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WWE announces third row of zero-sum deals

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WWE’s “Next in Line” program for collegiate athletes was introduced in December 2021. The first class of signings was announced shortly thereafter, and the second class was revealed in June 2022.

As you already know from the title, the third chapter was announced today. Here is the WWE press release with key information:

Today, WWE revealed the third class of 15 collegiate athletes who will join the company’s NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) award-winning program – “Next In Line™” – providing a clear path from collegiate athletics to WWE.

The class was highlighted by NCAA All American wrestler Greg Kerkvliet from Penn State University, four-time NCAA National Champion Turner Washington from Arizona State University and NCAA Champion Alia Armstrong from Louisiana State University.

The third “Next In Line” class includes athletes from 14 universities, nine NCAA conferences, and seven different sports. The program receives its first athletes from women’s wrestling, soccer, tennis, and softball.

The Next In Line program has signed 46 collegiate athletes since its December 2021 inception including the program’s first signatory, Olympic gold medalist Gable Stephenson. The program recruits and develops potential future Superstars and furthers the talent development process in WWE through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse sports backgrounds. WWE has signed athletes from 13 different sports including 35 members of the Power-Five conferences who have collectively earned 40 NCAA All American Honors and 12 NCAA National Championships.

All athlete partnerships feature access to the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, as well as resources across the organization including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing, and community relations. Upon completion of the NIL program, selected athletes may earn an exclusive opportunity to receive a WWE contract.

The athletes on the show boast impressive social media followings with more than 10 million followers shared on TikTok and nearly three million followers on Instagram. WWE currently has one of the largest fan bases on TikTok with 20.9 million followers and more than 27 million followers on Instagram.

Below is a table of key information provided by WWE on the 15 new NIL signings:

The press release specifically highlights Greg Kirkfleet, Turner Washington, and Aliyah Armstrong, so these are the collegiate athletes from this group that WWE seems to have the highest hopes for.

The following video was also released by WWE, tallying all 15 signings individually:

After watching the video, do any of these 15 new NIL signatures stand out to you? Let us know in the comments below, Cagesiders.

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