Kevin Steen, Willie Mack and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterAugust 13, 2014

Kevin Steen, Willie Mack and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News

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    Fans who saw Kevin Steen battle Willie Mack for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla were apparently catching a glimpse of the WWE NXT future.

    Steen is now officially a part of WWE's developmental division and Mack is expected to be joining him in Florida soon. The two explosive athletes will be promising additions to an already exciting segment of WWE. 

    Other NXT news updates fans on a Divas' condition after a car accident, provides insight on why a charismatic prospect is no longer with the company and talks a potential move for NXT TV.

    Whatever night that program ends up on, it won't be long before it features Steen fighting and Mack dropping knees on folks.

WWE Signs Kevin Steen

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    Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla star Kevin Steen is now a member of NXT.

    WWE announced on its website that it had "signed Canadian Superstar Kevin Steen to its NXT division." He is the latest in a run of big-name acquisitions for WWE developmental, following Kenta and Fergal Devitt into the Performance Center.

    With over 10 years of experience and a wealth of great matches on his resume, Steen isn't the type of prospect destined to hang around NXT for long. 

    He'll immediately be one of its top stars once he debuts. He's a brawler with some surprisingly athletic moves and a mic skills that will separate him from his peers.

    Fans of his ROH work will be most excited to see him resume his rivalry with El Genericho (now Sami Zayn). 

NXT Diva Injured in Crash

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    Matt Sayles/Associated Press

    NXT Diva Lina Fanene had one hell of a scare, but appears to be on her way to recovery.

    TMZ reports that Fanene and The Rock's mother were rushed to a hospital following a head-on collision last week. 

    Fanene was in good spirits not long after that, though. She tweeted a picture of The Rock visiting her in the hospital, which showed them both goofing around.

    She later shared a shot of her and doctors from the University of Miami Health System on Twitter, writing: "I'm forever grateful to Dr Kaplan, Dr Letter, Dr Vecchione & the rest of the team @UHealthMiami, for fixing me up!" Aside from what look likes like a wound on her right shoulder, Fanene doesn't even look like she was in a car wreck.

    After such a bad crash, she's lucky to be up on her feet so soon. She's now a step closer to returning to normalcy and working on her ring skills at NXT once more.

Potential SmackDown Change Could Affect NXT

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    NXT's time slot may need to shift before long.

    According to F4WOnline (h/t WrestleZone) if WWE does make the rumored move to slide SmackDown back to Thursdays, NXT's live specials would likely be pushed over to Wednesday nights.

    There has been no word on regular NXT shows, but one has to assume that officials wouldn't air SmackDown on Syfy during the first showing of NXT on the WWE Network. NXT could then be moved to Wednesdays like the live specials.

    If the financial numbers work, fans are going to enjoy the switch. It would give WWE four straight days of new programming—five during weeks with a pay-per-view—without cutting into fans' Friday nights. 

Indy Wrestler Reportedly Starting at NXT Soon

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    Willie Mack is reportedly going to add to the increasingly impressive talent pool at NXT.

    According to PWInsider (h/t, Mack is set to start working for WWE after the signing process is over. The report also notes that Mack was offered a developmental deal at the same time as Kevin Steen. That should mean we see "Chocolate Caliente" at Full Sail University before long.

    Mack is a hefty man who moves far faster that one would expect. Like Bray Wyatt, he has an attention-grabbing first step.

    He first made his name wrestling for several California-based promotions, including Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Should NXT be his next step, his electric presence and stellar physical gifts give him a great chance of being one of the top prospects on the roster.

Backstage News on Prospect's Recent Release

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    Shaun Ricker (Slate Randall) was among the many NXT prospects who WWE recently released per Mike Johnson of PWInsider.

    While he had yet to make an impact on NXT TV, his fanbase was surprised at the move. After all, he had a strong presence on the mic and the kind of charisma a successful wrestler requires. Reportedly, something he typed was the reason for his exit, not his skills.

    According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc), Ricker sent an email that got him in WWE's doghouse. There was also mention of WWE disliking something he wrote on Twitter.

    There has been no word on what was in the email or tweets yet, but it had to be mighty offensive or disrespectful to get him lumped in with the other released prospects.

    His story is a lesson to all the WWE hopefuls in Florida: Don't give the company an excuse to let you go. WWE is in full budget-cut mode, say the wrong thing and you stick out from the crowd for the wrong reason.