity but I figured I'd tune in for a bit since three-hour editions -- like the one tonight -- usually have something worth seeing.
Boy, was there.
Unfortunately, the angle fizzled out within a matter of mere months. By the end of 2010, Barrett and company had been thoroughly buried by The John Cena Machine week after week.
The stable would reform under the mentorship of CM Punk for a while but that too collapsed when the "Summer of Punk II" angle began, another storyline which started off extremely hot but cooled off just as quickly.
So what's the WWE's problem? When they strike gold, they can't seem to keep that momentum up. We saw it with Punk this past summer and we saw it with Nexus last year.
So what say you, Cagesiders? How awesome was that?
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