Before the journey began for a number of WWE talent, their skills were being honed in gymnasiums, auditoriums and in front of crowds of a few hundred people much like Tegan Nox. They never wavered in the pursuit of their goals, and those roads they traveled helped them achieve the success they have today. This is the newest series to be found here on Pro Wrestling Post, titled “Before the E”. ‘The E’ is inspired by a common nickname for WWE. In order to understand where talent is today, it is important to understand how they came to be part of the Entertainment side of World Wrestling Entertainment. This week we present Tegan Nox.
The proudly Welsh-born Steffanie Newell has been actively pursuing professional wrestling since the age of 16. As an active tween, Newell played a number of sports including football (soccer). Her success in the game saw her compete for her Welsh national team. Passion in a sport you excel at can often find you at a crossroads. For Newell, she found that out at a rather young age. At the age of 13, Newell suffered a knee injury. Unfortunately, the injury was so much so that it cost her an opportunity to compete for the Under-16 team. It was at this point where she made a decision.
She needed time to heal. That time away from athletics altogether provided Newell clarity on what to do next. Newell’s knee injury played on her overall passion and whether it was something she wanted to come back from. She was only 16 years of age at the time. Her youth and maturity at such a young age allowed her to be open to new possibilities.
Those possibilities came in the way of encouragement and inspiration.
After leaving the game of football, Newell attended a wrestling school in Port Talbot. While there she trained under Dave Steward. It should also be noted that she would train under fellow current NXT UK colleague Wild Boar (Mike Hitchman). Her fandom of wrestling as young as the age of five would now become a professional passion. As we look at her career to this point, to see what she has endured at such a young age professionally her strength is unwavering.
She first joined the promotion ATTACK! Pro Wrestling in 2014. The promotion was first established in 2011 and was the creation of Mark Andrews, Eddie Denis, and Pete Dunne. Newell would certainly make a name for herself right away. She competed three times in one night both winning and losing the ATTACK! 24/7 Championship. The following year she competed on a couple of occasions as Luchadora The Explorer was very much in tune with the fun nature of the promotion.
That same fun was also evident when Newell teamed with Mark Andrews to form Bayside High. They carried their popularity into success. Together with Andrews, Newell won the ATTACK! Pro Wrestling tag team championships. What may appear to be lost on some fans today was that he has a dark side. That dark side became evident when she turned on Andrews and aligned herself with Pete Dunne. Not one to limit herself to one promotion, Newell competed for Wolverhampton promotion, Fight Club: PRO. She had the distinction of being the first woman to compete for the company. She had a show named in her honor titled ‘First Female of Fight Club.’
Newell competed in several major independent promotions.
With stops in SHIMMER, Stardom, PROGRESS and Whatculture Pro Wrestling which later became Defiant, Newell was quickly earning praise everywhere she went. However, all this time spent developing her craft and earning a name for herself created the next opportunity for her. The bright lights and heightened exposure of the WWE were now calling for her.
With a new promotion came a new opportunity and the emergence of a new name. After an injury, that forced her out of the initial Mae Young Classic, it was time to remerge with a new name and a fresh outlook. She suffered an ACL tear before the tournament began. Nixon Newell was no more and Tegan Nox was born. How did the name come about and why is it so significant? Nox explains herself.
Tegan is a Welsh name. It means toy. And Nox is actually a Harry Potter spell. I’m a massive Harry Potter fan. That’s why my nickname is also ‘the girl with the shiniest wizard’. I’m very proud to be Welsh and then I wanted some sort of a tip of the hat to Harry Potter because I’m a massive fan. I mean, I’ve got tattoos of it but I needed something to actually show people. – Tegan Nox on the origins of her ring name
After returning to the ring in 2018, Tegan Nox teamed with longtime friend Dakota Kai in her first match back.
Her return was also met with a second opportunity at the Mae Young Classic. Unfortunately, in her quarter-final match against Rhea Ripley, something went terribly wrong. She was injured tearing her LCL, Meniscus, ACL and Medial Collateral Ligament. The injury was to her opposite knee that was injured the year prior.
Last Summer Nox made her return to the ring for NXT. Nox then debuted for NXT UK and engaged in a feud with NXT UK Women’s Champion, Kay Lee Ray. Despite not being successful in capturing the NXT UK Women’s Championship, Nox was finally back in the ring. Her return was all that much sweeter because she was now teaming with longtime friend Dakota Kai. Their alliance earned them an opportunity at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship against The Kabuki Warriors. Again, another championship opportunity had come and gone without her walking out as a champion. It isn’t about not capitalizing on opportunities for the young Welsh that she should be judged by.
Nox continues to be used in a pivotal role in the division regardless of wins or losses. At 25 years of age, Tegan Nox was about to be used as part of the NXT invasion of Smackdown and Raw. She and Rhea Ripley faced Fire and Desire and came out victorious. Nox was now asked to join Team Ripley as part of the NXTTakeOver: War Games matchup. However, while waiting in the cage the unthinkable happened. Her longtime friend and biggest supporter turned her back on her. As Dakota Kai stepped out of the cage she returned to attack her prone friend in the War Games holding cell. This led to a feud between Kai and Nox.
The future of Tegan Nox has yet to be written.
However, for Tegan Nox, her struggles once signing with the WWE are not a definition of who she is. It is often said a person is judged by how often they fall and pick themselves up and continue to move forward. This is the case for Nox. She has won championships nearly everywhere she has been regardless of the circumstances. Whether it as part of an intergender tag team, a singles wrestler in the UK or Japan, Tegan Nox is a winner. This isn’t anything fans aren’t already aware of with her as this is just an example of her success before the E.