After 15 confusing episodes of NXT Season 1, Season 2 of NXT will be much more organized. As to Matt Striker, Season 2 will have only twelve episodes to decide WWE’s next break out star. In addition, the fate of the NXT Rookies are not only in the Pros hands, but in the hands of the wrestling fans. The rankings will be tallied by what the pros think, and what the fans think.
In three weeks time, the first NXT Rankings will be posted. And in six weeks, we say good-bye to the first NXT rookie.
NXT’s new ring announcer: FCW’s Jamie Keyes
Pro: The Miz – Rookie: Alex Riley
Alex Riley was not in action this week, but he made up for it with his charming personality. He’s like Dwayne Johnson to an extent. He’s cocky, likes to smile, and makes fun of people. He is also the current FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion.
Pro-Match?: Unlike the failed attempt to make Bryan Danielson into a star, The Miz will have an easier time with Alex Riley. The two could not be anymore alike. The Mojo of Monk may have found a worthy protege to learn how to be… awesome.
Pro: John Morrison – Rookie: Eli Cottonwood (1-0)
Surprisingly at 7ft 1, Eli Cottonwood is more agile than The Great Khali. Yet, he isn’t as built as the 7 ft 3 Punjabi Playboy. By the expression etched on Eli’s face, he looks like a cross between Festus and Mankind. But unlike Festus and Khali, Eli can talk. And from what Cottonwood said on NXT, it appears that he’s a heel in disguise.
Pro-Match?: John Morrison may be an expert at sculpting his abdomen, but he may prove to be a novice when it comes to mentoring Eli Cottonwood. John Morrison picked up the win for his team on NXT, but should take a lesson from how MVP handled a tag team match. His pro will never learn if Morrison does all the work.
Pro: Cody Rhodes – Rookie: Husky Harris (0-1)
Husky Harris may be husky, but that has never stopped a wrestler from making a name for himself. Prime examples are: the late Eddie Fatu (Umaga), Rikishi, and Samoa Joe. From his match against MVP and Percy Watson, still not impressed but hopefully that will change in three weeks.
In addition: Husky Harris (Windham Rotunda) is a third-generation wrestler. His grandfather is Blackjack Mulligan and his father is “I.R.S.” Mike Rotunda.
Pro-Match?: Cody Rhodes may be a second-generation superstar and a three-time World Tag Team Champion, but what does Cody have to offer as a mentor? Cody Rhodes is still a rookie in the eyes of wrestling fans and has not yet peaked as a WWE superstar.
Pros: Michelle McCool and Layla-El – Rookie: Kaval
Kaval (Lo-Ki) will most likely be playing the role of Bryan Danielson in Season 2. Kaval is possibly the best all around athlete between Seasons 1 and 2 combined, with respect to Bryan Danielson. Kaval was the first ever ROH Champion, and holds multiple singles titles throughout the world.
Pros-Match?: The announcement to pair Kaval with Michelle McCool and Layla-El, the first-ever NXT women pros, created a lot of publicity. Much like when Bryan Danielson was paired with The Miz. If Kaval learned from Season 1, it’s not to get too worked up over the inexperience of your pros, just do your thing and the rest will follow suit.
Pro: Mark Henry – Rookie: Lucky Cannon
With a name like Lucky Cannon, he looks like he should be selling puppies and smiles to people. Not much can be said of him at this time, except hopefully he can make an impact before the first Pros-Fans rankings.
Pro-Match?: Kool-Aid Man, Mark Henry is the Strongest Man in the World with the daunting task of mentoring wimpy Cannon. Let’s see if Mark Henry can transform Lucky from a boy into a man.
Pro: Kofi Kingston – Rookie: Michael McGillicutty
Michael McGuillicutty (Joe Hennig) is also a third-generation superstar. His grandfather was Larry “The Axe” Hennig, and his father is WWE Hall of Famer “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. With great respect to his family, hopefully Joe Hennig can do right by his legacy and make sure the Hennigs have a happy ending.
Joe wasn’t in wrestling action this week, but his comments towards how the other Season 2 rookies were talking shows that he has great respect towards the wrestlers that have paved the way, and to this business.
Pro-Match?: How apropo to see the current Intercontinental Champion mentor the son of one of the best I-C Champions in WWE history? Kofi Kingston has a solid rookie, and should do everything in his power to make sure Joe realizes his potential.
Pro: MVP – Rookie: Percy Watson (1-0)
“Showtime” Percy Watson is oozing with charisma, but he has to keep in mind that wrestling is also a factor in catching the fans eyes. Automatically, Percy Watson has made an impact by how funny and gimmicky he is, yet if he doesn’t tone it down and execute better matches, then he won’t even be on the air.
Pro-Match?: MVP finally makes his way onto NXT, after being bumped off from Season 1 by William Regal. Thought I forgot that, didn’t you WWE? MVP is very accomplished in the WWE, but as far as being a pro is concerned, he has a long way to go. As for being paired with Percy, the two appeared to be a cohesive unit. Percy managed to get the referee’s attention on Cody Rhodes cheating attempt. MVP allowed for his rookie to get a lot of ring time and to pick up the win.
Pro: Zack Ryder – Rookie: Titus O’Neil (0-1)
From Titus O’Neil’s stature and physical offense, one could tell that Titus was once a football player. And we have seen several football players try to make their way to WWE since WrestleMania II. But can Titus convert to the wrestling way? Titus has the fit of a wrestler, but as far as the look and talk he doesn’t. He was struggling on the mike to make a memorable impression, but instead came out gibberish.
Pro-Match?: Zack Ryder is far from a pro. As far as the Zack Pack is concerned… it’s depleting. Ryder failed in multiple attempts to capture the ECW Title, and has made no move towards the United States Championship. He’s currently on a losing streak against Evan Bourne and… Alicia Fox. Bro has to step it up. Sure, Ryder and Miz picked up a win on RAW’s Viewer’s Choice against R-Truth and John Morrison, but it was thanks to The Miz. Titus will suffer due to the incapability of Zack Ryder. WWWYKI.