Former Heavyweight Wrestler Duke All-American Coach Makes WWE Debut

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – A former wrestler and coach at Duke University entered the world of professional wrestling as he made his WWE debut on Tuesday night.

Jacob Kasper, wrestling as Julius Creed, teamed up with his brother, Drew Kasper, whose ring name is Brutus Creed. The duo won their first match on Tuesday’s episode of NXT convincingly.

The Kasper Brothers have joined forces with former NXT North American and NXT Tag Team Champion Roderick Strong and his faction, Diamond Mine.

Prior to the transition to the WWE Realm, Jacob Kasper was a renowned wrestler at Duke. During his senior campaign in 2018, Kasper, competing in the 285-pound class, amassed a record 38-4. He won 29 games in a row that year.

That streak ended in a 10-5 decision loss to eventual NCAA champion Kyle Snyder, who this summer won silver at the Olympics.

Kasper, a two-time All-American heavyweight, holds Duke’s single-season winning record. After graduating, he joined the Blue Devils wrestling team as an assistant coach.

Drew Kasper was a heavyweight wrestler at the University of Otterbein in Ohio.

NXT is the developmental division of WWE, similar to minor league baseball. It largely features younger or aspiring wrestlers.

WWE has had success in the past recruiting from the NCAA and amateur ranks. Most notable are Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle.

Lesnar won an NCAA championship in his senior season at the University of Minnesota. He is a former nine-time World Champion – eight times in WWE and once in New Japan Professional Wrestling. He is also a former UFC heavyweight champion.

Angle won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics with a broken neck. He went on to win 13 WWE World Championships and two other promotions.

Shelton Benjamin, who WWE also recruited from Minnesota, is a former seven-time WWE Champion as a singles and team wrestler.

Most recently, former Olympian Chad Gable moved to WWE. He made his debut in 2015 and is a former three-time tag team champion.

Robert J. King