Ok, you were warned. There are story spoilers for NXT in here. You’ve come this far, so you must want to know the news.
Live tweets out of tonight’s on-going NXT tapings at Full Sail University in Florida have revealed that several top indie female stars have returned or debuted in NXT tonight as part of a Battle Royal for the #1 Contendership for the NXT Women’s title. While we won’t spoil who won that match, we will shed some light on the names that appeared. As well as these big indie names, several NXT Live Event regular females also debuted with their NXT names, which is usually an indicator of becoming more than simply enhancement. There’s a fair chance that this influx of new names – both indie and developmental – could be the introductory set up for this summer’s Women’s Tournament on the WWE Network. Much like the Cruiserweight Classic brought up developmental NXT talent like Rich Swann, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa for the tournament, WWE could also feel like adding some of the developmental talent on the verge could be a good insertion to get some attention.
Daria Berenato is now Sonya Deville
The former Tough Enough contestant and MMA fighter was briefly seen a few months back as a hired gun by Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, but that was short lived. She quickly returned to just the Live Events. She’s got her official NXT name which means she’s being brought in shortly. Best bet is she’s being primed for a spot in the upcoming Women’s Tournament so they’re getting her name recognition started now.
Scoop #7: Sonya Deville (former Daria) vs Lacey Evans pic.twitter.com/41Plnes1td
— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) April 19, 2017
Macey Estrella is now Lacey Evans
She formerly competed on the indies as Macey Evans, before working NXT Live Events under her real name Macey Estrella. She’s had a few enhancement matches, but with the name switch, she’s also a bet for more of a showcase in the tournament.
— JJ Williams (@JJWilliamsWON) April 19, 2017
Rachael Ellering Returned
I think Ellering is trying to break Deonna Purrazzo‘s record of most televised promotions in a year. Ellering just finished appearing on Impact Wrestling‘s One Night Only PPV in a match against Laurel Van Ness (Chelsea Green) but she’s returned to NXT for the Battle Royal. Also an incredibly safe bet to be in the tournament, WWE would love to bring this second generation wrestler into the fold. She could easily turn heel and align with her father.
— JJ Williams (@JJWilliamsWON) April 20, 2017
Candice LeRae Makes Her WWE Debut
The biggest pop of the night came with the surprise debut of Candice LeRae in the WWE Universe. One of the indie scene’s biggest stars – male or female – LeRae has been long sought by the WWE as well as the WWE fans who followed the indie circuits. She’s a world class worker already and a guaranteed lock to be in the Women’s Tournament now.
— Johnny (@WWEJohnny05) April 20, 2017