Folks are taking notice of Enzo Amore, including two big WWE names, whereas few noticed Richie Steamboat's NXT career coming to a close.
Steamboat was one of the popular stars of the WWE developmental system when it was called Florida Championship Wrestling. While his path veers from the spotlight, Amore is stepping up, injury and all.
Two prospects will begin their NXT careers in earnest in 2014. They likely hope to generate the kind of buzz that Amore has. One indy wrestler got people talking before WWE has made him an official part of NXT while a top prospect has begun the discussion about whether he will be in the next Royal Rumble.
The usual mix of promising beginnings and unfortunate endings make up the latest WWE NXT news.
Having a high-ranking official and the company's top star in one's corner dramatically ups the chances of success. That's the case with Enzo Amore right now.
Recently released prospect Kassius Ohno said in a recent interview, via WrestlingInc.com, that "Triple H and John Cena are high up on WWE NXT star Enzo Amore."
Amore is one of the most interesting characters on NXT programming and one of the best mic workers on that roster, but he isn't a huge, muscular guy or an elite in-ring worker. His strengths apparently outweigh his weaknesses, at least in Cena and Triple H's eyes.
Currently out of action with a broken leg, he's still been able to impress while injured. Amore has been delivering his tough-guy shtick from a wheelchair. Things look especially promising for him once he returns, especially with who is reportedly backing him.
Mentallo, a potential NXT prospect, is generating buzz due to his aggressive reaction to a recent WWE tryout. The company has been taking a look at a number of indy wrestlers over the last weeks, one of whom appears confident that he'll get signed.
Mentallo wrote the following on his Facebook page:
Just got back from an ALL EXPENSES PAID trip to the WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER in ORLANDO, FL. Many Winnipeg Wrestling "EXPERTS" always said WWE would never be interested in guys like myself, how we're VANILLA MIDGETS and DON'T WRESTLE WWE's STYLE. Hope you like DEEZ NUUUTTS in your mouth! Don't get it confused, this isn't that "trans yourself to OVW crap", they INVITED & PAID FOR ME. To all the promoters who don't want to use me on all your shows, guess you know better than WWE. I'll be looking for your stocks on Wall Street. On my Worst Behaviour! Turn Up!
The athletic Mentallo has mostly worked for Premier Championship Wrestling in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He's a masked wrestler who is heavily influenced by the Lucha Libre style.
No word on how WWE officials have reacted to Mentallo's Facebook rant.
In 2013, Bo Dallas left his mark on the Royal Rumble when he eliminated Wade Barrett. Is Corey Graves set to create a similar image?
Graves teased via Twitter that he may be a part of the Rumble. He wrote, "The #RoyalRumble is next month in Pittsburgh. I haven't been home in years...hmmm."
F4WOnline, via PWMania.com, has already reported that WWE is currently considering "a few potential NXT call-ups" at the event. Graves is among the most intriguing prospects in WWE developmental. He would be on WWE's shortlist of who makes the jump to the main roster next.
Either Graves is giving a preview of when he'll see him debut or simply giving fans something to talk about.
Richie Steamboat's NXT career has ended in the most quiet of ways.
After suffering a serious back injury, Steamboat was off-screen for months. WWE let him go without most people realizing it.
PWInsider, via WrestlingInc.com, confirmed that Steamboat was no longer with the company. The news apparently only broke because of a recent interview. WrestlingInc.com reports that "the news came out only through a recent interview that Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno) did."
Expect more cuts to the NXT roster; two more talents are set to begin their WWE careers.
WrestleZone.com reports that "Indie wrestler Brian Tannen, and Shane Taylor, a former football player who has also been working on the independent scene, are all set to begin their training after the new year."
Tannen is 6'2'', 275 pounds and has worked for several promotions including PREMIER Wrestling and All Pro Wrestling. WWE signed the California native in October, per F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com. Taylor is 350 pounds and has been wrestling for a variety of promotions for over five years, per CageMatch.net.
Tannen and Taylor will start training in 2014 along with recent signee "Trademark" Tommy Maclin.