NXT Announces July Class of Performance Center Recruits

On NXT’s instagram today, they released videos on their stories of this month’s July class of WWE Performance Center recruits and it featured some long awaited indie stars and a few raw talents. Several include women who could potentially suit up for this year’s Mae Young Classic II, plus a few big indie stars that have been anticipated for months.

IO SHIRAI

Originally revealed by Tokyo Sports, the former World of Stardom Champion made her WWE debut at a WWE Live Event in Tokyo a few weeks back, the day before WWE officially announced her signing. She’s now in Orlando and her WWE career has begun, most likely debuting with the Mae Young Classic II.

KEITH LEE

One of the indie’s biggest stars of the past few years, the former PWG World Champion and WWN Champion finally made his on-screen debut in the audience at NXT Takeover: Chicago II. He’s now reported to the WWE Performance Center, where now the WWE Universe can bask in his glory.

DEONNA PURRAZZO

She’s worked with NXT in the past before (as well as on Smackdown Live), but she’s remained independent for the most part, working for the likes of Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, and many more. An alternate for last year’s Mae Young Classic, this year’s is the perfect reboot for her in the WWE Universe.

LACEY LANE

A graduate of the Team 3D Wrestling Academy, trained by the Dudley Boyz themselves, Lacey Lane made her mark in the world of lucha libre following her 2016 debut, working with The Crash Lucha in Mexico (where she just lost her Women’s Championship) and Aro Lucha in the US.

MJ JENKINS

Trained by WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz, she debuted in 2016 and worked for SHINE until signing with Impact Wrestling in 2017. She was only with Impact for a few months before being released when the management switch took place that fall, but she soon received a WWE tryout.

LUKE MENZIES

Photo: Tony Knox Photography

The former British rugby player has been wrestling on the UK scene for the past few years, trained by William Regal‘s mentor Marty Jones. He’s been on WWE’s radar for a few years now, and now officially joins the company as part of the July class.

TAISHAN DONG

Photo: WWE

Standing 7′ tall, Dong originally moved to the US from China with the hopes of being a professional boxer. Also a kickboxer, the giant ran up a 6-0 record in boxing before turning his attention elsewhere.

STACEY ERVIN JR.

The 24-year old from Taylor, Michigan is a former NCAA gymnast, most famous for his girlfriend, Olympic Gold medal gymnast Simone Biles. He’s looking to translate his athleticism into a career in the WWE ring.

DENZEL DEJOURNETTE

An All-American collegiate wrestler from Appalachian State, Dejournette continues WWE’s legacy of recruiting collegiate wrestlers to their ranks.


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