Drew Gulak and Matt Riddle may have put on a clinic during WWE NXT, but let’s not lose sight of the real story here: ERIC BUGENHAGEN!
Drew Gulak and Matt Riddle put on a–say it with me now–Takeover worthy match in the latest episode of WWE NXT. It was that good, and I really hope it happens again with a bigger audience and a larger stage. But one thing is getting lost in the justifiable fuss of Gulak-Riddle: ERIC BUGENHAGEN.
Seriously…DID YOU SEE THIS GUY???
He went all in on a crazy character, and it got so over they gave him an encore later in the show. It also translated to television, which is the biggest part. He’s an accomplished bodybuilder, and the rage and intensity isn’t an act. Check out his YouTube Channel, which is power-lifting and bodybuilding focused, to see how he got over in that community first (he has over 58k subscribers).
He’s also an decorated amateur wrestler, competing at the NCAA Division I level at Wisconsin. I’m not 100% sure he’ll be Eric Bugenhagen forever–he was Ric Boogz on the NXT Florida loop, but his this encore thing gets over he could end up being called Eric Encore. Either way, he strikes me as an undeniable talent, one that could be a big mainstream star.
Given the opportunity, Eric Bugenhagen can be a major star. Hell, it wouldn’t even be that bad if they took away his first name!
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Andrade, Zelina Vega, and Aleister Black Moved to WWE Smackdown
Did Charlotte Flair have anything to do with this?
Three talents get shaken up once more: Andrade, Zelina Vega, and Aleister Black head to WWE Smackdown in a WWE Superstar Shake-Up reversal.
In a surprising move, WWE has changed the profiles for Andrade, Zelina Vega, and Aleister Black to the blue brand, WWE Smackdown. Black was assigned to Raw during the Superstar Shake-Up, and Andrade and Vega were moved there in a spot that saw Andrade get a clean victory over Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor.
The internet, of course, immediately jumps to conclusions about the Latin representation of Smackdown (Rey Mysterio was also moved to Raw), as well as the relationship between Charlotte Flair and Andrade. Aleister and Zelina are married, and WWE has been trying to keep couples together. Do you think Charlotte Flair is responsible for this move?
Greg DeMarco’s Take on this WWE Superstar Shake-Up Reversal
I stand in the middle! I know, I don’t do that often. But Andrade to Raw made a ton of sense, as he can be a workhorse there and eat up TV time by putting on great matches. Smackdown is loaded (even more so), and I really hope 3 people move back to Raw in the process. As for why? This can definitely be a case of “LOLCHARLOTTEWINS” as she and Andrade are of course an item. If so, that shows how strong of a pairing Zelina and Andrade are if she went with him, and since Zelina and Aleister are married, Black goes as well. I could see the four of them traveling together, honestly.
This was originally reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet:
UPDATE: Aleister Black is now officially listed on WWE dot com as a SmackDown Superstar as well. His profile states: "After the 2019 Superstar Shake-up, Black set his sights on changing the landscape of SmackDown LIVE."
— Pro Wrestling Sheet (@WrestlingSheet) April 22, 2019
Dolph Ziggler Reveals He Was Added To The 2019 Royal Rumble The Night Before
How did Dolph Ziggler end up in the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble?
When, and how, was Dolph Ziggler added to the 2019 Royal Rumble match?
In a sit-down interview with Chris Van Vliet (seen above), Dolph Ziggler reveals that he wasn’t booked for the WWE Royal Rumble until the night before, and he earned a payday for his comedy show and the Royal Rumble appearance.
“Oh my God. That’s a great story. Can I tell this story? When I talked to you, I was not booked for the Royal Rumble and I have no reason to lie to anybody or be like ‘Hey listen, I don’t know what the deal is’. I was just on hiatus and I got a call to be there. And if I wasn’t in town for a booking for a comedy show that night I would not have even been in Phoenix. I got a call the night before saying ‘Hey, you gotta get here.’ … I was one of the last people in the ring that night and my comedy show three blocks away had to start an hour late because I was running over with sweat and my bags. I almost went in my gear but I was like I’m going to have to shower.”
Dolph Ziggler hasn’t appeared for WWE since the Royal Rumble, and in the interview above he maintains that he on an extended vacation from the company. You might remember that Ziggler made first contact with Nia Jax during the Rumble, nailing her with a Superkick.
With thanks to WrestleZone for the quote.
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