Kenta, Prince Devitt and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News
His contract freshly signed, Kenta joined the WWE NXT family in Florida, while another star who made his name in Japan, Prince Devitt, is expected to soon join him.
The way that WWE is welcoming Kenta will have his fanbase pumped about his future. As for Devitt, the latest word is that WWE's announcement of his signing is forthcoming.
Other developmental news focuses on two NXT prospects working a dark match before SmackDown, Cesaro's thoughts on the WWE Performance Center and the odd story of a mentor and coach losing and regaining his job backstage in the blink of an eye.
NXT Stars Work SmackDown Dark Match
Adrian Neville and Tyler Breeze took their rivalry outside of Full Sail University. The two clashed in Orlando, Florida before the stars on the main roster got in the ring.
ProWrestling.net reports that Neville defeated Breeze in an NXT title bout before the SmackDown taping began.
It's smart of WWE to continue to introduce new fans to its NXT talents. This is also a great chance for both prospects to experience a large-scale show.
The opportunity is likely more than a warm-up, though. The company didn't have Angelo Dawkins take this spot but rather chose two of its top prospects. Chances are the dark matches Neville and Breeze have been working will be a transition to the main roster.
Cesaro Hypes WWE Performance Center
The WWE developmental system got some free press thanks to a Superstar on the main roster.
In an interview with News 13 in Orlando, Cesaro talked up the NXT system, the WWE Performance Center and the state of wrestling today. The King of Swing said that the Performance Center has added amenities since opening, including a full-sized entrance ramp similar to what fans see on Raw and SmackDown every week.
He said that there was an exciting vibe surrounding the future of the company and that he trains at the Performance Center—which he called a "tremendous facility"—whenever he is not on the road.
There continues to be optimism and positivity regarding the streamlined NXT system. Wrestlers raving about the facilities, as Cesaro did, is certainly what the company wants to hear.
And it doesn't just sound like he's toeing the company line, either.
Kenta Arrives at NXT
After signing with WWE last week, Kenta arrived at NXT.
Renee Young interviewed him via a translator to welcome him to his new home base.
It's not Kenta's arrival itself that's newsworthy but rather the way WWE continues to hype him. Sami Zayn or Enzo Amore didn't get this kind of hoopla coming in.
WWE is making it clear how much it values the former Pro Wrestling Noah star by giving him the red-carpet treatment. This is a great sign that the company won't undersell his talents and have him become the latest Japanese wrestler to flop in WWE.
The focus he's getting is an indication of how much officials want him to succeed.
Prince Devitt Announcement Reportedly Forthcoming
Prince Devitt could soon be joining Kenta at NXT.
Rumors have been floating around about the New Japan Pro Wrestling standout making his way to WWE developmental, but there has yet to be anything concrete about it. The latest update suggests that is set to change.
PWInsider's Mike Johnson writes of Devitt, "We are told he is signed and an official announcement is indeed forthcoming, but there's been no real timetable as to when that may be."
Many fans didn't believe the Kenta stories until he was signing a contract at a table opposite Hulk Hogan. A similar moment appears imminent for Devitt.
Adding him would increase excitement around the WWE developmental system as much as Kenta's arrival has. Much like Kenta, Devitt's a spectacular athlete with a habit of producing great matches.
Ricky Steamboat Released and Then Rehired
It appeared that one of NXT's coaches, who also works with WWE's talent relations department, was out of a job. That change didn't last long.
Ricky Steamboat reportedly lost and regained his backstage gig in about 48 hours.
According to PWInsider (h/t WrestleZone), Steamboat was released from his contract as part of WWE's recent budget cuts. Just days later, though, PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc) reported that Steamboat was still with the company, noting that WWE may have changed its mind.
More cuts are certainly expected until the WWE Network starts pulling in more subscribers.
Even someone with as much experience and expertise to share as Steamboat is at risk of being ousted. However, the WWE staff includes the Hall of Famer for now, and his knowledge has value that's hard to calculate.