5 New NXT Stars To Watch Out For
WWE have been playing indie wrestling supermarket sweep lately. But who should you be watching out for?
Recently, WWE have been on a talent signing spree for their developmental show NXT, and have signed a bunch of exceptionally talented wrestlers to appear on the yellow brand that you really should keep an eye on.
1. Aleister Black
Formerly known as Tommy End, Aleister Black is the first of the newest NXT superstars we’ll be looking at in this list. A decorated and well-traveled veteran of the squared circle, Black has appeared in such promotions as Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland, winning their tag-team championship with Michael Dante as The Sumerian Death Squad. He’s also appeared in PROGRESS in England, where he was again a tag champ with Michael Dante, as well as being the winner of the 2016 Super Strong Style tournament.
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Additionally, he has been seen in such promotions as Southside Wrestling Entertainment, Westside Xtreme Wrestling, Fight Club Pro, and Catch Wrestling Norddeutschland. Most recently he appeared at WWE’s United Kingdom Championship Tournament in a losing effort against Neville, but has yet to make an appearance on WWE television.
With a background in kickboxing and silat, as well as other martial arts, the former Tommy End brings a unique striking based style to his matches. At the same time, however, he is no stranger to mat wrestling, as well as the occasional high-flying move. As his Anticross submission and Nephilim springboard moonsault show, Aleister Black is more than comfortable wrestling a whole range of different styles.
Truly the man who is neither saint nor sinner will make NXT fade to black when he debuts at NXT Takeover: Orlando against Andrade Cien Almas.
2. Tyler Bate
The current WWE UK champion, Tyler Bate is perhaps the youngest member of the combined WWE roster across all programming. At 20 years of age, “Textbook” Tyler Bate has already become a multiple time champion in addition to winning both the WWE UK Tournament and the WWE United Kingdom Championship. Appearing in such promotions as ATTACK! Pro Wrestling, wXw, and Kamikaze Pro, Bate is best known for his work teaming with mentor and trainer Trent Severn as Moustache Mountain in Chikara, WhatCulture Pro Wrestling, and as British Strong Style in Progress Wrestling, appearing as a trio along with Pete Dunne.
Despite his young age, Bate is already a decorated wrestler, winning Chikara’s Campeonatos De Parejas with Trent Severn, the ATTACK! 24:7 Championship, The Progress Tag-team Championship with Trent Severn, and the wXw Shotgun Championship.
Already boasting a resume of a wrestler twice his age, the future looks bright for Tyler Bate as he defends his UK Championship on future appearances in NXT.
3. Ruby Riot
Formerly known as Heidi Lovelace, Ruby Riot is one of the newest and perhaps most exciting additions to the women’s title scene in NXT. Riot has appeared for such promotions as OVW, Beyond Wrestling, and Revolution Championship Wrestling. The “Punk-Rock Ragdoll” is best known for her work in Shimmer Women Athletes where she is a one-time tag-team champion with Evie as Team Slap-Happy. She has also appeared in Absolute Intense Wrestling and Chikara, where she is a Women’s Champion and Young Lion’s Cup Tournament winner respectively.
Recently debuting in an attack against SAnitY’s Nikki Cross, Ruby Riot has already made a splash in NXT, and it is the opinion of this writer she will continue to make an impact in the women’s division of NXT.
4. Kimber Lee
One of the most exciting signees to the NXT women’s division, Kimber Lee already boasts an impressive resume in her half decade long career in the sport. To date, Kimber Lee has worked in Combat Zone Wrestling, WhatCulture Pro Wrestling, Smash Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, and Shimmer Women Athletes.
Of all these promotions she has worked for, Kimber Lee has seen the greatest exposure for her work in Chikara as “Princess” Kimber Lee. Here she is a one-time Challenge Of The Immortals Tournament winner, as well as a one-time Chikara Grand Champion. This makes her the only female wrestler in modern pro wrestling history to hold the major championship of an international wrestling promotion, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
While previously appearing on NXT television in a one-time appearance against Ember Moon, Kimber Lee has yet to officially debut on the NXT roster. You should expect to see her debut sometime after Wrestlemania in the wake of the traditional main roster NXT call-ups. Rest assured the former “Princess Palmstrike” will make a major impact upon her debut.
5. Pete Dunne
The final NXT superstar you should keep your eyes on is none other than WWE UK Tournament participant and current Progress World Champion, Pete Dunne. Having been training to get into the squared circle since the tender age of 12 years old, “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne is best known for his work in Revolution Pro Wrestling, Michinoku Pro Wrestling, ATTACK! Pro wrestling, a promotion that he founded himself, and Progress Wrestling, among others. Despite being only 24 years of age, Pete Dunne has already proven himself to be a decorated competitor. He’s won the RPW British Cruiserweight Championship, the wXw Shotgun Championship, Progress Tag Team Championship, Progress World Championship, and is the longest reigning ATTACK! 24:7 Champion, holding it for an unprecedented 307 days.
While still working a full schedule on the independent scene, Pete Dunne has already made an appearance in NXT in a match against fellow Progress wrestler Mark Andrews. Through WWE’s working relationship with Progress wrestling, Dunne has been able to make appearances on WWE television while still competing in other promotions. He is set to make an appearance at this year’s Wrestlemania Axxess show, which will feature wrestlers from Progress Wrestling, as well as Insane Championship Wrestling.
If his appearances in the UK Championship Tournament are any indication, it won’t be long before Dunne becomes a regular fixture on NXT. Whether it be in the UK Championship title hunt, reforming British Strong Style with Tyler Bate and Trent Severn in NXT, or possibly even contending for the NXT Championship, “Young and Bitter” Pete Dunne is certainly one to watch.