On Wednesday night’s episode of WWE NXT, a brand-new wrestler named Eric Bugenhagen appeared on the show, and even though he lost his debut match, the audience at Full Sail Arena bought into his character hook, line
The match started with Drew Gulek coming to the ring in a huge surprise. Of course, Gulak is a 205 Live star who has received lots of screen time on Monday Night Raw in the past as well.
He brought his no-nonsense attitude of hating anything fun to NXT and then watched in shocked horror as Eric Bugenhagen waltzed down to the ring.
Who is Eric Bugenhagen?
The fans were quiet when Eric Bugenhagen walked out. No one really knew much about him or what to expect. However, he then let out a wail that would make a glam metal singer smile and then strutted all the way to the ring like a rock star.
After Eric Bugenhagen climbed into the ring, he screamed again and then started to play air guitar — using an actual guitar pick. He threw the pick to the crowd (it fell short of the front row) and then started to play air keyboards before finishing playing air drums.
The audience, who were quiet when he came out, were now on their feet. They were playing air guitar and air drums with Bugenhagen and then chanted encore as the referee looked at him in exasperated horror.
After that, announcer Nigel McGuinness called Bugenhagen an embarrassment while Gulak punished him in the ring. However, the fans loved every minute of it — including a moment where he locked Gulak into an abdominal stretch and played air guitar on his chest.
Drew Gulak won, Bugenhagen left the ring and the show went on. Gulak called it an insult to wrestle him and ended up facing off with Matt Riddle in a second match, a competition that Riddle won.
However, Eric Bugenhagen came back out for his encore performance for the crowd later in the show.
Where did Eric Bugenhagen come from?
The Eric Bugenhagen debut was not expected and no one really knew what to expect. He was not a former indie wrestler making his debut in the WWE.
However, Bugenhagen does have his fanbase. He was a YouTuber before he became a WWE superstar.
Eric Bugenhagen has run his own YouTube channel since 2012 and has over 8.4 million followers. He promises to teach his followers “a lesson about intensity.” He is a former strength and conditioning coach and worked with Division 1 college athletes. He also has a website at chaosandpain.com.
His most popular YouTube video has over 176,000 views and shows him lifting weights while listening to heavy metal and screaming. The guy has a lot of energy, that is for sure.
Eric Bugenhagen may have lost his debut match on WWE NXT in a storyline for Drew Gulak, but he won over the crowd and his natural charisma and energy could make him the next big thing in NXT.