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Four Independent Stars Being Signed to NXT and Are Now Training in the Performance Center

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WWE posted the following on their website:

If GIFs of indescribably creative wrestling moves have ever flooded your social feeds, there’s a good chance it was new WWE Performance Center signee Trevor Mann that you were watching.

Better known by the ring name Ricochet, Mann, 29, of Paducah, Ky., officially reported today to the WWE PC in Orlando, Fla.

The decorated high-flyer has captured countless titles over his 14-year career, including championships on three separate continents. Among his many accolades, Mann has twice won Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament, and he is only the second American in history to win New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. (The first was WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero.)

Standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 188 pounds, Mann brings an astonishing assortment of aerial moves to the ring. He first earned notoriety in Japan for an eye-popping double-moonsault, and his 630° senton remains one of the most potent weapons in his arsenal. Mann, who credits Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and The Rock as three of his in-ring influences, was inspired to pursue sports-entertainment after watching The Great One and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin do battle at WrestleMania XV.

As Mann settles in at the WWE PC, keep an eye on WWE.com for upcoming announcements on more Superstar signings.


One of the planet’s most ferocious and intimidating tag teams is on its way to the WWE Performance Center.

New signees Todd “War Beard Hanson” Smith & Raymond Rowe, collectively known as War Machine, have terrorized teams around the world since forming an alliance in 2014. Together, they have won championships in the United States, England and Japan, including the prestigious IWGP Tag Team Titles, the same championship held by the likes of Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and The Steiner Brothers.

Weighing more than 550 pounds combined, the burly brawlers are every bit as tough as their War Machine moniker suggests. Smith & Rowe have made smash-mouth collisions their stock in trade, yet they’re more than just thunderous power; deceptively agile and expertly skilled, the pair has perfected an array of double-team moves, helping them achieve success wherever they go. With a gruff exterior that would look right at home beyond the wall in “Game of Thrones,” Smith & Rowe’s appearance alone is enough to strike fear in the hearts of opponents.

Both men were also celebrated singles competitors prior to forming a team. Smith, of Lynn, Mass., first learned the ropes under WWE Hall of Famer Killer Kowalski and began competing in 2001, and he soon emerged as one of New England’s hardest-hitting competitors. Rowe, a Cleveland native who made his in-ring debut in 2003, collected singles titles throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas before focusing on tag ranks.

Now that they’ve arrived at the WWE PC in Orlando, Fla., could it be long before Smith & Rowe begin throwing their weight around in one of WWE’s Tag Team divisions?


WWE has signed highly acclaimed independent wrestler and Mae Young Classic competitor Candice LeRae.

LeRae is regarded as one of the top female wrestlers on the independent scene. She’s no stranger to the WWE Universe, either, as she made it all the way to the Quarterfinal Round in the inaugural Mae Young Classic last year. LeRae left her mark on WWE while competing in the groundbreaking women’s tournament, reigning supreme in her First and Second Round clashes with high-energy performances. She also vied for an NXT Women’s Title opportunity last October as part of an over-the-top-rope Battle Royal and is married to current NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano.

Standing at just 5-foot-2, LeRae is known for not backing down from anyone, no matter how much bigger they may be. The spunky Superstar has even battled heavyweights like Kevin Owens and Cesaro. LeRae’s tenacity and ability to endure punishment was on full display in the Mae Young Classic and will make her a competitor to watch at the WWE Performance Center.


Author’s Note: Awesome signings as these four are very talented. Looking forward to their official debuts on NXT.

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