At this week’s WWE Royal Rumble fan fest in Phoenix Arizona the WWE held a tournament between stars of development show NXT with the winner earning their right to a place in this years place in WWE and what will inevitably be a spot on the WWE’s main roster. Following the recent success of numerous stars including Damien Sandow and most notably The Shield the WWE appears to be going through a phase similar to that which they did in 2002 when a rising crop of stars arrived on our screens from OVW including John Cena, Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin and Dave Batista. The final of the tournament was a match between Bo Dallas and Leo Kruger with Dallas coming out the victor and earning his spot in the rumble match.
Dallas, real name Taylor Rotunda signed for the WWE back in 2008 on a development deal making his debut for FCW in December of the same year. In his early matches he competed as part of a tag team along side his real life brother Duke Rotunda who is best known to WWE fans for his stint as Husky Harris in the original Nexus. As a team, known as the Rotundas the duo went on to win the FCW tag team championships, defending their titles against the likes of the Heath Slater and Curt Hawkins on the way before finally dropping them to The Uso’s after a lengthy reign.
In Feburary 2011 Rotunda picked up his first FCW world heavyweight championship defeating current WWE superstar Mason Ryan though he then lost the belt to Lucky Cannon on the same night. After regaining the title from Cannon Rotunda made his WWE debut wrestling against Primo in a dark match before a Smackdown taping. Rotunda continued to wrestle dark matches for the company and looked on the verge of a call up to the main roster before an injury forced him to drop his title and ruined his chances of a call up.
In early 2012 Rotunda returned from injury and set about regaining his title, during this period he and his brother once again won the tag team titles and things started looking up for the superstar, this time he was making regular appearances on WWE house shows. Rotunda was also to have one more run with the FCW title, holding the belt between June and July 2012.
Rotunda debuted on the re launched NXT in June 2012 under the ring name Bo Dallas and was immediately entered into a tournament to crown the first NXT champion. Though he ultimately came up short in the tournament Dallas was quickly getting over with audiences who were warming to his babyface persona. After a short feud with NXT champion Jinder Mahal Dallas’ most notable came on the December 19th episode of NXT where he had a match with World Heavy Champion The Big Show after throwing out an open challenge.
This brings us up to now; Dallas clearly has done his time in development and has some great experience coming up to the main roster. He is a third generation wrestler, his grandfather was Blackjack Mulligan whilst his father is Mike Rotunda who is perhaps best known for his stint in the tag team The US express, his father is also a current WWE road agent which is likely to work in his favour.
Vince will no doubt be testing the water with Dallas tonight; if the fans react well to him and he can put in a good performance in The Rumble then we may just be seeing a lot more of him on our television. Hopefully his appearance isn’t just a brief cameo where he is made to look like a glorified jobber and he is given a decent opportunity to prove his worth. A lot of the IWC have been behind Dallas for quite some time so tonight is his chance to prove not only is he worth the hype but also that he deserves his place on the roster.
What do you think will happen with Dallas tonight? Share your thoughts below.
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This article was first posted on January 27, 2013