Steffanie Rhiannon Newell (born 15 November 1994) is a Welsh professional wrestler. She is signed to WWE and appears on their NXT brand under the ring name Tegan Nox. Newell previously wrestled on the British independent circuit under the ring name Nixon Newell, most notably for promotions such as Attack! Pro Wrestling, Progress Wrestling, What Culture Pro Wrestling, and Fight Club: Pro.
Steffanie Newell was born on November 15, 1994 in Bargoed, Wales, 15 miles north of Cardiff. As a little girl, Newell played football for a number of teams in her area and at one point took part in trials for both Cardiff City and the Welsh national team. At age 13, she suffered a knee injury which would ultimately cost her a place on the Wales Under-16 team. When she finally turned 16, she gave up football, instead planning on taking a long hiatus from all sports, citing her knee injury and a lack of passion for the sport as her reasons.
Shortly after quitting football, she found a professional wrestling school in Port Talbot and began training under Dave Stewart and "Wild Boar" Mike Hitchman. She said that the encouragement of her late grandfather to pursue a career in professional wrestling was her main inspiration. Outside of football, she played netball and tag rugby. Despite playing football for the majority of her youth, Newell grew up as a fan of professional wrestling after being introduced to it at the age of five and cites Molly Holly as her favourite female wrestler and dream opponent.
Professional wrestling career
IMPACT Wrestling (2013)
Newell made a one-time appearance on IMPACT Wrestling in their Pay-per-view event Slammiversary XI as a fan under her real name. She won an all expenses paid trip via Challenge TV. Newell was interviewed by SoCal Val.
Attack! Pro Wrestling (2013–2017)
Newell debuted for Attack! Pro Wrestling in July 2014, competing three times on the same show. Firstly she defeated Lana Austin and later in the evening teamed with Austin to defeat Mark Andrews and Pete Dunne to win the Attack! 24/7 Championship for the second time in her career. Later that night, Newell and Austin lost the championship to Mike Bird in a handicap match.
Newell debuted her Luchadora The Explorer character on 24 January 2015, teaming with Brookes in a loss to The Anti-Fun Police (Damian Dunne and Ryan Smile). She competed as Luchadora once again on 14 February, winning a special invitational scramble match. In January 2016, Newell aligned herself with Mark Andrews, forming the extremely popular team known as Bayside High. In their first match as a team, Newell and Andrews defeated #CCK (Brookes and Kid Lykos). Two days later on 3 April, Bayside High became the new Attack: Pro! Tag Team Champions, defeating #CCK. The duo retained the titles until August, when they lost them back to #CCK in a TLC match.
In late 2016, Newell turned into a villainess, abandoning Bayside High and aligning herself with Pete Dunne. In their first match together, Dunne and Newell (dressed as the Suicide Squad iterations of The Joker and Harley Quinn, respectively) defeated Martin Kirby and El Ligero (dressed as Kevin Owens and El Generico, respectively).
Fight Club: Pro (2015–2017)
Nixon Newell was the first woman to wrestle at Wolverhampton based promotion, Fight Club: Pro in 2015 where she competed in a 4 way match in the infinity tournament against Chris Brookes, Dan Moloney and Eddie Dennis.
Due to Newell’s departure to WWE, Fight Club: Pro honored her with a show named after her “First Female of Fight Club” where Nixon requested to face Candice LeRae. This match ended after Newell hit LeRae with the Shiniest Wizard.
Newell’s final FCP match took place at Dream Tag Team Invitational (Night 1) where she was a surprise entrant in a 6 way match.
Progress Wrestling (2016)
Newell debuted for Progress Wrestling on 28 August 2016, defeating Alex Windsor. On November 27, she entered the Natural Progression Series IV Tournament (a single elimination tournament to crown the first ever Progress Women's Champion), defeating Katey Harvey in the first round.
Shimmer Women Athletes (2016)
Newell debuted for the American all-female promotion Shimmer Women Athletes at Volume 81, first losing to Veda Scott and then losing to Nicole Matthews the following day at Volume 82. At Volume 84, Newell picked up her first win in Shimmer, defeating Scott.
What Culture Pro Wrestling (2016–2017)
Newell debuted for What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) on 27 July at Loaded #5, defeating Bea Priestley, but was defeated by Priestley the following day. On August 24, Newell and Priestley faced off once again, this time in a last woman standing match to crown the first ever WCPW Women's Champion, won by Newell. On 13 February 2017, Newell lost the WCPW Women's Championship to Bea Priestley in a no disqualification match, ending her reign at 173 days.
World Wonder Ring Stardom (2017)
In January 2017, Newell embarked on her first tour of Japan, competing with the all-female promotion Stardom. In her first match on the tour, she and Kay Lee Ray defeated Oedo Tai (Kris Wolf and Viper). On 29 January, Newell challenged Kairi Hojo for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, losing after a diving elbow from Hojo.
