The rumor mill is already rampant with names who will be arriving at the WWE Performance Center in January for the next round of recruits, such as WALTER, Shane Strickland, and Trevor Lee. On Sunday, in their Daily Update, The Wrestling Observer reported that Australian indie star Jonah Rock would also be a part of that class of recruits.
Jonah Rock is an 11-year veteran of the Australian indie scene, which has seen a global resurgence in the past year with the likes of Robbie Eagles, Adam Brooks and Jonah Rock making an impact in the US with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), while Eagles joined Bullet Club in NJPW as the new tag partner of Taiji Ishimori. The WWE has been stockpiling Aussie/New Zealand indie talent over the past few years signing the likes of Tenille Dashwood (Emma), Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Buddy Murphy, The Mighty (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller), Dakota Kai, Travis Banks, and Mae Young Classic 2018 winner Toni Storm.
Jonah Rock started out with Wrestle Rampage in 2007, but it was when he started with Explosive Pro Wrestling (EPW) in Perth in 2010 that he really began to make substantial waves. Rock began working for larger Aussie promotions like Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW) and Riot City Wrestling (RCW) and in 2013, joined the supergroup faction The Mighty Don’t Kneel (TMDK), alongside the duo of Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste (now NXT’s The Mighty), Marcius Pitt, Slex, Damian Slater, Elliott Sexton and Hartley Jackson. While Nicholls & Haste would become one of Japan’s top tag teams in Pro Wrestling NOAH, Rock and Pitt would win tag team gold with EPW, all under the TMDK banner. Rock would also spend three years with NOAH, from 2013 through 2015.
Rock would go on to become one of the biggest stars in the Australia indie scene of the past few years, winning the MCW Heavyweight Championship, Pro Wrestling Australia (PWA) Heavyweight Championship, as well as being a 3x Wrestle Rampage Australian National Champion. He made his US debut last June with House of Hardcore, before heading to PWG to debut with the company at last year’s Battle of Los Angeles. He would go out in the first round to Zack Sabre Jr., but impressed the PWG faithful, returning in October for All-Star Weekend 13, where he faced Keith Lee and Adam Brooks in two matches over the two days. He became a regular with PWG this year, with big wins over Jeff Cobb, Joey Janela and Timothy Thatcher, and got his first shot at the PWG World Championship in April at All-Star Weekend 14, where he faced PWG World Champion Keith Lee and WALTER in a triple threat (WALTER won the title that night). He returned for Battle of Los Angeles ’18, advancing past the first round with a victory over Sammy Guevara, before bowing out to WALTER in the second round.
This year also saw Jonah Rock make debuts with NJPW (as part of New Japan’s Down Under tour), and enter the UK scene, where he wrestled with PROGRESS, Revolution Pro (RevPro), Fight Club: PRO, and Ireland’s Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling, as well as making his debut with Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw).
Jonah Rock, alongside TMDK stablemate Slex, took part in a WWE Tryout in late 2016 and it will be interesting to see if Jonah Rock is reunited with The Mighty in NXT or if he’s kept separate as a singles wrestler. Rock’s name being added to the list of recent signings highlights a floodgate of free agent signings of late, that has also seen Ring of Honor bring in Jeff Cobb, “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams, Andrew Everett, PCO and Brody King, Major League Wrestling (MLW) sign Dragon Lee and DJ Z, and IMPACT Wrestling bringing in Jordynne Grace and The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz & Trey Miguel).
View this post on Instagram
The Mighty Don't Kneel #TMDK #TM61 #legacy #jonahrock #damianslater #elliotsexton #slex #shanehaste #shanethorne #hartleyjackson #mikeynicholls #nickmiller #marciuspitt #wwe #nxt #njpw #noah_ghc #zero1 #cwc #wrestlerampage #epw #mcw #prowrestling #squad #gang #standtall #staystrong