WWE announced a new batch of signings a few days ago, and among them is said to be “the most decorated athlete the company has ever signed”.
Among the signings was 23-year-old Anriel Howard, and Dave Meltzer has provided some insight into her extremely impressive athletic background.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Meltzer wrote:
Also signed is Anriel Howard, 23, the most decorated athlete the company has ever signed. Howard was a 5-foot-11 forward who played college basketball at Mississippi State and Texas A&M and later briefly with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. She was a second round draft choice of the Storm in 2019 and played a few games early last season before being cut. As a senior in 2019 at Mississippi State, she averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game, was first team All-SEC and Honorable Mention All-American and helped lead her team to the NCAA tournament. She had played three seasons at Texas A&M and holds the school’s rebounding record with 1,002 boards, as well as the school record of 9.8 per game and had 32 double doubles (ten points scored, ten rebounds in the same game). Her 439 rebounds in the 2017-2018 season are the ninth most in SEC history and was seventh in the nation. As a sophomore, she was 22nd in the nation in rebounds. When she came out of Westlake High School in Georgia, she was listed as the No. 16 prospect in the country. She was a four-sport star including winning the state championship twice in the triple jump and also was a star in volleyball and cross country. She was also the school’s homecoming queen, and was a National Honor Society winner and was looking at sports broadcasting as her career. She was a three-time all-state player who scored more than 2,000 points in high school and was nominated to the McDonald’s All-American team.
In case you missed it, joining Howard were the following (via WWE.com):
Deveon Everheart Aiken, better known to fans as Dezmond Xavier, brings a dazzling array of aerial offense to the PC. Aiken, a nine-year-veteran of the squared circle, has competed for promotions including Combat Zone Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Impact Wrestling.
Zachary Green, aka Zachary Wentz, is a frequent tag team partner of Aiken’s. The 26-year-old Ohio native is also a former MMA fighter.
Alex Brandenburg competed under the name Alex Zayne on the independent scene. The Kentucky native has made a name for himself in promotions like Game Changer Wrestling, Black Label Pro and Ring of Honor during his 15-year career.
Sojiru “Ikemen” Higuchi is a 26-year-old wrestler from Japan who was trained by former United States and WWE Tag Team Champion Tajiri, and he has competed for Wrestle-1 and All-Japan Pro Wrestling.
Twenty-three-year-old Georgia native Anriel Howard played college basketball at Mississippi State and Texas A&M. She was selected in the 2019 WNBA Draft, and played professionally for the Seattle Storm.
Russ Taylor of Phelan, Calif. brings plenty of global experience to the WWE PC. Taylor has competed for wXw in Germany, as well as in Japan and across the United States.