From a 4-foot-11 marvel famous for breaking new ground on the obstacle course of “American Ninja Warrior,” to a 7-foot-2 pro basketballer who made history by becoming the first Indian-born player drafted to the NBA, you just never know who might be the next WWE Superstar.
That much is obvious following the recent visit of several high-profile athletes – hailing from the United States, United Kingdom, India and Germany – to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
“American Ninja Warrior” sensation Kacy Catanzaro, Texas Legends center Satnam Singh and New Orleans Saints linebacker Kasim Edebali all participated in workouts alongside WWE recruits this week, taking their first exploratory steps inside the squared circle under the guidance of Performance Center coach Norman Smiley.
Catanzaro came to fame in 2014 when she became the first woman to complete “American Ninja Warrior’s” perilous city finals course. Nicknamed “Mighty Kacy,” the 26-year-old — who was a Division I gymnast before turning to obstacle course racing — has twice made “Sports Illustrated’s” “Fittest 50” list of the world’s top female athletes.
Twenty-one-year-old Singh made headlines when he was selected in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks. Hailing from the small Indian village of Ballo Ke, the towering center is listed on the roster of the NBA D-League’s Legends team. He was also the subject of a recently released Netflix documentary titled “One in a Billion,” which details Singh’s remarkable journey to professional basketball.
At 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds, German-born Edebali has been a pass-rushing force for the Saints since signing as a free agent in 2014. In his rookie season, he recorded an impressive 22 tackles (15 solo), two sacks and one forced fumble.
While Catanzaro, Singh and Edebali ran the ropes, hit the canvas and locked up with Performance Center recruits and trainers, two other professional athletes observed the training: Recently retired English rugby player Eorl Crabtree — the nephew of U.K. wrestling legend Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree — toured the Performance Center and sat in on the the workouts, as did another German-born NFL player, Bjoern Werner, a former first-round draft pick who played three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.