WWE issued the following press release to Prowrestling.net on Tuesday to announce new developmental signings.
WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that a new class of 10 recruits, including a former NFL player, All-American collegiate wrestler, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and talent from independent wrestling circuits have begun training at the state-of-the-art 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 (Olesnica, Poland) – Standing 6 feet 9 inches and weighing 350 pounds, Aiyegbusi is a former professional football player who had stints in Poland and Germany. Most recently, he spent the 2015 pre-season with the Minnesota Vikings as an offensive lineman.
· Bianca Blair (Knoxville, Tennessee) – Blair was an All-American and All-SEC track & 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) – World-class Greco Roman Wrestler who was the National Champion in Greco Roman Wrestling at the Junior Pan-American Games in 2011. Bogojevic 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, Colorado.
· Carolyn Dunning (Las Vegas, Nevada) – Dunning is a former Air Force ROTC member and nationally ranked bodybuilding bikini competitor by The National Physique Committee (NPC).
· 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 (JWP), Pro Wrestling Eve, Scottish Wrestling Alliance, Insane Championship Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Elite, Stardom and Shine.
· Terrance Jean-Jacques (Boston, Massachusetts) – Standing 6 feet 3 inches 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.
· Daniella Kamela (Los Angeles, California) – Trained with Rikishi Fatu and David Gangrel Heath at Knokx Pro Entertainment, Kamela was an on-air talent for FOX Sports Arizona, Phoenix Suns dancer and Arizona Cardinals cheerleader.
· Michael Nicholls (Perth, Australia) – Also known as Mickey, 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 (NJPW) 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 state-of-the-art, 26,000 square-foot WWE Performance Center. With seven training rings, a world-class strength and conditioning program and cutting-edge edit and production facilities, the Performance Center will allow the new class to hone their skills through a comprehensive program that includes in-ring training, physical preparedness and character development.
The venue offers a full training experience with real time feedback from WWE coaches, trainers and doctors, giving performers the resources they need to develop their talent both athletically and creatively. Additionally, recruits will be immersed in WWE’s Professional Development program that focuses on four key pillars of development – Life Skills, Education, Wellness and Career Success.
Powell’s POV: Aiyegbusi was considered a project when he took part in training camp and preseason games with the Vikings. He didn’t make the team, but he is a giant who was popular with his teammates. It’s also worth noting that Rikishi and Heath’s previously trained Rusev.