In the coming week, WWE is expected to hold tryouts to audition new prospective talent for the company. Among those who will be trying out for the WWE will be a former Total Nonstop Action (TNA) women’s wrestler Lei’D Tapa, who competed briefly for the WWE’s rivals. If she’s successful in her audition and lands a gig with the professional wrestling company, it could make for the second former TNA women’s star to move to WWE in recent times, with ongoing rumors of other talents possibly on the way.
As reported by Squared Circle Sirens, former TNA women’s wrestler Lei’D Tapa is expected to attend a tryout on this coming Friday with many other WWE hopefuls. The auditions will take place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Tapa, whose real name is Seini Tonga, was part of TNA’s “Gut Check Challenge” back in 2013 and later worked for a short while as Gail Kim’s bodyguard. She left the company in 2014 and then went on to compete in mixed martial arts. Tapa ended up losing in the first round via TKO to her opponent, Gabrielle Garcia, at the Bellator 145 event.
Tapa will be among 42 names involved in this week’s round of WWE tryouts. If she were to end up successfully landing a contract with the company, she’d join another former TNA women’s star who recently joined the roster. Mickie James is currently a member of the SmackDown Live roster, after being part of TNA for several years. However, James was also in WWE for a good while before moving to TNA, establishing herself as a multiple-time champion.
When James returned to the WWE recently, she didn’t start out on Raw or SmackDown immediately, but was also auditioned through the NXT roster. James participated briefly with NXT, challenging the NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka, to a one-time matchup on a pay-per-view special. After losing in her attempt to become the champion, James eventually moved on to SmackDown where she was disguised as the mysterious La Luchadora and helped current SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss win a title defense against Becky Lynch.
As for Tapa, she has the wrestling lineage, as she’s the niece of Sione Vailahi, aka “The Barbarian” from WWE fame, who also provided her training. She’s gone on to hold the Allied Independent Wrestling Federations (AIWF) World Women’s Championship once, and the Ohio Valley Wresting (OVW) Women’s Championship three times during her wrestling career so far.
In the TNA Gut Check Challenge, she lost to Ivelisse Vélez, but was still awarded an on-television contract the following week. From there, she went on to attack Velvet Sky and later ODB as part of her ongoing storyline, but never really gained any traction as part of the TNA roster.
There have been rumors over the past several years and months that top women’s stars from TNA would eventually transition to the WWE. Among the most speculated names have been TNA Knockouts Angelina Love and Velvet Sky from The Beautiful People stable. Both have been rumored to be heading to WWE, with Love even tweeting her interest in competing in WWE’s upcoming women’s tournament.
It’s unknown if Tapa would be added to the same tournament, which would feature a variety of women’s stars from different regions of the world, and would be similar to the Cruiserweight Classic that was exclusive to the WWE Network. That particular tournament, as well as the UK tournament, were both praised by WWE fans and analysts, as both have helped to introduce new talents to the company.
It should be interesting to see if Lei’D Tapa is able to gain a deal with WWE and whether or not she’s included in that aforementioned women’s tournament that should take place later this year. WWE has certainly been finding some unique ways to add new talent to the roster, and with TNA having lesser success in recent times, it could mean that more former TNA stars will make their way to the bigger wrestling company.
[Featured Image by WWE]