During the finale of WWE NXT Season 1, the Rookie / Pro pairings for Season 2 were announced.  Two of the rookies are third generation competitiors, a couple of the guys strongly remind me of competitors I’ve seen before, and once again the Pros are guys who could use some extra exposure they’re not currently getting on RAW or Smackdown.

The first guy introduced is nicknamed “Husky Harris”, who happens to be the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan and consequently the son of Mike Rotunda (formerly known as I.R.S.).  Husky Harris is paired up with second generation wrestler Cody Rhodes.


The monster of this show is likely to be Eli Cottonwood, who is 7 foot 1 and has a decent “scary guy” look about him.  He’s paired with John Morrison, a pairing from which I don’t think he can gain anything as a character.  Good luck to him, though, because often times the taller guys aren’t as coordinated, and if Cottonwood can’t wrestle, he won’t make it to the top 4.

Likely the most entertaining rookie is Percy Watson, who looks to have plenty of muscle and a huge amount of charisma.  He’s billed as being “a party guy from South Beach, Florida”, and he looks goofy as hell.  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how well he works paired with MVP.

The rookie with whom “Pro” Zack Ryder is paired is named Titus O’Neil.  From his short hype video, he appears to be fairly skilled, but one thing is for sure, he’s a hugely muscular guy, and apparently he’s a former football player.  They mentioned that he had played “professionally”, though the fact that they only mentioned University of Florida makes me think that his “pro football” might’ve been inside of an arena.

One of the most exciting moments of the Rookie announcements was Kaval, whose work I have enjoyed back in TNA Wrestling and Ring of Honor when he wrestled under the names Low-Ki and Senshi.  He’s an intense guy who I would compare to Tajiri… without the comedic aspects.  He is being paired with “Pros” Lay-Cool, that being current co-Women’s Champion Layla El and Michelle McCool, and while some people are pessimistic about it, I think this could be very good for Kaval (whom I’m having trouble not referring to as “Low-Ki”).  Although he certainly has gobs more experience than both of them put together, as the comparison was made between (Daniel) Bryan Danielson and The Miz, I’ve yet to see any signs that Kaval has enough charisma for WWE to not “future endeavor” him.

Someone whom I don’t anticipate will be brought up to the WWE roster at any point during 2010 is the guy they call “Lucky Cannon”.  Although his hype video makes him seem fairly skilled and he looks very familiar, I don’t think he would’ve been stuck with such a crazy name if there was any indication he would be on RAW or Smackdown.  He’ll get his feet wet on the national stage, go back down to FCW where he can enhance his skills in-ring and on the mic a little more, having had an up-close view with how things work at the show.  I’m not sure how much he’d learn from his Pro, having been paired with Mark Henry, but there are certainly options which could be a lot worse.

Another guy who I’m highly anticipating is the guy they’re calling Michael McGillicutty, who is the real-life son of WWE Legend “Mr Perfect” Curt Hennig.  I was a huge fan of Hennig throughout his career, and I’m looking forward to seeing what his son Joe can do in the ring.  He’s paired with Kofi Kingston, though I think it would be a good idea if McGillicutty was a “heel” performer and ended up associating with either Sheamus or Ted DiBiase once he hits the main roster… which I believe is bound to happen.

The final Rookie on Season 2 of NXT is Alex Riley, who appears to be continuing his FCW gimmick of wearing a Letterman’s jacket and acting like a hot shot high school football star.  This could be a very good thing, especially given that he’s paired with The Miz, another ego-centric character.  Even better still, I think Alex Riley should bring in his FCW valet Beverly Mullins / Courtney Taylor.

I’m not entirely sure why I hold this opinion, but I’m actually really optimistic about the upcoming “season” of NXT.  I get the idea that it might be a lot better organized and executed than the first season.