New Performance Center recruits being shown in the audience at NXT TakeOver events is a tradition at this point, and one that continued, sort of, at TakeOver: Toronto 2019. Right before the North American Championship match between Velveteen Dream, Pete Dunne, and Roderick Strong, the camera cut to current Evolve Champion Austin Theory in the front row at the Scotiabank Arena.
Though Theory has tried out for WWE in the past and has performed on the WWE Network, he has yet to officially sign with the sports entertainment giant, as far as we know. Theory is only twenty-two years old, is a former competitive bodybuilder, and has been wrestling since 2016 in promotions including Evolve, The Crash Lucha Libre, and Progress.
With this resume and his work for Evolve, a promotion it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to call a sub-developmental territory for WWE at this point, it’s not surprising to see the company has its eyes on him. In fact, the official WWE NXT Twitter account went as far as to tweet a gif of him along with eight (8) eyes emojis.
Evolve also pointed out that their champ was in the TakeOver crowd, tweeting a screencap of him with the quote from commentator Mauro Ranallo, “Austin Theory. A name to remember when it comes to up and coming sports entertainment stars.”
"Austin Theory. A name to remember when it comes to up and coming sports entertainment stars." — @mauroranallo
— EVOLVE Wrestling (@WWNEVOLVE) August 11, 2019
Theory later cut a promo backstage that was shared by the Evolve Twitter account about the promotion’s events coming up in August. He also promised to bring the Evolve Championship to NXT TakeOver in the future and that he will be a WWE Superstar at some point.