Once again, NXT will get some representation at WrestleMania this year and once again it’s in the form of entrants in the Andre the Giant Battle Royale. This past week, WWE announced two members of the NXT roster as guest participants in the annual feat of strength, including WWE’s first Chinese Superstar and an Irish brute with the size to be a threat. On the flipside, seven entrants previously announced for the Andre the Giant Battle Royale have been removed from the official match listing, reducing the count to 25 wrestlers, instead of the previously announced 30. Whether this opens the door for 5 surprise entrants (to round back up to 30) or not remains to be seen.
The seven names removed from the Andre the Giant Battle Royale include Titus O’Neil, The Ascension (Viktor & Konnor), Kalisto, Sin Cara, and The Vaudevillains (Simon Gotch & Aiden English). The two NXT Superstars added are Tian Bing and Killian Dain.
TIAN BING, 6’3″, 225 lbs.
Originally announced under the name Bin Wang when he signed with the WWE last year, he’s since found a WWE Universe moniker as Tian Bing. He’s only worked a few NXT Live Events (plus an early preview in the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic partnered with Hong Kong’s Ho Ho Lun), but this blue chip prospect from China is hardly as green as people make him out to be. He was trained and part of the Inoki Genome Federation, the MMA/wrestling hybrid promotion started by WWE Hall of Famer and Japan legend Antonio Inoki when he left NJPW, since 2013.
KILLIAN DAIN, 6’4″, 325 lbs.
Known globally as Big Damo before he signed with the WWE last year, Dain has been the muscle for one of NXT’s best factions and storylines, Sanity, for a few months now. Dain picked up the win last night at NXT Takeover: Orlando in the huge 8-person tag match that saw Sanity (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain and Nikki Cross) defeat the alliance of Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno and Ruby Riot (aka Heidi Lovelace), which seemingly garnered him his spot in the Battle Royale.