Former TNA Wrestler Likely Joining WWE Soon

Former TNA wrestler Samuel Shaw should be joining WWE soon.

According to Dave Meltzer in the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Shaw is expected to sign with WWE (if he hasn’t already) and report to the Performance Center in January.

Shaw landed a spot on the TNA roster in 2012 through “Gut Check,” which was a tryout program the company created as means of recruiting talent. In April 2012, “Gut Check” started being featured as a regular segment on Impact Wrestling as part of each month’s “Open Fight Night” episode. Contestants wrestled a match against a TNA wrestler, after which their performance was evaluated by three judges. Contestants who received a “yes” from at least two of the judges were awarded a contract with TNA and sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, TNA’s developmental promotion, for further training. Shaw earned a contract in July 2012 after beating Douglas Williams in a match and impressing judges Bruce Prichard and Tazz (Al Snow said no).

On the November 21, 2013 episode of Impact, Shaw appeared in an at-home interview with Christy Hemme and asked to be called Samuel Shaw (instead of Sam Shaw). He then got repackaged with a character similar to Patrick Bateman of the film and book American Psycho, and began wearing ring attire similar to the clothes worn by Dexter Morgan in the TV show Dexter.

His character centered around his obsession with Hemme, which Wikipedia summed up:

“On the January 2, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, Shaw made his debut by defeating Norv Fernum via submission, during which he made continuous glares at Hemme who was at ringside. Shaw later became an obsessed fan of Hemme, and started asking her on dates, including one in his house where it was shown how Shaw had a room full of posters and pictures of Hemme. On the February 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hemme confronted Shaw about the mannequin and the room full of posters. On the February 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Shaw attacked Mr. Anderson in a rage after watching Hemme and Anderson converse for several minutes. Shaw then carried Hemme away after she was accidentally caught up in the ruckus and injured. On the February 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Shaw would confront Hemme in an attempt to explain himself. After failing and being interrupted by Mr. Anderson, Shaw would solidify himself as a heel after using Hemme as a shield to fend off Mr. Anderson who was attempting to exact revenge for the previous week. Shaw would use his kata gatame finishing move to choke out Mr. Anderson.

“On the March 6 edition of Impact Wrestling, Samuel Shaw faced off against Eric Young with Mr. Anderson replacing Hemme as the ring announcer for the match. Anderson’s presence at ringside ultimately cost Shaw the match as he would be disqualified due to Anderson’s distraction. After the match, Shaw would choke out Anderson like last week then claim he was “going to claim what was rightfully his,” heading for the backstage area where Hemme had been watching via a ring monitor. At Lockdown on March 9, 2014, Shaw defeated Mr. Anderson after escaping the cage following the use of Christy Hemme as a distraction by pulling Hemme through the camera cut-out of the steel cage, Anderson successfully rescued Hemme but was caught in Shaw’s kata gatame. The previously unconscious referee only saw Samuel Shaw escape the cage thus declaring him the winner. Shaw lost a rematch against Anderson on the following Impact Wrestling bringing a mannequin dressed as Christy Hemme to the ring. On April 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Shaw defeated Mr. Anderson in a Straitjacket match after rendering him unconscious following two kata gatame attempts. At TNA Sacrifice, Anderson defeated Shaw in a Committed match, whereby he put Shaw into a van heading for a psychiatric facility for intervention.

“The next time Shaw appeared on TV was on May 22 episode of iMPACT Wrestling at the psychiatric facility. A man walked in and said that Shaw had a visitor who was later revealed to be Gunner. Gunner said he was going to help him with his obsession with Hemme and with his insanity. Over the weeks following, segments were shown in which Gunner tried to help Shaw in various ways by explaining to Shaw why he understood what Shaw was going through and participating in various activities like going through Shaw’s drawings & playing Go Fish with Shaw, which eventually led to Shaw being released under Gunner’s supervision on 26 June episode of iMPACT. On July 3, he returned and apologized to Christy Hemme as well as to Mr. Anderson, who gave Samuel Shaw another chance to be friends with him as long as he followed Gunner’s supervision, acted like a face.”

Once his storyline with Hemme ended, TNA didn’t feature Shaw too much anymore. He left the company in June 2015 and returned to the independent circuit. He tried out for WWE at the Performance Center a few months after his departure from TNA but was not offered a contract.

During an interview in December 2015, Shaw felt that his character limited him since there wasn’t much emphasis on his wrestling.

“I think so, I don’t want to sound negative, I just thought it felt like being boxed in a corner. My character was presented and had a couple of feuds which didn’t really showcase a lot of wrestling. It was a lot of backstage vignettes, it was a lot of promos. To be honest with you, my presentation of the character, I was trying to do anything and everything possible not to be liked, in a sense. I didn’t want to have any cool moves or a finishing maneuver where people go ‘ooh and ahh.’ Because then they start liking you, you know what I mean?”

Samuel Shaw, which also his real name, has mostly wrestled in Florida this year. He turns 35 years old in January.

Here are some more videos from his time in TNA.