As our own rumormonger Nick Bond told you this morning, WrestleZone is reporting that they have confirmation from WWE officials that former Ring of Honor (ROH) and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) World Champ Kevin Steen has signed with the world's largest pro wrestling company.
Speculation about this signing has been floating around since he took part in a developmental program tryout camp this Spring, and Steen and ROH have played around with those expectations with promos, tweets and booking around their major May and June shows. The news indicates that he will close out his dates with ROH and other independent promotions before reporting to Florida and WWE later this Summer.
As a long time fan of Mr. Wrestling, this is great news. He's phenomenal on the microphone, an all-time great at interacting with a crowd (something that many are worried might be lost when he makes it to the larger venues that the WWE main roster plays) and surprisingly athletic and versatile for a man with his physique.
Of course, as wrestling fans, we can't just be excited about something. We have to worry, speculate and debate any aspect of it we can imagine.
So here goes:
What's his name going to be?
I'm guessing (and kind of hoping, I guess) they go the straight forward, Daniel Bryan Danielson route and just call him Steven Kent.
But who knows? Maybe the WWE Name Generator 3000 will spit out Chet Beaumanips. Perhaps he'll get beatboxing boxer gimmick and be known as ButterBiz Markie.
What about his moveset?
The package piledriver - and the whole array of piledriver moves - are gone. But as we've seen with Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan, he can probably still work in a few signature spots like the Steenalizer in big moments.
He's gone to hardcore stuff often in big matches on the indies, and I think that will still be part of his arsenal at the next level, just only once or twice a year at most. Steen understands psychology without tables and ladders, too - that's why crowds are so hot for the Ladder War-type blowoff matches...because the programs that lead up to them are so well-rendered.
Who will he feud with?
Well, there's this Sami Zayn guy who works a style quite similar to his old friend and enemy El Generico (SPOILER ALERT: despite what Steen, Zayn and a good many members of the internet wrestling community (IWC) will tell you, the Generico and Zayn characters are portrayed by the same performer).
But Wrestling's Worst Nightmare has shown he can work with a wide variety of performers in a multitude of styles. If he comes in with the right attitude and is willing to learn, he should be wowing WWE fans against an array of opponents in no time.
When will we see him on Raw?
I'm done trying to guess at stuff like this. I'd classify Steen in a class with past indy signings like Cesaro, Sami Zayn and Kassius Ohno. One of those shot to the main roster in record time, one is going on his second year in NXT despite most fans thinking he was ready last year, and one washed out and is back on the circuit as Chris Hero.
I could honestly see any of those outcomes for Big Kev.
His biggest obstacle is probably attitude, which is allegedly what did in Hero/Ohno. If he thinks he's above WWE and either doesn't want to hit the gym or incorporate their style and psychology into his matches, he could wash out. Jim Cornette described him as a colossal pain in the ass to work with, but Corny said the same thing about Zayn, and he seems to be in management's good graces down in NXT.
WWE seems to be moving a little slower with new signings - ask the legions of fans waiting for a Sami Callihan/Solomon Crowe sighting - so only time will tell what Mr. Steen's schedule might be.
Who's excited about Kevin Steen in WWE? What else are you wondering about his future in the McMahon's world?