Karl Anderson worked in the NWA and the PWG promotion before working for New Japan in 2008. Two years later, Anderson formed Bad Intentions with Giant Bernard (aka Albert, Tensai etc.) and they won the IWGP Tag Team Championships. They held the titles for 564 days with 10 title defenses. But that wasn’t all, as two years later, Anderson joined Luke Gallows, Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) and others in forming the Bullet Club.
Anderson and Gallows won the tag titles three times; combined over all reigns, they held the titles over a year. As members of “The Club”, they continued to bring heel tactics from the American style, which was highly frowned upon by Japanese audiences. Now they’re in WWE, a tag team title run seems inevitable. They have the chemistry, but will they get the reactions?
“CMLL no Prince” – At 26 years old, Manny Andrade is one of the most successful wrestlers in Lucha Libre today. He debuted at the age of 13, and has won many championships in Mexico, with his biggest achievement being the CMLL Universal Championship in 2011 (annual tournament). He’s also a former IWGP Intercontinental Champion. He was a tweener for much of his time in CMLL as a member of the Los Ingobernables, as they challenged anyone who wasn’t part of the group.
There’s no telling when he will appear on our screens in NXT, but it can’t be long now. He’s unmasked, so we won’t be seeing another Kalisto or Sin Cara, but it’s safe to say he has so much potential, and we should be looking out for him.
“Living The Dream” – While she’s been appearing in various capacities in NXT since 2014, she’s only recently started her wrestling career. Originally her stage name was Marley, before being changed to Liv Morgan at the end of last year. I watched her match against Bayley on NXT, and I have to say she needs work, but she’s not bad for a 21-year old.
With some training and experience she could be something in NXT. While she would have made a great “Diva” with her look, we know that WWE is looking for more from their women, so it’s up to Morgan to prove she belongs as a WWE superstar.
No Way Jose
“No Way Jose!” – Manny Garcia recently showed up in NXT with his new gimmick No Way Jose. Needless to say, the fans have welcomed him, and his charisma is hard to deny. He was noticed for his work in CWF Mid-Atlantic as a 2-time Television Champion. It’s a little early to judge how far he will go, but so far it’s all good things. At 24 years old, he has plenty of time to develop.
“The King of Strong Style” – Arguably the most exciting acquistion of the decade. I remember seeing him for the first time, it was Wrestle Kingdom IX, and he was being challenged by Kota Ibushi. He made an epic entrance with a crown and everything. I didn’t realize how popular he was, or how charismatic he was til that day. And then he got in the ring, and I was mesmerized by the hard-hitting style. Even more so when I saw Styles vs. Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom X. No one could predict AJ and Shinsuke would join WWE shortly afterwards.
He definitely grows on ya over time. At first he comes across as a little strange, the way he moves, the way he wrestles, it’s really different. Over time, I believe the undecided will accept his mannerisms and see him for the superstar he portrays. At the same time, you have to wonder if he can continue to work the way he does without hurting others. He’s a professional, he’s really good at what he does, but his style is so different it might catch a few out. I provided a video of his Wrestle Kingdom IX entrance (JR/Matt Striker on commentary) at the bottom.
I’m going to wrap this up because it’s been longer than I expected. Today, the news broke that many WWE wrestlers, including Damien Sandow, Wade Barrett, and others had been released from their contracts. I’m English, so it sucks .. because we have Neville, but he’s on the injured list, and Paige isn’t being used well .. so there’s no one left for us in that regard. The most important thing is .. I can’t end this without paying tribute to the WWE career of Damien Sandow
“You’re welcome!” – He was great at everything he did. He was willing to play the pompous heel, wrestle in pink trunks, and do cartwheels. He was willing to win Money In The Bank, and lose the briefcase to Cena. He was willing to get over as Miz’s stunt double by being more entertaining. And he was willing to play any part, impersonate any WWE legend, and do a decent job of impersonating the Macho Man. I’m going to miss Damien Sandow, and I hope he turns up somewhere .. and shows the world what he can do. Thanks for reading everyone.