New talent joining WWE roster?
The new year kicks off with big rumours of performers who may be setting their sights on signing with The Big Fed.
Credible sources report that superstars AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson all gave their notices to New Japan Pro Wrestling on Monday and could be WWE-bound.
The news was broken first on Court Bauer’s MLW Radio program, and was later confirmed and discussed by Dave Meltzer for the Wrestling Observer.
Reports from the Observer initially stated that Styles had already signed a deal with WWE. Those reports were later updated.
As Mike Johnson for PWInsider reports, “… no sources within WWE or even outside of it, have been able to confirm that, as of this evening, there have been any signings to any of these talents.”
Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson, born Chad Allegra, began his training in Ohio in 2000 and made his in-ring debut in 2002.
From 2002 to 2006, Anderson wrestled largely for Northern Wrestling Federation, becoming a two-time NWF Champion.
After getting noticed by Dave Marquez at an NWA Convention, Anderson moved to Los Angeles to train in New Japan’s dojo. He competed for a number of promotions, including Ring Of Honor (ROH) and Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG).
His career reached new heights when he began wrestling for NJPW. In 2013, he formed a stable with Prince Devitt (aka Finn Balor), Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale. The group of heels became known as “The Bullet Club”.
Doc Gallows was born Andrew Hankinson. He began wrestling in West Virginia and Pennsylvania before getting signed to WWE in 2005.
He first appeared as “Imposter Kane” in 2006. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Hankinson wrestled as Festus, a mentally challenged giant.
In 2009, Festus was repackaged as Luke Gallows. He became a devout follower in CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society, protecting Punk and competing alongside him as a tag team. He was released from WWE on November 19, 2010.
Since then, he’s worked for TNA and independent circuits, and debuted for NJPW in November 2013. He became the newest member of the Bullet Club. He teamed with Karl Anderson, and together they became IWGP Tag Team Champions on three occasions.
January 4th, 2016: Gallows and Anderson dropped the tag titles to Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 10. Hours later, they announced their departure from the company.
Shinsuke Nakamura joined NPJW in 2002. Since then, he has become one of the greatest. That’s as simple as it gets.
One of New Japan’s living legends. Boasting over a dozen championship reigns, not to mention an MMA record of 3-1-1, Nakamura was #5 in PWI’s Top 500 in 2015, out-ranked only by Seth Rollins, John Cena, AJ Styles and Roman Reigns.
He is currently on his fifth reign as IWGP Intercontinental Champion. His last title defense was january 4th, 2016 against AJ Styles.
AJ Styles. Born Allan Neal Jones. Debuted in 1998 for National Championship Wrestling (NCW) and became Television Champion within a year.
For the last fifteen years, Styles has become a multitudinous champion in NWA, ROH, TNA and NJPW. He was one of the original TNA stars, became one of its most decorated champions, and left the company in 2013.
In 2014, Styles replaced Prince Devitt as the leader of Bullet Club. He was until recently pursuing Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
Reports indicate Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson are expected to honour their Ring Of Honor dates in Las Vegas in February.
Styles has been removed from ROH advertisements and appears to be free of obligations to any promotion at the moment.
Earlier today, Wrestlezone Radio contributor and Pro Wrestling Sheet editor-in-chief Ryan Satin reported there is a definite offer on the table for Styles, and a similar situation exists for the others.
The news of these names possibly joining the WWE roster has sent waves through the wrestling community.
Developments of this kind are promising at a time when WWE ratings, seat sales and subscribers has gone way down.