WHEN I FIRST heard about the Great Simon Gotch, he was toiling in the indies under the tutelage of Harley Race. Then a few years passed, and I heard the amazing news that he’d been signed to a WWE developmental deal.
At the time, NXT was still embryonic, and nothing resembling the boutique crown jewel of the WWE brand that it is today. Then NXT began to change, and grow, and Simon Gotch was there for the whole process.
Soon he was regularly featured on NXT programming, went on to win the NXT tag team titles, ended up in a WWE video game, and is even slated to have his own action figure. Amidst all this, I kind of lost sight of his ultimate goal: getting to the main WWE roster.
I’m the demographic that NXT is targeted toward, so for me, he’d already “made it.” But when I heard that he and his tag team partner Aiden English (together The Vaudevillains) had been promoted to the big show, it suddenly dawned on me. This MF is going to be appearing on Smackdown tonight! That’s real! That’s huge!
I’m super stoked for Simon Gotch. For those of us North American wrestling lifers, there is nothing bigger than WWE. Sure, many of us have a dysfunctional fan relationship with the company, but at the end of the day, it is the big leagues. And tonight, Simon Gotch is going to be lacing up his boots and walking out on that big stage, the Stage of the Immortals. No one can ever take that away from him. Well done, Simon Gotch, and congratulations!