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Okay, I promised I’d do one post per week, and I’ve been delaying this for about four days now.  I’ll also promise to stop with the NXT puns, mostly because they aren’t funny.

So season 1 of NXT is over.  To my surprise, Wade Barrett pulled off the victory and now has a title shot against any champion at a future PPV show.  I honestly thought that with R-Truth winning the US Title that it was all but guaranteed that David Otunga would win NXT and go on to win the US Title at Fatal Four Way.  I guess WWE management is finding out that Otunga is just like Drew McIntyre: high-maintenance.  Still, based solely on his physique, I’m sure Otunga will secure a spot on Raw or Smackdown in the near future, as will Bryan Danielson.  With Barrett’s win, I’m betting he’s off to Raw to take on John Cena at the next PPV after Fatal Four Way, whatever that may be.

One thing I’m curious about, that has nothing to do with the rookies, is whether William Regal’s tirade at the end of the season finale was a work or a shoot.  Given Regal’s tendency to tell it like it is, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was mostly a shoot.  I can’t imagine that Matt Hardy would have said it was okay for Regal to call him Eugene.  But maybe Hardy has no self-respect.  And usually when something unexpected happens, Matt Striker tries to cover it up by yelling at us, “Well, ANYTHING can happen in the WWE!”  Yes, Matt, you keep saying it, but we all know it’s planned out beforehand.  If something that isn’t planned happens, just go with the flow.  Call Regal’s tirade a “modified promo” or something silly like that.  It isn’t like you can get much worse as a commentator.

Now that I’m done with MY tirade, it’s time to look forward to season 2 of NXT, which begins this Tuesday.  I guess WWE is trying to cram in as many seasons of NXT as they can before Smackdown heads to SyFy in October.  So, with season 2 bearing down on us, let’s take a look at the new rookies and pros.  I was planning to take a look at all the rookies before giving my first impressions, but I got lazy and ended up only watching a couple of matches.  With that being said, without further ado, let’s take a look at the new NXT participants!

Husky Harris (Pro: Cody Rhodes) – The first of many ridiculous name changes.  For those of you who didn’t catch the promo for Harris, he is, in fact, Windham Rotunda, one of the sons of Mike Rotunda, whom most people will remember as IRS, the bodyguard of The Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase.  Have you absorbed that all?  Good.  Rotunda had been competing in FCW with his brother, Taylor, with the first names Duke (Windham) and Bo (Taylor).  They are former FCW Tag Team Champions, so that’s got to mean something.  I haven’t yet seen a match with Rotunda (I refuse to call him by his ridiculous WWE “Creative” name), but people who have seen him say that his size belies the fact that he’s surprisingly athletic and quick for a guy who looks more like me than a Vince McMahon-approved WWE superstar.  I’ll try to catch a few FCW matches of his before Tuesday.  Anyway, I kind of like this pairing.  Cody Rhodes is also a second-generation wrestler, and though I’m betting their personalities will clash like whoa, putting these two together will only be beneficial for Rotunda.  Rhodes is very talented for his age, and his experience will likely help Rotunda go far in this competition.

Eli Cottonwood (Pro: John Morrison) – Hoo, boy.  Talk about your clash of styles.  Morrison is a flashy, glitzy, throwback to the free-love 1960’s, and Cottonwood is a recently released former mental patient.  At least, that’s what their characters are.  Cottonwood is the first real monster that NXT has seen.  He’s 7 feet tall and over 300 pounds (billed).  He’s one of the two men of whom I’ve seen one or two FCW matches.  Unfortunately, one was a squash match and the other was a six-man tag match, so there was not very much in-ring time I was able to watch.  I don’t hold much hope for Cottonwood, as he’s 35, and even if he does secure a roster spot, he’ll have at most 5-7 years before he’ll have to retire.  That’s if he’s lucky and doesn’t suffer any major injuries.  I’m not expecting much from him in this competition, but he’ll probably get a couple of squash matches.

Percy Watson (Pro: MVP) – I know nothing about Watson, so I can’t really give much of an analysis of him.  MVP would have been an excellent mentor two or three years ago, but nowadays he just seems burnt out.  I feel like his career has passed its peak and is on the decline already.  It’s too bad, because at the height of his heel persona, he was a believable world title contender.  Now he’s just another guy who probably won’t matter in the end.  I’d like to see a return to the old MVP (just like I’d love to see a return to the heel John Morrison, but we all know that isn’t going to happen anytime soon), because at least he was fun then.  Now, he’s just meh.  Huh.  Looks like I spent the entire time talking about the pro instead of the rookie.  I’ll have to check Youtube for some matches with Watson.

