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New Performance Center Class | Wrestling News Update, January 15th 2020

With a new class starting at the Performace Center, news on WWE’s next Saudi show, and a big match booked for NWA Hard Times; Matt Booker brings you the Wrestling News Update.

MISSED ALL THE BIG NEWS IN WRESTLING? DO NOT FEAR WE WILL COVER ALL THE BIG STORIES IN ONE PLACE; THIS IS THE WRESTLING NEWS UPDATE!

WWE ANNOUNCES NEW PERFORMANCE CENTER CLASS

WWE has unvailed it’s latest batch of recruits, heading their way to the fabled performance center in mid Florida.

The six hopefuls include stars from many different walks of life, there are former professional sportsmen and women, independent wrestlers, and even circus performers. The names of the six stars are:

  1. Mercedes Martinez
  2. Emily Andzulis
  3. Anthony Francis
  4. Kenny Marquez
  5. Sidney Bateman
  6. Zechariah Smith

WWE are wasting little time with Mercedes, announced during yesterday’s WWE Backstage, Martinez will feature in a number one contenders battle royal on tonight’s episode. The winner will go on to challenge for the NXT Women’s title at TakeOver: Portland in mid February.

The full report from the WWE website is detailed below:

Jazmin Benitez, a veteran grappler known worldwide as Mercedes Martinez, is no stranger to the WWE Universe. She made it to the semifinals of the inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017 and returned for the second edition of the tournament in 2018. She’s also competed on NXT television on several occasions.

Emily Andzulis of Powell, Tenn., brings a diverse athletic background with her to Orlando. The 27-year-old is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and trains in Taekwondo. She competed on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s “Titan Games,” and was crowned the first female Titan.

Anthony Francis is a 6-foot-5, 330-pounder with five years of NFL experience under his belt. The former defensive tackle played for the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins.

Kenny Marquez, a.k.a. independent wrestling standout Jake Atlas, brings his unique experience in gymnastics and cheerleading to the WWE PC. The 25-year-old California native broke out in promotions like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and appeared on an episode of “Undercover Boss,” featuring Stephanie McMahon, where Marquez explained to WWE’s Chief Brand Officer that his dream is to become the first openly gay WWE Champion.

Sidney Bateman is a 27-year-old acrobat from St. Louis, Mo. Bateman was a cast member for Cirque du Soleil’s “LUZIA” show, where he specialized in hoop diving.
Mercedes Martinez, Jake Atlas and more report to WWE Performance Center

Zechariah Smith towers over the new recruits at 7 feet tall and 310 pounds. The Oklahoma native played college basketball for Morgan State University before going pro internationally. He also played for the longtime rivals of the Harlem Globetrotters, the Washington Generals.

NEXT WWE SAUDI SHOW PUSHED BACK

PWInsider has reported that WWE’s next trip of Saudi Arabia had been pushed back a week.

The original plan was to how a show on the 20th of February, this has now changed to Thursday the 27th of February. No reason has been given for the change, and it is most likely due to logistical concerns.

This will be the WWE’s fifth trip to Saudi Arabia under the current WWE-Saudi deal. The last trip was in October for Crown Jewel. The show was notable for a number of reasons, notably the first women’s match in the kingdom with Lacey Evans loosing out to Natalya. Another reason the last trip won’t be forgotten in a hurry is the issues WWE had getting their personelle back after the show. In a surprising turn of events most of the SmackDown roster was left stranded on the runway in Saudi Arabia while WWE scrambled to air a show on Friday night. It will be interesting to see if WWE takes steps to ensure SmackDown is unaffected in case the mysterious mechanical issues rear their head again.

JINDER MAHAL TEASES RETURN

Former WWE champion, Jinder Mahal has been busy teasign his in ring return. The star has been dealing with the aftermarth of surgery following a ruptured tendon in his knee.

Posting on his instagram account, the star wrote:

Be back soon 🤫… who’s going to try the hang clean high pull? (for the exercise police, this is not an upright row), #TheExperiment is back on.

ELIAS SIGNS MULTI YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

Announced on last night’s WWE Backstage, Elias has signed a multi-year contract extension with the WWE.

Ryan Satin broke the news, Elias has been with the WWE since 2014, working his way up from enhancement talent to one of the bigger main roster draws.

FLIP GORDON VS. NICK ALDIS BOOKED FOR NWA HARD TIMES

The NWA has announced that Nick Aldis will face a member of Villain Enterprises at the upcoming Hard Times pay per view.

Flip Vs. Nick is being booked as an interpromotional match between the NWA and ROH. It wasn’t mentioned if the Nick’s NWA Worlds Heavyweight title will be on the line or not.

Nick and Marty Scurll have reignited their feud over revent weeks. At the NWA’s first pay per view, into the fire, Marty came down at the end of the show to confront a shocked Nick Aldis. Fast forward to ROH’s Saturday Night at Center Stage and Nick returned the favour with interest, coming through the crowd to attack and layout Marty Scurll.

EL PHANTASMO ANNOUNCED FOR ROH’S SUPERCARD OF HONOR XIV

ROH has announced that El Phantasmo will be competing at the upcoming inter promotional event, Supercard of Honor XIV.

Phantasmo is the second NJPW star to be announced for the event after Jay White, another Bullet Club member. From the ROH website:

Star-studded factions Villain Enterprises (ROH World Champion PCO, “The Villain” Marty Scurll, Brody King and “The Mercenary” Flip Gordon) and La Facción Ingobernable (RUSH, ROH World Television Champion Dragon Lee, Kenny King and Amy Rose) will appear at Supercard of Honor, as will recent signees and international stars Slex and Session Moth Martina, to name just a few.

NJPW ADD LION’S BREAK PROJECT 3 TO WRESTLECON

NJPW has announced that they will be running their third Lion’s Break project over WrestleMania weekend at WrestleCon.

Five names have already been confirmed for the show, they are:

  • Ren Narita
  • Karl Fredericks
  • Clark Connors
  • Alex Coughlin
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi

The Lion’s Break projects are designed to showcase up and coming talent alongside more established names in NJPW. This is the first time the event isn’t to be held at CharaExpo USA.

Other NJPW stars have been announced for WrestleCon, including Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi, they won’t be taking place in the Lion’s Break showcase at this time though. NJPW have promised more information closer to the time.

IMPACT WRESTLING ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF LOCKDOWN

Last night Impact Wrestling revealed that they were to revive the LockDown pay per view.

The last time LockDown aired was January 2016. This year the event will be held on March 28. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, at this point no matches or stars have been confirmed for the event.

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