Everyone has a favorite wrestler from each season of WWE's NXT. Being the fan I am, I'm certainly no exception.
Admittedly, I failed to tune in each week during the first season of NXT.
I knew from seeing a few of the competitors on RAW or SmackDown here and there that I liked Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett and Darren Young, but I hadn't seen much of them, for the most part.
After missing the first three or four weeks of Season 2, I finally managed to remember to tune into SyFy one Tuesday night at 10 pm.
While watching, I was instantly captivated by one hopeful superstar in particular—Kaval.
Although Kaval usually didn't win his matches, it didn't matter. I was dazzled by his amazing, innovative, daredevil, high-flying style.
The maneuvers he would execute were some I hadn't seen in quite a while on WWE programming, short of probably only Rey Mysterio. He made me reminisce about the days when I was more of a WCW viewer in the late 1990s and a huge fan of the cruiserweight division.
In short, Kaval instantly became my favorite NXT Season 2 rookie.
When he was announced as the winner on August 31, 2010, I was thrilled. I marked out in the same manner I did back when I was a kid and first started watching wrestling. I imagined all the possibilities that were in store for the awesome talent that is Kaval, and kept my fingers crossed that he would wind up on the SmackDown roster.
My wish, of course, came true, as Kaval did indeed become a member of the blue brand.
It seemed fitting he would be there, considering the amount of younger, newer talent SmackDown has.
Yet, as it turned out, he hasn't been given a deserved push, nor has he even been used properly.
Although he is still a relative newbie to the WWE, I would have at least expected Kaval to be in contention for the Intercontinental Championship by now.
Recently, we've seen champion Dolph Ziggler in feuds with Kofi Kingston and MVP (both of whom, in my opinion, should be in the main event by now, but that will be discussed in a future article).
Kaval has yet to partake in an actual feud in the time he's been on SmackDown.
Typically, he's been put in random matches in which he has mostly been used as a jobber. Other times, he had some interaction with his NXT pros, LayCool, though that was, thankfully, short-lived.
Things seemed to be looking up on the October 15th episode, however, when he exchanged words backstage with the Big Show, who was named captain of Team SmackDown for Bragging Rights.
Show, of course, told Kaval that he could have the final spot on the team should he last five minutes in the ring with him.
Of course, the match happened, and Kaval survived. Big Show was courteous and graciously held up the cruiserweight's arm in victory—but moments later, a returning Tyler Reks came out and demanded the spot Kaval had just earned.
It was disheartening to see Kaval's opportunity to compete at Bragging Rights snuffed out. Likewise, I was disappointed to see him job out to Jack Swagger on last week's SmackDown. All I can ask is why the WWE are misusing his talent by having him constantly lose.
On RAW, NXT Season 1 contestant Daniel Bryan—who, of course was released for a few months following the first attack by the Season 1 NXT members—has been given a nice push and the U.S. Championship as well.
I know he's been around longer, but I have to wonder why Kaval isn't being given similar perks. Isn't he just as hardworking as Bryan? Or is the company holding him back for the same reason they held Gail Kim back—because he once wrestled for TNA?
I would like to tune in to SmackDown one of these nights and see something big for Kaval. I want to at least see him established as a solid mid-carder. The WWE needs to open its collective eyes and reward real talent.