Monday, September 14, 2015

Busick, Swann, and Athena Confirmed Signed with WWE

Athena is signed, along with Busick and Swann
Photo Credit: Gregory Davis/ProWrestlingIsArt
Three of the rumored gaggle of wrestlers rumored to be signing with WWE have been confirmed. Biff Busick, Rich Swann, and Athena will all report to the Performance Center once they are finished with their independent dates. Athena cut an impassioned "final" promo at Women's Superstars Uncensored on Saturday, and Busick's final dates for Beyond Wrestling are being billed as the last time one can see him wrestle for the promotion that arguably made him famous.

All three are blue-chip signings. Swann has charisma reminiscent of a young Chris Jericho, and he can do things in the ring that would immediately make any crowd fall in love with him. His most impressive move is a standing 450 splash, which is a move that has to be a mortal lock on coming with him into NXT. Athena has been criticized for being more an "athlete" than a wrestler, but honestly, as a longtime observer of her in the ring, I don't agree with them. She's super versatile and can work several different styles well. She also has a dynamite finish, the O-Face, which is perhaps the best in the indies right now. Busick has been compared to Bryan Danielson in the ring, which is about the highest praise a wrestler can receive. He's also a tremendously versatile wrestler, but he's mostly been embroiled in the #grapplefuck arts along with Drew Gulak and Timothy Thatcher. His intensity will be an asset, especially when he gets to the NXT main event.

The other names that were leaked as being signed are far from confirmed at this point. Basically, anyone who hasn't been confirmed has vehemently denied their links to WWE, especially those currently in Chikara (Gulak and Chuck Taylor). It should be noted, however, that both Gulak and Taylor (as well as Athena) have deleted the vast majority of their tweets in order to avoid a scandal the likes that have plagued Jessicka Havok, Zahra Schreiber, and Nhooph al-Areebi (the former Jasmin). However, except in the case of Athena, that action may not necessarily be a sign that they've officially signed.

Two more signings that were confirmed are for ancillary roles. As expected, Sarah "Sarita" Stock has signed on as a Performance Center trainer. I expect her to stay behind the scenes like another Sara(h) who works as a trainer there (del Rey/Amato), and much like that other Sara(h), Stock will continue to be a heavily desired target to appear in the ring for special occasions. The second signing is Bandido, Jr. coming on as a referee. Bandido, shoot name Eddie Orengo, is the second Combat Zone Wrestling veteran to sign onto the company as a referee, the first being Drake "Younger" Wuertz.