After months of rumors and speculation, the WWE has signed independent wrestling star Fergal Devitt, better known as Prince Devitt, to its NXT Division, according to John Clapp of WWE.com.
Devitt will report to the WWE Performance Center on Monday, per the report.
The official Twitter of NXT Wrestling announced the signing as well:
Devitt was one of the most popular wrestlers on the indy scene before signing with WWE. He spent the last eight years of his career primarily with the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship three times and the Super Juniors tournament twice.
This is something I’ve been looking forward to since I was maybe four or five years old. I grew up watching wrestling my whole life, so to get the chance to step in the ring that I’ve watched on TV so many times is a dream come true.
I don’t consider myself anywhere close to the finished product, so I’m looking forward to this challenge and learning a new style.
I’ve seen a lot of different training schools and dojos, and the sheer level of professionalism at the Performance Center and the state-of-the-art facility just knocked me for a six. It really blew me away.
Hardcore wrestling fans who have seen Devitt steal the show overseas understand what he brings to the table, but many of the industry’s most respected names shared their excitement for the addition of the Irish star to the NXT roster.
ECW legend Tommy Dreamer and former TNA star Frankie Kazarian took to Twitter:
Cannot wait until the whole world gets to see @fergaldevitt Dude is gonna do great things! A good friend and a good brother indeed.— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) July 28, 2014
Fellow indy wrestler Kristoffer Travis shared his excitement for his former foe:
Really happy for @fergaldevitt and him signing for WWE. The best ive ever been in the ring with. Good luck dude, not that you need it!— Kristoffer Travis (@RealKrisTravis) July 28, 2014
Devitt’s signing is the latest in a series of big acquisitions the WWE has made from the independent wrestling circuit. Last week, the company also announced the signing of Japanese star Kenta.
Add in the fact that former Ring of Honor champion Kevin Steen has been hinting at signing with the WWE, according to Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc., and the recent class of prospects could be the most impressive to date.
Mike Killam of WrestleZone.com agrees with that notion:
Kenta, Steen, Generico, del Sol, Devitt, Callihan - I think the future is looking pretty good for WWE's roster, if they're smart.— Mike Killam (@MikeKillam) July 28, 2014
Now that WWE has signed Devitt, it will be exciting to see how the company utilizes his unique skill set in NXT. The perfect first feud would be with a star who has already adapted to the WWE style and can ease Devitt into it.
The answer must be Sami Zayn.
The two men are known as two of the top athletes in the industry, and a match between them would be a great way to introduce Devitt to the casual wrestling fans. Zayn himself took to Twitter to extend his hand to the new signee, and a resulting bout could be an unforgettable battle:
@fergaldevitt Amen, brother. Now, let's take over.— Sami Zayn (@iLikeSamiZayn) July 27, 2014
When asked about possibly squaring off against Zayn, Devitt told Clapp, “We kinda missed each other, played crisscross, but never had a chance to lock up on the independent circuit, so that’d be something I’d really look forward to.”
Devitt is a gifted in-ring technician who possesses a unique mixture of talents. While his stature doesn’t exemplify power, he has strength beyond his height and uses his speed and first-step quickness to unleash an array of strikes.
There will be a transitional period as he adapts to the slower WWE style, but Devitt proved in Japan that he has the charisma and aptitude to be a top star in the industry.
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