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Eli Drake Signs WWE Contract, Appears on NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day Pre-Show

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2021

Equipment trailers are lined up at the entrance road to the WWE Performance Center Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.  Florida’s top emergency official last week amended Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order to include employees at the professional sports and media production with a national audience, if the location is closed to the public. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Eli Drake has signed a deal with WWE and will start in NXT, according to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson.

WWE looks set to welcome a new class to its Performance Center. Johnson also reported former Knockouts champion Taya Valkyrie signed and will eventually debut in NXT.

Drake appeared on the pre-show for NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day and was rebranded as LA Knight:

WWE NXT @WWENXT

Make sure you have your eyes open because LA KNIGHT is coming for #WWENXT! #NXTTakeOver @TheEliDrake https://t.co/eCZwVrajuB

This marks Drake's second run in NXT. Billed as Slate Randall, he briefly worked out of NXT's developmental arm across 2013 and 2014.

The 38-year-old subsequently made his name with Impact Wrestling. He was a tag team champion with Scott Steiner and captured what was then known as the Global Championship in August 2017.

Drake most recently competed for NWA. He and James Storm won the NWA tag titles in January 2020 and continued to be recognized as the champions until Aron Stevens and JR Kratos took the belts in November.

Whereas some new signings initially work out at the Performance Center before showing up on NXT, it appears WWE is looking to make LA Knight a fixture on Wednesday nights right out of the gate.

The fallout from Vengeance Day could help lay the groundwork for his first storyline.

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