Earlier this Friday night in Europe, some rumours started to appear on social media about a new wave of cuts in the WWE roster and staff. The rumours were true as WWE released the following 13 NXT and 205 Live Superstars: Killian Dain, The Bollywood Boyz (Sunil Singh, Samir Singh), Marina Shafir, Arturo Ruas, Curt Stallion, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Ever-Rise (Chase Parker, Matt Martel), Tony Nese, Ariya Daivari, August Grey.

Fandango signed with WWE in 2006. After spending 4 years in developmental territories, he entered the fourth season of NXT, with R-Truth as his mentor, and won it. He would then be a judge in the all-women season 5 of NXT. After some time between SmackDown and NXT, he debuted a new ballroom dancer character named Fandango in a dark match, with vignettes for the character airing by November 2012. At WrestleMania 29, Fandango defeated Chris Jericho in his first match. After a few years, and multiple dance partners, Fandango aligned with Tyler Breeze, adopting the name “Breezango.” The Fashion Police would make laugh but didn’t shine in the ring.

After suffering a left labrum tear in his shoulder, Fandango returned from the injury, on the July 31, 2019, episode of NXT, saving his tag team partner Tyler Breeze from a post-match attack by The Forgotten Sons. Breezango began a feud with The Forgotten Sons. However, in December, Fandango was sidelined with another injury as he announced he had undergone Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. Fandango returned on the June 3, 2020, episode of NXT, teaming with Breeze to defeat Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch and The Undisputed Era in a number one contender’s match for the NXT Tag Team Championship. On August 26, 2020, Breezango defeated Imperium to win the NXT Tag Team titles, marking Fandango’s first title in WWE, nearly ten years after his NXT debut. Their reign would end at 56 days.

Tyler Breeze, a Lance Storm trainee, signed with WWE in 2010. After 2 years in FCW, he moved to NXT and he re–debuted with his new heel gimmick, as Tyler Breeze, a narcissistic “pretty boy” obsessed with taking selfies, even during matches. The character was a fan favourite. He was promoted to WWE’s main roster in October 2015. He didn’t really shine until the Breezango team (read above).

After working for ROH, TNA and many indie promotions, Nese entered the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016. He was eliminated in the second round but was signed to the main roster, competing in the new Cruiserweight division, and then 205 Live. On April 7, 2019, during the pre-show of WrestleMania 35, Nese defeated Murphy to win the Cruiserweight Championship for the first time. On June 23 at the Stomping Grounds, Nese lost the title to Drew Gulak in a triple threat match that also involved Akira Tozawa, ending his reign at 77 days. Ever since Nese had been seen on 205 Live and NXT.

After 10 years in the indies, Daivari entered the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016. He was eliminated in the first round but was signed to the main roster, competing in the new Cruiserweight division, and then 205 Live. Despite multiple attempts, he had never been able to win the Cruiserweight belt.

Arturo Ruas signed with WWE in 2015. He was trained at the WWE Performance Center and made his debut in July 2016 during a house show, in which he teamed with Niko Bogojevic (Otis). On the August 10, 2020, episode of RAW, Ruas made his main roster debut in a RAW Underground segment where he defeated Mikey Spandex by knockout. As part of the 2020 Draft in October, Ruas was drafted to the RAW brand, though he was then quickly and quietly moved back to NXT.

On August 2, 2020, WWE signed Greene to a developmental contract. He made his televised debut as early as the October 16 episode of 205 Live where he was eliminated in a gauntlet match by Ariya Daivari. Under the new name August Grey, he wrestled his second match during his televised debut on the October 21 episode of NXT, losing to fellow recruit Timothy Thatcher. He returned to 205 Live on the November 6 episode, where he teamed with fellow recruit Curt Stallion in a tag match won by Ariya Daivari & Tony Nese.

