Former PROGRESS Star Makes WWE NXT Debut (Photos), Mauro Ranallo Talks Walking Away From SmackDown Earlier This Year, More

– As noted, Mauro Ranallo will make his WWE NXT debut at tonight’s tapings from Full Sail University. Mauro spoke with The Associated Press about working for WWE and Bellator MMA, and calling the big Mayweather vs. McGregor fight later this year. Below are highlights:

Leaving SmackDown earlier this year due to the reported issues with JBL:

“I was willing to walk away from my dream job, let’s leave it at that. In order for me to do that, I had to be true to my convictions and what makes you a human being.”

His current success, returning to work for WWE, calling Bellator MMA and the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight later this year:

“I’ve never been more successful than I am right now,”

“Dealing with my own health issues and where I come from, I’m not supposed to be here. Now I’m calling one of the biggest MMA events of the years, calling the biggest prizefight of the year … and the fact that I’ll soon be getting back into professional wrestling, I wouldn’t trade places with anybody.”

– German wrestler Axel Dieter Jr. of PROGRESS and WXW fame made his WWE NXT in-ring debut at Thursday’s live event in Cocoa, Florida. Using his real name, Marcel Barthel, he lost to Roderick Strong. Below are photos from the match:


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