Some interesting reports came out in the pro wrestling world that seems to coincide with rumblings of some of the potential names that would be announced for WWE’s January class of new recruits at the WWE Performance Center. Twitter user rovert, who has broken many PC signings in the past including Mia Yim, Chelsea Green and War Raiders (War Machine) has mentioned that indie stars Shane Strickland (who also works for Major League Wrestling (MLW) and WWE affiliate EVOLVE), Trevor Lee (who is a former 3x IMPACT X-Division Champion) and Ring of Honor‘s Silas Young will be heading to Orlando in the start of 2019.
Report: WWE’s January Performance Center Class Includes Shane Strickland
Shane Strickland is no surprise. In the past year, between his stellar performance as the character Killshot in Lucha Underground, and his work as Shane “Swerve” Strickland on indies like EVOLVE, MLW, DEFY Wrestling and many more, has been an elite level indie star for the past couple years. PWInsider also reported today that Strickland would be finishing up his dates with MLW at the next set of tapings in Miami next month. Earlier today, as the news broke, Strickland posted the following on Twitter:
"You gonna piss alot of people off when you start doing what's best for you"?
— Stevan Online (@StricklandShane) November 16, 2018
IMPACT Wrestling’s Trevor Lee also ended up having some big news reported today, also by PWInsider, that he was granted his release from IMPACT Wrestling following this week’s tapings in Las Vegas. While Lee was used at the tapings, he wasn’t involved in anything substantial that seemed to progress anything for his character. Trevor Lee is a product of the Hardy Boyz promotion OMEGA in North Carolina (his father, Tracy Caddell, co-founded OMEGA with Matt Hardy, and passed away earlier this year). Lee has close ties in the WWE, with both Hardy brothers, as well as former IMPACT employees Jeremy Borash and producer James Long. Interestingly, Lee seemed to refute the claims on Twitter today, but technically he will still be an Impact performer until the final tapings he performed on air heading into Homecoming on January 6.
I'm still "Impact wrestling Star" Trevor Lee
— Cameron Grimes (@CGrimesWWE) November 16, 2018
The most surprising name of the three mentioned is ROH star Silas Young. “The Last Real Man” is 39-years old and, while WWE has signed older stars, such as AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, and Bobby Fish, Silas Young hasn’t got the widespread following of either of those three. Fish may be close, but his connection to Kyle O’Reilly and the others in Undisputed Era gives him some extra clout. Young is a 16-year veteran who has spent the majority of the past five years with Ring of Honor, where he is a 2x ROH Television Champion. Prior to that, he was a mainstay with Chicago’s All American Wrestling (AAW), where he was a 2x AAW Heavyweight Champion and AAW Heritage Champion, as well as working with EVOLVE, Dragon Gate USA, IWA Mid South and many other Midwest promotions. He’s worked with the WWE before in an enhancement role, working matches against The Miz and Val Venis in 2007, and against Luke Gallows in 2010. In a recent conference call prior to NXT TakeOver: War Games II, Triple H mentioned being more open to signing older wrestlers and mentioned that some people would be signed to be career NXT roster members, or possible “player/coaches”, so that maybe something Silas Young could be looked at for. Regardless, Silas Young has proven to be a reliable and solid worker no matter the position he’s put in, and been one of the consistently best heels in Ring of Honor the past few years.
It was also mentioned by rovert on his Twitter that he’s heard of six more names to add to the list, but that one “may be NXT UK” material. It’s been speculated that several of this year’s Mae Young Classic performers may be included in this class as well. For now, treat these with caution, but considering the reliability of the source, and the news today on two that seem to coincide with the rumblings, it looks like the WWE Performance Center may be welcoming a Swerve, a Caveman, and The Last Real Man come the new year.