After recently returning to the ring from an injury that kept out of action for several months, Steffanie “Nixon” Newell now has her official WWE NXT name.
As the WWE Performance Center approaches its five-year anniversary this July, the training ground for WWE’s next generation of Superstars just celebrated a different milestone — the launch of an official recruitment website at WWEPerformanceCenter.com. The website features photos of the entire WWE Performance Center roster and Newell is now listed under the name Tegan Nox.
The 23-year-old Welsh native, who was a standout on the British independent wrestling circuit under the name Nixon Newell, was offered a WWE developmental contract following a tryout in November 2016. After waiting a few months to secure a work visa for the United States, she reported to the WWE Performance Center in May. She was scheduled to be featured in a historic, first-of-its-kind tournament, the Mae Young Classic, but then fate cruelly stepped in.
With a simple wrong turn of her body during a day of training at the WWE Performance Center, Newell sustained an ACL tear in her right knee. In the blink of an eye, her chance to wrestle in the inaugural Mae Young Classic — or in any ring at all for the foreseeable future — was gone.
After months of rehabilitation, Newell returned to action on April 13, making her much-anticipated NXT live event debut in Venice, Florida.
Introduced as Steffanie Newell — her real name — the 23-year-old Welsh wrestler worked as a babyface alongside Dakota Kai against Vanessa Borne and Reina Gonzalez.
— Wayne Mason (@waynemason) April 14, 2018
— Chris Radley (@PrestigiousGfx) April 14, 2018
Newell came up short in her NXT wrestling debut as Gonzalez cheated to win by using her opponent’s tights as leverage.
— Greg Parks (@gregmparks) April 13, 2018
On the heels of her comeback, Newell spoke with WWE.com about how she coped with such adversity.
“When this first happened, people were saying that things happen for a reason. And since I’ve had the injury and come back to that response, I believe that more than ever,” Newell said.
“Things do happen for a reason, and if something’s getting you down, you just have to get back up and keep working hard. Sweat equity really does pay off, and it’s an even better feeling when all your hard work pays off.”
As Newell awaits her NXT television debut, she continues to work non-televised matches in Florida. She’s worked just under 20 matches so far and has scored wins over the likes of Gonzalez, Borne, Aliyah and Bianca Belair. On April 21, Newell and Kai beat Billie Kay and Peyton Royce in The IIconics’ final NXT match.