ESPN ran an E:60 special on NXT last night and it was outstanding. In only an hour, viewers were shown the stories, struggles, and successes of Adam Rose, Xavier Woods, and Corey Graves. Anyone who watched the entire hour broadcast and didn’t become a fan of these three must not have a beating heart. This was by no means a puff piece on the WWE or NXT, but an emotional ride through the eyes of three men with the personal drive and desire to succeed on professional wrestling’s biggest stage.
The story of Ray Leppan was more engaging than anything I have seen on WWE in recent memory. No matter how well the character of Adam Rose is written, I could never care for him like I do the man that is playing the part. I was emotionally involved in everything this man went through whether it was the struggles in the ring or his infant son’s condition. Austin Watson’s determination to get a PHD and Matt Polinsky’s in-ring dream fading away with each concussion are better storylines than anything you will ever get from Xavier Woods and Corey Graves. These are the kind of stories that will get people to watch WWE. Real struggles. Real situations. Real people battling the odds every night to hopefully find success.
This is what going “behind the curtain” should be all about in wrestling programing. What the men and women on the roster are living through is something that could never be topped by anything a wrestling writer puts down on paper. I would believe that people who don’t follow WWE but watched the E:60 special would be curious to see these three men on WWE programming. If WWE would give us real stories like this on a regular basis, there would no doubt be an increase in the ratings.
I recommend this program to anyone who hasn’t seen it. Keep an eye on ESPN and ESPN channel listings for a future airing, or bookmark E:60’s website: espn.go.com/espn/e60/index
It is impossible for me not to root for the three individuals on the show. I don’t care how bad the storylines are. I don’t care if there characters aren’t interesting. I don’t care if there is a bunny involved. Anytime I see Adam Rose, Xavier Woods, or Corey Graves on my television they will have my full support. I hope someday we will see everyone’s story.
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffLane22