WWE Smart to Announce Developmental Signings
WWE.com – WWE has announced that a new class of 10 recruits — including a former NFL player, an All-American collegiate wrestler, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and talent from independent wrestling circuits — has begun training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
“With support from our world-class coaching staff at the WWE Performance Center, these men and women will have the chance to hone their skills and fulfill their dream of becoming a WWE Superstar,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative. “Our state-of-the-art training facility gives our talent every opportunity to succeed and grow, and I’m pleased to welcome this new class to WWE.”
The new training class includes:
Babatunde Aiyegbusi (Oleśnica, Poland) – Standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 350 pounds, Aiyegbusi is a former professional football player who had stints in Poland and Germany. Most recently, he spent the 2015 preseason with the Minnesota Vikings as an offensive lineman.
Bianca Blair (Knoxville, Tennessee) – Blair was an All-American and All-SEC track-and-field performer in hurdles at the University of Tennessee, and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2011 and 2012. A CrossFit competitor and powerlifter, Blair has been featured in “RX Magazine,” “Femme Rouge Magazine” and CrossFit.com.
Nikola Bogojevic (Superior, Wisconsin) – A world-class grappler, Bogojevic was the National Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Junior Pan-American Games in 2011. He also won bronze at the Pan-American Games in Greco-Roman wrestling in 2014 and has extensive experience training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Carolyn Dunning (Las Vegas) – Dunning is a former Air Force ROTC member and nationally ranked bodybuilding bikini competitor by The National Physique Committee.
Macey Estrella (Parris Island, South Carolina) – Trained with Tom Caiazzo of American Premier Wrestling, Estrella is a former U.S. Marine and member of the Marine Corps SWAT team.
Nicola Glencross (Glasgow, Scotland) – Also known as Nikki Storm, Glencross has eight years of experience wrestling on the independent circuit for Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Eve, Scottish Wrestling Alliance, Insane Championship Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Elite, Stardom and Shine.
Terrance Jean-Jacques (Boston) – Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 265 pounds, Jean-Jacques was an All-American wrestler at the University of Rhode Island in 2015. Prior to that, he accumulated a 32-2 record in wrestling at the University of Iowa.
Danielle Kamela (Los Angeles) – Trained with Rikishi and David “Gangrel” Heath at Knokx Pro Entertainment, Kamela was an on-air talent for FOX Sports Arizona, a Phoenix Suns dancer and an Arizona Cardinals cheerleader.
Michael Nicholls (Perth, Australia) – Also known as Mikey, Nicholls has 10 years of experience wrestling on the independent circuit for multiple organizations, including Pro Wrestling NOAH, where he was two-time Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with Shane Veryzer, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Explosive Pro Wrestling.
Shane Veryzer (Perth, Australia) – Also known as Shane Haste, Veryzer has 11 years of experience wrestling on the independent circuit for multiple organizations, including Pro Wrestling NOAH, where he was two-time Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with Michael Nicholls, and Explosive Pro Wrestling.
The new class will join a group of 69 men and women training out of the WWE Performance Center.
There has been a big shift in the sports world in the last few years from focusing on the here and now to focusing on the future. Just look at the popularity of College Football, the NFL Draft and Minor League Baseball. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to nothing more than just analyzing prospects for the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. Sports fans are enamored with the future of their favorite sport. WWE fans are no different, just look at the popularity of NXT. Fans are watching not only because the product is good, they’re watching because it makes them imagine what these guys and girls will do once they get called up to the main roster.
Now WWE has taken it a step further and has begun to announce their signings, well before many of these men and women will ever appear on any sort of programming. What better way to get the fans excited than to build up these future Superstars before they even begin training. Now fans can be introduced from the moment someone walks in the door until they walk out of the curtain on Monday Night Raw. Which out of this group will succeed and become a Superstar? Not even the WWE knows that. But now fans have the opportunity to watch the complete evolution of a Superstar. Damn, wouldn’t that make for an exciting original program on the WWE Network? If anyone from WWE is reading, I’m under no contract to BDARadio.com. And if my bosses are reading, I’m totally kidding.