The WWE is hot on the trail for roster reinforcements, with the WWE Draft setting the stage for a reincarnation of the brand split. And with that draft looming in less than two weeks, WWE fans should see the fruits of that labor sooner than later. There haven't been any specific numbers reported as to how many new talents the company needs to successfully employ two distinct rosters, but there have been inklings.
Fans should expect the WWE to promote a dozen or more NXT superstars, headlined by the likes of Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, and American Alpha. Shinsuke Nakamura and Bayley won't be far behind them if they're not part of the initial extension. And while many fans were holding out hope for star-studded returns from Goldberg, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, or Rey Mysterio, those names have been debunked, at least for now.
The cream of the crop as far as free agents, or potential free agents, are concerned is John Morrison, MVP, and Carlito. Stevie Richards has long been rumored for a return, but it appears he'll be brought back as an NXT trainer, as some of those positions will need to be replenished as well. The WWE is looking for former employees with some level of drawing power who can still go in the ring. In Carlito's case, he'll probably be used in a managerial role in a last-ditch effort to help the Shining Stars tag team get over.
But that still doesn't appear to be enough in the eyes of Vince McMahon and other top WWE officials. The WWE chairman promised back in April that we'd soon bear witness to the biggest roster in the history of the company, and it appears he's trying to live up to that hype. The WWE has been scouring and scouting the independent circuit, with several new names emerging as potential candidates to join the sports entertainment kingdom.
According to the Daily Wrestling News, in addition to the names mentioned above, the WWE has been in active conversations with former WWE superstars, as well as those who have yet to appear with the company. Those with prior experience include Jimmy Wang Yang and Curt Hawkins. The independent stars the company has zeroed in on include Rush and Volador Jr. (Lucha stars), as well as perhaps Roderick Strong. For those who have been hoping that Ring of Honor star Moose would join WWE, it appears TNA are the front-runners at this particular time.
Jimmy Wang Yang was actually backstage during this past Monday's episode of RAW, where he posted a picture of himself on social media saying he was waiting outside Vince's office for a meeting. Yang is only 35-years-old, which gives him an advantage seeing how he has some tread left on his tires. Hawkins falls into that same category as well, only being 31, initially debuting with the WWE when he was only 22. Hawkins is known for his tag team runs with Tyler Reks and current WWE superstar Zack Ryder.
You can add Tajiri to the list as well, though his signing was more of a formality after agreeing to appear in the on-going Cruiserweight Classic. Rush was actually given a WWE tryout last year but the company decided to sign La Sombra instead. NXT fans now know La Sombra as Andrade "Cien" Almas. The Inquisitr also recently reported that the WWE is aggressively going after the likes of Ricochet and Kushida among others, but those appear to be more long-term signings where the talent would first report to NXT before being called up. The WWE's developmental brand will also need to be re-stocked once all these moves are made.
[Image via WWE]