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WWE Performance Center - Good or bad?


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Good or bad?

 

What do you think?

 

WWE Training Center an Incubator for Wrestling Talent

by The Associated Press Aug 7th 2013 7:06AM

Courtesy: WWE

By KYLE HIGHTOWER

 

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bodies crashing to the ground and being slung against the springy ropes of the ring. The slapping of skin as hulking men and women grapple and hurl blows at one another. The clink of free weights and the roar of broadcasters practicing to get it just right for the cameras.

 

Welcome to World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) Performance Center, a $2.5 million, 26,000-square foot facility that opened last month, replacing a much smaller and antiquated facility in Tampa. It's both a graduate school of sorts for the WWE's next generation of talent and a training and rehabilitation center for its top-tier pro wrestlers, called "Superstars" and "Divas."

 

"Most kids grow up and at least at some point in their lives want to be a fireman or a cop. I've always wanted to be a pro wrestler since I was a little kid," said 29-year-old Corey Graves, one of the 75 aspiring wrestlers based at the center.

 

The largest part of the facility is a vast space featuring seven wrestling rings that makes the new Orlando facility the largest training facility WWE has ever built.

 

Wrestler Xavier Woods, 26, said it's the kind of environment he always hoped to train in.

 

"When I first started, the guy that was training us rented out the back of a storage unit, just a tight little space with bugs and everything. It was like the lowest-level thing you could do," Woods said. "So to be in a place like this ... it's literally unreal."

 

Aspiring wrestlers currently in training range from former NFL players and Olympians to a former beauty pageant contestant. They signed contracts allowing them to work solely on becoming wrestlers.

 

"One hundred percent, this is their jobs," said Jane Geddes, WWE senior vice president of talent and development. world wrestling entertainment wwe sport performance center orlando

Courtesy: WWE

Geddes said the WWE built the center envisioning a place where up-and-comers could train alongside established professionals.

 

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WWE is the major leagues of pro wrestling, with a half-billion dollars in annual revenue. Traditionally, it has been a magnet for young talent from smaller, independent wrestling operations. But those minor leagues are dwindling, and while the WWE does still hold some open tryouts, the performance center will be its main training ground for developing talent.

 

"This is where it starts for professional wrestlers now and this is where it will end -- in a good way -- as they look to move up to our main roster," Geddes said. "The timing was perfect for us to be able to move to the next level and create a facility like this."

 

Those who succeed will advance to WWE's "Raw" and "Smackdown" television broadcasts, as well as to pay-per-view shows, including "WrestleMania." In the meantime, they split training time with appearances in WWE's weekly "NXT" shows, which are filmed live in front of a crowd of 500 at nearby Full Sail University, a school with a heavy emphasis on entertainment production. The one-hour shows are broadcast in 100 countries.

 

While the performance center is mainly occupied by its "NXT" talent going through training, one of WWE's biggest stars, Paul "Big Show" Wight, was there recently to rehab from hip surgery.

 

WWE's old Tampa facility had only three wrestling rings and was located in a warehouse with no air conditioning. The new facility is triple the size. It has an area where television announcers hone their craft, a studio where wrestlers practice television promos, as well as lockers, weight rooms and rehabilitation facilities that are NFL and NBA caliber.

 

In many ways, developing wrestling characters is just as important as physical skill, as big, over-the-top personas like Hulk Hogan and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are what sell the sport.

 

Everything the wrestlers do at the facility, from their development in the ring and in front of the camera during promo sessions, can be sent electronically back to WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

 

There's no set period for how long a wrestler will spend at the performance center before moving up to the big time, but at the new training hub, wrestlers like Woods and Graves are confident they have what they need to succeed.

 

"Everything is right at our fingertips," Graves said. "You can actually feel a part of the big machine, which is really cool, because it can get frustrating when you think you're on your own. But now it's like, you're in it."

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Wow i can't believe there is even a question about this

 

I really hate it myself if every match goes crisp and smooth. Matches like that look all rehearsed and fake to me.

