Former NJPW Star Karl Fredericks Reportedly Signs With WWE

Karl Fredericks has been one of the more impressive talents to come out of NJPW's Los Angeles Dojo, but ever since his NJPW contract expired last August, he's been largely missing in action. He did wrestle one match back in September, which came on the heels of barely stepping into the ring during his last few months in NJPW. However, he was spotted at a WWE Performance Center tryout late last year, and sure enough, PWInsider now reports that Fredericks has signed with WWE and reported for duty to the Performance Center as part of the "NXT" brand.


Fredericks, who started wrestling in 2015, was a mainstay of the West Coast independent scene before making it into NJPW's Dojo, but not one of particular renown. However, the improvements that he and his fellow trainees made under head coach Katsuyori Shibata were dramatic, and he became a recognizable name to NJPW fans. He had grown stagnant enough, though, without any signs of a major push, that his departure did not come as a surprise.

In June, he tweeted that NJPW "doesn't deserve Karl Fredericks." However, he seemed to take on a much more appreciative sentiment in an August tweet when he announced his NJPW exit. "Though there is disappointment in the ending of this chapter, I am grateful for the last four years traveling the world and growing with my best friends. I want to say thank you to the company for the opportunities and especially thank you to Shibata-San for believing in me and bringing me along his journey with the LA Dojo."