Former AEW and NJPW Superstar Bea Priestley Signs With WWE; Joins NXT UK Roster

Published 07/04/2021, 2:55 PM EDT


The NXT UK roster just added a huge name to their ranks. The roster that gave us Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm and Piper Niven will now field former AEW superstar Bea Priestley. However, she won’t retain her independent name but is now Blair Davenport.

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WWE signs Will Ospreay’s wife, Bea Priestley

TOKYO, JAPAN – JANUARY 17: Will Ospreay and Bea Priestley look on during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling ‘Road To The New Beginning’ at Korakuen Hall on January 17, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

Prior to her shocking NXT UK signing, Bea Priestley competed all over the globe, becoming one of the biggest female independent superstars. From Progress to AEW and then NJPW, Priestley has plied her trade across oceans, but her most loyal fanbase resides in England.

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While wrestling for WCPW (What Culture Pro Wrestling) and Defiant Wrestling, she held the Women’s Championship on two occasions. With her success in the UK, she moved to Japan to join her husband, former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay. While Ospreay rose up the ranks of New Japan’s junior heavyweight division, Priestley took Stardom by storm.

She held the World of Stardom Championship, the SWA World Championship, multiple tag titles and ranked #20 on PWI’s best female wrestlers of 2019. With such global success, All Elite Wrestling had to bring her over to the states. She turned down a WWE contract and head to Jacksonville, but that didn’t really go as planned.

Priestley injured Britt Baker with a vicious head kick, squandered her opportunities to become the top heel of the division, and the global pandemic hindered her path to return to the States from Japan. As a result, AEW released her from her contract. However, her run alongside Ospreay yielded excellent results as she led to him to the IWGP World Championship.

NXT UK’s women’s division gets an enormous boost

With the signing of Blair Davenport, NXT UK gets an imminent main eventer. Kay Lee Ray carried the division on her back, beating the likes of Toni Storm and Piper Niven out of the country, literally. When Meiko Satomura entered the picture, the brand found a new champion to lead them into the new post-pandemic era of wrestling.

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Right now, the NXT UK women’s division is stacked with talent. Whether as a heel or face, Davenport lends some much needed depth to this roster. However, the likes of KLR, Meiko Satomura, Xia Brookside, Isla Dawn and Jinny get a fresh face who will truly test the waters.

In other news, it looks like NXT UK has lured Jamie Hayter too. She vacated her RevPro Women’s Championship after receiving a WWE tryout, and it looks like the division is definitely finding its way back to former glory. Before you know, they might hold a candle to the superlative NXT Women’s roster at the Capitol Wrestling Center.

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Nathan Fulgado

1209 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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