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WWE NEWS: Kevin Steen officially signs with WWE, Steen talks how he found his way to NXT

Aug 12, 2014 - 12:17:51 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Steen_300_1.jpg



WWE announced Tuesday the official signing of Kevin Steen to the NXT developmental roster. Included was a photo of Steen shaking hands with Triple H at the Performance Center.

Steen, who officially reports to NXT on August 25, joins the list of recent big-name international signings that includes KENTA and Prince Devitt.

In an interview with WWE's website, Steen noted that one of his regular appearances for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in California got his foot in the door with WWE.

"William Regal came to a wrestling show I was taking part in in California almost a year ago exactly, I believe it was Aug. 31 of last year, and it was for PWG, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. The match I had that night, I think did a lot," Steen said.

"I had never met William Regal before; I didn’t know him at all. I had great respect for him already; he’s actually been one of my favorite wrestlers for quite some time. To have him watch my match and take the time to tell me what he thought and give me advice was already great, but then a couple days later, I was contacted to see if I wanted to be part of a tryout camp.

"Just to have somebody like William Regal have enough esteem for me to go as far as to actually recommend me for a tryout meant a lot. Then I went to the tryout camp and I got through it, and what made me stand out were the promos, where we basically had to sell ourselves verbally. That’s always been one of my strong suits - the way I talk and what I say. I make it count, and I think that went pretty far in getting me to where I am now."

Steen also credited a 2005 trip to PWG for getting the ball rolling on the verbal aspect of his character, which helped him stand out on the independent scene, as he encountered "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the airport.

"I don’t think I would’ve had the success I’ve had if I hadn’t met him," Steen said. "When he became 'Stone Cold,' that’s when he really started 'running his mouth,' as he put it. When he told me to never stop running my mouth, it made sense to me. It clicked. I was like, 'Of course!' Because that’s what he did. The next night, I was again at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in California, and I began running my mouth. I immediately put it to good use.

"The difference was instantaneous. The attention I got from the fans and the buzz around me in wrestling grew exponentially from that point on. It was a pivotal moment, for sure. Like I said, maybe I would’ve figured it out on my own eventually, but having the biggest name in WWE history tell you something really hammers it into your head pretty quick."

[ LINK: Steen's full interview also discussing his traveling buddy Sami Zayn (El Generico) and other topics can be found HERE ]

[Art credit Brian Salinas (c) PWTorch.com]


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