South American Faction Debuts at NXT Live Event

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WWE’s Live Events are great experiences for a multitude of reasons. You get fun one-offs that wouldn’t make it on TV (like Triple H joining The Shield) and wrestlers get more time to work their matches and use moves not normally allowed on TV. But it’s also where they road test new gimmicks and ideas for upcoming TV. NXT is no different. Last year, they played around with an idea for new stable that was lead by Marcel Barthel (formerly wXw’s Axel Dieter Jr.) with Donovan Dijak and Fabian Aichner that’s still being tweaked as recent as Thursday as well.

But on Thursday night at an NXT Live Event in St. Petersburg, Florida, an all-South American faction debuted. Given that the WWE is looking to expand into the South American market (Brazil and Chile have huge wrestling markets), building some South American presence would make total sense.

At tonight’s live event, the Brazilian duo of Rio de Janeiro’s Adrian Jaoude and Sao Paulo’s Cezar Bononi, where matched up with Rio de Janeiro’s entrant in the Mae Young Classic, Taynara Conti, as a three person faction.

 

ADRIAN JAOUDE

Photo: twitter.com/adrianjaoude

A Brazilian amatuer wrestler, like Taynari Conti, he made the Olympic trials for the Brazilian team for the 2016 Summer Games in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro in freestyle wrestling. When he failed to make the team, he signed with the WWE, debuting in July of 2016. Jaoude has yet to appear on WWE television.

CEZAR BONONI

Photo: WWE

A giant of a man at 6’7″ and 255 lbs, Bononi is a former pro (American) football player with the Sao Storm in the Brazilian Football League, before turning to pro wrestling in 2014. He worked with one of South America’s biggest promotions, the Brazilian Wrestling Federation (BWF) for two years, before signing with the WWE in 2016. It wasn’t long before he was paired with fellow Brazilian Adrian Jaoude in a tag team at NXT Live Events, but in 2017, Bononi began working NXT television as enhancement, suffering losses to Kassius Ohno, Velveteen Dream, and No Way Jose (although he did beat NXT Champion Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas back in May during Almas’ losing streak prior to Zelina Vega‘s debut).

Photo: WWE

TAYNARI CONTI

Photo: WWE

Easily the most recognizable member of the trio, Conti signed with the WWE in October of 2016 and began training at the Performance Center in Orlando. She made her debut at WrestleMania 33‘s NXT Showcase at AXXESS, then began working NXT Live Events. She was one of the few NXT recruits to make the Mae Young Classic this past summer, and moved on briefly to NXT television, where she assisted the Undisputed Era against SAnitY. A black belt in judo and a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, she competed in the Olympic trials for the Brazilian Olympic team for the Summer Games in 2016 before trying out for the WWE.

Photo: WWE

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