Conor O'Brian's surprising other gig and Paige's frustrations highlight recent news from WWE's developmental territory NXT.
News of Sheamus' shoulder injury is sure to dominate the headlines, but there are intriguing rumblings about the prospects from NXT as well.
The imposing O'Brian now has employment options post-wrestling. Paige just wants to get called up. Elsewhere in NXT, WWE released a prospect and a Diva sported a badge of honor.
Let's begin with the first-ever NXT women's champ.
The self-proclaimed Anti-Diva has a great look, moves well in the ring and puts on fantastic matches. Why, then, isn't she on the main roster putting submission holds on AJ Lee and Layla El? Apparently that's what Paige would like to know as well.
The official reason is that Paige's age is keeping her in NXT as WWE likes to keep folks under 21 off the road.
Wrestling Observer via WrestleZone.com reports the following:
This has caused a bit of controversy backstage in WWE as some are questioning why this rule applies to Paige, but does not apply to Jo Jo Offerman, who is currently on the road with WWE and is only 19 years old.
Paige is one of the top talents and is likely going to be the centerpiece of the Divas Division. One can't blame WWE for wanting her to be a bit older and more mature before going on the road, but Paige has to be frustrated to see a double standard in action.
This may cease to be an issue rather soon as Paige's 21st birthday is the day before SummerSlam according to FamousBirthdays.com.
In other NXT Diva news, Charlotte is apparently wearing the after-effects of her in-ring training.
Her father, Ric Flair posted a picture of her black eye on his Facebook page. On the photo's caption, Flair wrote, "My daughter is paying the price to be a WWE Diva! WOOOOO!"
Charlotte only recently debuted on NXT, showing off an impressively athletic finishing move. She wrestles in an immense shadow of her legendary father, but looks to be doing well so far, black eye and all.
With all of WWE's recent signings from Ryan Drago to Sami Callihan, it's no surprise that WWE would look to trim down its NXT roster. It appears the Garrett Dylan is the latest prospect to be released.
When his profile was no longer on the the NXT roster page, rumors began swirling about Dylan's release. Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com validated those rumors on Tuesday. He wrote, "I can confirm that he was released last week. Dylan, whose real name is Jody Kristofferson, is the son of Hollywood actor Kris Kristofferson."
Dylan is a solid all-around performer, but the competition in NXT is getting stiffer.
A prospect not only has to leapfrog prospects like Leo Kruger and Kassius Ohno, but also the recently added stars from the independent circuit. Making it from NXT to the main roster is going to be an increasingly tough task going forward.
The Ascension member might be the last NXT prospect one would expect to become a minister, but Conor O'Brian is reportedly officially ordained.
Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com reported the following:
The Visionary, a newsletter for the Universal Life Church Monastery, noted in their most recent issue that WWE NXT star Conor O'Brian of The Ascension is now a minister with the ULC Monastery. They mentioned that Conor has always been into religion.
O'Brian's Ascension gimmick has him donning a horror movie-like jacket and walking into the ring bathed in blue light backed by creepy music. The gimmick has earned him comparisons to The Undertaker, so this news is especially surprising.
Perhaps WWE will look to work in O'Brian’s other job into his character, making him some sort of dark priest in the tradition of Mordecai.