Former Auburn gymnastics star Derrian Gobourne has “everything it takes” to be a WWE star according to Opelika-Auburn News editor Justin Lee — who said so in response to a photo shared by Derrian’s mother with the caption “And she’s off to The WWE Performance Center.” Gobourne signed an NIL deal with WWE on June 13, 2022.
Though not a wrestling fan (yet), Gobourne told Wrestling Inc.’s Nick Hausman that she looked into the business and found inspiration in Bianca Belair, a former SEC athlete in her own right who competed at South Carolina, Texas A&M, and the Knoxville native’s hometown program, Tennessee, before becoming a multi-time WWE Women’s Champion.
“(Wrestling) wasn’t something that we grew up watching,” Gobourne prefaced before saying, “But I did look into it a little bit, and at first I was… because like I said, I’m a glam girl, so I thought that I had to be a tomboy to be into this. But when I searched more into it and then I looked up Bianca Belair, which is someone that I really look up to, I saw how she was a glam girl, and everything about her was feminine, and very bedazzled and glam. And I was like, ‘Oh my God, this could be so cool.'”
Derrian Gobourne has a ready-made storyline in WWE
Gobourne is entering a business that isn’t just about being an athlete, but also being an entertainer. There’s no guarantee Gobourne will catch on considering she isn’t a student of pro wrestling and will have to learn to understand the psychological aspect of cutting scripted promos on and “selling” the damage done by her opponents. Still, Gobourne has the showmanship and athleticism to be an entertaining in-ring competitor, and it’s hard to see her not being spectacular performing.
If she ever gets through the WWE’s Performance Center and past the company’s developmental brand, NXT, Gobourne has a ready-made storyline with Charlotte Flair, aka “The Queen.” Anyone who has seen Goubourne’s floor routine knows that when she is doing her thing, the Sarasota, Florida native is the one woman deserving that honor.
Let’s hope Gobourne is one day staring across the ring from the likes of Flair, Belair, and the rest of the WWE’s women’s division.