Two former TNA world champions have shown up in NXT over the course of the past few weeks, and many are wondering what exactly is going on with them. At NXT Takeover: Dallas, Bobby Roode was shown on camera, but he hasn’t yet made his debut for WWE. Last night, Eric Young shockingly showed up and challenged new NXT Champion Samoa Joe. Now, what exactly is their status and are they officially signed with WWE?
Last night, Ringside News reported that there were rumors of Bobby Roode being backstage at Full Sail University for the night of tapings. There was never any true confirmation of that, but the bigger news came during the first taping when Eric Young made his official NXT debut.
— WWE (@WWE) April 28, 2016
After Young came out to challenge Samoa Joe on the first taping for NXT, Triple H hopped on Twitter and spoke of it being the “new era” of NXT, and specifically mentioned those two superstars. Later on in the night, Joe ended up defeating Young with the Muscle Buster.
That match and Young’s first-ever appearance is set to take place on next week’s episode of NXT.
On that same episode, Austin Aries is going to be in a match with Tye Dillinger, and that makes him the third TNA World Champion to debut for NXT this year. Of course, Roode still hasn’t gotten in the ring, but that appears to be coming soon.
Aries appeared in another match later as he teamed with Shinsuke Nakamura, but that was the only match that Young appeared in last night. He did end up giving an interview to the WWE website later and there was a nice write-up about him as well.
One line really stood out from WWE’s report, and it had to do with NXT being the place for big free agents as of late.
“Young’s arrival is the latest in a line of big-name free agents hoping to ply their craft in NXT, going to show that you never know who will appear next between the yellow ropes.”
If Eric Young hasn’t officially signed with WWE, they may want to be careful with promoting that there is a partnership in place. Back in October, James Storm made his NXT debut, received an article on the WWE website, and got a lot of attention from Triple H. A couple of appearances later, and he re-signed with TNA for more money.
That begs the question of what is going on with Bobby Roode.
After being seen on camera at NXT Takeover: Dallas, he was said to have been backstage at WrestleMania 32 as well. A couple of weeks after that, he cleared the air and said he had not yet signed with WWE, but it was awfully close.
Now, there may be a bit of doubt by the way Roode has been speaking on Twitter.
I have always been grateful for opportunities that are given….what I do with them are up to me. #Staytuned
— Bobby Roode (@REALBobbyRoode) April 23, 2016
As one chapter comes to an end… Another one will begin. #Staytuned
— Bobby Roode (@REALBobbyRoode) April 27, 2016
Does that mean he’s no longer in negotiations with WWE or working on heading into NXT? It is odd that he may have been backstage at Full Sail University last night, but wasn’t used on camera at all. The next set of tapings will take place on May 19, and he could likely show up then.
WrestleZone is reporting that despite Roode having been shown on NXT before and Eric Young making his debut last night, it has not affected an upcoming match. They are still set to take on one another at House of Hardcore on May 7.
Right now, Bobby Roode was said to be “close” to signing with NXT, but it’s odd that he didn’t appear on camera since the next three weeks were taped last night. Eric Young did appear for just one taping, but it seems he may have found his new home since leaving TNA and it is indeed with WWE. The two former world champions will still wrestle at House of Hardcore, but it’s likely that after that, they’ll begin with the company full-time.
[Image via TNA]