WWE announced that season two of NXT will begin next Tuesday. The roster of rookies and pros was also announced and the format has been slightly changed, with the “WWE Universe” being able to vote online. Those results will count for half of the vote, with the other half coming from the pros.
The rookies (with their pros in parenthesis) are listed below:
Husky Harris (Cody Rhodes)
Eli Cottonwood (John Morrison)
Percy Watson (MVP)
Titus O’Neil (Zack Ryder)
Lucky Cannon (Mark Henry)
Michael McGillicutty (Kofi Kingston)
Alex Riley (The Miz)
– First, what the hell is up with some of these names? Husky Harris, Eli Cottonwood and Lucky Cannon are names straight out of the wild, wild west. Husky Harris is the son of Mike Rotunda (I.R.S.) and the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan. I didn’t have a huge problem with them changing his name because it fit his character, which seems to be like his uncle, Barry Windham.
Michael McGillicutty, however, is the son of Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig. He has been wrestling as Joe Hennig in FCW but WWE decided to change his name to something that does not fit at all. I understand WWE wanting to have control over the names of their performers and wanting to differentiate second- and third-generation performers from their parents, but that’s a little much.
– I’m most excited for Kaval and Joe Hennig. Kaval, or Low Ki, has been wrestling for years. You may remember him from ROH, TNA and his stints in Japan. He is certainly the most accomplished among the group and is this season’s Daniel Bryan. The difference, though, is that Michael Cole seemed to really be into Kaval.
– I don’t mind the pairing of Kaval and LayCool. Mind you, I might crap all over it after actually seeing it, but I think it might create an interesting dynamic.
– Eli Cottonwood is listed at 7’2 and is a former collegiate basketball standout. Cottonwood, whose real name is Kipp Christianson, played at St. John’s from ’93 – ’97 and was named twice to the All-Big East team.
– College football fans may be familiar with Titus O’Neil, the former Florida Gator who played defensive end under his real name, Thaddeus Bullard. Percy Watson is a flamboyant character, reminiscent of Johnny B. Badd. Alex Riley seems to be able to talk the talk and has been in FCW for about three years, so hopefully he can work in the ring too.
– The turnaround is rather fast for a new season to begin but I’m excited to see what the young guys have to offer. Hopefully WWE has worked out the kinks that plagued season one and the next incarnation will be more entertaining.