May 5th, 2015 WWE and ESPN did a special and went behind the scenes of NXT and three of the NXT superstars. The three NXT superstars in question were Xavier Woods, Adam Rose, and Corey Graves and did two mini videos on Tyler Breeze and Colin Cassidy. It is almost a year later and have any of them seen success? The answer is yes but the unfortunate thing is is that not all of them have seen the same success. Let’s see who and try to find out why.
Raymond Leppan A.K.A Adam Rose
The first wrestler I want to talk out is Ray Leppan known to wrestling fans as Adam Rose. Probably the biggest disappointment to come out of this special is Adam Rose. When I say disappointment I don’t mean he was the disappointment, the disappointment was what WWE did with him after the special. Adam Rose is currently a member of the faction The Social Outcast along with fellow superstars Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas. Despite the popularity the faction has garnered the group itself has not found much success. Before joining the Social Outcast what was Adam Rose doing? Let’s back track to his debut. Starting on the post WrestleMania Raw on April 7t in 2014 WWE started airing debut vintages for Adam Rose. Rose made his debut a month after on the May 5th episode of Raw. He feuded with Jack Swagger for about a month and at the Money in the Bank PPV he made his PPV debut and beat Damien Sandow. At the following PPV Battleground he beat Fandango and then went inactive for a month until he returned at Raw on September 1st where he beat Titus O’Neil. This was already a bad sign that creative was giving up on Adam Rose. A few weeks later Adam Rose started to team with one of hi rosebud members known as The Bunny who was portrayed on TV by Justin Gabriel who wore the bunny suit. On the 15th of October which was the 10th anniversary of Smackdown he suffered his first lost in a random match with Kane. Shortly after his first loss on the halloween episode of Smackdown Adam Rose and The Bunny started to tease a rivalry. R-Truth said that The Bunny was upstaging him. Shortly after the tension started The Bunny cost Rose a match and after that Rose assaulted The Bunny. The Bunny still kept coming out each time to support Rose and started to cost Rose matches by trying to help him win but having it fail. In an interspecies match Adam Rose let Tyson Kidd beat The Bunny with a sharp shooter. The Bunny and Adam Rose teamed up and beat Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil at Survivor Series but Rose was still upset because of it. Further things making Rose look bad led up to the December 22nd episode of Raw where a fast loss to R-Truth made Rose brutally attacked The Bunny marking The Bunnies last appearance on TV. Rose had a couple of short programs and in mid-may his party animal gimmick was over. During the rest of 2015 Rose had a short lived party pooper gimmick. On January 4th Rose alongside Axel, Dallas, and Slater started the Social Outcasts and he is still currently doing that on Raw. Almost a year later and well Rose is now being featured on Raw almost weekly he still is losing and isn’t going anywhere. After the E:60 special aired was Rose on Raw the next time? No. Was Rose given a chance to be on Raw weekly and start a fresh feud? No. After the special aired Rose was barely featured and after all the outpour of support on Twitter it was one of the biggest missed opportunities. One year later Adam Rose well still is on Raw I don’t consider Adam Rose improved nor do I consider him a success despite his talent and the fact that I think he should be an upper mid-card guy. UPDATE: I had finished the article before it happened but on the 17th of April Adam Rose along with fellow superstar Konnor was suspended for 60 days each for both getting their second wellness policy strike respectively. Rose who is a member of the social outcast will now no longer be on TV until approximately mid-June. This can be good or bad. This can be just what Rose needs to revise his character but at the same time this could be where creative decides they don’t have anything for him and come to terms with him. WWE is in their spring cleaning part of the year so we will see in the coming months what becomes of Adam Rose or if anything will become Adam Rose.
Austin Watson A.K.A. Xavier Woods
The second person featured on this special was Xavier Woods. Xavier Woods is a different story. Woods made his main roster debut on Raw in November of 2013 alongside his former tag team partner in TNA R-Truth. He started a short program with Brodus Clay. In 2014 the early version of The New Day formed and after a few months the New Day we’ve come to know and love debuted and are still on the roster today. Since the formation Woods along with Kofi Kingston and Big E under the freebird rule have become 2 time WWE Tag Team Champions and Woods was WWE 2K Champion in 2015. Woods has found success on the main roster and I hope he continues to find it.
Matthew Polinsky A.K.A. Corey Graves
Corey Graves, my favorite of the 3, is a different story then Adam Rose and Xavier Woods. The E:60 special didn’t focus on Graves road to the main roster but on the road to recovery and hoping to still be able to wrestle and then move on. Graves started wrestling for NXT in 2011 and spent his in-ring career for WWE down in Florida. Graves after feuding with the Wyatt Family captured the NXT Tag Team Championships in July of 2013. After another year or so in NXT, Graves suffered a second concussion and was sidelined. The E:60 special focused on his recovery and if he would be able to come back. On December 11th 2014 during the pre-show of NXT TakeOver R Evolution Graves formally announced his retirement and revealed he will now be a commentator for NXT and a member of the pre-show panel. Graves is now a member of the Raw pre-show and part of the pre-show panels for PPVs. On the E:60 special it showed Graves reacting to being forced to retire and it also showed Triple H offering him a commentator job. Graves well retired is still being showed on several WWE shows and have his own show on the WWE Network. I would consider him a successful commentator and analyst.
One year later all 3 men are still here in WWE. One has found in-ring success, one has found success in other roles, the other unfortunately hasn’t found much success. What do you think about the 3 men? Do you think they have or haven’t had success? Feel free to tell me on Twitter @UberTieGuy