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WWE hit the jackpot with signings of Ricochet, War Machine & Candice LeRae

With standout moments in NXT, the future is bright for these former independent stars

It was just a few months ago when WWE announced the signings of some of the top independent wrestling stars in the world. Champions wherever they have gone, many feared that they would be lost in the shuffle upon entering the big ocean that is WWE. Fortunately for them, NXT has become a launching pad for the new chapter in their lives.

Let us take a look how these signings have done since joining WWE via NXT, shall we?

War Machine/Raiders

Remember The Highlanders? Imagine them, but more athletic and with a bigger attitude. Previously known as War Machine, Hanson and Rowe are a terrifying but electric force. When rumors were swirling that the group would be going through a name change, there was outrage by wrestling fans everywhere.

It is safe to say that that anger has subsided.

Since debuting on NXT, the now War Raiders have stuck out in what is an already crowded NXT tag team scene. Their different styles compliment one another and gets the crowd going. While it has been quiet on their end for a bit, things are starting to heat up. If things go according to plan, they could be winning NXT tag team gold by the end of the year.

Candice LeRae

Mrs. Wrestling is more than just Johnny Gargano’s wife. If anyone has followed her work outside of WWE, they know she is a badass in every sense of the word. After all, she is the only woman to hold the PWG Tag Team Titles.

While she has been in interesting storylines surrounding the NXT Title, you can’t help but wonder if there is more Candice can do. Since the Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa storyline has ended, it appears that Candice is back to doing what she does best; wrestling. She has already impressed with matches against Zelina Vega, Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler, along with her work in the Mae Young Classic. Now that the chains appear to be off, a motivated LeRae might be the women of NXT’s worst nightmare.


If you were to build a roster based off of talent alone, Ricochet would be one of the first guy’s you would call. Known for his work in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Chikara and New Japan Pro Wrestling, one would say he really broke out as Prince Puma in Lucha Underground. Whatever it was, WWE knew they had to have him.

Able to use the name he was famous for in the independents, Ricochet’s stock was skyrocketed to the moon right off the bat. From the moment he debuted on NXT, he has been competing in high-profile matches. Make sure you check out his debut match in the six-person ladder match at NXT takeOver: New Orleans. Just recently he won the NXT North American Title from Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.

By far the most accomplished wrestler on this list at the moment, Ricochet has already had memorable matches with Velveteen Dream, Pete Dunne and Adam Cole. The sky is the limit for the durable Ricochet.

The next few months should be a big one for NXT. With talent leaving for the main roster and a potential TV deal on the horizon, the talent discussed might end up being the the future of the brand.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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