Ahead of a live event in the country this weekend, WWE announced on Thursday morning that they have signed seven new recruits from China to developmental contracts.
“WWE is dedicated to finding the most talented athletes and entertainers from around the world,” Triple H (real name Paul Levesque) said. “The seven athletes identified at WWE’s first-ever tryout in China will be given the opportunity to train at the WWE Performance Center, in the hopes of becoming the next big WWE superstar, while also helping to inspire future WWE superstars and continue the global success of WWE.”
WWE is looking to break into what has previously been an almost entirely untapped market for major professional wrestling in China. At a press conference in June that included John Cena speaking in Mandarin, WWE announced that they had reached an agreement with PPTV to air Raw and SmackDown in Mandarin in the country.
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At that press conference, WWE also announced the date for Saturday’s live event and that they had signed Chinese wrestler Bin Wang to a developmental contract. WWE touted Wang as the ‘first-ever’ Chinese talent to sign a developmental deal.
Wang will make his WWE debut at Saturday’s live event in a match against Bo Dallas.
WWE provided information on the new signees:
Big Boa (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) is a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He was named the 2016 Brazilian jiu-jitsu China Open Gi/No-Gi champion and represented China at the 2013 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships.
Gu Guangming (6-foot-8, 287 pounds) is an amateur boxer from Mudanjiang, ranking among the top amateurs in his weight class since 2012. He won the National Men’s Championship in his weight class in 2014.
Gao Lei (5-foot-10, and 320 pounds) is a champion in various Beijing traditional wrestling promotions and was the team leader of Mongolian University’s wrestling team.
Zhao Xia (5-foot-4, 136 pounds) has trained in martial arts and is the co-founder of her own fitness studio. Zhao has multiple first-place finishes in various martial arts and fitness competitions, including the Second World Traditional Chinese Wushu Championship, Nike Challenge Competition and First China Throw Down: Battle on the Bund.
Wang Xiaolong (6-foot-3, 243 pounds) of Beijing has a background in basketball and dance, and he studied at the Shandong University of Technology and the Beijing Contemporary Music Academy for music production.
Yifeng (6-foot-2, 238 pounds) is an actor from Shanghai and a graduate of the Shanghai Theater Company. Yifeng was most recently featured in the movie “Lady and Tiger” in 2014.
Cheng Yuxiang (6-foot-2, 226 pounds) is an expert-level fitness trainer from Beijing, certified by the Beijing Zhuo Zhonghua International Fitness Academy. Cheng also participates in various Chinese boxing competitions across the country.
Video from the tryout is available to watch below: