|Athena is officially on board|
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
As has been speculated, reported upon, and confirmed by various outlets, the signings of Athena (Adrienne Reese), Biff Busick (Christopher Girard), and Rich Swann have been officially announced on WWE's website. Swann originally tried out in September of last year, while Athena and Busick were part of the infamous "Jessicka Havok's Twitter Blowup" tryout from earlier this summer. All three have gone to the Performance Center, and Athena, under her given shoot name, has actually even debuted at a television taping already. Additionally from that latter tryout, Johnny Gargano has been working NXT television tapings along with Tommaso Ciampa lately, and Matt Riddle has been given work at EVOLVE specifically from recommendation from that tryout.
In addition to the indie stars announced, several contestants from the past incarnation of Tough Enough were also confirmed as signed. In addition to the winners Sara Lee and Josh Brendl, Mada Abdelhamid, Daria Berenato, fan-favorite Patrick Clark, ZZ Loupe, and Amanda Saccomano were all added to the fold. If everyone was going to get signed, then one might question the actual purpose of winning the show would be, but in the long run, no one's guaranteed to get over no matter how much a head start they receive.
Other names on the signing list include former Combat Zone Wrestler-turned-referee Bandido, Jr. (Eddie Orengo), Anarchy Wrestling alumnus Dallas Harper (whose kayfabe name was not given at the time), Aussie bodybuilder Christopher Atkins, former Brazilian football player and wrestler Cezar Bononi, Lebanese amateur wrestler Adrian Jauode, former Pitt football player Daniel Matha, Dutch kickboxer Gzim Selmani, and Midwest identical twin brothers and wrestlers Gabriel and Uriel Ealy. Much like the last group of mass-signings, it's a pretty diverse recruitment class. I hope that WWE gets good returns on them if just to see all of them make a decent living in the biz.