As the second season of WWE NXT wrapped up on August 31st, the WWE Universe was without doubt celebrating Kaval’s much deserved win. No matter how you feel about LayCool, if you have half a brain you were probably happy to see them celebrating in that ring at least this one time. The Warrior, Kaval, has been wrestling in the independent circuits for over ten years and was without a doubt the most talented, experienced, and deserving of the WWE contract. Then, of course, WWE Creative decided to continue to beat the dead and mutilated horse some more by throwing us into another NXT stable storyline. What is the difference between Genesis (I assume this is what they’ll be calling themselves) and Nexus? The members of Genesis all have far less experience than most of the members of Nexus.
I wrote a piece on the members of Nexus entitled “The Nexus – For How Long Will the Winds of Change Blow?” that can be found here - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/418500-the-nexus-for-how-long-will-the-winds-of-change-blow
Let’s learn a little bit more about each member of Genesis.
Titus O'Neil (Thaddeus Michael Bullard) – This inspirational 33 year old played some pro football in the Arena Football League from 2003-07 before signing a developmental contract with WWE to wrestle in FCW in 2009. He had no wrestling background prior to this and has never held a title in FCW since then. There really isn’t much to say about him. I really couldn’t judge his in ring ability to wrestle much as he was eliminated so quickly. I do remember his mic work was actually pretty good though. My opinion? Send him back to FCW to develop a bit more before bringing him back to be a mid or low carder.
Eli Cottonwood (Kipp Christianson) – I was actually excited to see him wrestle when it was announced Cottonwood would be competing in season two. Sure, call me a victim of giant mania, but I really thought this guy would be halfway decent. This creepy 35 year old had a decent basketball career going before signing with WWE Developmental in 2008, including playing in the NBA summer league for the Dallas Mavericks. He introduced the Eli Cottonwood character as a patient being reintroduced to society from the Kelloggs Sanitarium. That sounds about right, actually. Cottonwood had no wrestling experience prior to signing with WWE where he held no titles in FCW. Fun fact – Kipp Christianson holds a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in, get this, psychology. Was anyone impressed with his in ring ability? Probably not, unless you’re just paying attention to his size, which has nothing to do with his talent. I think the entire IWC can agree when I suggest that he was terrible on the mic, but I kind of feel like that goes along with his character a little bit. I’m on the fence with what I think should be done with Cottonwood. I have half a mind to say send him back to FCW to develop a bit more but I feel like he could improve even faster as a low card jobber on Raw or Smackdown. Just don’t give the giant a mic…
Lucky Cannon (Jon Emminger) – There isn’t much to say about Lucky Cannon. He has no previous wrestling experience before signing with WWE Developmental in 2008 and he’s held no titles in FCW. I think he was pretty decent in the ring, certainly on par with some mid to low carders on Raw and Smackdown. I didn’t think he was all that bad on the mic, either. Sure, he left something to be desired, but I see him as the type of character that could appeal to kids and women. He’s so dreamy! Keep him around to develop a bit more, no need to send him back to FCW.
Percy Watson (Nick McNeil) – The now 29 year old “Showtime” Percy Watson graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor's degree in computer information systems and signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, jumping around the NFL for a few years, playing for the Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, and New York Giants. He never played a regular season game but was given time during the 2005-06 playoffs with the Washington Redskins vs. Seattle Seahawks. Watson signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2009 having no previous wrestling experience. In FCW he teamed with Darren Young, calling themselves The South Beach Party Boys. Watson held no titles during his time in FCW. I feel like his in ring work was actually pretty good, which is why he made it as far as he did. The IWC will probably mostly agree when I say that Watson’s mic work was great. I found him a little annoying myself, but everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’d say to keep this guy around, the WWE needs some flair when it’s “Showtime.”
Husky Harris (Windham Lawrence Rotunda) – The youngest in the competition, at 23 years old, actually left Troy University a mere 27 hours before earning a degree, deciding to be a pro wrestler. The "Army Tank with a Ferrari Engine" is, as most of the IWC is probably aware, a third generation pro wrestler. Harris’ grandfather was Blackjack Mulligan, his uncles were Barry and Kendall Windham, and his father was Mike Rotunda (AKA, I.R.S.). Husky signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2009, wrestling in FCW where he teamed with his brother, Bo, to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. In my opinion he was pretty darn good in the ring, not much to look at, and he could stand to lose a few pounds, but I shouldn't talk. Normally I'd say he should get a new finisher but his running senton looks devastating considering his size so it's all good. He also wasn’t bad on the mic. I think this army tank could be an immediate mid carder and probably a future main eventer once he fine tunes his Ferrari engine.