Titus O’Neal (Pro: Zack Ryder) – This is the first of two “Huh?” pro choices for rookies.  Ryder is barely a pro himself, and at times, I’d think he’d benefit from being on NXT rather than Raw.  But I digress.  I know nothing about O’Neal except that he’s a former football player, and we all know how well former football players have worked out as wrestlers (“Never mind that shit, here comes MONGO!”).  According to his Wikipedia page, his first televised match was in January of this year.  I’m hoping that WWE Management isn’t jumping the gun with this guy.  Just because he’s a big dude doesn’t mean he’s got what it takes.  I think his Pro will be his downfall.

Low-Ki (Pros: Michelle McCool and Layla) – This is the second “Huh?” pro choice, though that “Huh?” is followed by a brain hemorrhage.  You’re sticking the first ever Ring of Honor Champion with the only reasons I actually change the channel when they appear on TV?  Great job, Creative.  And no, I refuse to call him by his WWE name.  He’ll always be Low-Ki to me.  Ki has been one of my favorite indy wrestlers ever since I started watching non-WWE shows.  It’s how he seems so dedicated to his character and his craft that really makes me respect his work.  And Ki is damn good in the ring.  I have a bad feeling that this may be the Danielson/Miz pairing of this season.  Still, I’m hoping that Ki goes really far, and maybe, just maybe, wins this season.  I’d love to see Ki face off against pretty much anyone on the WWE roster.  If you get Ki and Danielson in the same ring, indy fans will cream in their pants.  I’m going to be conflicted every time Ki is on screen with his pros.  On the one hand, I want to watch Ki because he’s Low-Ki, but on the other hand, I want to tune out because of the worst thing in pro wrestling today, LayCool.  Ugh.  I can stomach Vickie Guerrero better than I can stomach those two.  Here’s hoping Low-Ki can overcome his terrible pro choice.

Lucky Cannon (Pro: Mark Henry) – Again, I know nothing about Mr. Cannon (which would be a great name for a superhero), but he’s been working in FCW for over two years, unlike most of the other rookies, who have been in FCW for a year or so.  At least with Henry as his pro, he’ll have a good chance of winning tag team matches.  I fear he may be one of those filler guys that Creative tosses in so they can have a roster of eight.  But I suppose we’ll have to wait and see, now, won’t we?

Michael McGillicutty (Pro: Kofi Kingston) – Do you want to know how bad of a name change this is?  It is worse than Daniel Bryan.  Dear god, Creative, when will you ever learn to let someone like Joe Hennig use his real name?  When you say to the world that he is Mr. Perfect’s son, don’t you think people are going to rush to their computers to find out more about Mr. Perfect, then find themselves confused when they find out that his last name isn’t McGillicutty?  Hennig tried to explain away the name change, saying something to the effect of, “I didn’t want to be stuck under my father’s shadow.  I wanted to make a name for myself, which is why I didn’t use my real name.”  Bullshit, sir.  It doesn’t matter how much you want to live outside of your father’s shadow, because ALL second- and third-generation wrestlers live under their parents’ shadows.  There have been very few who have managed to build a true name for themselves without relying on their legacy.  The Rock and Randy Orton come to mind, even though Orton did use his father in a few feuds.  But for the most part, you’re going to be known as Mr. Perfect’s son no matter how hard you try, just like Cody Rhodes will always be Dusty Rhodes’ son or Ted Dibiase will essentially become his father.  Let’s just stop with the incredibly bad name changes and let these guys use their real names, okay?

Alex Riley (Pro: The Miz) – The only returning Pro gets a rookie a lot more similar to him than The American Dragon.  Alex Riley is the current FCW Heavyweight Champion, for your information.  I watched that title match between him, Justin Gabriel, and Wade Barrett, and unfortunately, I didn’t really see anything special from him.  Of course, the match wasn’t that great overall, so I haven’t really gotten a good view of his skills overall.  Anyway, he’s definitely similar to Miz in many aspects, including but not limited to hairstyles.  I don’t really know anything about him, but I think it’s safe to say that he and Miz will work quite well together.

As to who might win Season 2 of NXT, I don’t think I can put a finger on who will win, but I can sure as hell tell you that I want Low-Ki to win.  I’d love to see him take on the entire WWE roster.  Hell, I wouldn’t mind a Low-Ki/Khali match, though it sure wouldn’t be pretty.  Anyway, I’ll be rooting for Low-Ki the entire competition, and I’ll be voting for him, as you all should do, seeing as how WWE is having fan voting count for once.  Here’s hoping the ROH fans vote in droves for Low-Ki.  With that being said, I’m spent.  I’ll be back next week with that TNA roster-cutting post, unless WWE decides to cram another huge assortment of stuff onto our plates.  Until next time, stay awesome.

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