Indiecent Exposure: WWE's Potential Big Summer Signings | Smark Out Moment

Indiecent Exposure: WWE's Potential Big Summer Signings

Posted by Oliver Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014
KENTA NOAH WWE Kobayashi Japanese wrestling puroresu rumors
The rumours have been circling the internet for a while now, and the time is almost nigh for the expected signings of KENTA, Prince Devitt and Kevin Steen to WWE Developmental contracts to be made official. For some of you, these names may be extremely familiar or some of your favourite wrestlers, while others will only have a passing knowledge of them or even none at all. Whatever your knowledge of these guys, know that their signings would be a very big deal for WWE and NXT if they do come through, because all three are veterans of the business and are proven successes from their respective previous promotions. That's no guarantee of success in the WWE developmental system, just ask Chris Hero, but it will help immensely in improving the quality of an NXT roster that is starting to stagnate now that many of the biggest names have been called up to the main roster. Of course, in the long run, the ideal would be to get all three of these guys onto the main roster in a significant capacity, and all three are probably already capable of handling that, just like Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville already in NXT. I'm happy to compare these guys to Zayn and Neville; easily the two best performers in NXT right now, so that's the level of quality we're talking about with Steen, Devitt and KENTA.

Let's take a look at each rumoured signee in more detail, and see what each one can bring to the table in WWE. I'll also provide some video clips for each guy to help illustrate each wrestler's skills for those who may not know them that well.


KENTA WWE rumors signing Japan NOAH Pro wrestlingOne of the biggest stars in the Japanese NOAH promotion for over a decade, KENTA is a very noteworthy signing due to his incredible, but not very 'WWE-friendly', in-ring style. KENTA matches are infamous for heavily featuring 'strong style' stiff strikes and potentially dangerous spots, which the WWE has never traditionally gone in for outside of its Hardcore matches.  This makes the potential KENTA signing an odd one, but also a very awesome one, as KENTA actually fits in perfectly among the best wrestlers in WWE right now, such as Cesaro, Adrian Neville, and particularly Daniel Bryan, who he has wrestled before in both NOAH and Ring of Honor. If you've never seen KENTA in action before, then the Bryan Danielson match is the perfect place to start. Here's the video, enjoy...

As you can see, KENTA is a great in-ring signing for WWE. He also has a marketable look, but I have no idea what his English-speaking promos would be like. That may be something he'll need to work on in NXT and at the Performance Center, but hopefully WWE will allow his in-ring work to do most of his talking. He may also need to change his finisher in NXT, since he has always used the Go To Sleep, which was obviously CM Punk's finisher for his entire WWE run. There are a couple of worries about KENTA signing with WWE though. At 34, he is somewhat older than the average developmental signee, and this also means he would only really have about 5 years on the main roster at most before his body would start to break down. Also, WWE has a terrible history of booking Japanese talent, just ask Tajiri, Taka Michinoku or Yoshi Tatsu. KENTA is a great talent, but one that may not be used very well by WWE due to his age and, unfortunately, his ethnic origin.

Likelihood of being signed: Almost certainly. KENTA has visited the Performance Center a couple of times now, he has left NOAH and his prominent spot there, and WWE have announced that they will be singing a 'major Japanese superstar' on July 12th as part of their tour of Japan. All signs point to KENTA already being signed, and only needing to make it official.

NXT Name Generator Prediction: Ken Kobayashi perhaps? That may be too sensible for the wacky name generator though...

Kevin Steen

Kevin Steen WWE Signing 2014 Fight Kill Ring of Honor ROH
'Mr. Wrestling' is at this point synonymous with Ring of Honor and American indie pro wrestling in general. With a prominent belly and a t-shirt wrestling attire, Kevin Steen does not look like the prototypical 'WWE Superstar'. After Claudio Castignoli, Chris Hero and Bryan Danielson all got signed by WWE by 2011, I said that the only major ROH star that could never get into WWE was Kevin Steen, due to his unorthodox look and his dissonant mix of bloody warfare and comedy routine between his various matches, which just made him too 'indie' for WWE's tastes. Steen is a hell of a wrestler, but just isn't what WWE typically looks for, not that there's anything wrong with that. However, Steen is leaving ROH on the 19h July, and has been heavily rumoured be heading to WWE. Has the talent office decided to complete the 'ROH Collection' and sign Steen?

I'll admit that I've never been a huge fan of ROH, and I haven't seen a huge amount of Steen matches, but what I have seen has always impressed me. I've seen two of his matches against El Generico, his greatest friend/rival in ROH, and both of those were equal parts insane and incredible (A reunion with Sami Zayn in NXT would be great to see). His more comedic matches this year with Shinsuke Nakamura at the ROH/NJPW crossover show, and his match with Marty Scurll that I was lucky enough to see live in June, were also very entertaining and show the range of great matches Steen can produce. One thing is clear though; Steen always enjoys his wrestling, and that's a necessity if you want to 'make it' in WWE.

Likelihood of being signed: There is still the chance that Steen is taking time off from wrestling to spend time with his wife and children. He could be signing with WWE, but at a later time. But if he is leaving his excellent gig at ROH, then signs do point to a developmental contract getting signed. Kill Steen Kill may well be coming to NXT.

NXT Name Generator Prediction: Steven Keane?

Prince Devitt

Prince Devitt WWE Rumor Signing 2014 NJPW Venom paint RPW
One of the most exciting and well-rounded wrestlers in the world today, Prince Devitt has been a star for New Japan for several years now in their Junior Heavyweight division, both as a babyface and most recently as a heel, as the leader of the Bullet Club faction. Devitt would be a very exciting talent to have on NXT, as his experience wrestling around the world has made him a technical master in-ring, and he has a natural ability to get the crowd involved in a match as either a face or a heel.

I got to see him wrestle Adam Cole live in London this year, and not only did he have the match of the night, but Devitt made an imediate impact on the crowd by entering dressed as Bane (the Batman villian). Devitt clearly enjoys choosing his costumes, as he has also wrestled as Carnage, Venom, Freddy Kruger and the Joker this year alone. It's doubtful whether the dressing-up will come with him to NXT, but it's been very fun as a fan to see his latest looks, and it shows that he has a natural eye for the 'show' aspect of pro wrestling, something that is necessary to get to the main event in WWE. Devitt has a bucket-load of talent and I feel very confident that if signed, he has the potential to main event WrestleMania, more than KENTA or Steen. Here he is proving his talents against Naomichi Marufuji...

Likelihood of being signed: Depending on who you believe, Devitt has already been signed, and is only waiting on a work visa. His recent tour of the UK indies had a distinct 'fairwell tour' vibe to it, and he has both acknowledged and joked about the WWE rumours on Twitter and in interviews. It looks very likely that Devitt will be coming to NXT, and that's a good thing for everyone.

NXT Name Prediction: Fergus O'Donnell? Don't underestimate the stereotypical powers of the name generator. Devitt will be lucky to avoid the 'Irish jig' gimmick that Becky Lynch got.

With all three guys wrapping up their booking commitments by mid-July, it shouldn't be long before they are all signed to WWE contracts, if the rumours are to be believed. Who are you hoping to see in a WWE/NXT ring the most? One of these three, or a different rumoured name?

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