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Top 5 WWE stars from Nigeria

Top 5 WWE stars from Nigeria

Nigerians are known for making impacts wherever they find themselves, and they find themselves even in unexpected places. There are currently WWE stars from Nigeria that are making waves in the game. A lot of people, especially those who aren’t particular fans, may not know them, which is why this article is written in their honour.

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is an American professional wrestling industry that has produced legends like Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Triple H, Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, and many others. Americans previously dominated the wrestling entertainment industry. But today, Africans, especially Nigerians, are gradually finding their way to the top.

Top 5 WWE stars from Nigeria

1. Apollo Crews

Apollo Crews

Sesugh Uhaa, popularly known as Apollo Crews, is an American professional wrestler of Nigerian descent. Born on August 22, 1987, in Sacramento, California, he was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended a military high school. His father is from Benue State.

Apollo Crews revealed that he fell in love with wrestling after watching the likes of Stone Cold ((Steve Austin), The Rock and especially Kurt Angle. So, as soon as he finished college, he got a job to pay for his professional wrestling training. At age 21, he began professional training under Mr. Hughes at his World Wrestling Alliance 4 (WWA4) promotion training school in Atlanta. Apollo Crews was nicknamed “Uhaa Nation” during training.

“Uhaa Nation” made his wrestling debut on August 17, 2009, and spent over a year doing small promotions on the Georgian independent circuit. In 2014, Uhaa joined the NXT and took up a new stage name, Apollo Crews. However, he was traded to the Raw brand, where he won the United States Championship, his first title in WWE. In 2020, Crews was drafted into the Smackdown division, where he called himself the Nigerian Prince and defeated Big E to win the Intercontinental Championship in a Nigerian Drum Fight. He is currently back at NXT 2.0 and making waves there.

ALSO READ: 5 Nigerian fighters dominating the UFC

2. Omos

Omos

Tolulope Omogbehin, popularly known as Omos or the Nigerian Giant, is a Nigerian-American professional wrestler and former college basketball player. He was born on May 16, 1994, in Alapere, Lagos, Nigeria. After his family relocated to America, Omos attended Atlantic Shores Christian School in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he played basketball and continued the game when he enrolled in the University of South Florida (USF). He also played basketball at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, after transferring from USF.

On January 1, 2019, WWE signed Omogbehin with six other athletes to train at the WWE Performance Center. He made his in-ring debut on July 18, 2019, and defeated team 2.0 in a two-on-one handicap match. On June 15, 2020, he made his television debut during Monday Night Raw, where he was announced as a surprise member of Akira Tozawa’s ninja faction.

In 2020, he joined AJ Styles, where he was introduced as Omos and defeated The New Day to win the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship in 2021. Omos is currently managed by MVP, who helped him defeat his former partner, AJ Styles. He also recently visited Nigeria. Meanwhile, Omos is over 7 feet tall, making him the tallest wrestler in WWE.

3. EJ Nduka

EJ Nduka

Ezekwesiri “EJ” Nduka Jr. is a professional wrestler, professional IFBB bodybuilder, and former professional gridiron football and arena football defensive end outside linebacker. He was born in Dallas, Texas on August 28, 1988, to Nigerian parents, Obie and Prince Nduka. EJ attended Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, New Jersey, where he played letterwinner, basketball and track.

EJ played in the NFL during his college years but later switched to becoming a professional bodybuilder after he graduated. He participated in the IFBB Pro Bodybuilder contests from 2016 to 2018, winning many competitions before being invited for a tryout with the WWE in December 2018. After participating in two tryouts, EJ officially signed a contract with WWE in 2019 and took up the stage name  Ezra Judge. He is now signed with Major League Wrestling (MLW) going by his real name.

ALSO READ: 7 Nigerian boxers that have won belts

4. Commander Azeez

Commander Azeez

Babatunde Aiyegbusi, who has the stage name Commander Azeez, is a Polish-Nigerian professional wrestler and former American football player. He was born on 26 May 1988 in Olesnica, Wroclaw, Poland, to a Nigerian father and a Polish mother. Aiyegbusi began playing American football in 2005 as an offensive lineman and played in the Polish American Football League for the Giants Wrocław and the Warsaw Eagles.

On April 12, 2016, Aiyegbusi joined the WWE Performance Center as a recruit. He made his professional wrestling debut in his name in NXT on September 30, 2016, where he competed in the battle royal. Aiyegbusi joined Raw on August 3, 2020, and made his debut in the ring under the name Dabba-Kato. He also helped Apollo Crews defeat Big E to win the Intercontinental Championship. Both he and Crews were drafted back to NXT in June 2022. Aiyegbusi is currently with Evolve, a WWE-affiliated promotion.

5. Moose

Moose

Quinn Ojinnaka, popularly known as Moose, is an American professional wrestler of Nigerian descent and a former American football player. He was born on April 23, 1984, in Seabrook, Maryland and attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he earned All-Prince George County offensive lineman honours as a senior. Ojinnaka also attended Syracuse, where he played American football and was selected in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He played for New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts before calling time to his professional football career.

In 2012, Ojinnaka began professional wrestling when he joined WWA$ and trained under Mr Hughes. In 2014, he signed a contract with Ring of Honor and adopted the ring name Moose. In 2016, he joined another division of the WWE, Impact and went ahead to become a two-time Impact Grand Champion, one-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, and one-time Impact World Champion.

Finally…

So, these are the five WWE stars from Nigeria. Based on their records in the wrestling entertainment industry, it’s obvious that the world is yet to see the last of these stars. They have paved the way for other Nigerians interested in joining WWE. If anything else, these stars have proven that Nigerians can be part of the WWE, not just TV audiences.

ALSO READ: 7 Nigerian female athletes that have won medals at international competitions 2022

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Nonye is a Thespian, screenwriter, creative writer and an unapologetic lover of books, great movies and sports. She has over 10 years experience in content writing on entertainment, movies, sports and lifestyle. Nonye is currently a content writer at Blackdot Media and founder of litafrik.com

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