In a report by Dave Meltzer in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, US indie veteran Ace Steel, best known as the trainer and mentor of former WWE World Champion CM Punk, has joined the WWE and will be joining the training staff at the WWE Performance Center. In another report confirming the news, PWInsider‘s Mike Johnson states that after a successful previous guest trainer spot this year, Steel was hired to oversee the in-ring action for the WWE and Netflix co-production on the upcoming wrestling-themed film, The Main Event. After impressing WWE staff, he was hired to the PC last month.
A Chicago native, Ace Steel got his start in 1991 with Windy City Pro Wrestling (WCPW), where he spent the next decade working in the Midwest indie scene. In 2000, he made his debut with IWA Mid South, and in 2003 headed to Japan to work with Pro Wrestling NOAH. In 1998, alongside his own trainers Danny Dominion and Kevin Quinn, he opened Steel Dominion Wrestling School, where he would train future stars like CM Punk and another indie veteran, Colt Cabana.
In 2002, he was signed with TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, debuting in the tag team Hatebreed, alongside his student, CM Punk. The duo lasted a brief time before departing the company, heading to Ring of Honor, where they would reunite with Cabana and form The Second City Saints stable. A close friend of the late legend Harley Race, Steel would work as a trainer as well as a performer for Race’s World Wrestling League (WWL) for much of the past 15 years. Following his ROH stint, after several one-off enhancement appearances for WWE, he signed a developmental deal with the company and worked for WWE in Deep South Wrestling (DSW) and Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). He lasted a year before departing and returning to ROH for a last run with the company.
Since 2010, he’s worked primarily in the Midwest indie scene again, as more of a mentor and trainer than a performer, but still found time for some big matches. In May he returned for a special match against another Midwest veteran in Arik Cannon as part of IndependentWrestling.tv‘s Midwest Mixed Tape showcase.
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