According to a new report WWE could be set to reverse a controversial recruitment policy after a recent tryout resulted in a lot of injuries.
Back in August 2021 ahead of the revamp of NXT Dave Meltzer reported in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE will not be looking for any talent on wrestling’s rich and varied independent scene. In recent years it became commonplace for the company to sign the cream of the crop from the independents and take them to NXT.
Instead, the plan was to focus on college athletes which led to the company implementing their new Next In Line program to focus on that seam of talent with Olympic gold medallist Gable Steveson part of that initiative.
Now, however, that could be about to change again. On Wrestling Observer Live, it was reported that a tryout featuring no independent talent did not go as well as some in WWE presumably hoped:
“Apparently this most recent set of WWE tryouts, this was the set out of tryouts where a lot of NIL folks showed up trying to get deals, and [there were] no independent wrestlers allowed, the word is this is probably the last time this is going to happen.”
“They’re not getting rid of the NIL program but this idea of no independent wrestlers, all NIL folks like Lash Legend and Ivy Nile and folks like that. The point of this is there were a ton of injuries at this set of tryouts: There were several concussions, there were a lot of folks trying out that got hurt – it’s the blind leading the blind.”
“So anyway it looks like the days of, all college athletes attempting to get NIL deals, no independent wrestlers, it appears that’s probably over. […] I heard a lot of injuries, I heard a lot of them, quite frankly, sucked and… I don’t want to put words in anybody’s mouths but from what I heard, it sounded like it was a disaster.”
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