Though Almas' bout with Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship was the main focus of NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, fans were given another major surprise as EC3 was seen ringside at the event.
Fans gave the former Impact Wrestling star a huge ovation when he showed up on the jumbotron at the Wells Fargo Center, and was introduced as the latest addition to the NXT brand:
Earlier this month, EC3 performed for Impact Wrestling the final time before departing from the company. Multiple reports stated that he was joining the WWE immediately after his exit, and EC3 will now begin working in the NXT brand.
EC3 joins a long list of superstars from past promotions who have joined the WWE in 2018. The War Machine and Ricochet also signed with the promotion earlier this month. They have all reported to the WWE Performance Center.
EC3 joined the NXT brand in 2010, where he wrestled under the name "Derrick Bateman." He was released in 2013, and performed for both Impact Wrestling and in the independent circuit until early 2018.
During his run in Impact Wrestling, EC3 was among the top superstars on the roster. He was a central figure of the Team Dixie villainous stable (led by his storyline aunt, Dixie Carter). He won two TNA World Heavyweight Championships, among other accomplishments.
His rivalry with Bobby Lashley earned plenty of praise from critics and fans, and was among Impact Wrestling's best in years. Lashley has also departed from Impact, and there has been speculation he'll join the WWE soon - though nothing has been confirmed thus far.
WWE continues to waste no time signing former talents of rival promotions. AJ Styles was a massive pickup in 2016, while The Hardy Boyz and Mike Bennett & Maria Kanellis headlined 2017 additions. EC3 and Rockstar Spud are among WWE's most recent marquee signings. Now, we can sit back and enjoy their talents in the world's greatest promotion.
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