WWE (NYSE: WWE) announced that a new, international class of 11 recruits -- including former collegiate athletes, bodybuilders and talent from the independent wrestling circuit -- from seven countries have started training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
The WWE Performance Center is the home of NXT, the developmental division and brand extension for WWE. With seven training rings, a world-class strength and conditioning program and cutting-edge edit and production facilities, the Performance Center will allow the new class to hone their skills through a comprehensive program that includes in-ring training, physical preparedness and character development.
“The global reach of WWE is reflected in the diversity of this class of NXT recruits,” Paul Triple H Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative, said in a release. “Talent is the most important natural resource we have, and these individuals will have every opportunity to hone their skills and fulfill their dream of becoming a WWE Superstar or Diva at the WWE Performance Center.”
The new NXT class includes:
· Cassie McIntosh (Born in Sydney, resides in Melbourne, Australia) – Trained with Pro Wrestling Alliance in Sydney since 2011. In 2012, was trained by Lance Storm, a former WWE Superstar who now runs the Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Proficient in dance and acrobatics.
· Jessica McKay (Sydney, Australia) – Since 2008, has trained with Pro Wrestling Alliance in Sydney, as well as Ring of Honor.
· Nhooph Al-Areebi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – Trained with Squared Circle since 2011 and was a member of the Toronto Circus School from 2008-2012. Also trained in rhythmic gymnastics. Speaks English and Arabic.
· Axel Tischer (Dresdan, Germany) – Trained with GWF Wrestling in Berlin since 2006. Served in the German Army from 2005-2007, achieving the rank of Private First Class.
· Oscar Vasquez (Ciudad Juarez, Mexico) – Trained in Juarez in Lucha Libre style of wrestling. Worked with CWF Mid-Atlantic. Dual citizen of Mexico and the United States.
· Radomir Petkovic (Belgrade, Serbia) – European Vice Champion at the 2010 European Wrestling Championships and was a two-time bronze medalist at 2009 Mediterranean Games in Greco-Roman and Freestyle. Speaks Russian and English.
· Peter Howard (Exeter, England) – Played collegiate Rugby in the UK and was a regional Discus Champion.
· Kenneth Crawford (Chicago, Illinois/Anson County, North Carolina) – Served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and accumulated a perfect 300 score in the United States Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test. Holds the North Carolina South Piedmont and Anson high school records in the 200-meter run, 400 meter and 1,600 relay. Anson High School Athlete of the Year in 2007.
· Thomas Kingdon (Traverse City, Michigan) – Competed in Amateur Bodybuilding and won the Super Heavyweight Class at the 2013 NPC Central States Competition.
· Sesugh Uhaa (Atlanta, Georgia) – High School Soccer, Football and Track&Field star. Began training in 2009 and worked for Dragon Gate USA.
· Levis Valenzuela Jr. (Durham, North Carolina) – Trained with CWF Mid-Atlantic in 2013. Proficient in dance and won various awards for collegiate ballroom dancing. Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from UNC Charlotte. Grew up in the United States, lived in South Korea from 2011-2013 and speaks Spanish.
The new class will join a group of 55 men and women training at the state-of-the-art, 26,000 square-foot WWE Performance Center. The venue offers a full training experience with real time feedback from outstanding WWE coaches, trainers and doctors, giving performers the resources they need to develop their talent -- athletically and creatively.
Additionally, recruits will be immersed in WWE’s Professional Development program that focuses on four key pillars of development – Life Skills, Education, Wellness, Career Success.
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