In addition to the many names, we have already discussed coming into WWE, or names that would like to come to WWE, we can add a few more. Chelsea Green, the girlfriend of Zack Ryder, is looking to head to NXT. Chelsea finished up her contractual obligations with Impact over the weekend. Chelsea showed a lot of different dimensions in characters in Impact and I feel there is plenty of space for her to continue to develop in NXT.
Bobby Lashley is a much different story, while the next logical step for Bobby at his age is only WWE; both sides may have difficulties coming to terms. Bobby left WWE on bad terms and at the time Vince was very, very high on Bobby. He was in the middle of pushing Lashley to the moon. Vince has always been infatuated with the very muscular and large men. Bobby has much more experience now as a businessman, as well as a professional athlete. While Bobby's age has caught up with him in the world of MMA, Bobby still has many miles left on that body in pro wrestling. While time typically heals all wounds, this one will be interesting to follow.
Tom's Take: This one from me is pretty easy, it's been near a decade and Vince loved Bobby before he will bury the hatchet and love him again.
EC3, as well as WWE, have a mutual interest in each other.
While I have no information in regards to meetings or calls made from either party, I think it is safe to say he is on his way as well. Rockstar Spun recently sent out a tweet in regards to he and EC3 hinting at heading to WWE as did Dixie Carter.
War Machine, Richotte, and Caddice LeRae will all be reporting to Orlando within the next 48 hours. I would expect WWE to do a press release in regards to these signings.
WNW was the first to report that Richotte and then War Machine were headed to WWE. Caddice LeRae signing was speculated, but not finalized until recently. While Richotte has already been at WWE events as well as met producers on the main roster. We exclusively reported Richotte finalizing his deal.
It will be interesting to see if WWE allows some of these new signings to keep the names they were using in the independents or if they'll get a new WWE name, like many others do.
Tom's Take: In this day and age I'm doubting War Machine will be kept War Machine. I absolutely could be wrong, however, WWE does their best to stay away from the term "war" and I do not see an exception being made with them. Richotte I feel has a better chance of using that name as it tells a story of his in-ring style, as well as the fact he used Prince Puma in Lucha Underground so WWE does not have to worry about and rights in that way.
All four are main roster ready, however, WWE would like to bring up Authors of Pain and the very likely scenario here is that the formerly known War Machine runs AOP to the main roster. Richotte is a can't miss talent and the idea, as of now, is that WWE needs more talent in NXT and towards the top to help to sell tickets in the touring cites. Richotte has also made a body transformation over the last few months and as packed on some lean muscle on his body. He was working at around 180-190lbs before, I think its safe to assume he is near 210 now...and yes over 205 for those that will be asking.
Before I get into the updated NXT plans, and potential spoilers, I would like to touch on Impact. With the new face left on Impact many fans are hesitant to give the company another chance and with their track record, no one can blame them. That being said Callis and D'Amore are transforming the talent roster currently and that is why you are seeing many leave the company, not because they are fearing the direction is worse now than it was before. Callis is going to get talent that not only will be an "easy draw" but that he can build around. The next 6 months of the company may be the most critical.
WWE is beginning to lay out NXT plans for, not only Takeover/Rumble weekend, but as well for their big plans for WrestleMania. At the time of writing, WWE is strongly considering having an NXT big match on the Wrestlemania show itself. This was originally discussed back in November and has picked up traction. WWE officials feel putting a big NXT match on the Wrestlemania show will not only bring eyes to NXT, but it will also provide a high in-ring work rate match for some of the die-hards traveling to WrestleMania can see. Once again, WNW will be live from Wrestlemania all weekend long with EXCLUSIVE on the scene coverage.
NXT is going into the Rumble Takeover with the idea that if Ciampa is cleared one of the main matches at NXT Takeover Mania would be the grudge match between Ciampa and Johnny. The could go two ways at Rumble Takeover which has been discussed, which is Ciampa costing Johnny the NXT title or Johnny winning the title and then going on to defend it against Ciampa at Takeover Mania. There are a lot of moving parts here as Ciampa is not yet cleared and would not be until at or around February. They could take the gamble after he see's doctors to his recovery.
Cole and Black is a much different story, as Black beat Cole in the title tournament and then Black went on to lose his undefeated streak as well in the tournament. Neither guy can really afford another loss at this time, especially on a big show. It has been discussed adding another person to CFO which would help Cole beat black. In the event they go with Black winning they then could go Black vs. Alamas for the NXT title Wrestlemania weekend, if Almas does not lose to Johnny. The match is an extreme rules match which gives them many outs for the finish.
Kaira Sane vs. Ember Moon was originally planned for Mania Takeover, however, with Kaira being banged up and recovering the big Bazler push has happened which gives them different directions.
The former War Machine vs. AOP is already in the plans for Mania Takeover, as well as the debut match for Richotte.