Austin Theory and Shotzi Blackheart Make NXT Debuts on Wednesday

In a special holiday episode of NXT, the black and gold brand debuted two new talents for its television show.

Austin Theory and Shotzi Blackheart, two high-profile wrestlers from the independent scene, made their debuts on NXT television. Theory answered Roderick Strong's North American Championship open challenge to start off the December 25 episode of NXT, while Blackheart tested her mettle against Bianca Belair.

While both debuting participants would eventually lose, they showed the Full Sail crowd what they are made of and why they were signed to the WWE Performance Centers.

Read on to learn a little bit more about Austin Theory and Shotzi Blackheart.

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Theory came into NXT with a higher profile of the two debuts, as he was the champion of EVOLVE wrestling before being signed to WWE. Theory has held titles for the World Wrestling Network (WWN) and Crash Lucha Libre in Mexico.

The 22-year-old joined the August 2019 class of the Performance Center alongside eight other wrestlers including Santana Garrett, who has appeared in NXT already, and Catalina Garcia who WWE fans may know as Carolina/Catalina the masked luchador, who partnered alongside Sin Cara against Zelina Vega and Andrade.

Here's a blurb from with more information on Austin Theory.

At age 22, Austin White, aka Austin Theory, is one of sports-entertainment's fastest-rising young prospects. Hailing from McDonough, Ga., White already has experience facing top NXT Superstars as part of the black-and-gold brand's relationship with EVOLVE Wrestling. He won the EVOLVE Title from Fabian Aichner last December in a Triple Threat Match that also featured Roderick Strong, and has since battled the likes of Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano at EVOLVE events. He also made his WWE Network debut in July, defeating JD Drake to win the WWN Title at the EVOLVE 10th Anniversary Celebration.

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Shotzi Blackheart had a more surprising path to the WWE. After defending her SHINE Nova championship at EVOLVE 137 back in October, NXT General Manager William Regal offered Blackheart a contract at the event.

Blackheart would report to the WWE Performance Center in November and have her first televised NXT match less than two months later.

The 26-year-old California native has wrestled for plenty of promotions before arriving at NXT. Not only did she wrestle and become champion of SHINE, she was also a driving force at Rise and competed in Impact Wrestling. More recently, Blackheart wrestled Kylie Rae and Laynie Luck for the Zelo Pro Women's Championship in October.

The Ballsy Badass from The Black Lagoon took Bianca Belair to the limit on Wednesday, and the NXT faithful will likely get to see more of Shotzi Blackheart in the near future.