As if TNA Impact Wrestling needed another stab at its already faltering company, one of its longtime and biggest stars just made his debut for NXT on Thursday night. Actually, it was one of two big debuts at the NXT tapings, and both are going to be huge for WWE. One was the long-awaited debut of Nia Jax, and the other was one of the former faces of TNA — James Storm.
Even though he was reported to be backstage last night at NXT Takeover: Respect, he was never really acknowledged. It was rumored that Storm would end up doing something backstage for WWE or even in a training capacity, but it was proven tonight that he’s doing much more than that.
It was even reported officially by WWE.com when Storm made his debut in NXT on Thursday night for the tapings.
“James Storm, an 18-year veteran and former heavyweight champion, made his unannounced debut at tonight’s NXT TV tapings. He competed in a match that will air on NXT on Wednesday, Oct. 21, only on WWE Network.”
So, that means it is less than two weeks until the world can officially see James Storm make his debut on WWE Network. Surprises are always good in wrestling, but the internet kind of makes it hard to keep those things a secret once they happen at tapings.
That being said, WWE’s social media accounts jumped all over things and played right along with his debut.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) October 8, 2015
Even Triple H decided to have fun with the longtime TNA star debuting for WWE/NXT.
This immediately proves that James Storm is going to be more than a player or coach or trainer type of guy in NXT. Another thing that WrestleZone pointed out and is quite interesting is that he is indeed using the in-ring name of “James Storm.”
Now, Hideo Itami and Finn Balor both appeared in NXT with their longtime names, but those were changed soon after they debuted. Samoa Joe’s debut with NXT came months ago and he is still using the same name, so it’s possible that the veteran may end up continuing to use James Storm.
Storm ended up facing and defeating Martin Stone in a singles match for the NXT tapings on Thursday night.
Later in the evening at the tapings, another big debut finally happened as Nia Jax stepped out from backstage. She will make her official WWE Network debut on next Wednesday’s episode of NXT.
— Justin LaBar (@JustinLaBar) October 8, 2015
Nia Jax’s first ever opponent in NXT was an independent wrestler from New Zealand, and she is known as Evie. She has worked in the past for both Shimmer and Shine Wrestling.
Nia Jax’s real name is Savelina “Lina” Fanene and she made her official NXT debut at a house show in Jacksonville, Florida, back in May. She was then wrestling under the name of Zada and teamed with Devin Taylor in a loss to the team of Carmella and current NXT Women’s Champion, Bayley.
Her name was soon changed to “Lina” and then eventually changed to her current — Nia Jax. Vignettes have aired for the past month ever since NXT Takeover: Brooklyn in late August to tease her debut, and it finally has happened. WWE is said to have a lot of faith and confidence in the young performer from Hawaii.
Nia Jax squashed Evie in her first match. For the show which will air on Oct. 28, Nia Jaz also squashed Kay Lee Ray, another talent who has appeared in both Shine Wrestling and Shimmer.
NXT’s tapings on Thursday night brought a lot of excitement as usual, but the debuts of Nia Jax and James Storm made them even better. WWE has brought forth a lot of new, young talent and big veteran names in recent months which has to put a bit of fear into TNA Impact Wrestling.
[Images via WWE]