On Wednesday’s latest episode of NXT, people saw an absolute submission clinic between 205 Live‘s Drew Gulak and NXT’s Matt Riddle. The two former stablemates with Catch Point in EVOLVE Wrestling put on a fantastic match that involved both men being stretched and twisted.
But the lead into that match was a quick match where Gulak defeated a debuting wrestler from the WWE’s Performance Center, a prospect who has been working the NXT Live Events circuit the past few months.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) February 7, 2019
Eric Bugenhagen, an air-guitaring party animal that was just as concerned as hitting the high notes as hitting his opponent. He even applied a Windmill Stretch – a classic abdominal stretch move, complimented by Pete Townsend-like air guitar windmills.
Eric Bugenhagen signed with the WWE in 2017, after developing his mat skills as a collegiate wrestler with the University of Wisconsin Badgers team, making the US Top Ten in 2011. In 2012, he worked as the team’s strength and conditioning coach. He became a YoutTube personality with his own weightlifting videos, Savage Power, that showed some rather unique techniques that defied conventional weightlifting, while also showing a vibrant charisma and love for classic rock.
Bugenhagen has been working in the WWE Performance Center for much of the past two years, but last December he began to work the NXT Live Events circuit in Florida, in matches against the likes of Dominik Dijakovic, Punishment Martinez, and the Velveteen Dream.
According to early reports, Bugenhagen has been very over with the Live Event crowds, becoming a quick fan favorite for his outlandish personality, impressive physique, and unexpected mat skills. Although his debut tonight may not be an official entry onto NXT TV, it’s nice to see they’ve got some unique characters waiting to come up.
And following the main event, as revealed on WWE’s YouTube channel, Bugenhagen was brought back out for his own encore.