WWE announced the latest batch of Performance Center recruits recently and the class is headlined by former IMPACT Wrestling stars Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz.
The four other signings were Alex Zayne, Russ Taylor, Sojiru "Ikemen" Higuchi (Jiro Kuroshio) and former women's basketball player Anriel Howard.
Dez and Wentz recently finished up with IMPACT Wrestling and were expected to sign with WWE. They enjoyed a two-year run in IMPACT as part of The Rascalz with Trey Miguel and the tag team wrestled the likes of The Motor City Machine Guns, The North and LAX. They were also prominently featured on the indie scene and were the reigning PWG Tag Team Champions at the time of their signing.
Alex Zayne ended his run in independent wrestling in November at Game Changer Wrestling So Much Fun. "The Sauce" has impressed many on the indies throughout 2020 and has competed for the likes of Black Label Pro and Warrior Wrestling alongside GCW. He has also regularly competed for New Japan Pro-Wrestling in the United States.
Russ Taylor has previously wrestled on WWE TV as an enhancement talent, most recently in June 2019 on 205 Live and Raw. Outside of the company, he competed as either Rust Taylor or Ryan Taylor for various promotions, including Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, Empire Wrestling Federation and wXw. Since the summer of 2020, Taylor has competed for New Japan in the US and Ring Of Honor in the Pure Title Tournament.
Sojiru "Ikemen" Higuchi wrestled as Jiro Kuroshio outside of WWE. He spent much of his career in Keiji Mutoh's Wrestle-1 promotion but became a freelancer in 2019 and increased his bookings with DDT, AJPW and other Japanese promotions. He recently competed in AJPW's Champion Carnival 2020, finishing third in the A Block.
Anriel Howard previously played basketball in college for Texas A&M and Mississippi State. She was drafted in the second round of the 2019 WNBA Draft by Seattle Storm. She played three games for the team before being waived.