PARKS'S TAKE PARKS'S TAKE: Did you know that it's not that easy to make it into WWE?, plus Thoughts on Ross/Tokyo Dome, Lucha, Team Cena
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:03:25 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Greg Parks, PWTorch specialist
A few weeks ago, WWE's website featured an inside-look at one of the many try-out camps WWE runs at their Performance Center in Orlando. It gave fans a rare sneak peek at the training that prospects from all walks of life are put through before they are offered a WWE contract.
In addition to a write-up on their site, there was also a video showing what each day was like for the prospective Superstars. WWE has pulled the curtain back so far over the last decade-plus that there is little mystery left in a genre that was built on keeping fans in the dark. The try-out camps were one of the last vestiges of the old-time carny ways. There was one, distinct message that stood out amongst all others when watching the video and reading the story.
Many have relayed the horror stories of WWE try-outs, that you have to be in fantastic cardio shape and that they like to weed out those who aren’t early in the process. You better come in not only feeling your best, but looking your best. Cardio workouts were the focus before they even let you into the ring. You had to prove you’ve earned it. You see, it’s not easy to make it into WWE.
The most noticeable name to wrestling fans was Rich Swann, a successful independent wrestler who has competed for Dragon Gate USA and CZW, amongst others. In the video, it was made known that what you’ve done outside of WWE won’t make a difference to them, but having that in-ring experience gives you a leg up over the others who are just learning the craft. Your indie cred won’t fly here – it’s not easy to make it into WWE.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the video was in the promo room, where snippets of selected interviews aired. To have to cut a promo, some with very little experience, in a room full of your peers as well as guys like William Regal and Dusty Rhodes must’ve been a nerve-wracking experience. A lot of them stunk. It’s not easy to make it into WWE.
And, it never hurts for WWE to have someone on-camera talking about how much harder and physically taxing it is to try out for WWE than whatever athletic walk-of-life they came from. After all, it’s not easy to make it into WWE.
Other Thoughts: When the announcement that Smackdown will be moving to Thursdays in 2015 was made last week, the question that immediately came to mind was, “Will WWE give more focus to Smackdown on Thursdays, when there are more people watching TV and the viewership should increase?” I addressed this question and others related to the future/past of Smackdown in my column in the upcoming edition of the PWTorch Newsletter... Jim Ross announcing New Japan’s Tokyo Dome show on January 4 will legitimize the show in a lot of American fans’s minds. I don’t think Ross being on the show will get people who weren’t going to buy the show to suddenly show interest, but I think it’ll move some of those on the fence into the “buy” category…Michael Elgin’s reality-driven storyline in Ring of Honor just doesn’t seem to be working, and why should it? The industry for the most part has moved beyond worked-shoot storylines having any kind of effectiveness, but I guess ROH and Elgin are the last ones to get the message...
I wasn’t as impressed by the second episode of Lucha Underground as I was with the first. That said, I understand the show is still evolving and that by the end of the first season of the show, it may look a little different. The most damning aspect of the second episode was Chavo Guerrero delivering a chair-shot to the head of Sexy Star. Quite frankly, that spot was hard to watch for a variety of reasons... On first blush, Team Cena for Survivor Series isn’t all that interesting. The lack of Dean Ambrose is odd, as WWE has instead placed him in a singles match against Bray Wyatt. Rather than holding off their first match until December, they’re blowing through it here when they could’ve put Ambrose on Team Cena, continued to tease the issues between those two, and allow Ambrose another crack at The Authority, whom he’s had issues with... C.M. Punk was in the news again for a non-wrestling-related project. He’ll dabble in comic book writing for Marvel. Some people are still bitter over Punk walking out on WWE, but if he was in a position to leave because he was unhappy, had saved enough money, and now gets to do only what he wants, all the more power to him. I’m sure some of us would like to be in the same position he’s in, too.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**