Jim Ross has posted a new blog entry, here are the highlights…
Other than it taking me over 12 hours Thursday to fly from OKC to Tampa via DFW on American Airlines, the trip to Tampa was terrific.
This camp was primarily made up of amateur wrestlers that included several, multi time All Americans, a Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, a Pan American Games Gold Medalist, a couple of small college football players, and an active United States Navy Seal.
All in all, 15 men went through their paces over two days with Friday and Saturday being broken up into two, approximate three hour sessions each.
This was the best conditioned group of athletes that we've ever tried out and I'm fairly certain that WWE will offer multiple contracts to those that graded out the highest. I was hoping going in that we might be able to pick up two or so signees out of the 15 attending but that number could easily be doubled.
WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Brisco did a great job in recruiting several of these men on what many consider a somewhat lean year in the amateur ranks for what we are looking for in WWE.
Several of the athletes also have college degrees ranging from sports management to finance to accounting which was impressive. Smart, focused, athletes who come from a structured environment and have been in a competitive environment for years adds to the developmental process.
The key will be can they learn to entertain at the same level that matches their athletic skills and intensity? For that answer, only time will tell.
It will be interesting to see who makes it to the new, WWE Performance Center in Orlando that opens in mid July.
I'd like to compliment the developmental staff that includes Head Coach Bill DeMott, Norman Smiley, Joey Mercury, Billy Gunn, and Jerry Brisco who scouts high and low the amateur wrestling ranks, and William Regal who is another amazing coach/mentor.
Staffers Byron Saxton and Rob Naylor were also a major help in taping the proceedings and helping with logistics.
Developmental talent Sawyer Fulton was invaluable demonstrating the drills to the prospects. Fulton was in one of these tryout camps just a year ago and is a 6'7"-280 pound ex-amateur heavyweight who is progressing excellently in the NXT system.
If you're interested, you can read the full blog by clicking here.