On Tuesday, Aug. 12, WWE announced that it has signed former Ring of Honor star Kevin Steen to its NXT division. While it had been known since June that Steen had signed on with the company, WWE chose to hold off on the announcement until now.

The announcement was made through a story on WWE.comwhich featured a question-and-answer session from NXT’s newest star.

When asked, “what ultimately led” to his signing, Steen said the following:

“William Regal came to a wrestling show I was taking part in in California almost a year ago exactly, I believe it was Aug. 31 of last year, and it was for PWG, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. The match I had that night, I think did a lot. I had never met William Regal before; I didn’t know him at all. I had great respect for him already; he’s actually been one of my favorite wrestlers for quite some time. To have him watch my match and take the time to tell me what he thought and give me advice was already great, but then a couple days later, I was contacted to see if I wanted to be part of a tryout camp. Just to have somebody like William Regal have enough esteem for me to go as far as to actually recommend me for a tryout meant a lot. Then I went to the tryout camp and I got through it, and what made me stand out were the promos, where we basically had to sell ourselves verbally. That’s always been one of my strong suits — the way I talk and what I say. I make it count, and I think that went pretty far in getting me to where I am now.”

The former Ring of Honor World Champion was also inquired about a chance meeting with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in an airport in 2005:

“I don’t think I would’ve had the success I’ve had if I hadn’t met him. I mean, I may have figured it out on my own eventually, but him telling me that in 2005 really put it into my head. And then I realized it made sense, because if you look at “Stone Cold” or The Rock — you know, the biggest WWE Superstars there have ever been — at that time, in 2005, they weren’t full-time actors, but they were still the biggest names in wrestling. Steve Austin was my favorite wrestler from the moment I saw him. When he came into WWE at the time as The Ringmaster, I was already sold on him.

So when he became “Stone Cold,” that’s when he really started “running his mouth,” as he put it. When he told me to never stop running my mouth, it made sense to me. It clicked. I was like, “Of course!” Because that’s what he did. The next night, I was again at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in California, and I began running my mouth. I immediately put it to good use. The difference was instantaneous. The attention I got from the fans and the buzz around me in wrestling grew exponentially from that point on. It was a pivotal moment, for sure. Like I said, maybe I would’ve figured it out on my own eventually, but having the biggest name in WWE history tell you something really hammers it into your head pretty quick.”

Additionally, Steen noted that he will begin training at the WWE Performance Center in less than two weeks, on Aug. 25:

“No, I start Aug. 25, in a couple weeks. I’m really looking forward to it. I had the chance to go there just last week and got to see how everything works and meet everybody there, and it was really good, so I’m looking forward to being there full time.”

Editor’s Note

So cool to see WWE making a big deal of its  recent signings of Kenta, Steen, and Prince Devitt all through its website.



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