WWE/TNA Rumors: WWE reportedly interested in TNA star Eli Drake
Is the Namer of Dummies on his way back to NXT?
WWE has softened its stance on signing former TNA talent over the past couple of years, and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter are reporting that the eyes of WWE scouts could be heading TNA-way once again. The Newsletter claims that WWE officials are interested in bringing Eli Drake (Shane Ricker) back into the company, two years after releasing the former NXT talent.
Ricker has a long history with WWE going all the way back to 2006 when the then-named Dick Rick teamed up with Dean Ambrose of all people (then called Jon Moxley) to take on Big Show in a handicap match on Heat. Ricker would go on to be signed to the WWE Performance Center in 2013 before being wished the best on his future endeavours one year later.
WWE reportedly had high hopes for Ricker back in 2013 following his appearance on a TNT reality show called ‘The Hero’, a show that was hosted by none other than The Rock. Officials were impressed with the future TNA King of the Mountain Champion’s charisma and quick-learning between the ropes, and his release came as something of a surprise as a result. Reports at the time suggested that Ricker’s social media activity was a factor, but this was never confirmed or denied.
Ricker arrived in TNA in February 2015 as a part of the One Night Only Gut Check tournament, before arriving as Eli Drake one month later as part of The Rising faction alongside Drew Galloway and Micah (WWE’s Camacho). Drake would soon become a staple in the TNA midcard although he wouldn’t make too much of an impact until 2016. This year began with Drake earning a shot at the King of the Mountain Championship, a title he would win in May of this year by defeating Bram.
Recently Drake has been feuding with EC3, losing the blowoff match and having to remain silent for the rest of 2016 as per the match’s stipulation. Drake’s silence has coincided with voices saying he could be on his way back to WWE early in the new year. Drake wouldn’t be the first former WWE talent to make a return to the company after a lengthy stint in TNA, and he almost certainly won’t be the last.
There is a school of thought that says Drake would be better off staying in TNA where he would be guaranteed focus and attention, as opposed to heading to NXT and getting somewhat lost in the shuffle. Of course, TNA’s consistently inconsistent future may have an influence on Drake’s decision. Time will tell.