New beginnings are at the heart of WWE NXT's latest bit of news, with JoJo Offerman wrestling for the first time and Xavier Woods becoming the latest developmental prospect to debut on the main roster.
A new NXT Diva began training, and the start of The American Wolves' potential run with WWE appears near. The latest word from NXT brings good news for both Alexander Rusev and Judas Devlin as well.
Rusev got a potentially telling win, while Devlin's recent whereabouts hint at a possible promotion.
From the newest addition to the WWE Performance Center to how Offerman looked in the ring, here is the latest WWE NXT news.
The latest addition to the NXT Divas division comes by way of the arm wrestling world.
Swedish arm wrestling champion Sarah Backman announced that she began training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando Nov. 18.
She is one of the most intriguing female prospects on the roster. The 21-year-old Backman has more athletic experience than many of the models WWE brings aboard and has an intimidating physique in the tradition of Beth Phoenix and Chyna.
Her power and charm should speed up her path through the NXT ranks.
Judas Devlin grabs hold of Adrian Neville
Judas Devlin may not be far removed from making his debut on the main roster.
Devlin was recently spotted behind the scenes at two WWE shows. WrestlingInc.com reported that "Devlin was brought in for Raw in Nashville this week and is backstage at tonight's SmackDown tapings in Atlanta."
The Wyatt Family could be his path to leaving NXT behind. Devlin recently made reference to Sister Abigail on Twitter. That should get the rumor mill churning.
With a bit more beard, Devlin would make a good fit look-wise with the Wyatts. He is not nearly the size of Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, though.
The American Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, have been the subject of several recent WWE developmental reports. The two have received a number of tryouts, and the latest word on the two wrestlers' work with WWE suggests they will soon be a part of the company officially.
F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, reports that after a brief stint for Pro Wrestling Noah in Japan, Edwards and Richards "will return to the Performance Center for more work." The former tag team partners are "not signed, but are reportedly being paid while they're in Orlando."
How this develops next appears up in the air, but PWInsider.com reports that "One WWE source believed the one-week tryout could be stage one of the pair receiving a short-term deal that would send them to developmental for a few months."
It's odd to see WWE hem and haw with signing the independent stars. Either WWE officials like what they see or they don't.
The indecision is apparently a result of a non-united front on the issue.
The above PWInsider report says that "there have been some in WWE who have pushed for the pair to be signed despite some resistance from those who feel the company is currently stocked with good workers from the independent scene."
Richards and Edwards are extremely talented wrestlers, that, given the opportunity, would shine with the company. Unless they are demanding a salary that WWE sees as too much, taking a shot with these two feels like the right move.
The powerful Bulgarian is on the rise.
Alexander Rusev has garnered positive responses as of late. PWMania.com wrote the following of him:
We've noted before how WWE officials are very high on NXT wrestler Alexander Rusev. Rusev went over Sami Zayn at last night's NXT live event in Sebring, Florida. One fan who regularly attends NXT live events noted that Rusev seems to be improving each week.
This is good news for Rusev all around. Being booked to beat Zayn at an NXT house show isn't huge news, but it's a sign of confidence from the company. Zayn has been one of NXT's hottest stars.
WWE reportedly putting a renewed emphasis on larger wrestlers, per PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc.com) is good news for Rusev, who may just beat Zayn in the race to the main roster.
Xavier Woods made the jump from NXT to WWE, and JoJo Offerman competed in the ring for the first time.
Woods teamed with R-Truth on Monday's Raw, confirming weeks of reports that the athletic PhD candidate was set to debut on the main roster. He didn't get the hype that The Wyatt Family received nor the shocking moment that The Shield had in its first appearance, but Woods began his WWE career on a roll.
He did most of the damage against 3MB and was the one who earned the pinfall for his team.
Sticking him with R-Truth, whom he teamed with in TNA, is a good move, allowing him to ease into the main roster with less pressure than he would face as a singles competitor.
Offerman took a much slower approach than Total Divas castmate Eva Marie in terms of debuting in the ring. Offerman was officially a part of Eva's debut on the six-Diva debacle on Raw, but she never left the ring apron.
Her actual wrestling debut came at an NXT show Nov. 16.
Offerman teamed with Eva against Paige and Emma. PWMania.com posted two clips of the bout.
She had some impressive moments, displaying some noteworthy athleticism. Her partner may not have much of a future, but Offerman may actually contribute to the Diva division in a positive way.