After the highly anticipated debut of KENTA, who now goes by the name Hideo Itami, all eyes are on the next two big independent stars the WWE snapped up in the form of Kevin Steen and Fergal Devitt.
The future is now
Hideo Itami made his on-screen debut at NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way where he announced his name change before he was attacked by former NXT Tag Team Champions; The Ascension.
This exciting era in the WWE has a number of popular independent talent ready to compete on NXT or even make the jump to the main roster in some cases.
Earlier in the week we noted how Kevin Steen and Fergal Devitt could debut on NXT as a tag team, the alternative being Fergal Devitt teams up with current NXT superstar, Sami Zayn.
New reports have emerged from PWInsider.com nothing that both Kevin Steen and Fergal Devitt could debut on the next set of tapings of NXT. For those that don’t understand the NXT format, four episodes are taped on one night and are shown on television weekly. Reports suggest that Steen and Devitt could compete on the September 25 tapings, which means October is the time we will see them on television, if they are to in fact debut on this set of tapings.
However, it is now common knowledge that Fergal Devitt will be using a new name, much like KENTA has switched to Hideo Itami. It was rumoured that Devitt could go by his real name ‘Fergal’ but he may now go by the name Finn Balor.
The fact that Devitt is a huge name on the independent circuit, the WWE wouldn’t want him to possibly leave in the future and take his big name with him. Giving him the Irish name Finn Balor allows the WWE to own the likeness rights, his merchandise as well as other revenue streams so they practically own the character, which was expected ever since KENTA changed his name.
- Fergal Devitt set to debut on NXT with a tag team partner
- Prince Devitt signs for WWE
- WWE: Are independent stars the future of wrestling?
This also brings up the question whether Kevin Steen will be changing his name as well, something most fans will not be happy about but at the same time it is understandable as to why the WWE choose to do this.
It isn’t ideal as independent fans to see Triple H hyping up the new talent with their original names before changing them, giving fans false hope that names are changed, KENTA switched to Hideo Itami based on his baseball hero whilst Fergal Devitt has been given Finn Balor based on Irish folklore.
Between the two so far, only Devitt has been given a new name whilst there isn’t any news on Kevin Steen and a change for him; which means the WWE might opt to separate their debuts. Balor could be the first to debut on the first set of tapings before Steen debuts on the second set, which allows the WWE to fully maximise their debuts and take advantage of the massive ratings which could follow.
Although the WWE haven’t confirmed that Devitt will go by Finn Balor just yet, it is expected to be the name he goes by whilst fans will hope that nothing is changed for Kevin Steen, which looks unlikely.
NXT fans – what do you make of Devitt’s potential new NXT name, Finn Balor? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.