The sports-entertainment world came unglued Tuesday following the news that four of the independent scene’s biggest names — Candice LeRae, Ricochet and War Machine — have officially joined the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla.
The excitement wasn’t limited to members of the WWE Universe, either, as WWE and NXT Superstars took to Twitter to weigh in on the blockbuster announcements. Some rolled out the red carpet and offered congratulations to the new recruits, while others appeared to be coming for a fight.
The signing of LeRae, a quarterfinalist in last year’s Mae Young Classic, was met with a heartwarming message from LeRae’s husband, NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano:
She's one of the best in the world and got here on her own merit. Blood, sweat and tears.. She's sacrificed and worked incredibly hard for a very long time.— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) January 16, 2018
I'm proud of my Wife; Candice.. But even prouder of my favorite wrestler, the toughest person I know; Candice LeRae. https://t.co/1y7PRGSGo1
The Iconic Duo’s Billie Kay, however, wasn’t interested in sharing Johnny Wrestling’s exact sentiment:
Awwwwww that is so sweet!! I can’t wait to beat her up ❤️❤️❤️— Billie Kay (@BillieKayWWE) January 16, 2018
Bayley, who goes way back with LeRae, celebrated the news of her arrival, as did WWE Performance Center athlete Steffanie Newell, who previously crossed paths with LeRae in the indies:
My heart just exploded with happiness & love & joy. This is so long overdue & so well deserved. I’ve known @CandiceLeRae for years before I even signed w/ @WWE & she was always the one I wanted to be like. Def one of a kind & we are so lucky to have her. Congrats my friend 💜😘 https://t.co/DNDW2TQV7f— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) January 16, 2018
Perhaps the most shocking congratulatory tweet came from known curmudgeon and Gargano-hater Tommaso Ciampa. Given Ciampa’s background with Johnny Wrestling, one can only wonder if the self-proclaimed “Blackheart” was being sincere or if there was malice behind his sweet-on-the-surface acknowledgement:
Meanwhile, the arrival of behemoth tag team War Machine — Todd Smith & Raymond Rowe — garnered major interest, both from supporters and prospective opponents:
Excited that you guys are here! You know it’s customary to bring coffee for the coaches weekly right @WarBeardHanson and @RAYMONDxROWE ??— CORINO (@StevenCorino) January 16, 2018
Ask @sarahloganwwe . It’s a real thing. https://t.co/i9mJ0jVvfD
Everyone from Kassius Ohno to Mauro Ranallo was quick to retweet the news that high-flying innovator Trevor “Ricochet” Mann has entered the WWE PC fold. Apollo Crews, Cruiserweight sensation Mustafa Ali and NXT Superstar Cezar Bononi all shouted out the new signee, as did WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley and WWE Legends Hurricane Helms and The Blue Meanie:
Proud of my brotha @KingRicochet. 👏🏿👏🏿— Apollo (@WWEApollo) January 17, 2018
Quero! https://t.co/jKuEx4VWCI— Cezar Bononi (@cezarbononi_wwe) January 16, 2018
Congrats Briz. Kill it. https://t.co/5hjqGOhIil— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) January 16, 2018
WOAH! Congratulations! I'm excited for you!— Brian Heffron aka The Blue Meanie (@BlueMeanieBWO) January 16, 2018
With such a breathtaking wave of announcements happening only 16 days into the New Year, safe to say the future of WWE looks brighter than ever.