A couple of the budding WWE NXT startups may start seeing a lot more success as this new year continues to unfold.

Eric Bugenhagen and Stacey Ervin Jr. are both receiving rave reviews behind the scenes of NXT, according to the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Bugenhagen, as seen in the video above, describes himself as a “metalhead beefcake”, and although he hasn’t been particularly successful in picking up wins in recent matches, he has quickly become a crowd favorite at Full Sail University. His character has been repackaged multiple times since his stint with NXT first began in October 2017. Bugenhagen became “Ric Boog” in the latter part of 2018 and he continued as such until this self-titled persona debuted on the February 6, 2019 episode of NXT in a losing effort against Drew Gulak.

Ervin Jr. had his first match with WWE NXT last fall, suffering a defeat at the hands of an NXT mainstay, Kassius Ohno. He began gymnastics in 2001 around the age of 8 and continued on until his team won the NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships in 2013. Ervin Jr. was introduced to NXT fans when he tagged with partner Humberto Carrillo in a match against The Street Profits this past February.

With the recent call-ups transitioning out of NXT and up to WWE RAW and SmackDown, it will be interesting to see if Bugenhagen and Ervin Jr. become featured much more prominently on NXT TV.

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