Four weeks ago, two weeks before the first Pro's Poll, I ranked the Rookies. It wasn't my thoughts on who I liked and disliked entirely, as it was who I think has a future in WWE. Four weeks later, I'm going to revisit the Rookies, and re-rank them.
8. Michael Tarver (8)
- I don't know if its Tarver, or the booking, but he has never really gotten out of the gate. They had him jump Heath Slater a few weeks back after losing to him, but never really followed up on it. Then, he apparently humiliated himself in the keg carry two weeks ago, and died in the promo challenge last week. Tarver's not long for the competition, and I could see him not getting a trip back to FCW, but a trip to unemployment instead.
7. Skip Sheffield (6)
Pro: William Regal
- This bugs me so much, because I'm a fan of this guy. He's got the "WWE Look", he's way lighter on his feet than Otunga (or even Batista), and when they let him cut loose with his personality a bit, the "Cornfed Meathead" can win a crowd over, as he did in ENGLAND for crying out loud. Sheffield's not long for the competition after Tarver's done.
6. Heath Slater (7)
- Here's the problem with Slater: He is the whiniest babyface in a major wrestling promotion. He actually whines about most everything whenever he has a camera or a microphone in front of him, and I think that's legit. Despite them trying to make him a star on the show, he's just not getting over. That said, a heel turn on Christian may just save him.
5. Justin Gabriel (4)
Pro: Matt Hardy
- Gabriel is actually getting over on his own, to his credit. I think he will wind up sticking around after the competition, although he may never go past Jobber To The Stars level. That said, he's great in the Evan Bourne role, and I could see them on opposite brands so that each show has the "small guy with the flashy move" dynamic to pop the crowd. I'm thinking Gabriel gets promoted, only to have mentor Matt Hardy turn on him...that feud will either be a reward for Hardy, for all his recent jobbing, or a continuing punishment for Hardy at Gabriel's expense, who will then go nowhere.
4. Davis Otunga (2)
- It seems to me like the Otunga push is diminishing slightly as the two of the top three come into their own. He did get the "Raw Guest Host" push, but he also get a) jobbed HARD to Cena the next week, b) looked like crap in the ring doing it, c) get cut down by David Hasselhoff and d) get treated like a jabroni by Batista. He'll still have a job when this is through, but I don't think he goes all the way.
3. Darren Young (5)
Pro: CM Punk
- The Punk/Gallows/Young storyline is proof positive that WWE intends on keeping Young. He's been solid in the ring, despite alternately working baby and heel with no rhyme or reason, and he's gotten to stand up to Punk and beat Gallows. Now, I don't know if this will turn into a full fledged "Bald Young in the Straight Edge Society" or not, but I think Young has impressed enough of the right people to finish well.
2. Wade Barrett (1)
Pro: Chris Jericho
- This guy is actually THE star of the show. He's big, but not WELLNESS~! big. He can talk, and apparently can improvise a decent promo. He's not a five star wrestler, but his match with Otunga was at least as good as John Cena's. Moreso than ANY other NXT guy, Barrett carries himself like a star next to the WWE Superstars. I would say he's the winner except for one thing...
1. Daniel Bryan (3)
Pro: The Miz
- The winner gets a contract for any title they choose, on a Pay Per View...and that's where the game changes. It seems fairly obvious to me that the end of The Miz's US Title reign will come at the hands of Daniel Bryan. Let's just pray that its a legit match (which would do both men some good) and not just a "Money in the Bank" style cash-in.