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Swerve’s stable led off a week of NXT debuts, and WWE name changes

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The main event wasn’t the only no disqualification affair on NXT last night (May 4). The episode opened with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Leon Ruff trying to settle their issues once and for all in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

It appeared Ruff was about to pick up his latest upset win by diving off a ladder onto a prone Swerve. But the heel didn’t show up without back-up, and former NFL defensive lineman AJ Francis made his NXT debut to ensure Scott picked up a win.

Announcers called out Francis by name, which makes sense given he’s also a regular on A&E’s WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures show. He was referred to as part of Swerve’s “entourage”. That group includes another debuting talent, Briana Brandy, a hip-hop artist with an MMA background who signed with WWE in 2019. Ashante Thee Adonis was also with the group; he’s appeared on NXT before and works 205 Live regularly.

Francis and Brandy weren’t the only wrestlers who debuted at the Capitol Wrestling Center yesterday. Former Evolve Tag champ Anthony Henry lost to Cameron Grimes using his new WWE name, Asher Hale.

And on this week’s 205 Live, which is taped on Wednesdays before NXT goes live, indie veteran Alex Zayne wrestled as Ari Sterling.

Henry was announced as part of the February Performance Center class, although the move had been reported well before that. Zayne joined WWE last December, in the group that included NXT Tag champs MSK.

Excited to see what Francis & company add to Swerve’s act? Thoughts on “Asher Hale” and “Ari Sterling” as gimmick names?