One of WWE's most anticipated signings in recent years made his in-ring debut for the company on Friday night in Atlanta.
WWE NXT was filming another night of television at Center Stage, home to many WCW television tapings in the past. At last night's tapings, the brand surprised fans when they announced that the Dusty Rhodes Classic tag team tournament would be returning in 2018 for the first time in two years. At Friday night's tapings, they had yet another surprise.
Ricochet (real name Trevor Mann) had his first official match for WWE since beginning training at the WWE Performance Center in January. He wrestled Fabian Aichner and won via the 630 Splash. The match is expected to air on March 7th. You can see a photo and gif below courtesy of Twitter.
Also of note is that WWE allowed him to keep the name that he made famous while working on the indepenents and in New Japan. In the past, WWE always liked to change performer's names to claim ownership (see: Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami, and Sami Zayn), but the company seems to have softened on that stance recently.
Triple H also talked up Ricochet's WWE NXT debut on Twitter.
Ricochet has been one of the most exciting performers in wrestling for several years now. His match with Will Ospreay in New Japan Pro Wrestling during the summer of 2016 became the talk of the industry, and he was already putting out great matches for a while as part of Lucha Underground as Prince Puma.
WWE had wanted to sign Ricochet for quite some time. One of the hold-ups with his eventual signing was that his Lucha Underground deal stipulated that he could not perform with another U.S. company that aired on television until all of his previously filmed episodes of Lucha Underground had aired. That moment arrived this past fall.
WWE likely has big plans for Ricochet, so look for him to shoot up the WWE NXT card relatively quickly. It's not ridiculous to think he could make his way to the main roster yet this year either. This is a once in a generation type talent who could certainly thrive on the main roster from the moment he arrives, and that moment could come much sooner than many expect.