Yoshi Tatsu, Drake Younger and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News
Yoshi Tatsu and Drake Younger have undertaken new roles for WWE NXT, both of which won't please fans who want to see those two athletes compete in the ring.
Tatsu, who has been moved down to WWE developmental, is practicing a new skill in Florida. The recently signed Younger hasn't been asked to fight at Full Sail University yet. For now, he's just being asked to wear referee stripes.
In other NXT news, the Performance Center welcomed a former WCW stars and the Divas division got bigger.
Former WCW Star Visits Performance Center
Alex Wright, who wrestled for WCW in the '90s, visited the NXT prospects. WWE posted a video of Wright's time at the WWE Performance Center.
He was a guest trainer, a role a wide range of wrestlers have played for the company.
Wright's experience at WCW and in his home country of Germany is certainly valuable. He was an excellent in-ring tactician and was able to merge the European and American style en route to championship gold.
The more diverse a group WWE brings in for spots like these, the better. Let the prospects hear a flood of ideas and see what seeps in.
Drake Younger Debuts
When Drake Younger joined the NXT family, many fans wondered how WWE would incorporate a wrestler famous for death matches into a PG-TV program. Few would have thought the answer would have been to make him a referee.
As ProWrestling.net reports, "Younger debuted as a referee for WWE's NXT promotion in Florida over the weekend." Younger confirmed the role on his Twitter account, writing, "now I proudly rock the zebra stripes for @WWENXT."
Younger is just 29, so an eventual move from referee to in-ring action is likely.
Backstage News on Recent Releases
Information has emerged as to why WWE let both Mason Ryan and Danny Burch go. Apparently, officials didn't see enough from either of them during the prospects from the U.K.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via PWMania.com, reported the following:
Officials felt that he wasn't improving at a fast enough rate. Ryan was well-liked and didn't have an ego.
It was noted that it must have taken a lot for WWE to release Ryan because he has the size they like and WWE liked the idea of having a Superstar babyface from Wales.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Wrestling Inc, also noted, "There was a feeling that Burch was given up on by officials after he returned from knee surgery. Burch is 32 and the emphasis in developmental is on youth."
Ryan was indeed improving. He seemed to be making progress as an in-ring storyteller and had bettered his footwork.
It wasn't enough, though.
Even his comic-book physique didn't guarantee him a spot in the ultra-competitive world of WWE developmental. He like, Burch, have plenty to offer another promotion.
WWE is in the position to be choosy and opt for younger up-and-comers.
New Role for Yoshi Tatsu
Yoshi Tatsu debuted as a ring announcer over the weekend. Commentator Rich Brennan captured a shot of Tatsu's performance as proof.
The Japanese speedster is a likable, funny guy who would be great as a backstage interviewer. This role seems to be an odd fit, though, as it doesn't allow him to showcase much of his sense of humor or any of his athletic ability.
It may be just a temporary gig, though. WWE has several stops scheduled for Japan in July, and Justin Roberts probably doesn't speak Japanese.
New Divas Added to Division
Social media has given us peeks at several new female prospects learning the pro wrestling craft down at NXT.
Dasha Kuret (maiden name: Gonzalez) is a fitness model who once won Miss Florida Central University. She wrote on Instagram that she "survived orientation." She added in another post that she was beginning day two of training.
Dani Jackson posted a shot of herself at the Performance Center with Gonzalez, Paige, Alexa Bliss and others. Lina Fanene donned a "Property of WWE Performance Center" T-shirt, adding the hashtags, "wwediva" and "divaintraining."
Each women seems to be enthusiastic about the opportunity. That's a start, at least.
They will have the good fortune to learn under mat wizard Sara Del Rey (Sara Amato) who is working to shape the division for the better.