Adam Rose, Byron Saxton and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News
Adam Rose's name started the tiniest of uproars while Byron Saxton started his career away from WWE NXT.
It wasn't just fans who were upset about Leo Kruger's new moniker; an actor who now shares his name expressed some discontent about Kruger calling himself Rose. For Saxton, his journey has now gone from prospect to NXT announcer to the main roster.
In the week's other developmental news, WWE welcomes a new wrestler from the indies, two top stars returned to NXT, and company officials gave Sarah Backman her ring name.
The following is a look at all of those items, at beginnings, changes and returns from the world of NXT.
NXT Announcer Makes Raw Debut
Byron Saxton interviewed Sheamus on the Feb. 10 edition of WWE Raw, marking his debut on the flagship show.
NXT fans know Saxton as one of developmental's main voices. He provided both match commentary and ring announcing at Full Sail University. It now appears this his spot at NXT is open.
Saxton's appearance on Raw was not a one-time occurrence, but the beginning of the newest phase in his career, as Michael Cole mentioned on air. PWMania.com later confirmed the shift, writing, "The new backstage interviewer on Monday night’s RAW is Byron Saxton."
He joins Renee Young as a fresh face backstage.
Alex Riley and Tensai have both been doing work at the NXT announce desk as of late, and either man would make a suitable replacement for him there.
Indy Wrestler to Begin Training at WWE Developmental
Add another powerhouse to the Performance Center: Brian Tannen will soon officially be a part of WWE developmental.
Wrestling Observer, via WrestlingInc.com, reports, "Independent wrestler and powerlifter Brian Reid, who worked in California as Brian Tannen, starts training with WWE developmental on February 17th." He signed with the company in October, per F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com.
Tannen has worked for Premier Wrestling, All Pro Wrestling and Lucha Xtreme Wrestling, all California-based promotions. He brings solid athleticism and a surplus of strength to the ring.
He'll now get a chance to see if that translates into making him stand out from all of the other prospects.
Top Prospects Back in Action
Both Sami Zayn and Paige have been out of action for too long. NXT just hasn't been as fun without them.
Zayn was seen on crutches challenging Cesaro a few weeks back on the Jan. 22 episode of NXT. He's since dumped those crutches and returned to his in-ring wizardry. Zayn tweeted that he defeated CJ Parker at an NXT event on Feb. 8.
As for Paige, she's gotten back to the ring, but didn't wrestle.
PWInsider, via WrestlingInc.com, reports that Paige made an appearance at the Feb. 7 show in Crystal Lake, Fla. She did an in-ring interview and walked in with new entrance music blaring.
Fans who frequent NXT live events may see them earlier, but most fans will have to wait until NXT: Arrival on Feb 24 to see this two stars work their magic. Per WWE.com, John "Bradshaw" Layfield told fans Zayn is scheduled to face Antonio Cesaro in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match, and Paige is set to defend her Women's Championship against Emma at that event.
Sarah Backman Gets Ring Name
The general routine for new prospects is to sign a deal with the company, receive a ring name, work house shows and then debut on NXT TV. Sarah Backman is on the second step.
Her strength and imposing physique will get her noticed regardless of what she's called. The choice for her moniker continues the trend of not giving Divas a last name for the most part.
Actor Takes Issue with Leo Kruger's New Ring Name
Leo Kruger's transformation into Adam Rose took an odd turn this week.
Rose has been hyping the new gimmick on Twitter, which likely led to an actor with the same name discovering him. The actor seemed offended that someone would take his name. He tweeted, "Why'd it have to be a wrestler?"
The actor then mocked him by writing, "He kinda looks like a Ben Stiller character."
The result of all of this is that both men got a slight boost in publicity. Rose's character got more spotlight than it has since it debuted, and a number of NXT fans likely looked up actor Adam Rose's IMDB page.