WWE.com announced a trio of internationally renowned Superstars have reported for training at the WWE Performance Center. Alongside recently announced NXT signee Kushida, Stephon Strickland, a breakout star from the American independent scene better known to ring fans as Shane “Swerve” Strickland, and third-generation Luchador Humberto Garza, aka Garza Jr., began this week at WWE’s training facility in Orlando.
With these 3 wrestlers, WWE is bringing some of the best free agents in the business today, true legends in their own styles, high-flying death-defying athleticism for Strickland, MMA for Kushida, and Lucha Libre for Garza Jr. If we already wrote a long and detailed piece on Kushida, who appeared at NXT TakeOver: New York, where his arrival was widely commented, let’s take a closer look at the2 other signees.
Impact Wrestling fans may remember how, in 2017, my eye candy of the week was Garza Jr. ripping his pants off… But it was 2017… At only 26, Garza Jr. is a true high-flyer. Alongside Mexican wrestler Laredo Kid, made his surprise debut for Impact Wrestling at their TV show taping on March 2, 2017. They teamed up in a tag team tournament for the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championships. After Laredo Kid left, he was involved in a few X-Division matches, before leaving by the end of 2017.
To quote WWE, “Garza comes to the WWE Performance Center as a representative of one of Mexico’s most famous wrestling dynasties. The grandson of luchador El Ninja, nephew of former WCW Superstar Hector Garza and cousin of NXT and 205 Live Superstar Humberto Carrillo, Humberto Garza made his in-ring debut in 2008, while still a teenager. Standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 212 pounds, the high-flying Garza has competed for AAA and The Crash in Mexico, NOAH in Japan and numerous indies in the U.S.”
Lucha Underground fans know exactly who Shane Strickland is. Under the mask of Killshot, the high-flyer literally blew the mind of wrestling fans when he competed against Dante Fox in a bloody and brutal Three Stages of Hell match at Ultima Lucha Tres. On October 5, 2017, he debuted in the main event of Major League Wrestling’s 2017 rebirth show, One-Shot, where Strickland defeated now RAW Superstar Ricochet. He quickly became the company’s World Champion, before leaving earlier this year.
To quote WWE, “from Tacoma, Wash., the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Strickland is a fleetfooted competitor with show-stealing potential. Known for his fluidity inside the squared circle, Strickland is a sudden striker who is also well versed in the submission game, having trained in hand-to-to hand combat during his time in the U.S. Army Reserves. Strickland won a trove of championships during his rise through the indie ranks, at one point serving as the top champion for three different promotions simultaneously. He counts the EVOLVE, Combat Zone Wrestling and Major League Wrestling championships among his past accolades.”
All pics courtesy of WWE.com