Austin Theory’s Debut & First Match With The WWE Proved He Was A Star

Hamish Woodward

Austin Theory WWE Debut

Austin Theory is one of the top young stars in the WWE and looks to be a fixture of the company for the next two decades. But did you know that he had not one, but two debuts on the main roster?

Austin Theory Appeared On NXT Before Being Announced As A Signing

Austin Theory first appeared in NXT in the crowd during NXT Takeover: New Orleans. The then-21 year old was a recent Evolve Champion, although not as highly rated as previous new signings who had appeared in the crowd before their debuts. Other stars like Drew McIntyre, Bobby Roode and Asuka were all spotted watching the show and drew much more hype toward their debut than Austin Theory did.

After he was seen in the crowd watching the incredible Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano main event, WWE announced that the young star had signed a deal with the company. He was one of the youngest signings in years, having only just turned 21. They clearly saw big thing for his future and wanted to lock him down early, with many throwing out comparisons to WWE Legend John Cena before he even set foot in a ring.

He would spend some months in the NXT Performance Center before wrestling his first match in NXT. Austin Theory’s debut match on NXT was when he answered Roderick Strong’s North American Championship Open Challenge on the December 25, 2019 episode of NXT. He was unsuccessful in his endeavour but the crowd were impressed by how good he looked and saw bright things in his future.

Austin Theory WWE Debut

He didn’t spend long in the developmental promotion however. Seeing he would do better on the main roster rather than “NXT 2.0”, he debuted on WWE TV on the March 30, 2020 episode of Raw as an associate of Zelina Vega. He quickly formed a team with Angel Garza, with the pair teaming up on multiple occasions to challenge for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships.

Austin Theory’s debut WWE match was a six-man tag team match on the 30h March, 2020. He teamed with Seth Rollins and Angel Garza to take on tag champions The Street Profits and Kevin Owens. The match was only a short one, with Theory getting very little time inside the ring. He started hsi WWE career off with a loss when Kevin Owens pinned Angel Garza after a Stone Cold Stunner.

His first year would be a good one for Theory. Just weeks later he wrestled at his first Wrestlemania event as he and Garza unsuccessfully challenge the Street Profits for the tag team championships. He would join up with Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy as part of their highly successful faction, although after some months he would be sent back down to NXT.

Here he would enter into another faction, this time lead by Johnny Gargano. Known as The Way, Gargano and his wife Candance LaRae took theory and Indi Hartwell under their wings as a parent-figure. Austin Theory would help Gargano retain his North American Championship but stopped appeared on NXT in July 2021 after losing to Kyle O’Reilly.

His Second Debut Saw Him Beat Jeff Hardy

Austin Theory re-debuted on the main roster as part of the 2021 draft. He was drafted to Raw where he immediately made a splash by attacked the legendary Jeff Hardy. The young star made easy work of Hardy and set up a bout between the two for the following week. This gave Theory the chance to claim a big scalp on his big return to the WWE main roster.

Austin Theory’s second WWE debut ended in victory. He dodged a Swanton Bomb by the Charismatic Enigma and rolled him for the victory. A win over the former WWE Champion was huge for the young star and was probably the biggest win of his career at that point. He used that win to springboard his career, putting on an impressive performance in the Royal Rumble, aligning with Mr McMahon and winning the Money In The Bank contract (although he would fail one of the most stupid cash ins of all time).

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