The largest class of recruits in WWE history has reported for training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla. The group also includes the most female recruits of any class ever, at 10. The class brings a wide variety of backgrounds to the training facility and includes second-generation talent, independent wrestling standouts, and recruits with experience in a range of sports.
Bronson Rechsteiner, the son of former WCW and WWE Tag Team Champion Rick Steiner, comes to WWE from the gridiron. At 6 feet tall and 230 pounds, he was an All-American running back at Kennesaw State University.
Kira Magnin-Forster, known to the wrestling fans as Taya Valkyrie, is an 11-year veteran of the squared circle. A classically trained ballerina, Forster learned wrestling under Lance Storm before breaking out in Mexico for the AAA promotion. She has competed around the world since.
Angela Arnold trained for the squared circle under WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. Competing as AQA, she’s impressed in action for Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling promotion, as well as SHIMMER.
Parker Boudreaux of Winter Garden, Fla., stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 300 pounds. The big man was an offensive lineman for the University of Central Florida and has caught the eye of Paul Heyman on social media.
Anthony Henry is a standout competitor from EVOLVE Wrestling and has competed on WWE Network. He’s been in the ring with Superstars like The Street Profits, current NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, Nash Carter of MSK, and Roderick Strong.
Chance Barrow, better known to fans as Harlem Bravado, is a veteran of the independent scene. The North Carolina native has found success as a singles and a tag team competitor and made his way to Japan to compete for Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Theresa Serrano, now competing as Zoey Stark, debuted for NXT in the first-ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Her intense in-ring style has made her a standout for the black-and-gold brand in short order.
Christian Brigham is a Massachusetts native with six years of experience in the ring, under the name Christian Casanova.
Priscilla Kelly, now going by Gigi Dolin, competed in the 2018 Mae Young Classic and returned to WWE for the first-ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in NXT.
Drew Kasper is the brother of Jacob Kasper, who joined the WWE PC in October 2020. The 285-pounder was a two-time All-American heavyweight wrestler for Otterbein University and was the No. 1 seeded wrestler in the NCAA Division III tournament before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brianna Coda, now known as Cora Jade, is a 19-year-old Illinois native who’s been competing in the ring since 2018 and who debuted for NXT in the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Christian Hubble is a former college cheerleader who has broken out on the independent scene in recent months. The Tennessee native made a name for himself under the moniker Blake Christian in promotions like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Game Changer Wrestling.
Matrick Belton played Division I football for the University of South Carolina and has attended training camps for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. He has prepared for the rigours of the ring by training at the Combat Zone Wrestling Academy in New Jersey.
Camron Clay has been competing in the ring for four years under the name Camron Branae and has been in the ring with the likes of NXT’s Shotzi Blackheart.
Joe Ariola is a 25-year-old amateur wrestler from Oak Park, Illinois. An undefeated state champion and national champion in high school, Ariola wrestled for the University of Buffalo in college, qualifying for the NCAA tournament in 2016.
Taylor Grado of Clearwater Beach, Fla., competed as Avery Taylor for promotions like EVOLVE and SHINE.
Karissa Rivera of New Jersey has made a name for herself on the independent wrestling scene for promotions like NEW and Women’s Wrestling Revolution.
Shaun Ricker, who recently debuted on NXT television as LA Knight, is a former NWA Television Champion and has competed against Drew McIntyre, John Morrison and Jeff Hardy.
The array of talents signed today is extremely interesting when it comes to the range of ages, styles, in-ring competition years, profiles.
Taya Valkyrie has made some magic in Lucha Libre AAA, Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling. She is not afraid to play it hardcore or intergender. A former 3-time AAA Reina de Reinas Champion, she is holding the record for longest reign and cumulated days of reign. She also became the longest-reigning Knockouts Champion on Impact Wrestling. Trained by Lance Storm in Canada; she then moved to Mexico to learn Lucha Libre. A very inspiring woman who is finding back real-life husband John Morrison in WWE.
Dubbed the “next big thing” due to his similarities to Brock Lesnar, all eyes are on Parker Boudreaux. At just 22, the former NCAA football offensive lineman from the University of Central Florida has it all ahead of him. Names like Jim Ross and Paul Heyman have openly praised Boudreaux, who has the size and look to succeed in this industry.
Even if he was spotted on Impact Wrestling very recently, Blake Christian has decided to continue his rise to SuperStardom in WWE. When he began working for Game Changer Wrestling in 2019, he suddenly became one of the top names on the US indie scene almost overnight which led to him wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling on their US-based events. One of the fastest rising stars in pro wrestling, Christian brings an incredibly exciting style to the ring and will no doubt continue to impress in WWE, the way he has in the indies.
Anthony Henry is joining the other EVOLVE talents who are already on the Performance Center, which will continue to fuel the rumours of an “NXT EVOLVE.” We also find in this class many indie talents like Priscilla Kelly, Elayna Black or Zoey Stark who was already given a chance again Io Shirai yesterday night on NXT.
What to say of LA Knight, aka Eli Drake? Very few Superstars are able to be as good in the ring as with a mic. Knight is one of them, notably with his “Facts of Life.” The former IMPACT World Champion and NWA Tag Team Champion LA Knight made his NXT debut on the latest NXT Takeover. The 18-year wrestling veteran will have a lot to offer to the youngest members of this class that is definitely made to build the NXT of tomorrow.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE