Fightful had noted recently that there was a WWE tryout name that didn't receive an offer that turned several heads within the Performance Center and WWE, and raised some flags that the hiriing process had changed. It actually ended up being Wheeler YUTA, who is now regularly featured on AEW programming after his May 2021 WWE tryout. Fightful spoke with several NXT talent who confirmed having a discussion -- even with those of influence in NXT at the time -- about YUTA, and him being a perfect fit for what NXT traditionally had been. One NXT talent pointed out that Yuta is six feet tall, 24 years old, could already work, and had recent television experience and checked almost all of the boxes NXT had been looking for recently. Three individual NXT talents said that WWE not signing him was a "shock," with two noting that they could tell a major shift was coming when a guy like that didn't get picked up, despite clear AEW and ROH interest. The same WWE official we spoke with this past weekend noted that was a head-turner for them as well.
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