WWE News On NXT, FCW, Name Changes, New Talent & More

The current Florida Championship Wrestling champion, Mason Ryan (real name Barri Griffiths) has told people he thought he was far too green and did not deserve to be given the title. He is a Welsh and has a similar physique to Batista. A lot of people like him because of his respectful attitude. He is expected to be called up for the next season of NXT.

Austin Watson, formerly Consequences Creed in TNA, was given a name change to avoid confusion with Percy Watson. He is now Xavier Woods, a combination of Xavier McDaniel and Tiger Woods. He is also expected to be on NXT soon.

A number of other name changes were also handed out. Celeste, a bikini model from Texas, had her name changed to avoid confusion with the UFC Octagon Girl. She is now Ricki Vaughan (in the ’80s there was an Oregon wrestler named Ricky Vaughan who later became known as Lance Von Erich). Joe Anoa’i was given the name Roman Leakee. Phil Friedman, a former MMA heavyweight fighter, is now James Bronson (a blend of the actors James Brolin and Charles Bronson). Shane Canterbury, son of the former Henry Godwinn, is now Buck Dixon. Bill Carr, who has a similar look to the Big Bossman, is now Bobby Dutch. Fady Madani is now Fadh Rakman (after the former heavyweight boxer Hasim Rahman).

John Laurinaitis auditioned a group of models in Los Angeles during the SummerSlam week, seeking ones that could prospectively be trained to become wrestlers. All candidates are to be 18-25 years old. Laurinaitis has also told agents that WWE is only interested in hiring women who can be deemed attractive enough to get into Playboy. The third season of NXT is rumoured to feature 4 male and 4 female rookies, hence there is an urgency to hire more potential Divas.

Meanwhile, Andrew Leavine, a four-year starting lineman at Florida International University, has signed a developmental deal. He is 22 years old, 6-5 and 292 pounds, from Brooksville, FL. Brooksville has a population of just 7,200 yet Leavine is the third resident to be under a WWE contract after the Rotuna Brothers (Husky Harris and Bo Rotundo). Leavine graduated with a degree in Parks & Recreation in April and signed as a free agent for the Miami Dolphins but was cut in mini-camp. He refused offers from Arena and Canadian Football League teams due to having a wife and child, since he feels he needs something with greater potential future. He wrestled in high school but did not place in the state meet.

Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 23 August 2010 (subscribe here)

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