Dillinger would be released by WWE in early 2009. He returned to the indies for a few years before eventually being re-signed by WWE in September 2013. Meanwhile WWECW was cancelled and replaced by the original incarnation of NXT (the one that was part Tough Enough, part filler show, and part white hot angle for about a week). This new look NXT would be where Dillinger would next pop up as a featured performer.
He was repackaged into a heel tag team with Jason Jordan. I liked the pairing. I thought they worked well together and had potential as a double act. They were never given much to do beyond being generic bad guys though. They featured in no storylines or feuds and had no discernible characters. The most attention they received was when they went through a break up storyline, a rushed affair which saw JJ attack Dillinger after a standard loss. They had a grudge match on the April 1 2015 episode of NXT and that was that. Team Jordillinger a matter of weeks after they'd had their intial fallout.
Since the split Jordan has formed a new tag team with Chad Gable. They were awarded a storyline reason for teaming up which, while basic, was entertaining and created a reason to invest in them working together. Sharing similar styles (both were apparently competent amateur wrestlers) and being closer in age (Jordan is 26 and Gable is 29 while Dillinger is 34) Gable and Jordan make a far more natural pairing. It's easy to imagine them playing a key role in the NXT tag scene which is currently being heated up. Longer term it's easy to see them slotting into the main roster tag scene too.
|Where would modern wrestling be without |
Dillinger was not deemed as important as his former teammate and as such was absent from NXT for longer. During his time away he used Twitter and Instagram to launch a new 'Perfect 10' gimmick. It's exactly what it sounds like: Dillinger claims to be great at everything and has taken to extending all ten digits during matches and shouting "Ten!" as well as carrying a placard around with 10 written on it (y'know, like judges use on things). It's essentially a modern take on the Mr Perfect routine and has helped Dillinger become an infrequent highlight of the brand.
What's worth noting is that this could end up as the peak of Dillinger's career. He's put together a character that works in the NXT environment and is over. Right now he's got a featured jobber spot, losing to the more important main event lads but beating the generic fellas like Steve Cutler and Alexander Wolfe. It's not ideal but it gets him regular appearances and people are into him. At his age he's unlikely to make it to the main roster and even if he does his character would end up closer to the Bo Dallas level than the Kevin Owens level.
If you like the 'Perfect 10' thing then enjoy it while it lasts. It's hard to see it being around forever.