ACH, Samuel Shaw and Karen Q among new WWE Performance Center recruits
Twelve newly signed recruits reported for training today at the WWE Performance Center, bolstering the already incredible ranks of WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Fla.
The group includes state-of-the-art Cruiserweights from the U.S. independent scene, acclaimed imports from Australia, past favorites from the Mae Young Classic, titanic tyros from the football field, one of North America’s longest-tenured tag teams and more.
Among the class’ headliners is Albert Hardie Jr., a high-flying Texan who went by the name of ACH while competing on the indies. Known for his breathtaking aerial maneuvers — the type of stuff once thought to be restricted to the realm of video games — Hardie has been wrestling for 10 years. Over the course of his travels, he crossed paths with the likes of current WWE Superstars AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Cedric Alexander.
Another eye-popping newcomer is 25-year-old Trevor Lee Caddell. Hailing from Cameron, N.C., the hirsute “Carolina Caveman” is a second-generation grappler whose father wrestled alongside The Hardy Boyz in the revolutionary 1990s indie promotion, OMEGA. Growing up with a wrestling ring in his backyard, the younger Caddell — who competes as Trevor Lee — broke into the sport as a teenager. He has held titles throughout the U.S., wrestled in England and India, and is famous for caving in opponents’ chests with his leaping foot stomps.
Two former competitors from the Mae Young Classic — Rachael Ellering and Karen Yu — are donning their WWE Performance Center shirts as official signees this week.
The daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering, Rachael Ellering took part in both the 2017 and 2018 editions of the women’s tournament, wrestling under the alias Rachel Evers. A native of Minnesota, she held 27 state records and five national records in powerlifting and earned a bronze medal in international competition before learning the mat game under Lance Storm at the Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary. She has faced such luminaries as Aja Kong and former WWE Women’s Champion Victoria during her career.
Yu, meanwhile, made her Mae Young Classic debut last year under the name Karen Q, which she also used throughout her independent wrestling career. The Queens, N.Y., native is a former NCAA Division II diver and volleyball player, boasts an extensive background in gymnastics and holds a master’s degree in health education. Making her in-ring debut in 2014, Yu has studied under Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz and noted trainer Damian Adams, of the New Jersey-based Team Adams Pro Wrestling Academy.
WWE’s new class pulls in two recruits from the gridiron: Omari Palmer and Ricardo Miller. Twenty-four-year-old Palmer is a 6-foot-3, 350-pounder who was a member of the Syracuse Orangemen’s offensive line. Originally from Coram, N.Y., Palmer also played basketball and lacrosse, as well as wrestled, in high school. The imposing big man attended a WWE Performance Center tryout in June 2018.
Miller, 26, was a speedy tight end/wide receiver who played at the University of Michigan (where he was a member of the 2011 Sugar Bowl Championship team) and, later, the University of Massachusetts. After college, he joined the Saarland Hurricanes in the German Football League. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 220 pounds, Miller, like Palmer, impressed WWE scouts at last June’s tryout in Orlando.
Samuel Shaw comes to the Performance Center with 12 years of in-ring experience. Counting former WWE Superstar Mr. Hughes and WWE Hall of Famers The Dudley Boys as past coaches, the 6-foot-1, 240-pound Shaw has won championships throughout the southeastern U.S. He was also a standout athlete in high school, excelling in football, baseball and weightlifting.
Two of the class’ most veteran wrestlers are Jeffrey Parker and Matt Lee, a popular tag team from Quebec known as 3.0. They began teaming in 2002 and spent their formative years conquering duos in Canada before expanding into the United States. Parker (who has wrestled under the name Jagged) and Lee (who has gone by the alias Big Magic) both began wrestling in their teenage years. Their athletic backgrounds also include baseball, hockey and football.
Nick Comoroto is an independent wrestler from the Northeast. A former collegiate grappler and football player, Comoroto comes from the Monster Factory wrestling school, the same training facility where NXT Superstars Matt Riddle and Punishment Martinez learned the ropes. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound bruiser went by the moniker “The Freak Beast” on the indies.
Brendan Vink and Jermaine Haley, meanwhile, come to the WWE Performance Center after making their names in Australia’s surging independent scene. While competing Down Under, they were frequent tag team partners and colleagues in the stable The Mighty Don’t Kneel, the same faction that Shane Thorne helped found.
Famous for tossing opponents like ragdolls, the 6-foot-5, 253-pound Vink has wrestled under the professional name of Elliot Sexton. He is a multi-time champion, including a 559-day reign as the top titleholder in Melbourne Championship Wrestling, and has also competed for Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling organization. Vink received a WWE tryout in June 2018.
Haley spent much of his career under the alias Jonah Rock. A 275-pound, hard-hitting powerhouse, he has terrorized rings in the United States, U.K. and Japan, and in addition to his exploits with Vink, Haley is a former teammate of WWE Performance Center coach Hartley Jackson. Among the most decorated fighters to come out of Australia in recent years, Haley attended a December 2016 tryout in Melbourne.
Stay with WWE Digital and the WWE Performance Center Twitter and Instagram accounts for more coverage of the new Performance Center recruits in the coming days. To learn more about the WWE Performance Center, including how to apply for a tryout, visit WWEPerformanceCenter.com.