Who is Reginald Thomas? WWE, Cirque du Soleil star shines on SmackDown


The Boss and the Cirque du Sommelier (Photo: WWE)

WWE may have stumbled on its next breakout star after Reginald Thomas took on Sasha Banks on SmackDown last night.

The rising star – whose real name is Sidney Bateman – has been steadily introduced to the wrestling giant’s audience over the past few months after debuting as Carmella’s sommelier.

However, fans got their first glimpse of what Reginald can do in the ring on Friday as he battled The Mandalorian star Sasha is what turned into an unexpectedly fun – and rare, in WWE at least – intergender match.

Of course, he lost as the Legit Boss continued to prove her nickname is spot on as she made him tap out to the Bank Statement.

But he showed off some incredible skills, which is no surprise to anyone who knows his pre-wrestling career on the grand stage of Cirque du Soleil, where he appeared as an acrobat specialising in hoop diving.

This clearly caught the eye of WWE bosses, who signed him up around this time last year in the January 2020 Performance Center class, where he has been adjusting to his new environment.

He was given the ring name Akeem Young after signing with NXT, but fans had to wait until his SmackDown appearances at the end of last year – and this first WWE match – to really see what he’s about.

His in-ring debut went down brilliantly with fans, critics and fellow pros, as NXT star Indi Hartwell admitted she was ‘jealous’.

Meanwhile, he had previously posted a training video to show how he was developing after just seven months training as a wrestler, with many stars on the black and gold brand having years on the clock on the independent scene.

He teased at the time: ‘The start of something new, something legendary, something that you haven’t seen before, the future of this business.’

After last night, there aren’t many who’d bet against him.

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