There’s another returning name from season one as the first round of this season’s Who’s Next heads towards a close…

We find out that Nico Block won the poll from last week, barely edging out Matze. This week, we’ve got Jody Fleisch, Ahmed Chaer and Angelico on the panel of jurors for this week’s contestants…

First up is is Nathan Phoenix. He’s 22, has been around for about five years and has had 30 matches so far… I don’t know if they count his appearance on the first season as Danny in this. From his entrance, he reminds me a little of Kelly Sixx in a silver jacket… apparently he wants to win Who’s Next to show how he’s cool. He’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder because he lost to some “skinny guys” last time out.

Phoenix seems to be all about being a second season returnee, and the crowd boos him. He arrogantly refuses to introduce himself, which doesn’t go down well with Chaer or his broken wrist. His opponent is Don Sheen, who’s rocking some early Miz entrances… he’s been wrestling for two years and has had a dozen matches, which seems to be par for the course. Sheen’s gimmick is that he’s a college kid from Bavaria, and has the catchphrase of “I am Don Sheen, and you should be jealous.”

Yep, it’s German Miz!

Chaer’s really confused about the name, especially because Sheen’s a German kid… Phoenix has the same issue too.

Nathan Phoenix vs. Don Sheen
Phoenix starts by bodyshaming… although his body really isn’t that different to his opponent’s, as we start with a roll-up from Sheen for a near-fall.

Phoenix gets the Justin Bieber chants he got from series one (don’t worry, we’re getting there!), but gets suckered into a wristlock from Sheen… that he escapes by stamping on the foot. Chaer points out that neither man is working the crowd or the camera, although Phoenix does nicely punch out of a sunset flip attempt as there’s a few bits of wackiness going on here. Phoenix seems to be all about the pinning attempts, but the match feels like a load of nothing so far, until a diving clothesline-come-elbow draws a near-fall. Sheen mounts a comeback with a Slingblade that drew “sloppy” remarks from Jody Fleisch, before he tried to pull up Phoenix by the hair.

A bulldog attempt’s shoved off as Phoenix comes in with a superkick and a back suplex, but his arrogant cover just draws a hissy fit out of him from the kick-out… before Sheen hit right back with a one-legged Codebreaker for the win. That was decent for the level these guys are at, but I sense some burials may be incoming, despite them hitting their time.

Jody Fleisch commented on the sloppiness, and how Sheen was somehow able to scream while he was in a sleeperhold. Ahmed Chaer took aim at Sheen for not using a German name, before repeating the comment about working the camera or the crowds. Angelico’s positive about it all, but gave pointers that Phoenix perhaps should be showing a little more about the “Phoenix” side of his character rather than just “put a cool word in your name”. There’s shots taken about both guy’s gear, while Angelico thought Sheen was a little bland… eh, I’ve heard worse burials on this show.

I know in past weeks we’ve taken aim at how we’ve not had the comically bad matches this season, but I’m starting to get a little concerned over the number of repeat entrants we’ve had in the last few episodes. Surely the talent pool isn’t that shallow? I get wanting to bring names back, but perhaps do that in the second round, or have a special “second chance” episode, rather than sprinkle them in?

Next week: Matt Cross tells us that audiences love dumb noises!