The Ascension, TNA Impact Wrestling and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News
The Ascension defeated a WWE tag team, and NXT battled TNA Impact Wrestling for ratings.
The former victory was clear, a sign that the NXT tag champs are headed for upward movement in their careers. The clash between WWE developmental and TNA's premier show ended in less decisive fashion.
Other NXT news focuses on WWE's newest prospect, a chance some NXTers taste WrestleMania spotlight and a tweaking of the title that Adrian Neville now wears.
The following is a look at all those stories, along with The Ascension's latest conquest and how NXT fared against Magnus, Samoa Joe and company on Thursday night.
WWE Signs New Prospect
A stellar athlete is headed for the WWE Performance Center. The company recently signed indy star Steven Walters.
Anarchy Wrestling, via WrestlingInc.com, released the following statement:
Anarchy Wrestling is pleased to announce that Steven "The Fever" Walters has been offered and executed a contract to join the talent roster of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s NXT brand and will report to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida in May.
Walters is a smaller wrestler, but his agility, smoothness in the ring and mat prowess should have him make an impact on NXT. He has worked in Europe and for promotions like Renegade Championship Wrestling in Georgia.
He now enters the competitive WWE developmental system armed with talent aplenty.
NXT at WrestleMania XXX?
For two years running, an NXT prospect has debuted at the Royal Rumble. But a debut may happen at an even bigger show this year.
WrestleZone.com reports that "a match featuring NXT and WWE stars is being considered for WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans."
According to the report, the current idea is to have Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville and Bo Dallas face Jack Swagger, Corey Graves and The Ascension. The addition of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal could possibly tie up Swagger and Cesaro, but the fact that WWE is considering this option is exciting.
There is no bigger stage in wrestling than WrestleMania, and WWE offering it to NXT stars will push their careers forward in a major way.
The Ascension Debuts at Madison Square Garden
On March 8, The Ascension defeated Los Matadores at a WWE live event, as reported by WrestleZone.com.
As fans saw in the cases of Xavier Woods and Alexander Rusev, getting a chance to work these kind of events can be the precursor to a call-up. Reviews of Viktor and Konnor's first Madison Square Garden bout were mixed.
WrestlingInc.com shared the following notes about the match:
The Ascension's win over Los Matadores at last night's MSG event was described as a dud. It was noted that fans did not seem interested in the match. The Ascension were accompanied to the ring by Vickie Guerrero.
The above WrestleZone.com report, though, noted the match was good but that "most of the crowd wasn't into it because of the chaos from the intermission break."
Look for The Ascension to get more opportunities like this in order to test how the WWE audience responds to them. With teams like The Real Americans and The Shield set to split, the time to have The Ascension bring their unsettling act to the main roster could be fast approaching.
Small Change to NXT Championship
Adrian Neville's newly won championship title underwent a slight makeover.
WrestlingInc.com reports, "Instead of the regular WWE logo on the side-plates, the belt now features the WWE Network logo on the side-plates."
WWE seems to be moving towards using the WWE Network logo more in general. With NXT now airing on the streaming service, it's not surprising that the company went for this move toward brand symmetry.
Neville likely doesn't care what's on the title. His run is going to be a test of how he does on top, a chance for him to prove that he is not only a great athlete but championship material as well.
TNA Impact vs. NXT
NXT aired opposite TNA's Impact Wrestling last Thursday, and the results regarding the ratings aren't conclusive but noteworthy nonetheless.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via WrestlingInc.com, reports that Impact "opened at a 1.12 rating, which is down from the 1.4 opening ratings the show had been doing the past few weeks."
One line of thinking is that the drop can be blamed on having to compete with NXT. The numbers dropped off after NXT ended as well, which could just be a sign of disinterest in what TNA was selling that night.
The sample size is still too small, though.
We are far from reliving the Monday Night War, but this situation is one to keep abreast of. If viewers consistently drift from TNA's product to NXT, TNA will have added pressure to deal with.