Alex Riley (Kevin Kiley, Jr.) – This 29 year old “Varsity Villain” signed with WWE Developmental in 2007 with no previous wrestling experience. His mother is a former Miss Virginia and his father smelt of elderberries. Wait… I mean, his father is a sportscaster for ESPN (I hope people get that reference). I was fairly pleased with Riley’s in ring ability which, in my opinion, matched or exceeded that of The Miz. He was also very impressive on the mic, also matching The Miz in this category, with very similar styles. Alex Riley is definitely a future star of the WWE, perhaps even a new tag partner for The Miz.
Michael McGillicutty (Joseph Curtis "Joe" Hennig) – This third generation pro wrestler debuted with World League Wrestling (WLW) on July 13, 2007 in Waterloo, Iowa where he teamed with Ted DiBiase, Jr. briefly. Hennig’s grandfather was Larry “The Axe” Hennig, his uncle was Jesse Hennig, and his father was Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect). He appeared on a 2007 episode of Smackdown, teaming with Steve Fender in a loss to Jesse and Festus. Hennig signed a deal with WWE around that time to wrestle in FCW. He teamed with Heath Slater, Brett DiBiase, and Kaval at various times to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship multiple times. Hennig also held the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship which he had to vacate due to injury. When he debuted on NXT he may have chosen the worst ring name in history. I know it was his mother’s maiden name, but still. He wasn’t bad in the ring, contrary to what some of the IWC will tell you, but he was far from “perfect.” McGillicutty also wasn’t the worst on the mic but he was still often painful to listen to. I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt and say to keep him around for a while. Let him be a mid carder for a while, he’ll improve.
-Although, none of these opinions really mean much of anything as it seems we’re seeing Nexus all over again. Unfortunately it looks like Michael McGillicutty is set to be the leader of this faction as he deemed it the “Genesis of McGillicutty.”
-I realize that this is a look into the experience of Genesis but I do want to take some time to look at the winner of NXT season two and Genesis’ first victim, Kaval.
Kaval (Brandon Silvestry) – Silvestry, often going by the ring name Low Ki began his journey in 1998, wrestling for Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW). He made several appearances in 2000 on the WWF program, Metal and Jakked. Low Ki won both the JAPW Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Titles on the same night and successfully defended both later that month. He then went on to debut with Ring of Honor at it's first show in 2002, defeating Bryan Danielson and Christopher Daniels in the show's main event. Low Ki became the first ever ROH champion in a Four Way Ironman match. He later went on to wrestle on TNA with their debut on June 19, 2002 where he later held the X Division Championship and NWA World Tag Team Championship. In 2004, Low Ki Left TNA to return to ROH. He also made a trip to Japan with Pro Wrestling Zero-One in 2002 where he held the International Junior Heavyweight Championship, which he held for the better part of a year. Low Ki left Zero-One in mid 2004 to join Pro Wrestling Noah, then later joined New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) where he later won the International Wrestling Grand Prix Junior Heavyweight Championship after joining the NJPW's main heel faction, Great Bash Heel. Silvestry made a return to TNA in 2006 under the name Senshi, later winning the X Division Championship again and defending the title several times, remaining undefeated for months. He then joined the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) promotion in 2007 as Low Ki again and later won their world championship which he was forced to forfeit due to a knee injury. Silvestry signed a WWE contract in 2008 where he then wrestled in FCW, winning the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship with Michael McGillicutty. You have no idea how long I spent compressing his illustrious twelve year career so far into this paragraph. If you need any proof as to his ring ability just look above. He’s a top tier athlete and he was never bad on the mic, either. Who cares if he has an unbelievably deep voice? They’d better keep this guy until he retires, if WWE does anything different they’ll be making a huge mistake.
-So, where is Genesis headed? Will they stay shrouded in the shadow of Nexus or will they bring some life back to a dying storyline? I’m personally still entertained by Nexus and am looking forward to seeing how these two factions will interact, but that’s just me.
Comments are always welcome and appreciated. Voice your own opinion!