Wheeler Yuta has recently become a regular feature on AEW Dynamite, Dark and Dark: Elevation in recent weeks, but things could have been completely different for Yuta this year.
Fightful Select (subscription required) recently noted that there was a name at a set of WWE tryouts that didn’t receive an offer from the company that allegedly ‘turned heads’ within the Performance Center, and raised some flags that the recruitment process had changed.
The wrestler in question was Wheeler Yuta, who has since gone on to regularly feature on AEW programming after his May 2021 WWE tryout. Fightful spoke with several people in NXT, even some people with influence at the time, who said that Yuta was a ‘perfect fit’ for what NXT had traditionally been.
One NXT talent pointed out that Yuta is six feet tall, 24 years old, could already work and had recent television experience, checking almost all the boxes that NXT had been looking for recently.
Three NXT talents said that the company not signing Yuta was a ‘shock’, and that they could tell a major shift was coming to the brand when a guy like that didn’t get picked up despite clear interest from ROH and AEW.