This picture perfect facility could possibly destroy the artform i.m.o.

 

Little nuances and imperfections in matches make the drama even better. I'm not sure if Triple H's "vision" of perfect wrestling is the same as I have.

 

Would Daniel Bryan and Cesaro be as good if they were brought up in the Performance Center opposed to learning their craft in RoH and Japan? Looks like interesting discussion to me.

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Wow i can't believe there is even a question about this

 

I really hate it myself if every match goes crisp and smooth. Matches like that look all rehearsed and fake to me.

This picture perfect facility could possibly destroy the artform i.m.o.

 

Little nuances and imperfections in matches make the drama even better. I'm not sure if Triple H's "vision" of perfect wrestling is the same as I have.

 

Would Daniel Bryan and Cesaro be as good if they were brought up in the Performance Center opposed to learning their craft in RoH and Japan? Looks like interesting discussion to me.

 

There's always going to be different types of guys in there. Fat, thin, tall, short etc etc etc. They're not all going to wrestle the same style. They're still going to bring in guys to developmental from the indies, who've wrestled abroad and so on. It's not about homogenising the matches, it's about letting them perfect their craft. If anything, the competition to get noticed is going to push guys to be more unique, since there'll be dozens of others all looking to get called up to the main roster.

 

The Bryan and Cesaro question is interesting, if a little moot. Let's say these guys didn't make the original cut to get into developmental. They don't just disappear forever, they go back to the indies, they carry on doing what they do, they carry on getting better, to the point where they get asked to come back. And even if they had started there, someone like Bryan would still be looking at Japanese stuff and incorporating it into his work because he loves it so much.

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Hallicks just covered the points I was going to make. But, yes I think it's a tremendously good thing and move for the company and the health and performance of its athletes. This place being put together I find very encouraging. I've mentioned this before but I'd love to be a WWE developmental talent right now with that at your disposal. You've got everyone you could want at your fingertips, I'd be in there 24/7 making use of something there.

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Wow i can't believe there is even a question about this

 

I really hate it myself if every match goes crisp and smooth. Matches like that look all rehearsed and fake to me.

This picture perfect facility could possibly destroy the artform i.m.o.

 

Little nuances and imperfections in matches make the drama even better. I'm not sure if Triple H's "vision" of perfect wrestling is the same as I have.

 

Would Daniel Bryan and Cesaro be as good if they were brought up in the Performance Center opposed to learning their craft in RoH and Japan? Looks like interesting discussion to me.

 

I really hate it when people call it an "artform", it's not. Wrestling is pantomime, and you wouldn't call Widow Twanky an Artist.

 

Anyways, I think this place is awesome. They have a heavily padded ring for the high flyers so I can't imagine how Adrian Neville's going to come out of it

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I think asking if it's a good or bad thing is an acceptable question, I could see the fear that it's like WCW's power plant and will just produce cookie cutter WWE style wrestlers, I don't think it will though, hopefully it will be used to further develop people who already have something going for them. I hope they keep picking people who have been around a few years and polishing them up though, it would be a shame if it was full of 20 year olds straight out of training and older guys stopped getting chances. Also it makes it really hard to fuck up, WWE will be scrutinizing people from the second they're in there but sometimes people deserve a second chance.

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Considering recent WWE has given CM Punk the fucking moon, is currently giving Daniel Bryan everything that they think will make him a huge star, brought in Sin Cara and didn't let him go to development first becuase they wanted to immediately capitalise on him, have given Cesaro a strong position in the middle of he card, etc, etc and so on, I'm not sure I buy a "the WWE's done this to make everybody a cookie cutter" argument. If anything the WWE seems to have moved away from that in the past few years.

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They definitely have, and Triple H has been a big part of that. Since he got his office job they've hired El Generico, for fuck's sake, a great wrestler who's also probably the least WWE Cookie Cutter looking guy in the business and possibly the world.

 

I think this place is gonna be a big asset for them. They're apparently bringing in some of their trusted trainers from all corners, so if anything, homogeneity is less likely than before.

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