On June 1, 2010, it was announced that Cottonwood would be part of the WWE NXT Season 2 of WWE NXT, with John Morrison as his mentor. He debuted on the June 8 episode of NXT, teaming with Morrison to defeat Titus O'Neil and Zack Ryder. In the first poll three weeks later, Cottonwood was ranked sixth out of the eight rookies. Cottonwood's performance in the "Talk the Talk" challenge on the July 6 episode of NXT, in which he had to talk about mustaches, earned him a clip on the following episode of E! Television's episode of The Soup in the "What your Boyfriend is Watching" segment. On the July 27 episode of NXT Cottonwood and Morrison both wore shirts that said "Mustache". On the same episode, he was eliminated after being ranked seventh out of the remaining seven rookies, and attacked both Husky Harris and Lucky Cannon as a result. Cottonwood returned on August 31 for the season finale, where he and the other eliminated rookies attacked Kaval, who had won the competition.