Heavy Machinery members Otis and Tucker have made an impression since coming to the WWE main roster. At least, they made one on Steve Cook!
Whenever a new crop of NXT call-ups arrives, it’s foolhardy to speculate on who will be most successful. You never really know who will translate to WWE’s main roster & who won’t. Tyler Breeze was tremendously popular in NXT & has gone on to do little of note in WWE. Elias was despised & denigrated during his time in developmental, but has constantly been featured on Raw in some form or fashion.
It’s still early for the recent NXT call-ups, but I think we can say the early returns have been mixed. EC3 did get a win over Dean Ambrose last night, but so far has come off more like a mute Chippendales’ dancer than a professional wrestler. Nikki Cross & Lacey Evans turn some heads when they appear on TV. Nikki’s had more success at that, and has had more luck connecting with crowds. WWE apparently has plenty of ideas for Lars Sullivan, but can’t get him to the arena.
So far, the most successful call-ups by a pretty wide margin are Heavy Machinery. It’s a case of good timing for them. WWE is trying to put a bigger spotlight on tag teams in order to keep some folks on the roster happy. It’s a tough thing to do with some of the teams because they’ve been buried to the point where it’s really tough to care about anything they do. I mean, we all love Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins, but regular WWE viewers haven’t been asked to care about them in years. Imagine trying to push the Ascension as a threat now, after years of irrelevance.
Otis & Tucker are fresh & new. WWE fans have no preconceptions of them, and are willing to accept them at whatever level WWE wants to push them at. They’ve been impressive in their showings so far, and stand out as different types of characters.
You can tell that WWE is pretty high on them. The surest sign of that came earlier this week, when they lost ther last names. No more Otis Dozovic. No more “All Night” Tucker Knight. We got Otis & his buddy Tucker.
When an NXT talent captures Vince McMahon’s attention, they end up losing part of their name. It used to be the first name, as Cesaro & Rusev can tell you, but at some point Vince watched a soccer match and developed a fascination with first names. Elias. Andrade. They tried doing Apollo for a little while, but Crews came back in the graphics eventually.
Honestly, Otis & Tucker should consider themselves lucky they didn’t come along a few years prior. Then they’d be Big O & Big Tuck.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 30, 2019
Honestly, I’m past the point where I can get too worked up over a name change. It has to be really bad, like Andrade’s name change. “Cien Almas” was right there, and they went with “Andrade”? Otis & Tucker aren’t great “one name” names to me, but I feel better about it because they’re a tag team. As somebody that does show reviews from time to time, I’m only using one name to describe these guys anyway. I switch betwen the first & last, sometimes throw in a nickname, but I’m never typing out “Otis Dozovic”. It’s either Otis or Dozer. (And to show how little homework I’m doing these days, I had no idea that Dozer was a name he used in the indies. I used to have all those indy names on lockdown!)
Aside from any drama with what we call them, there’s nothing not to like about these guys. They’re unique characters. They don’t have the cookie-cutter body type. Heavy Machinery’s style isn’t the same style that everybody else is working, but it blends well with the others. We’re talking about two guys with legit amateur wrestling background that would be perfectly fine in a shoot.
I admit to being skeptical when they were called up. It’s not like the NXT tag teams that made it to the big time in the past set the world on fire. But Heavy Machinery isn’t anything like the teams that came before them. We mentioned the advantage of WWE actually trying to care about tag teams right now, but there’s another major advantage in their factor…they haven’t peaked yet. Most of these NXT tag teams hang around there for so long that they run out of steam before they even get to WWE. Otis & Tucker didn’t even get to the NXT Tag Team Championship.
My bet: they get the Raw or SmackDown Tag Team Championship sometime in 2019.