WWE signs first wrestler from China

WWE talent recruiter Paul "Triple H" Levesque, right, shakes hands with Bin Wang, the first person from China to sign with the organization. Provided by WWE

The WWE announced Thursday in Shanghai that it has signed its first wrestler from China to a development contract.

Bin Wang, a 22-year-old from eastern China, will relocate to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, to hone his skills in an effort to become his country's first superstar in the sport.

The signing coincides with the organization announcing a deal with Chinese streaming service PPTV, which includes distributing its main shows "Raw" and "Smackdown" in Mandarin. WWE will also return to Shanghai, where the organization first hosted an event in 2010.

The signing was the responsibility of Paul "Triple H" Levesque, WWE's executive vice president of talent, live events and creative.

"If things work out, we think having Bin would lead to people here talking about the product more," Levesque told ESPN.com. "Once the NBA found Yao Ming, they didn't even need to find a second or third or fourth guy. Once fans got hooked, they followed the same stars as other fans did. He would open the door for them to learn more about our other guys like John Cena and Seth Rollins."

Levesque said that, in recent tryouts, Wang was raw, but "has the talent, charisma and confidence to eventually succeed."

The WWE's Performance Center opened three years ago to train the organization's future stars. It has seven rings and features acting classes that help prospects perfect their on-camera work and develop the personality of their characters. Participants can also get help learning a new language, if needed. Levesque said Wang will need to improve his English.

Eighty percent of the organization's current roster has worked with the development center in some way, Levesque said.

The six-foot-three, 220-pound Wang has spent the last two years training in Japan under WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki.