NXT Season 2: Ranking the Futures of Season 2's Rookies
Well my first slideshow about the futures of the Season 1 NXT rookies went very well, so I decided to follow up with a slideshow dedicated to the futures of the rookies of Season Two of NXT.
Just a reminder that this slideshow will be a lot more difficult and a lot less detailed due to the fact that a number of these men have not been seen on WWE TV since the conclusion of Season Two at the end of August. With that said, let's take a look...
No. 8: Eli Cottonwood
Let me just get this out of the way right now, I hate Eli Cottonwood. He's horrible on the microphone, he has horrible wrestling skills, he's clumsy, and he cut the worst promo, not just in NXT history, but in WWE history.
"I don't have a mustache, but a mustache is for a real man. None of these boys back here has a mustache, therefore, I have the best mustache out of anyone on here."
Riveting stuff, riveting.
It really pisses me off that the WWE wastes good, talented, actual superstars like John Morrison on a pathetic waste of space who shouldn't even have a job in the company, like Eli Cottonwood. It really says a lot when I have Kaval, who was released by the WWE in December of 2010, ahead of Cottonwood. He definitely should get cut in WrestleMania's spring cleaning.
WWE Pro: John Morrison
Finisher: Reverse Chokeslam Facebuster
Chances of Being Champion: Terrible
No. 7: Kaval
It really pains me to do it, but at No. 7 on the list is Kaval. It's obvious that the WWE dropped the ball big time with Kaval, even though everyone thought he'd be a superstar after winning Season 2 of NXT. But, luck wouldn't have it, as Kaval would job week after week to the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, etc.
While the matches were good, all Kaval could get out of the NXT win was a quick two-week feud with Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series. One month later, Kaval asked for his WWE contractual release.
The door was left open for Kaval to return to the WWE, he connected well with the fans, his warrior gimmick was fresh, he has amazing ring and microphone skills, if he were to get a program with guys like Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, etc, Kaval could shine and finally be taken seriously as a championship contender. But to due to his recent release, I don't see it happening any time soon.
WWE Pros: Michelle McCool and Layla
Finisher: Warrior's Way
Chances of Being Champion: Poor
No. 6: Husky Harris
My, my, my how the mighty have fallen. During Season 2 of NXT everyone, from the "smarcks" of the Internet Wrestling Community, to upper management on the WWE Creative team, were praising the work of Husky Harris. After becoming the first NXT rookie to actually turn heel during the actual season, Harris went on a tear, immediately establishing himself as a threat to anyone who dared to cross his path. He was affectionately named by his Pro Cody Rhodes, Michael Cole, and the WWE fans as, "the army tank with a Ferrari engine" due to his size and speed in the ring.
Harris didn't win NXT Season 2, but was brought up along with Michael McGuillicutty as the only Season 2 rookies to be added to the Nexus stable. Harris lasted in the stable for more than five months and established his dominance, even getting a shot at the WWE Tag team Championships with McGuillicutty in January.
But then, the WWE Creative team fell out of love with Harris' look and immediately, he became the first member of the New Nexus to be killed off television after he was punted in the head by Randy Orton. I think Harris could end up being a force in the WWE on his own, or teaming with his brother Bo Rotunda, but he needs to be repackaged with a new gimmick if he ever wants to be a contender in the WWE.
WWE Pro: "Dashing" Cody Rhodes
Finisher: Running Senton
Chances of Being Champion: Below Average
No. 5: Titus O'Neill
Before the start of NXT Redemption, I had Titus O'Neill all the way down at No. 7 due to his lack of impact on NXT Season 2. He was eliminated in the 3rd week of NXT, the quickest any rookie has ever been eliminated. But now on NXT Redemption, O'Neill seems to be getting a good deal, showing that he has decent ring skills, can connect with the WWE fans, and has charisma, even though his new WWE Pro is Hornswoggle.
With a legitimate Pro on Season 2 in Zack Ryder, O'Neill reached a new level of jobber-dom, he even dropped the keg in the keg carry competition, the first rookie to do so. He lost every single match he was in during Season 2 and was eliminated quicker than it takes Eli Cottonwood to get to the ring.
Now in NXT Redemption, O'Neill is undefeated, has won 2 NXT challenges, and is connecting with the WWE Fans better than ever. He's one of my best bets to win NXT Redemption.
WWE Pro(s): Zack Ryder (NXT Season 2) and Hornswoggle (NXT Redemption)
Finisher: Omega Slam
Chances of Being Champion: Average
No. 4: Lucky Cannon
Ahhhhh, Lucky Cannon. What a turnaround for him. In NXT Season 2, he was simply a generic good-looking, squeaky clean babyface with a nice story to tell and a name to match. Then he got eliminated. Then on the Season 2 Finale, he turned heel and attacked Kaval along with the other Season 2 rookies.
Ever since, he's been shining in Florida Championship Wrestling, re-inventing himself as a cocky, narcissistic, egotistical heel, a complete turnaround from the goody-goody babyface of Season 2. Hell, he even beat Bo Rotundo to become the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship with help from his manager, Season 3 Rookie Maxine.
Now he's in NXT Redemption with a new WWE Pro in Raw Superstar Tyson Kidd with his new gimmick, where he also calls himself "Da-Lish" and "Mr. Steal-Your-Girl," while being the biggest heel on NXT.
Lucky Cannon is a perfect example of how NXT Redemption is a really good second chance for any former NXT rookie and he's another favorite to win NXT Redemption. If not, I see Lucky Cannon being brought up to the main roster sometime soon because the work he's doing right now is 10 times better than the work he did in NXT Season 2.
WWE Pro(s): Mark Henry (Season 2) and Tyson Kidd (Redemption)
Finisher: Lucky Break
Chances of Being Champion: Above Average
No. 3: "Showtime" Percy Watson
"Showtime" Percy Watson definitely has the look and the charisma to be a future WWE Superstar. He definitely was to NXT Season 2 what Lucky Cannon will be in NXT Redemption. He broke through and showed his strengths and his weaknesses, or what little weaknesses he has. He has the microphone skills, he was the most charismatic NXT rookie of Season 2, and he definitely had the "it" factor.
The only problem was his in-ring skills were not at the same level as everything else, but obviously ring skills can be worked on and will improve in time.
Ever since the end of NXT Season 2, the WWE Creative Team has been high on Watson, leaving the belief that he will sometime be called up to the main roster. He's been working dark matches for SmackDown for the last couple of months, picking up wins over guys like Chavo Guerrero, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, etc.
There is no doubt in my mind that with a little help and improvement, Watson will go on to bigger and better things in the WWE.
WWE Pro: Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP)
Finisher: Float-over DDT
Chances of Being Champion: Above Average
No. 2: Alex Riley
Alex Riley has definitely been the breakout star of season 2 of NXT. It was without question that he was partnered with arguably the most talented WWE Pro in Season 2 of NXT in the Miz, who was the WWE United States Champion at the time, and was the most hated of all the NXT rookies of Season 2. This got him over with the WWE fans and almost every single person thought that Alex Riley was going to win Season 2 of NXT.
However, that would not come to fruition. But, Alex Riley would debut on RAW soon after the Season 2 Finale as the apprentice of the Miz, helping to guide him to becoming the WWE Champion. His association with the Miz helped to get Riley involved in some high-profile matches with guys like John Morrison, Randy Orton, Jerry "the King" Lawler, and John Cena.
I feel that the things are looking up for Riley, even with the DUI he got in January. His has great in-ring skills, he has the look, the "it" factor, his microphone skills (though they could be a bit better) are better than half of the RAW roster. I feel that once he separates himself from the Miz, he could be a top heel on either Raw or SmackDown when the time is right.
WWE Pro: the Miz
Finisher: You're Dismissed
Chances of Being a Champion: Good
No. 1: Michael McGuillicutty
Yes, you heard it here, Mike McGuillicutty, or Joe Hennig, or whatever his name is, will eventually be the shining star of the second season of NXT. A lot of people were behind him during the second season, he went on to be the last NXT rookie to be undefeated before he lost a match to the WWE United States Champion the Miz.
He has tremendous in-ring skills and the pedigree to succeed in the WWE, he is the son of "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig. The only real downfall is that his microphone skills aren't really that good, but those can be improved in FCW, or he could just not talk a lot. Hell, it works for Randy Orton, the Undertaker, and Kane, why not McGuillicutty?
He, like Husky Harris, was immediately thrusted into the Nexus upon the end of Season 2, where he was placed in big matches with John Cena and Randy Orton, while also competing for the WWE Tag team Championships with Harris. He proved that in-ring wise, he can compete with the best the WWE has to offer and when he gets brought back up to the main roster with a new gimmick, he will shine. Whether it's on Raw or SmackDown, Michael McGuillicutty, if he's on his own, will become a future champion in the WWE.
WWE Pro: Kofi Kingston
Chances of Being Champion: Very Good
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