Meet the new ones! WWE is a huge wrestling company and that means they need to keep things moving in order to prepare for the future. That includes bringing in new talent to freshen up the roster, which is a lot easier said than done at times. This is often accomplished by signing new wrestlers from outside the industry, which seems to be what they have done again.
WWE has announced the signing of seventeen new stars as part of the latest Performance Center class. The new signees are all from sports outside of wrestling, including mixed martial arts, amateur wrestling, volleyball, track and field, soccer and more. The most prominent name is former Bellator fighter Valerie Loureda, who had a 4-1 record with the promotion. Here is the full list and WWE’s descriptions of them:
- Valerie Loureda is an acclaimed mixed martial artist who previously fought in Bellator, where she compiled a 4-1 record. The 24-year-old Miami, Fla., native has a black belt in Taekwondo and has already made waves in the MMA world for her social media presence. Loureda is also the first Cuban-American to be signed by WWE.
- The 24-year-old Tracy Hancock is already an internationally renowned amateur wrestler, having competed at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound, Colorado Springs native has spent five years training with Team USA Wrestling, winning a bronze medal at the 2021 World Wrestling Championships.
- A former Miss Indiana, Alexis Lete heads to the WWE Performance Center after four years on the George Washington University volleyball team as their leading middle blocker. A social media star, Lete is most notably known for her viral Wonder Woman TikToks as well as hosting a cryptocurrency podcast, “Crypto Cast.”
- Tiller Bucktrot is a 6-foot-4, 305-pound former offensive lineman for Tulsa University. Originally from Stroud, Okla., Bucktrot is a proud representative of his Indigenous heritage as a member of the Muscogee Creek Tribe.
- 24-year-old Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald is a Lakeland, Fla., native originally from Nigeria. The 6-foot-5, 284-pounder spent four seasons as a defensive tackle for Kentucky.
- AJ Amrhein is a well-renowned fitness instructor from Scottsburg, Ind., and a former tumbler on the prestigious Baylor Acrobatics & Tumbling team. Amrhein is a three-time national champion with The Bears and was named the 2020 Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.
- A 6-foot-4, 335-pound force Antoine Frazier hails from Huffman, Texas, where he excelled on the football field before going on to become a regular on the offensive line for both Kansas University and the University of Northern Iowa.
- A 2021-22 WWE NIL Athlete, Isaac Odugbesan is a three-time SEC shot put champion. The Lagos, Nigeria native currently holds both the indoor and outdoor distance records for Alabama.
- 24-year-old Daniel McArthur is a four-time NCAA All-American and ACC Track & Field Champion from the University of North Carolina. At 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, McArthur holds both the indoor and outdoor shot put records at UNC and attended the 2020 Olympic Trials.
- Gina DeLucia is a 24-year-old Crossfit competitor ranked among the top 200 females in the United States. A graduate of Ole Miss, DeLucia is a former cheerleader who went on to compete internationally at some of Crossfit’s most renowned competitions.
- Giovanna Eburneo has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, winning both Pan-American and European Championships. The 25-year-old Sao Paulo, Brazil native is also a personal trainer.
- Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Houston Miller is a 6-foot-4, 260-pound beast who played three seasons for Texas Tech along the defensive line.
- Caleb Balgaard is a multi-sport athlete originally from Fenton, Mich. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound, 24-year-old stood out on the South Alabama baseball team as a utility hitter.
- Standing at 6-foot-1, 310 pounds, Joe Spivak is another 2021-22 WWE NIL Athlete out of Northwestern University. A native of Darien, Ill., Spivak was named a captain of the Wildcats football team. The offensive lineman was also named to the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, which honors college football’s most impactful community service leaders.
- Sarah Baer was a standout collegiate soccer and basketball player at both Bowling Green University and Lynn University. The 26-year-old dual sport athlete also has a master’s in criminal justice.
- The 23-year-old Tiana Caffey is a former collegiate soccer player from LSU. A Port St. Lucie, Fla., native, Caffey was called up to play for the USA U17 National Soccer Team.
- A threat on the gridiron and on the mat, Roman Macek was an offensive lineman for Duquesne University and a bronze medalist at the PIAA State Wrestling Championships. The 6-foot-1, 265-pound, Pittsburgh, Penn., native holds the Duquesne bench press record at 450 pounds.
Opinion: That is a lot to process, but what matters is that WWE is bringing in some people who could go somewhere for them one day. There is a good chance that a lot of these people don’t go very far, but they have to be signed in order to have a chance. Even if WWE only gets something out of two of them, they at least benefit in some way. More wrestlers would help, but at least this is something.
What do you think of the signings? What sport produces the best wrestlers? Let us know in the comments below.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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