WWE has faced significant fan backlash after yet another massive wave of firings swept the company’s talent roster. Some of the cuts were especially baffling, such as Harry Smith. Smith signed with WWE in April and was barely used before being let go.
Now, WWE is looking to revamp their entire approach to signing new talent. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the company is looking at a plan to offer short-term contracts to new talent. The talent would then have to impress WWE officials during this brief tryout period.
“There is also talk that of those being signed by WWE starting in the new year, that they will, except the top prospects, be signed to 60-day trial contracts to see the rate they improve at. If they don’t show improvement, they won’t be signed to full-time deals.”
The strategy here may be as much public relations as it is business. The company can avoid a situation where they bring in a new wrestler on a long contract and then suddenly firing them making them look bad. They’ll have a two-month long trial before they have to commit to any longer-term deals.
The move will also reduce the amount of people they have to fire. If the promotion isn’t happy with a new talent, they can simply wait a month or two and their contract will expire. Time will tell how wrestlers react to the new system if it is implemented, but some may avoid going to WWE only to be let go quickly and have the public perception be that they aren’t good enough for WWE.
Regardless, WWE is looking outside of the wrestling sphere for new signees. Independent wrestlers who want a shot at the big time might have to look elsewhere, such as AEW or Impact. They won’t have Ring of Honor as an option for a while, if ever again.
What do you think of WWE’s potential new contract system for NXT? Let us know in the comments!