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‘American Ninja Warrior’ Kacy Catanzaro Joins WWE Roster

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WWE has had many warriors throughout its history from the Ultimate Warrior to “the Modern Day Warrior” Kerry Von Erich to the Road Warriors. The newest warrior to join their ranks is an American Ninja Warrior alumna Kacy Catanzaro.

WWE announced Catanzaro had reported to the WWE Performance Center. 

It has been a big week for the Performance Center and WWE. Catanzaro arrives at the facility just days after WWE announced it signed talents Candice LeRae, Ricochet and War Machine – Raymond Rowe and Hanson. The company also announced that Jordanian professional wrestler Shadia Bseiso and Kuwait athlete Nasser Al Ruwayeh started at the Performance Center.

This is an impressive signing for WWE in terms of bringing in an athlete with a diverse background. Catanzaro became the first woman to complete the warped wall obstacle course on “American Ninja Warrior.” Prior to etching her name in ANW history, she was a former Division I gymnast and made the list of Sports Illustrated’s “Most Fit Female Athletes in Sports” on two occasions.

Catanzaro also participated in a workout the Performance Center last January and was in attendance at the Mae Young Classic.

During the workout, Catanzaro said training in a WWE ring was unlike anything she had experienced in her athletic career. However, she felt her backgrounds in gymnastics and obstacle course racing would be a big advantage for in WWE both mentally and physically. She also appreciated the women’s movement that was happening, not only in WWE, but sports in general.

Some fans may sour on the idea of Catanzaro receiving an opportunity to train at the Performance Center and become a WWE Superstar because she has no prior professional wrestling experience.

There have been numerous athletes through the history of professional wrestling who have come in with no pro wrestling experience but have learned and proven themselves and become good workers. Everyone has to start from somewhere and fans should give Catanzaro a chance to shine and prove herself.

Where she may lack in the experience department, she comes into the squared circle with an impressive athletic background, charisma and a cool backstory.

Her background in obstacle course racing could make her standout from other wrestlers. She could base her in-ring skills around a mix of high flying moves and strength, but have the endurance and flexibility to take on a strong opponent.  

Speaking of the WWE Performance Center, Wrestling Inc. issued a report – via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter – that former TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III was seen at the Performance Center this week. Carter – also known as EC 3 – recently finished his run in Impact Wrestling.

There arerumors that Carter is going to make a return to WWE, and there is a possibility he may appear in the Royal Rumble on Jan. 28. There’s no word if he will use his old name of Derrick Bateman, which was his sports entertainer handle before he left the company, or if he will go by EC3, as he owns the rights.

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 7, 2019

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The Good

For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental championship was a great match and a good way to end this rivalry and move forward with both competitors. Ambrose ended up winning after Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked Rollins. This made sense as the show opened with Rollins and Lashley brawling and these two have been at each other for the past few weeks. What’s really good to take out of this is now Rollins can focus on the Royal Rumble and Ambrose can focus on who is next contender is for his championship.

For Smackdown, the push for Shane McMahon and The Miz to go for the tag team championship was an entertaining way to help build this match up at the Royal Rumble. After Shane expressed aggressiveness and prove worthiness to earn a championship match, the Miz tried to impress him by going out there and challenging the Bar to that match by himself. The challenge was accepted and even though that isn’t what Shane meant, they are getting the match that wanted when they first formed.

The Bad

For Raw, the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar “face to face” segment fell flat. Strowman struggled on his delivery of insults to Lesnar, and the “face to face” was more of just Lesnar walking around the ring over and over again without getting in Strowman’s face. At this point, anybody but Brock Lesnar needs to hold the Universal championship in order to give it a more important feel. 

For Smackdown, there was nothing they had that was really too bad. Smackdown was able to give proper time for all the rivalries they are building up. 

The Final Verdict

Smackdown has been hitting on all the right cylinders with their shows for a while now. Once they establish a championship match for the PPV, they give proper buildup and interesting scenarios for each one. Along with that, when Smackdown wants to build up a rivalry just for their show, they are able to do that effectively as well. While Raw does try to do the same, there segments and matches just don’t have the spark that Smackdown is able to deliver. So, with that said, Smackdown had the better show this week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is one of the big 4 PPV’s for the year of 2019 for WWE, and so far it looks like everything is going right for Smackdown while Raw is still trying to find their footing.

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Nikki Cross Posts Farewell to NXT

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WWE superstar Nikki Cross is on her way to the main roster, looking likely to land on the SmackDown roster.

Cross posted the following farewell to NXT, where he has spent the past few years, on her social media page:

See you down the road @WWENXT
This isn’t goodbye…we caused far too much mischief and had too much fun doing it for this to be it… pic.twitter.com/0Fk8wEEUzX— Nikki Cross (@NikkiCrossWWE) January 10, 2019

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Matt Hardy Hinting at In-Ring Return

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Matt Hardy may not be done wrestling after all.

The WWE superstar, and future WWE Hall of Famer, had been rumored to been winding down his career and transitioning to a backstage role in 2018 as he was dealing with a number of nagging injuries.

Hardy also posted a couple of videos, and posts on social media, that echoed those intentions, at least they appeared to.

Now, Hardy seems to be hinting at an in-ring return in WWE.

Excited to check out the 1st #RAW of 2019 tonight, especially with all the interesting things that are advertised. Most importantly, I need to see where all the pieces are positioned & moving to on the @WWE chess board.

ALMOST TIME TO GET BACK INTO THE GREAT GAME…. AGEEN! pic.twitter.com/WFXeCiHb1h— #WOKEN, yet #BROKEN, Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) January 8, 2019

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