WWE has been trying to redefine the way they discover new talent. Rather than finding experienced, established wrestlers who have made their names on the independents or elsewhere, the company is focused on developing from within. That is why they launched their NIL program recently.
The company is also hosting an amateur wrestling showcase in Arlington, Texas. The idea is to find young amateur wrestlers like Gable Steveson who can catch on to the in-ring aspect of the job more smoothly. WWE will still take occasional looks at established wrestlers, but they’d prefer to create their own new stars.
In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer discussed an upcoming tryout camp during Mania week. There is currently an ongoing tryout camp that includes former ROH Women’s Champion Rok-C. Meltzer noted that WWE doesn’t plan to invite more than a few independent wrestlers, and even less moving forward.
“This week’s doctrine on new talent is more and more wanting to train athletes who are starting from scratch or almost from scratch. They are currently doing a camp and Rok-C is one of the people in it.
They want to have a big tryout in Dallas over Mania week and the idea is very few indie wrestlers, like no more than you can count on one hand, and even less going forward after that. Someone said the current camp should have changed this because only one of the athletes with no experience showed anything and it was someone who was a fan, while the few independent wrestlers ranged from okay to good.”
WWE can’t be surprised that people with no wrestling experience and no passion for the sport aren’t doing well in tryouts. For now, they appear to be sticking to the plan of developing fresh young athletes. Time will tell if that approach changes, or if WWE starts to find more success in the future.
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