The WWE continued its recent signing spree Tuesday when the company officially announced an NXT deal with Kevin Steen, according to John Clapp of WWE.com.
WWE's official Twitter account shared a photo of Triple H and Steen shaking hands:
Triple H also took time to tweet to the Canadian fans about the WWE Network and Steen's signing:
Steen will report to the WWE Performance Center on Aug. 25.
For those unfamiliar with Steen’s wrestling career, he is a 30-year-old Canadian veteran who honed his craft on the independent scene for almost 15 years. While he is best known for his time as one of the top draws in Ring of Honor, where he won the world championship, he also had stints with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Combat Zone Wrestling along the way.
Steen is one of the best in-ring brawlers in the world. His brutal style and uncharacteristic athleticism for a man his size (5’11” and 240 pounds) has made him a legend on the indy scene. While it is unclear how fast he will make the transition to the WWE-style of wrestling, his knowledge of the business and respect for the sport will make him a welcomed addition to an already deep NXT roster.
When asked about the perception that he would not fit the WWE Superstar mold, Steen told Clapp about the doubters and the motivation they brought him:
I actually didn’t, and that might be hard to believe for a lot of people. I’ve encountered a lot of people in my career that didn’t think I’d ever get to WWE, but I’m actually really proud to be an exception, which is what I’ve been pretty much my entire career, everywhere I’ve went. I’ve never been the norm and I take great pride in that, but I never doubted that I would get here eventually.
As exciting as the signing of Steen will be for hardcore wrestling fans, it is just the latest in a long line of marquee deals for the WWE and NXT. Over the last month, the company has signed fellow independent wrestling stars Kenta and Prince Devitt and looks to be adding serious depth and talent to its minor-league system.
The official Twitter of the WWE Universe commented on what was already trending Tuesday morning:
Former WWE star Matt Hardy took time to congratulate Steen on his new deal:
James O'Leary of Team Dignitas talked about NXT’s depth and how it is making up for a recent loss:
The immediate focus for the company and Steen will be to catch him up to speed with the company’s policies and in-ring formula, but there are stars currently on the NXT roster who can help guide him through the process.
Steen’s first feud should come against his long-time friend, Sami Zayn.
Zayn, who was known as El Generico on the independent scene, teamed with Steen for many years and they even won the ROH tag team titles.
However, their split resulted in one of the most vicious feuds in recent history. In 2010, Wrestling Observer Newsletter awarded the battle between El Generico and Steen as the best feud of the year for any promotion.
With a long history between the two men and a new stage to develop the rivalry, what better first feud for Steen in NXT than taking on Zayn?
Regardless of whom Steen feuds or when he eventually debuts on television, the addition of the fan favorite to the NXT roster is yet another in a long line of smart moves by Triple H and the WWE staff in building for the future.
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