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Ricochet, Candice LeRae, War Machine Will Bolster NXT Roster

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Professional wrestlers Ricochet, Candice LeRae, War Machine – Raymond Rowe and Hanson – are wasting no time in starting their tenure with WWE.

On their website, WWE and NXT social media posted pictures of all four wrestlers’s first day at the Performance Center, sporting T-shirts “Property of WWE Performance Center.” The images come off the heels of the company announcing the signing of all four wrestlers to contracts.

Both Ricochet and War Machine said their farewells at events over the weekend and LeRae will make her final indie appearance at Bar Wrestling’s Happily Ever After event in Baldwin Park, California on Jan. 18.

To say these recent signings are “good gets,” by the WWE is an understatement as all four wrestlers coming into the promotion are regarded as the best in the ring. They come in with a lot of experience, wrestling for companies all around the world, numerous championships and massive fan followings.

The NXT and WWE universes had a glimpse of LeRae during the Mae Young Classic and her appearances in Full Sail University, but they may not know much of Ricochet or War Machine.

It’s going to be a new experience for many fans and while the next few weeks may be a good opportunity for folks to watch videos of all four wrestlers in order to get acclimated with their work, it might be good idea for them to wait until the competitors make their NXT debuts so as have that authentic experience of seeing all four wrestlers perform for the first time in a WWE ring. 

All four wrestlers bring qualities and attributes to NXT that will not only let them showcase their talents, but also help boost the brand’s singles and tag team divisions.

Ricochet is regarded as one of the greatest high flying wrestlers of his generation. There is no one in NXT – or the WWE for that matter – who can move like him, which will allow him to stand out from the other superstars. His style will mesh well with the other wrestlers on the brand.

He’ll also have the NXT crowd eating out of the palm of his hands, which means he could be a babyface when he makes his NXT debut. Potential opponents for Ricochet in his first few months of NXT could include Lars Sullivan and Velveteen Dream. He could also mix it up with the likes of Aleister Black or Roderick Strong.

As for War Machine, fans will argue that NXT already has a couple of big man tag teams like former titleholders the Authors of Pain and Heavy Machinery. War Machine is different in that they have spent years as a team and traveled the world together.

They’re ferocious and intimidating. They have power but are also agile. It will be fun for fans to watch War Machine face off against the AOP and Heavy Machinery – even SaniTY. They will also be good opponents for smaller teams like Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli and the Undisputed Era.

LeRae brings a different dynamic to the NXT women’s division. She has made a career out of battling some of the toughest women and men in professional wrestling – and found success with superstar tag team partner Joey Ryan.

There are some critics who are worried about LeRae being in NXT because of the stigma of intergender wrestling and her association with it. That doesn’t means she cannot interact with male talent. Fans would love to see her kick the snot out of a chicken heel like Adam Cole. Another way to display LeRae’s toughness would be to match her up against Shayna Baszler, who eliminated her from the Mae Young Classic.

The Queen of Spades will fight you just as hard as anyone, male or female. A match between Baszler and LeRae – given the right amount of time – would a display of hard-hitting action where a dominant heel would try her best to destroy the babyface who keeps getting back up.

Fantasy booking aside, WWE really acquired some great talent in Ricochet, LeRae and War Machine. When the four make their respective NXT debuts, the world will be watching.

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Tommaso Ciampa Undergoes Successful Surgery

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NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa has undergone successful neck surgery this past Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama, according to WWE.

Ciampa is expected to miss 3-6 months as he recovers from the surgery.

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Ricochet to be Featured on RAW and SmackDown for Time Being

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NXT superstar Ricochet made his surprising main roster debut last week during RAW and his debut on SmackDown the following night, and at least until after WrestleMania 35, he will be featured on both shows.

“I will be on RAW and SmackDown going forward,” Ricochet said, according to WPSD Local 6. “At least until after ‘Mania. After ‘Mania it’s gonna be one or the other, I’m assuming, I don’t know. But, that’s what I’m assuming. But yes, going forward, I am now an official member of RAW and/or SmackDown.”

In celebration of his ascension to the main roster, over 60 of his friends and family held a surprise party to commemorate the milestone.

“This [surprise party] was beyond amazing, It was awesome, Ricochet recalled.

“I got to see family, friends, people I haven’t seen in a long time. I was honestly surprised when I walked in, this was great. It just makes you happy to see that many people care. Whether it is close friends you have known since you were three years old, or people maybe you have never met, it is just cool that you can inspire so many people. Doesn’t matter where you are from, you can live your dream.”

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? February 18, 2019

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The Good

For Raw, they opened the show by saying that a bunch of NXT superstars will make their debuts on the show. This list included Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black, Tomasso Ciampa, and Ricochet. While Gargano, Ciampa, and Ricochet all made their debuts through tag matches, Aleister Black got his singles debut against Elias. It was a solid match which Black won, and helped establish him as a threat for the future.

For Smackdown, we got to see Ricochet’s singles debut and it was great. He defeated Eric Young in a few minutes. His athleticism and high flying ability is entertaining to watch from start to beginning. Hopefully, he makes his way up to the top quickly because he is one the best things going forward for WWE.

The Bad

For Raw, the segment between Lacey Evans and Heavy Machinery felt like a waste of time. During an interview with Heavy Machinery, Evans came out, walked up and down the entrance aisle, then made Heavy Machinery do it. They did so and then the segment ended. This literally felt like WWE just threw that in there to kill time for their show.

For Smackdown, while we finally got to see Asuka on Smackdown since the Royal Rumble, we still have yet to see R-Truth for the past few weeks. It really feels like WWE just flat out doesn’t care about the United States Championship at all.

The Final Verdict

With Elimination Chamber done and Fastlane the next PPV up, WWE needed to ramp the focus to that. With the sudden announcement of NXT superstars making their debuts this week, there was some confusion within WWE’s storytelling. For example, Bobby Lashley for some reason helped out Baron Corbin in his match against Braun Strowman at Elimination Chamber. But, when it came to Corbin’s tables match against Strowman to start Raw, he was nowhere to be found. With that said, I will have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week too. We got build up for Fastlane main event as well as other matches on that PPV. While Raw, still is trying to figure out what to do for that show.

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