The WWE has started 2018 off with some major signings. The news broke today that the company has signed three huge stars from the indie scenes, with one from Lucha Underground and two from Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. There is also news that two of Impact Wrestling’s biggest stars finished up with the company at the past weekend’s television tapings, and the WWE is interested in bringing both of them into the company. The WWE has officially announced the three signings, while the other two remain speculative rumors at this time.
The WWE Brings In Three Major Indie Talents
The first name that the WWE signed has been rumored for months now. The WWE announced on Tuesday that they signed “world famous flyer” Trevor “Ricochet” Mann, and he is joining the WWE Performance Center. This was rumored back in October 2017, and the Inquisitr reported at the time that the WWE had a huge interest in signing Ricochet.
Impact Wrestling also wanted to sign Ricochet, who last wrestled under the mask of Prince Puma in Lucha Underground. He is a three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and three-time NEVER Openweight six-man tag team champion in New Japan.
There was also an Inquisitr article from December that speculated War Machine was coming, and that has come true as well. War Machine was a monster tag team in Ring of Honor and New Japan, holding tag team titles in both promotions.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 16, 2018
WWE.com reported on Tuesday that the WWE Performance Center would welcome War Machine as well to start their journey to the WWE. The announcement referred to them under their War Machine name, so one has to wonder if that means they will keep the title in the WWE.
The Rumors From Impact Wrestling
This past weekend, both Bobby Lashley and Ethan Carter III (EC3) were written off during television tapings and have left Impact Wrestling. EC3 left when he won a Feast or Fired briefcase and ended up with the Fired briefcase. Bobby Lashley lost a match and then bowed to the crowd and left.
EC3 got his start in the WWE developmental territory as Derrick Bateman but never made it out and became one of Impact Wrestling’s top homegrown stars when he debuted there as the “nephew” of president Dixie Carter. Wrestling Inc. reports that the WWE has an interest in Carter and can start there at any time — even at the Royal Rumble this Sunday if he signs with the company. He trademarked EC3, which means he can use it anywhere he wrestles if he wants to.
Bobby Lashley, however, can’t sign with anyone else until February 1, so there is little chance of him appearing by the Royal Rumble this weekend. Uproxx reported that Vince McMahon has always been high on Lashley and he could return in time for WrestleMania.