Former EVOLVE star Leon Ruff, who’s been appearing on WWE television in various ways since last year, has officially signed an NXT deal, according to PWInsider.com.
Ruff is apparently the first of several EVOLVE talents that were signed to a deal when WWE purchased EVOLVE. As noted, the contracts of the EVOLVE stars were not included as part of the deal when the company was sold.
Ruff teamed with Adrian Alanis for a loss to The Forgotten Sons on the December 4, 2019 WWE NXT episode, he lost to Aleister Black on the March 19, 2020 WWE Main Event episode, and lost to Black again on the March 23, 2020 RAW episode. He was also featured on SmackDown in a loss to Sheamus.
As of late, Ruff has been featured more on WWE’s 205 Live show. His most recent match resulted in a loss suffered at the hands of Drake Maverick on the July 21 205 Live. Ruff has yet to win a match on WWE television.
Apollo Crews, Austin Theory, Drew Gulak, Keith Lee, Johnny Gargano, Matt Riddle, Ricochet, and Oney Lorcan are just a few who have used EVOLVE as a stepping stone to get to WWE.