Even more than Kenta, this signing had be floored. Devitt, an Irish-born wrestler, was one of the biggest gaijins in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He was one of the leaders of the vaunted Bullet Club stable in NJPW and a top heel. As I said about Kenta being polished, Devitt takes it to a different level.
The separation between Kenta and Devitt in being a finished product is the language barrier. Devitt is a native English speaker with a slight accent. He's not known for having great promos, but his ability to communicate without a translator or in broken English makes him immediately more ready for WWE television than Kenta.
The obvious comparison is also an ominous one. Don't tell McMahon, but Devitt once portrayed the character Pegasus Kid II. The original Pegasus Kid was played be none other than Chris Benoit.
Devitt, like Benoit, is a brilliant ring technician who can also bust out great high-flying moves. While not as acrobatic as Neville, Devitt can go to the top rope and awe the crowd with crisp aerial moves.
The reason I was so surprised by the signing was that I didn't believe Devitt would agree to the deal. Devitt was certainly making very good money in Japan, where NJPW sells out massive arenas and still lets him work other shows outside the country for added income.
Devitt could name his price, probably pricing out most independent companies in the U.S.
Like Kenta, he's also 33 years old. He's in the middle of his prime years and, as fans, we should hope that WWE takes advantage of what he can do. Devitt isn't going to learn new tricks. He is a finished product ready to be unleashed.
But in the WWE, it's difficult for the creative staff to have a foreign wrestler who isn't a foreign character. Bad News Barrett is probably the only guy who isn't American or Canadian who isn't defined by ethnicity. Kofi Kingston may fall into this category, but we have to remember his short-lived run as a Jamaican guy who is actually from Ghana.
Sheamus is a cartoon character. Even in NXT, another Irish talent, Becky Lynch, looks and acts extremely stereotypical. I struggle to imagine a world where McMahon doesn't sit down with the WWE Creative staff and ask why Devitt isn't wearing green trunks with shamrocks. He'll want Irish-themed entrance music and tell him to push his accent further in promos.
If not saddled with a ridiculous look and gimmick, Devitt is one of those guys who could get over on his ring work. To return to the Benoit comparison, Devitt could work great matches with the likes of Cesaro, Swagger, Ziggler, Luke Harper and others who win fans and draw eyes while not being in the main event scene.
While not young, he still has years left to reach a main or semi-main event level where he works Bryan, Seth Rollins, Ambrose, John Cena, Randy Orton and others as a potential title contender. Devitt doesn't need a belt to be successful. If given a chance to be a workhorse and have great matches, it will improve the quality of the program.
Floor: Sheamus' little buddy