Kevin Steen's name is coming up in tryout talks and Joey Ryan is still fuming about his WWE NXT experience.
The ever-growing WWE developmental system could soon add Steen, a former Ring of Honor world champ. Ryan was briefly given a shot to impress, but came away with an unfavorable view of the trainers and WWE's decisions concerning him. He has recently added to his long list of grievances.
In other news, ESPN is set to highlight WWE developmental, more stars were added to NXT: Arrival and Prince Devitt may soon be coming to Full Sail.
The latest word on NXT centers around the promise of new prospects and hype over the current ones.
After his WWE tryout last fall, Joey Ryan has been far from bashful about criticizing the company, specifically its developmental system.
The former TNA wrestler and indy star has shared stories of some of the most frustrating elements of his short WWE experience. He's written of WWE officials dismissing the quality of indy wrestling and telling him they couldn't make money with Daniel Bryan, for example.
Ryan isn't done talking. He's added to his collection of complaints and anecdotes.
About NXT's head trainer, he recently tweeted, "Bill DeMott's job is to bully 20 year old NXT kids who will take it."
Before that comment, Ryan wrote on his Facebook page about a dark match that never materialized: "I was scheduled for dark match vs. Great Khali last year but WWE pulled it & said I was 'too fresh off TNA & might be more over than Khali.'"
If this was really the reason WWE had for taking Ryan out of action against Khali, it's a baffling line of thought. If the company is afraid of someone overshadowing Khali, isn't the issue instead with Khali's ability to garner a reaction?
It's understandable that WWE wants to grow its own talent, but adding folks who have some buzz from elsewhere is by no means a bad thing.
It's hard to tell where raw emotion ends and rational observation begins with Ryan's comments. Even if his is a highly subjective view, it is still concerning to see such closed-mindedness from NXT officials.
Triple H at NXT's home, Full Sail University
The WWE developmental system is about to get a major dose of publicity.
PWInsider.com reports, "ESPN was in Florida a few days ago filming a piece on the WWE Performance Center and WWE's developmental program that will air on E:60."
WWE has to be thrilled about a new audience getting a look at NXT. The more eyes on the product, the better.
ESPN sent out a sneak-preview tweet on Feb. 12.
The NXT: Arrival live special on the WWE Network is getting the full red-carpet treatment.
Not only will the show have a number of big-name guest stars, including John Cena and Shawn Michaels (per WrestlingInc.com), but it will feel a lot like a WWE pay-per-view with the addition of a pre-show.
As reported by WrestlingInc.com, "the WWE NXT Arrival event on February 27th will have a pre-show at 7:30pm ET, hosted by Renee Young. It will feature a panel with Bret Hart, Paul Heyman and Kevin Nash."
That's a fun mix of personalities. Paul Heyman alone would be mighty entertaining, but seeing former rivals Nash and Hart interact is going to be intriguing as well.
With each additional detail, WWE is increasing the NXT special's must-watch status. Making this event such a momentous one is a smart way to promote both NXT and the WWE Network.
Prince Devitt hasn't yet signed with WWE or arrived at NXT, but word is that he wouldn't stay in the developmental system long.
F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com, writes this:
While there's still no word if international star Prince Devitt has accepted WWE's offer, word is that the company offered him a deal to where he will spend just a short amount of time in NXT before going to the main roster.
The report goes on to say that he will most likely sign with the company. It's surprising that WWE would reportedly fast track a smaller wrestler (5'11'', 178 lbs) like Devitt, but he's certainly experienced enough not to need to germinate in NXT for a significant amount of time.
Devitt's resume in New Japan Pro Wrestling is filled with great matches and showcases of his athletic wizardry.
It looks as if NXT fans will soon get to see the "Irish Young Gun" without booking a ticket to Japan. Appearances on Raw and SmackDown may soon follow.
Two stout, powerful wrestlers from Ring of Honor may soon get their shot to impress WWE officials. Kevin Steen and Michael Elgin are reportedly being talked about for future tryouts.
Wrestling Observer, via WrestlingInc.com, reports the following:
There has been talk of indie stars Kevin Steen and Michael Elgin being invited to one of the upcoming WWE developmental tryouts. Steen has known about this for some time and the feeling is that if he shows up out of shape, officials will look down on him a lot.
Elgin brings a lot of the same assets as Alexander Rusev. He employs a smashmouth offense and is physically imposing.
Although Steen is the more well-known of the two, he has less of a chance of getting picked up. A company that took issue with Kassius Ohno's physique is likely to be turned off by Steen's build.
Steen and Elgin are among the bigger indy names not yet to test the WWE waters. It will be interesting to see what the company thinks of them.