27. November, 2012


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It’s great seeing the next wave of developmental stars get a chance to shine on the big stage.  The only constant is change and new talent is the life blood of pro wrestling/sports entertainment.

With so much free wrestling on TV and a monthly PPV, I have to wonder how live event attendance is holding up.  I also wonder who would want to enter the pro wrestling/sports entertainment business and what their expectations are these days.

Watching RAW and Smack Down on TV does look exciting…bright lights, music, pyro, screaming fans.  It looks glamorous and appear as though it’s a rock star’s life.  For some, no doubt.

The road to get from watching in your living room to actually performing on the grand stage on prime time Monday night can be a long and at times discouraging road.  To some, just making it to the WWE developmental system is an accomplishment and they are content to say “at least I was under contract at one time.”  For others, the desire and dedication runs deep and they refuse to let anything stand in their way.

Training as a developmental talent and getting paid to learn and get better at something you have a passion for would seem like the ideal gig for a young person just out of college or plying their wares on the independent scene.  To some it is.  Others get tired of training and feel they’re ready when the reality is they have no idea how much  they have left to learn. Patience is a virtue they say, but persistence is a necessary commodity if you’re going to make it past developmental.

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns paid their dues and then some in developmental. A lot of people have and yet they still sit in Tampa toiling away.  Timing is everything. When I hear the complaints about “they brought those guys in just like Nexxus” I have to laugh.  They got their foot in the door. They appeared next the the “Best in the World” and one of the more impressive “Monsters” to come along in years.  And they got noticed.

For the average fan watching, I would hope those three piqued your interest.  For the above average or “super fan” I would hope you knew something about these guys and were interested in how they got there and asked, “why now?”

The answer would be…it’s time.  Some would say “It’s about time!”  Either way new talent was introduced and now have the opportunity to prove they are worthy of competing on the main stage with top talent.  Nexxus broke up and went different directions. Some faired better than others.  Fate has a way of working things out.  Shawn Michaels came in the WWE as a tag team wrestler but always knew he was a singles star.  Shawn was determined to make people see he was his own man and wouldn’t let anyone or anything stand in his way.

Everyone has to find their own way.  Without the ego, brashness, confidence, whatever you want to call it; you have to make your own path and be prepared for the land mines and snipers ahead.  I have a feeling Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns are more than prepared.

The business and landscape are a lot different from when I broke in.  I was just happy to be there.  Don’t rock the boat.  Once I saw the other side of the table (the office) I got a new appreciation for what a promoter, writer and trainer had to deal with.  There were enough people fighting for a spot that if you didn’t, you were easily forgotten and dismissed as “not caring.”  I cared.  I just didn’t know how to display or communicate that.

I learned a lot about human nature and the reality of how the business (and life) works eventually.  I made some huge errors along the way but I also felt like I had nothing more to lose and the ‘writing was on the wall.’  I can be passionate and extremely emotional when I get into what I’m doing.  That doesn’t always help things.

Once again, I think it’s been well documented that people like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart can be highly passionate, emotional and at times irrational when you pour your heart and soul into something you believe in strongly.

I see guys like Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns, Slater, McIntyre, Mahal, Barrett, Gabriel, Swagger, Ziggler, Cesaro, Kofi, Bryan, AJ, Del Rio, Brodus, Sandow, Hawkins, PTP’s, Uso’s, Hunico, Curtis, McGillicutty, Ryback, Kidd, Ryder and others who are hungry and looking to forge their way ahead.

Trial and error.  They will all learn one way…or another.

There’s more competition than ever before in developmental.  Some are content being there while others are doing everything they can to get out and make a name for themselves.  They are learning to do whatever it takes.  Not everyone is prepared or willing to go the extra mile, no matter what that may be.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the idea you must be ‘selfish’ and take care of number one.  There’s an old saying “I’m here to make money, not friends.”  It’s great if you can make both, but highly improbable.

While it might appear Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns are together at this point, I don’t count on them being a unit for long.  I see them branching out and going on their own sooner rather than later.  I believe they’ve learned how to both survive and be selfish.  Three strong willed personalities can’t exist as a unit for long.  I can already see a competitive environment becoming even more explosive as their careers soar.  Or decline, if they don’t grasp the jungle they’re in. What I know about these three tell me they banded together out of necessity as much as using each other to become “hunters” before they became “hunted.”

While the WWE Universe is watching and wondering what these guys next move is, so are the talent in developmental.  I’m sure there are many pulling for them to succeed.  Be careful what you wish for and be prepared to meet them in a new light once you get the call up.  That can be a good thing if you thrive on testing yourself.

There is a transition taking place and it’s good to see.  I hope more young talent take it upon themselves to break the mold and make an impression.  Once you get your foot in the door, don’t take a step back…kick it in!

For all the blood, sweat, tears and dues paid in developmental there’s few who reach their full potential.  Everybody walks in with dreams and goals. How do they get where they want to be?  Those destined will find a way. No two people have followed the same path…

While Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns are just the latest to make their debut I can’t wait to see the next wave of new talent make an impact.  They should be over-prepared for what lies ahead.  The future looks to be in good hands.

Thanks for reading.

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