Mae Young Classic (2017–2018)
In April 2017, it was reported that Newell had signed a contract with WWE.
It was reported that Newell was replaced in the WWE Mae Young Classic, because of tearing to her ACL before the tournament had even began. Newell returned to the ring on April 13, 2018, at an NXT live event, where she teamed up with Dakota Kai in a tag team match to defeat Reina González and Vanessa Borne. After being announced as a competitor in the 2018 Mae Young Classic, Newell entered the tournament on August 8, under the ring name Tegan Nox, defeating Zatara. Nox returned the following day, defeating Nicole Matthews in the second round before suffering another knee injury in her quarter-final match against Rhea Ripley. After the match premiered on the WWE Network, Nox posted on Twitter that she had suffered numerous injuries during the match, including: a torn ACL, MCL, lateral collateral ligament, meniscus, and patellar dislocation.
On June 25, 2019, Nox made her in-ring return at an NXT live event in Orlando, Florida. On September 11, Nox made her NXT UK debut when she defeated Shax. Afterwards, Nox began a feud with NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray, resulting in a championship match between the two on the October 2 episode of NXT UK, where Nox was unsuccessful. On October 16, Nox returned to NXT, defeating Taynara. Thereafter, Nox began teaming with long-time friend Dakota Kai, with the two defeating Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir to become number one contenders to the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship on the October 23 episode of NXT. Nox and Kai would go on to lose their title match against The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) on the October 30 episode of NXT. Two days later on SmackDown, Nox and Ripley were one of the many NXT wrestlers to invade the show, challenging Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville to a tag-team match, which Nox and Ripley emerged victorious. Later that night, Nox joined Triple H and the rest of the NXT roster as they declared war on both Raw and SmackDown, and vowed to win the Survivor Series brand warfare. Nox was chosen by Ripley to join her team as part of a women's WarGames match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. At the event on November 23, just before the match took place, Mia Yim was attacked backstage and unable to compete in the women's WarGames match, before her teammate Dakota Kai replaced Yim on Team Ripley. Ripley's team defeated Shayna Baszler's team, however Nox would not take part in the match after Kai turned on Team Ripley and attacked her. After a short hiatus due to a storyline injury, Nox returned on the January 15, 2020 episode of NXT, competing in a number one contendership battle royal for the NXT Women's Championship, where she was unsuccessful after Kai interfered and eliminated her. On the January 29 episode of NXT, Nox defeated Kai after using a knee brace following interference by Candice LeRae. On February 16 at NXT TakeOver: Portland, Nox lost to Kai in a street fight match after interference by the debuting Raquel González, formerly known as Reina González. On the March 4 episode of NXT, Nox lost to Kai again in a steel cage match, after González interfered. On June 7 at NXT TakeOver: In Your House, Nox teamed up with Mia Yim and Shotzi Blackheart to defeat Kai, González and Candice LeRae in a six-woman tag team match. On the July 1 episode of NXT The Great American Bash, Nox defeated Kai, LeRae and Yim in a fatal four-way elimination match to become the number one contender for the NXT Women's Championship. On the July 15 episode of NXT, Nox was unsuccessful in her title match against defending champion Io Shirai. On September 30, it was announced that Nox had once again suffered a torn ACL and would be out of action for an indefinite amount of time.
Professional wrestling style and persona
Newell has stated her ring name "Tegan Nox" is a tribute to both her Welsh heritage and being a fan of the Harry Potter franchise. This also relates to her nickname: "The Girl with the Shiniest Wizard" – as she uses a step-up knee strike, commonly referred to as a shining wizard, as her finishing move.
Newell was previously in a relationship with New Zealander professional wrestler Travis Banks. The relationship is thought to have lasted for 8 months from October 2016 to June 2017. The relationship was not publicly announced but well known by Travis’ tweets.
On July 10, 2020, Newell revealed that she is in a relationship with a woman named Sierra St. Pierre. Talking on WWE's online show The Bump, Newell confirmed she is bisexual. Newell said, "For me, it's always been, like, not about gender. If someone makes me laugh and they make me feel good and they're nice people, I'm all for that. It doesn't matter if they're man, woman, it doesn't matter to me."
Championships and accomplishments
Attack! Pro Wrestling
Attack! 24/7 Championship (3 times) − by herself (2 times), with Lana Austin (1 time)
Attack! Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Mark Andrews
British Empire Wrestling
British Empire Woman's Championship (1 time)
Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship (2 times)
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
Ranked No. 26 of the top 100 female wrestlers in the PWI Female 100 in 2020
Southside Wrestling Entertainment
SWE Tag Team Championship (1 time) − with PJ Black
Queen of Southside Championship (1 time)
What Culture Pro Wrestling
WCPW Women's Championship (1 time, inaugural)