WWE has been on quite the spree with signing free agents from the independent scene. As reported by the Inquisitr, the company signed a new free agent just a few weeks ago, and now he has made his official NXT television debut. The news was first reported by WrestleZone and Twitter user @MrJacobCohen.
Spoiler alert: the story that follows spoils upcoming NXT television episodes.
At the tapings Wednesday night at Full Sail University, Punishment Martinez (real name Luis Martínez) made his NXT television debut in a match against one of the hottest recent signings, Matt Riddle.
What’s interesting, and somewhat worrying, is the fact that Martinez lost in his debut match. Matt Riddle made him submit with the Bromission.
Generally, when a new signing is going to get a big push, NXT books him to win, so seeing Punishment lose in his first match doesn’t necessarily bode well for his long-term standing in the company.
Of course, he could go on and rattle off a few wins in his next matches, and the debut will be all but forgotten.
One concerning thing about Martinez’s long-term prospects is the fact that he’s 36-years-old. This could be concerning to the company if they plan to give him a big push. Martinez only started training to become a professional wrestler in 2014, and he’s incredibly skilled for his relative lack of experience.
Another interesting aspect of the match is that it appears that he is keeping his full name, as photos posted on Twitter from the event show “Punishment Martinez” clearly written on the big screen in the background. Earlier this month, Martinez made his untelevised debut where he kept the name, but we weren’t sure if that would stick until now.
Ultimately, it appears that Punishment’s debut match was just meant to push the feud with Matt Riddle and Kassius Ohno, as the latter attacked the former as he made his way to the back after his victory.
Scoop #6: Welcome Punishment Martinez to NXT! pic.twitter.com/VxfsvATxh3— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) November 28, 2018
For anyone who isn’t familiar with Martinez, he works as a giant who performs some impressive flying moves, including a dive over the turnbuckle to his opponent on the outside. He’s billed as 6 feet 6 inches tall and 251 pounds.
Before signing with the WWE, Martinez worked for Ring of Honor, as well as a slew of other independent wrestling companies. He won his first championship in ROH in June when he defeated Silas Young for the World Television Championship.