Bryan Jesus Kelly (August 20, 1981) is an American professional wrestler, manager, color commentator and former journalist. He is currently signed to WWE where he works as a color commentator under the name of Byron Saxton. He was a competitor in the fourth season of NXT and was competing in the show's fifth season, NXT Redemption, until his elimination on May 31, 2011.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Wrestling facts
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 External links
Kelly was born in Burke, Virginia. He was raised in Burke and Orlando, Florida. He studied at the University of Florida, where he worked as a producer and a reporter for WRUF-AM, WUFT-FM, and WUFT-TV. He graduated in 2003. Kelly worked as an associate producer for WJXT Channel 4 News in Jacksonville, and was then promoted to work on camera as a traffic reporter.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Florida Championship Wrestling
Kelly signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). Kelly, at first using his real name, made his FCW debut on October 13, 2007, losing to Hade Vansen. His next appearance was just over a week later on October 23, when he lost to "The Carnival Freak" Sinn Bowdee. Kelly competed sporadically in FCW over the next few months, winning a six-man tag team match against Vansen, Sheamus O'Shaunessy and Bowdee with Rycklon Stephens and Chet Douglas as his partners, but losing a singles match to Afa Jr. a few weeks later. He finished off 2007 with a win against Tommy Taylor on December 18.
Kelly started off 2008 with a win, defeating Steve Lewington on FCW's first show of the year on January 8. His next match against Afa Jr., however, was ruled a no contest after TJ Wilson interfered. Kelly then began teaming with Rycklon, losing to the teams of Nick Nemeth and Big Rob, Jake Hager and Shawn Osborne, and Heath Miller and Steve Lewington. Another match on April 15, when Kelly and Rycklon faced Johnny Curtis and Gabe Tuft ended in a double count out.
On June 3, Kelly became a manager, cutting a promo for Black Pain. Kelly managed Black Pain regularly, accompanying him for matches, and also teaming occasionally with him. On September 30, Kelly debuted a new ring name, Byron Saxton. With Black Pain, and the rest of his faction, known as the Saxton Conglomerate or simply the Conglomerate, composed of Stu Sanders (later Lawrence Knight) and Tyson Tarver, Saxton began a feud with Kafu, having the members of the Conglomerate face off against him in matches. After this feud ended, the Conglomerate quickly began another one with Johnny Prime. In the course of this feud Kaleb O'Neal began teaming with Prime in order to help him out, however, O'Neal later turned on Prime and joined the Conglomerate. In January 2009, Black Pain broke away from the Conglomerate, and changed his ring name to Sweet Papi Sanchez, prompting a feud with the remaining Conglomerate members. Since then, Saxton has associated himself with Abraham Saddam Washington. When Josh Mathews left FCW to commentate on ECW full-time, Saxton began working as a commentator alongside first Dusty Rhodes and then Abraham Washington. In November 2010 Saxton turned on Washington and began feuding with him.
In October 2009, the SmackDown color commentator, Jim Ross, suffered a Bell's palsy attack, resulting in a shuffle of the other commentators. Matt Striker was moved from ECW to SmackDown, and Saxton was called up to ECW as a commentator, working alongside Josh Matthews. He debuted on the October 27 episode. He continued commentating until February 2010, when Vince McMahon announced that ECW was to be replaced with NXT. Saxton then returned to FCW.
On the third season finale of NXT on November 30 it was announced that Saxton would be competitor on season four, with Chris Masters as his mentor. He made his in-ring debut on the December 14 episode of NXT, teaming with Masters in a loss to Brodus Clay and his mentor, Ted DiBiase. Earlier that night, Saxton won the karaoke challenge, earning a point towards immunity from elimination. He earned his first win on the following episode when he teamed with Masters and WWE Diva Natalya to defeat Clay, DiBiase, and Maryse in a six-person mixed tag team match. On January 4, 2011 episode of NXT, Dolph Ziggler became Saxton's new Pro, after Ziggler won a Battle royal to earn the right to choose a new rookie and he chose Saxton. On the February 8 episode of NXT, Saxton was eliminated.
In March 2011, Saxton was selected as one of the six former NXT contestants to return to the show in its fifth season, NXT Redemption. During this season, Saxton was mentored by Yoshi Tatsu. On the April 26 Edition of NXT, Saxton attacked Tatsu after he cost him the match against Lucky Cannon. Going into late May 2011, he began referring to himself as "Big League" Byron Saxton, believing that he is bigger than the NXT Rookies and/ or the WWE Pros, turning heel. On the following week (the last day of May), Saxton was voted off of NXT Redemption.
Return to FCW (2011-2012)
Kelly returned to FCW as an announcer and wore an arm sling until the March 4th, 2012 episode, when he hit Kenneth Cameron with a Coin roll, a week later it was scheduled a Match between Kelly and Kenneth Cameron, but Kelly came out and said he wasn't cleared to compete. He was replaced by Colin Cassady who won and ended the five month winning streak of Kenneth Cameron.
Return to NXT and NXT Commentator (2012-2013)
Byron Saxton made his return as the NXT play-by-play commentator on the May 17th taping at Full Sail University.
Recently he took up a position behind the cameras as NXT Creative Assistant and is the current NXT Ring Announcer.
Between late 2013 and the start of 2014, Saxton became a regular commentator for WWE Main Event.
Color commentator (2013–present)
On January 15, 2015, Saxton was joined into the announce table of SmackDown until June 18, 2015. Saxton also replaced Michael Cole on Raw over the next two weeks until April 6, 2015. He also making his return at the announce table of Raw on June 8, 2015, along with Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield, the announce table of SmackDown on January 7, 2016, along with Mauro Ranallo and Jerry Lawler, and at the announce table of NXT along with Rich Brennan and Corey Graves on April 29, 2015 until he has been removed from the commentary team on December 23, 2015. Saxton was took time off from the announce table of SmackDown to predict the WrestleMania matches with Renee Young during WrestleMania week. Saxton was released from SmackDown commentary team after the broadcast on July 19, 2016 to join Raw along with Michael Cole and Corey Graves. During Superstar Shake-up in April, Saxton was released from Raw commentary team and being replaced by Booker T. He also would make his return to SmackDown LIVE commentary team, along with Tom Phillips and JBL as a heel.
- Tag teams and stables
- Saxton Conglomerate
- Wrestlers managed
Championships and accomplishments
- SCW Florida Tag Team Champion (1 time) - with Chris Nelson
|Daniel Bryan • Darren Young • David Otunga • Heath Slater • Justin Gabriel • Michael Tarver • Skip Sheffield • Wade Barrett|
|Alex Riley • Eli Cottonwood • Husky Harris • Kaval • Lucky Cannon • Michael McGillicutty • Percy Watson • Titus O'Neil|
|AJ Lee • Aksana • Jamie Keyes • Kaitlyn • Maxine • Naomi Night|
|Brodus Clay • Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Derrick Bateman • Jacob Novak • Johnny Curtis|
|Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Darren Young • Jacob Novak • Lucky Cannon • Titus O'Neil • Derrick Bateman|