NXT is taping it’s next few weeks of television at Full Sail University in Orlando, and one of the big stories has been the announcement from NXT General Manager William Regal that starting in a few weeks will be the NXT Breakout Tournament, featuring eight top prospects from the WWE Performance Center. The winner will receive an NXT title shot of their choosing.
Scoop #12: William Regal announces an 8 Man NXT Breakout Tournament exclusively for talent that has not been on TV yet, the winner will get a title shot of their choosing pic.twitter.com/MUikJjWPsU
— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) June 12, 2019
When the brackets were revealed later on the night, it revealed a heavily loaded tournament of top independent stars, which would explain the rash of newly assigned NXT names in the past two weeks. A prospects tournament is not uncommon in many promotions throughout the world, from the Ring of Honor Top Prospect Tournament to CHIKARA‘s Young Lions Cup, to New Japan’s own Young Lions events.
Scoop #17: The NXT Breakout Tournament Bracket pic.twitter.com/2t3qTIO9IL
— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) June 12, 2019
NXT Launches New Tournament at Tapings
Here’s a quick look at who the eight entrants are:
Jordan Myles is best known on the indie circuit as ACH, where he was a regular star with ROH, as well as a guest star with NJPW. As ACH, he competed in the CHIKARA Young Lions Cup X in 2012 and ROH’s Top Prospect Tournament in 2013. A tournament veteran, he’s also competed in three NJPW Best of the Super Juniors (2016, 2017, 2018), two Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG)‘s Battle of Los Angeles (2013, 2014), and Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw)‘s 16 Carat Gold (2017).
One of the Chinese recruits in the Performance Center, Boa is a former combat sports competitor, who excelled in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling. He signed with WWE in September of 2016 and has been working out at the Performance Center ever since. He began working NXT Live Events in July of 2017 and has yet to debut on TV.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Shane Strickland was one of 2017’s breakout stars and dominated 2018, as an impact player on the indies such as PCW ULTRA, EVOLVE Wrestling, DEFY Wrestling, and many more, as well as an early star in the reboot of Major League Wrestling (MLW), where he won the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. New names aren’t new to Strickland, as he was rebranded as the masked Killshot for his run with Lucha Underground. His early years were honed in Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) where he’s also a former CZW World Champion. He’s another tournament veteran, having competed in three CZW Best of the Best tournaments (2013, 2014, 2016) and the 2016 wXw 16 Carat Gold.
Formerly known as Trevor Lee, this “Carolina Caveman” is a former 3x IMPACT X-Division Champion and is the son of North Carolina indie pioneer Tracy Caddell, who founded OMEGA Wrestling with Matt Hardy in the 1990s. An unassuming indie star with surprising athleticism, he’s also a veteran of such tournaments as CZW Best of the Best (2014), Smash Wrestling Gold (now The Nothern, 2015), wXw 16 Carat Gold (2016), PROGRESS Wrestling Super Strong Style 16 and five straight PWG Battle of Los Angeles from 2014 through 2018.
The Australian monster formerly known as Jonah Rock of The Mighty Don’t Kneel, the new Bronson Reed will make his debut (hopefully accompanied by his NXT Live Events manager Stokely Hathaway). A former 3x Wrestle Rampage Australian National Champion and Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW) Heavyweight Champion, he’s also a veteran of two PWG BOLA‘s (2017, 2018) and the 2018 wXw 16 Carat Gold.
The latest NXT rebranding was that of former IMPACT star Samuel Shaw to Dexter Lumis, who has been under the agent representation of another IMPACT star in Robbie Strauss (formerly Robbie E). He worked for IMPACT (then TNA) from 2010 to 2015, but has since worked the Florida indies, where he was signed after a WWE tryout.
Mexican star Garza Jr., now rebranded as Angel Garza, is part of the famous Garza family bloodline, that included Humberto Garza and Hector Garza, is officially in NXT and is starting quickly. A former IMPACT star who also worked multiple promotions in his native Mexico including The Crash Lucha, AAA, and others, and competed in AAA’s prestigious 2016 Rey de Reyes tournament.
Another former IMPACT X-Division Champion as DJ Z, the longtime indie veteran and superstar has finally made the jump to NXT. He’s battled in a lot of other tournaments, including CHIKARA Young Lions Cup III (2005), CZW Best of the Best 9 (2009), PWG BOLA (2018) and this year’s PROGRESS Super Strong Style 16.
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