The wrestling behemoth, WWE, officially rolled out its highly anticipated Performance Center's Spring 2023 rookie class, adding a bevy of vibrant talents to its illustrious roster. The ensemble of new signees included Ezekiel Balogun, Alex Gray, Vlad Pavlenko, Hunter Smallback, Coy Wanner, Andrzej Hughes-Murray, Kevin Robertson, Melanie Brzezinski, and Tylynn Register.
Ezekiel Balogun, a former basketball player from the University of North Florida, and Alex Gray, a track and field sensation hailing from Texas Southern University, had their signings first reported earlier in January, building anticipation for their WWE debuts.
Adding to the exciting rookie lineup is Andrzej Hughes-Murray, an Oregon State University football alumnus who boasts of a brief stint as an undrafted free agent with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams. Complementing this cadre of athletes, Kevin Robertson brings his gridiron experience from Temple University to the ring.
IMG Academy Tryouts: New Recruits
A noteworthy part of the rookie class announcement was the inclusion of several new signees scouted at the IMG Academy tryout held last December. Vlad Pavlenko, a former track & field star from Iowa State University, joined the list alongside Hunter Smallback, a former defensive end at Stetson University.
Additionally, Coy Wanner, a tight end player from the University of Wisconsin, and Melanie Brzezinski, a University of Tampa senior majoring in mass communication with an impressive bodybuilding résumé, were among the prized catch.
Tylynn Register, another promising talent spotted at the SummerSlam 2022 tryout, rounds out the impressive list of the IMG Academy scouts. It's worth noting that the previous year's Spring rookie class produced notable talents, such as Roxanne Perez, former NXT Women's Champion, and Arianna Grace, daughter of ex-WWE Superstar Santino Marella.
The alumni also include the former NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Fallon Henley and Kiana James, as well as Channing "Stacks" Lorenzo, Sloane Jacobs, and Troy "Two Dimes" Dovonan, who is now gracing the AEW arena under the ring name Cole Karter.
As we applaud the success of previous classes, this new crop of rookies has fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the upcoming wrestling season.