After more than 10 years in the indies, ROH, PWG and CZW, Ever-Rise signed with WWE in January 2019. They performed at NXT house shows across Florida before a dark match before the NXT taping at Full Sail University. The team was re-branded as Chase Parker and Matt Martel on the September 4, 2019, episode of NXT, in a losing effort against Tyler Breeze and Fandango. On the September 25 episode of NXT, the duo now dubbed “Ever-Rise” faced Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in a losing effort, and again to Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar. On May 22, 2020, they made their debut on 205 Live once again losing to Lorcan and Burch. In early 2021, Ever-Rise took part in the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic but were eliminated in the first round by the Grizzled Young Veterans.

Curt Stallion signed on October 23, 2020. He made his televised debut as early as the October 16 episode of 205 Live where he won a gauntlet match defeating Ariya Daivari by disqualification. Two weeks later on the October 30 episode of 205 Live, Stallion defeated Ariya Daivari in a rematch. On the November 6 episode of 205 Live Stallion teamed with fellow recruit August Grey in a tag match won by Ariya Daivari & Tony Nese. He then split time between 205 Live and NXT.

Marina Shafir is one of the Four Horsewomen of MMA, alongside Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke. She was signed with Duke in May 2018, a year after Baszler. On October 28 at WWE Evolution, Shafir and Duke made their WWE debuts as heels when they interfered during the NXT Women’s Championship match, in which they helped Shayna Baszler regain the title over Kairi Sane. They made another appearance at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, when they interfered during Baszler and Sane’s two out of three falls match in which Baszler scored the first fall and the victory in the latter to retain the title.

On the December 19, 2018, episode of NXT, Shafir and Duke made their NXT in-ring debut but were defeated by Io Shirai and Dakota Kai. At NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, Shafir and Duke assisted Baszler in retaining the title against Bianca Belair. In October 2019, Duke and Shafir were defeated by Kai and Tegan Nox in a number one contender’s match for the Women’s Tag Team Championship. After several months of inactivity, Shafir returned to WWE TV on August 17, 2020, reuniting with Baszler and Duke, and winning a RAW Underground match.

Samir and Sunil Singh entered the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016. They were eliminated in the first round but were signed to the main roster. They would work ON NXT and 205 Live before becoming the managers of the then-World Champion Jinder Mahal. After Samir suffered a torn ACL in early 2018, Sunil went on his own for a while. Nine months later, Samir returned after his injury to unite with his brother and Mahal. Sunil and Samir wrestled their first match on the January 1, 2019 episode of RAW when they teamed up with Mahal to defeat Heath Slater and Rhyno, in a 2-on-3 handicap match. After Mahal got injured, they returned to 205 Live.

Big Damo, the Irish giant, signed with WWE to perform on their NXT brand in 2016. He made his in-ring debut at an NXT live event on 11 November, defeating Rich Swann under the ring name Damian O’Connor. He then reverted to using the ring name Damo. On the 7 December episode of NXT, Damo attacked No Way Jose and seemed to align himself with the heel stable SAnitY. In January 2017, he began to wrestle under the new ring name Killian Dain. On the 18 January episode of NXT, Dain joined SAnitY in an official capacity after attacking Tye Dillinger and accepting Sawyer Fulton’s jacket from Eric Young. On the 25 January episode of NXT, Dain appeared as part of SAnitY for the first time, attacking Chris Atkins by Young’s order.

On the 28 March 2018 episode of NXT, Dain was named as one of six participants in a ladder match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans to determine the inaugural NXT North American Champion. He, however, was unsuccessful in winning. On the 18 April episode of NXT, Dain lost a No Disqualification match to Lars Sullivan. During the 2018 WWE Superstar Shake-up, SAnitY (excluding Cross) were drafted to SmackDown. The group debuted on the 19 June episode of SmackDown LIVE where they attacked The Usos, then The New Day. SAnitY disbanded the year after and Killian Dain worked for NXT. He feuded with Riddle. Shortly after, Dain would enter in a three-way feud with Pete Dunne and Damian Priest. At NXT TakeOver: WarGames (2019), Dain faced Dunne and Priest in a triple threat match for the #1 contendership for the NXT Championship which Dunne won. Since September 2020, he had formed a dysfunctional tag team with Drake Maverick, turning face in the process.

Pic courtesy of WWE

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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