WWE announced its latest class of recruits for the WWE Performance Center on Wednesday, featuring a pair of stars independent wrestling fans are likely familiar with.
The headlining pick was Austin Theory, reigning EVOLVE Champion. Theory has been locking horns with various NXT stars over the past year and has been circled as a future star for a while.
"Hailing from McDonough, Ga., White already has experience facing top NXT Superstars as part of the black-and-gold brand's relationship with EVOLVE Wrestling," WWE.com wrote in their description of Theory. "He won the EVOLVE Title from Fabian Aichner last December in a Triple Threat Match that also featured Roderick Strong, and has since battled the likes of Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano at EVOLVE events. He also made his WWE Network debut in July, defeating JD Drake to win the WWN Title at the EVOLVE 10th Anniversary Celebration."
Another notable pickup was Santana Garrett, who has previous appeared on NXT television and competed in the first Mae Young Classic tournament back in 2017.
"Since making her in-ring debut, Garrett has accumulated many titles and accolades, including winning the Cauliflower Alley Club's Future Legend Award in 2014, a distinction once bestowed upon Kurt Angle," Garrett's description read. "She was inspired to pursue sports-entertainment by her father, former wrestler 'TNT' Keny G, and has been mentored by WWE Hall of Famers like Scott Hall and Larry Zbyszko."
Other signees include Tehuti Miles. Ed Nduka, Aleksandar Jaksic, Briana Brandy, Rita Reis, Marcos Gomes and Catalina Garcia.
The WWE also announced that veteran Japanese wrestler Kendo Kashin (Tokimitsu Ishizawa) has signed on to be a coach at the Performance Center. As a wrestler Kashin competed in promotions like New Japan (winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship twice and the Best of the Super Juniors in 1999), All Japan (a three-time World Junior Heavyweight Champion) and Ring of Honor. He also doubled as a mixed martial arts fighter, competing in the now-defunct Pride promotion.
Kashin was a guest coach at the PC back in February, where he ran into one of his old students in Finn Balor.
Full Circle ⭕️— Finn Bálor forEVERYone (@FinnBalor) February 7, 2019
With my first Japanese Coach Kendo Kashin at the WWE Performance Center today pic.twitter.com/By3LTsKwaR