Mojo Rawley, Uhaa Nation and Latest WWE NXT Developmental News
Mojo Rawley comes back to WWE NXT to find that it's even more crowded with talent after adding Uhaa Nation.
Rawley's first action in months has him trading the rehab center for the ring. He has plenty of work ahead of him to make an impact with WWE's developmental brand. That work will be even tougher with guys like Nation around.
The Dragon Gate standout is no finished product, though. Nation recently revealed what he believed to be his weak link.
In other news, NXT is set to move beyond its standard borders. That may eventually even include jetting off to other countries. Corey Graves' gig on the WWE Network and the early stages of the Tough Enough revival round out this week's stories.
Mojo Rawley Is Back
A shoulder injury stalled Mojo Rawley's progress. He last competed in September before moving to the disabled list.
It's time to get hyped once again, though. As listed on ProFightDB.com, Rawley returned to action over the weekend, twice facing Tye Dillinger at live events.
Rawley finds himself in a version of NXT that looks mighty different than when he left. Neville and Kalisto have moved to the main roster. Finn Balor has since stepped onto the scene. Solomon Crowe debuted and has looked good thus far.
The athletic powerhouse will have to show that he's added moves to his arsenal and depth to his character for him to make any progress in the NXT hierarchy.
NXT fans outside of Florida are set to get their own chance to see Kevin Owens and company live.
As noted on PWInsider, WWE has announced several tour dates for NXT that will take prospects out of the Sunshine State. The developmental brand will travel to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York state and Ohio.
NXT visited the Buckeye State earlier this year. Fans there won't have to wait long for NXT to return.
Beyond this being fun news for fans, these trips will give the prospects a chance to work in front of different audiences and move out of their comfort zone. The more WWE does this, the more NXT can properly prepare its wrestlers for the main roster.
In addition, this elevates the NXT brand and gives more exposure to the prospects who comprise it.
Uhaa Nation Opens Up About Signing with NXT
NXT newcomer Uhaa Nation appears to be confident but realistic. He knows that he is not just going to walk into NXT and rocket to the top as he did at other promotions.
The athletic dynamo has work to do, and he welcomes it.
In an interview with WWE.com, Nation said of his biggest weakness, "Definitely working on my mic work, talking. I'm not the best. I didn't get to do a lot of it on the indies. But as far as learning, I'm game for anything, and I'm just going to soak up any amount of knowledge I can get."
He's right. While a charming, likable guy, he's still raw as a mic worker. It's his physical gifts that earned him his shot with NXT.
The verbal part of his game will improve, though. Nation will have great trainers around him and plenty of chances to learn.
When he sharpens that skill, he's going to be a major force. He seems to know that as well. Later in that interview he said, "Just look out. I'm not holding anything back. I'm here for the long run."
NXT Potentially Touring Internationally
This year, NXT's excursions will take it to the Northeast and Ohio. Before long, the brand could be traveling well beyond Florida and across national borders.
According to F4WOnline (h/t Wrestling Inc), NXT general manager William Regal told fans during his one-man shows that NXT is working on plans for the brand to travel to smaller, international venues.
Going global is a smart move on a lot of fronts. For one, the roster is so rich with talent from other countries that it only makes sense to showcase those prospects in their homelands. Japan, Australia, Ireland and Mexico are among the nations represented on the developmental brand.
And like NXT heading off to Pennsylvania and elsewhere, this would give prospects a great learning experience and increase their fanbase.
Other News, Notes
Jim Ross is going to be watching what the folks at Full Sail University have to offer from up close. Ross tweeted that he was headed to NXT on Thursday night to attend the next taping.
Prospects would be wise to keep their ears open if he heads backstage. Wisdom often comes out of his mouth.
No NXT wrestlers wrestled in dark matches at Tuesday's taping, as listed on ProFightDB.com. Instead, Brad Maddox worked a match before Main Event.
NXT announcer Corey Graves is getting another opportunity to get in front of the camera. Per the WWE Network schedule (subscription required), Graves is set to star in Culture Shock, a show that airs after NXT on Wednesday night. This episode will see him step into the world of Marvel Comics.
And if you know anybody who is a physical marvel and charismatic to boot, tell them to start shooting a video of themselves. As Triple H announced on Monday's Raw, auditions for Tough Enough are now open.
Potential prospects are asked to send WWE a video explaining why they would make great Superstars.