Several months ago, I wrote about a top indie star rumored to have signed with WWE, but nothing more came of the rumors — that is until yesterday. It was officially announced through numerous sources — all through Twitter — that he had indeed signed, including WWE, NXT and even Prince Devitt himself, who was the first to announce it. This is a monstrous signing, signaling that WWE is really truly trying to find the world’s best talent and bring them all in under one roof.
While he’s never spent any time in a U.S. based organization, Devitt’s well known throughout the world, primarily in his home country of Ireland and especially in the country he’s spent the vast majority of his career in, Japan. This marks the second Japanese-made star the WWE has signed this month, with the other being Pro Wrestling NOAH standout, KENTA. With these two world renowned stars both landing in WWE’s developmental system at the same time, they’re going to see a massive rise in ratings. NXT is going to be aired in Japan for the first time ever in the near future, and with these two set to play major parts in the NXT universe, they’re going to grab the attention of Japanese viewers familiar with their work right from the start.
Having Japanese stars — even if one is technically an Irishman — is one of the things WWE has been wanting to focus on and make a priority so they can break into that market even further where New Japan Pro-Wrestling is king. I don’t expect either one of these two to spend much time in the developmental stage, and it’s rumored that part of Devitt’s stipulations in signing a contract with WWE was that he is either not to spend any time in NXT or very little; because of this, I don’t think we should expect to see him for more than 3-6 months on Thursday nights.
My biggest concern for this indie legend is that WWE may not be fully aware of what to do with him, resulting in him either becoming a jobber in the near future or that he ends up with a Daniel Bryan type career arc, where he’s not used properly for several years and then finally gets the push he deserves. I think that Devitt needs to be in title contention within a year of competing under the WWE banner, with two years being the absolute maximum, before he’s either in matches for the belt or has the gold around his waist.
My other concern is that they change his character too much or completely do away with his body paint persona, which is one of the more fascinating aspects in being a fan of his. The fact that he comes up with these spectacular body paint schemes, creating an increased level of interest because he’s dressed up as characters like Spider-man, Venom, Darth Maul and others, makes kids flip out with excitement. Causal fans also pay a little more attention because they’re familiar with the character he’s painted up to be.
Look for Devitt to be on WWE Network by mid-September at the latest; more than that, look for Devitt and KENTA to be in the ring together, where they’ll completely steal the show each and every time.