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TNA’s Gunner quietly debuts at NXT house show

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Since 2015, former TNA Impact tag champ Chad “Gunner” Lail has been talking about signing with WWE. He teased it again in late May of this year, and last night, he debuted on a NXT house show in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Working under his real name and introduced as hailing from his real place of residence, Charlotte, North Carolina, Lail wrestled in the first match on the June 29 card. He took a pinfall loss to No Way Jose.

It’s a pretty low-key way to launch your WWE career, but not necessarily indicative of future plans. It’s not terribly unusual for new signees to work as house show acts for a while before receiving a name change and/or an on-screen push.

Still, losing in the opener seems really low key... especially on a show where you’re not even the biggest “debut” (though she’d worked as Evie in a televised loss to Nia Jax a couple years ago, the newly re-christened and announced for the Mae Young Classic Dakota Kai worked her first match since signing full-time, teaming with Ruby Riot and Lacey Evans to beat Mandy Rose, Taynara Conti and Sonya Deville).

We’ll see if the Marine Corps veteran can carve out a spot for himself in a crowded NXT scene.