Hardcore followers of independent wrestling know of this man – Kevin Steen.
Steen has made the round for many years across the Indy circuit. H’s competed internationally and captured several championships along the way. WWE has taken notice Steen’s immense talent and have awarded him with a WWE contract. Soon enough, non-fans will become diehard fans once they see Kevin Steen in action on NXT and beyond.
Here’s everything you need to know about Steen and his newest venture – wrestling for World Wrestling Entertainment.
1. Steen Actually Signed with the WWE Weeks Before His Photo with Triple H Surfaced
PWInsider.com reported that Kevin Steen officially signed on to compete for the WWE weeks before his pic with Triple H hit the web. Steen also reportedly passed his medical testing for the company sometime in June. It turns out that Steen’s photo-op with Triple H was shot a few short months back as well.
As for when Steen will be reporting for training down in WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, he isn’t there as of yet. He will be making his way down there around September 2014.
2. Steen Owes His Signing with the WWE to William Regal
During an interview with WWE.com, Steen spoke about what factors led to him landing on WWE’s radar. He mentioned William Regal as someone who took notice of his -in-ring talent, which led to him attending a WWE tryout:
William Regal came to a wrestling show I was taking part in in California almost a year ago exactly, I believe it was Aug. 31 of last year, and it was for PWG, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. The match I had that night, I think did a lot. I had never met William Regal before; I didn’t know him at all. I had great respect for him already; he’s actually been one of my favorite wrestlers for quite some time. To have him watch my match and take the time to tell me what he thought and give me advice was already great, but then a couple days later, I was contacted to see if I wanted to be part of a tryout camp. Just to have somebody like William Regal have enough esteem for me to go as far as to actually recommend me for a tryout meant a lot. Then I went to the tryout camp and I got through it, and what made me stand out were the promos, where we basically had to sell ourselves verbally. That’s always been one of my strong suits — the way I talk and what I say. I make it count, and I think that went pretty far in getting me to where I am now.
It’s unsurprising that Regal took such a liking to Steen. Fans have also become huge followers of Steen’s work as well due to his intense promo style and surprising mobility for such a big man. For fans who want to get a glimpse at Steen’s in-ring prowess, check out his career highlights video above.
3. One of Steen’s Final Performances Took Place in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
Kevin Steen went on a sort-of farewell tour during his final months as an independent wrestler. One of his final performances took place at PWG’s ELEVEN event. He participated in a singles match against Trevor Lee. You can check out some highlights of the show that features this bout in the video posted above.
4. During His Final Ring of Honor Appearance, He Wrestled Against One of His Best Friends and Gave His Farewell Speech
Steen was a mainstay in ROH. His final match with the company was with a man he considered one of his best friends in the wrestling business, Steve Corino. You can watch the entirety of Steen’s final ROH speech to the fans and locker room above.
5. Steen is Joining Several Other Notable Wrestling Talents in NXT
Steen will be joining several fellow international and independent wrestling talents in NXT – Sami Zayn (who formerly competed as Steen’s tag team partner El Generico), Fergal Devitt, KENTA and Kalisto.