And now, without further ado, Wrestling-News.Net ,Michael Taj Gallagher and Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Tennessee Whisky (Neat, but consumed responsibly, for those wondering) present :The Taj Show*!
*Now cheesy intro free!
As always, all opinions expressed herein are exclusively my own opinions and, they do not reflect the views of other staff of Wrestling-News.Net
Anyone who watches professional wrestling out-with the mainstream World Wrestling Entertainment and TNA’s Impact Wrestling will know that there are several stand-out talents that they might consider as some of the best in the business. I often say to myself that these guys (and girls) will surely be in FCW before the year is out, but very rarely does this become the actuality of the situation. Instead, most of the time, instead, WWE and TNA offer a select few developmental contracts and opt to focus on in-house training of vastly inexperienced rookies. It has been the pro-wrestling way of life. In their youth, superstars like Edge had to somehow ascertain rare opportunities to train with the likes of Bret Hart before they were given the slightest hint of notice by WWE.
But why is it this way?
It can easily be deduced that World Wrestling Entertainment believe that they are the pinnacle of the professional wrestling world, and rightfully so. Vince McMahon has; undoubtedly, almost singlehandedly built the holy grail of professional wrestling in the WWE and WrestleMania so it should (logically) be the dreams of all aspiring wrestlers to perform on that global stage for WWE. It is like the now often clichéd quote from the movie Field Of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come”.
However, this sentiment seems to conflict with the opinions that every other major sport has. In most, if not all other sports, younger talent are very often sought out from a young age in order to ensure that teams and franchises have the best talent available at their disposal.
For example, in the world of football (“Soccer” to any American or Canadian readers I may have), the best player in the world is widely regarded as the Argentinian born Barcelona star, Lionel Messi. Now, Messi did not spend his career starting out at Boys’ Clubs and working his way up to semi-successful teams before being snapped up by the Spanish giants; instead, Barcelona scouts were made aware of his talents and he was signed to a youth-contract and relocated to Barcelona at the age of 13. The same can be said for Lionel Messi’s on-field rival, Cristiano Ronaldo. He was noticed as a youngster and signed by the Portuguese power-house that is Sporting Lisbon. Ronaldo would eventually seal a mega-move to Manchester United, a sign of his development and the refinement of his natural abilities.
If this approach works in the world of football, why can’t this be implemented by the WWE? There are many notable independent wrestling promotions in existence in the United States alone. Promotions such as Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate USA, Pro-Wrestling Guerilla, Women Superstars Uncensored, IWA-Mid South and NWA Hollywood, all have well superbly talented rosters that could easily adapt to the global main-stage that WWE provides. Talent such as Colt Cabana, Kevin Steen, The Briscoe Brothers, Uhaa Nation, Pac, Sami Callihan, Zack Sabre Jr., Jessicka Havok and Sara Del Rey all have that “it” factor that a company like WWE is looking for in its talent, regardless of their looks. Whilst some may argue that they are not quite ready; that is exactly why WWE’s Developmental Promotion, Florida Championship Wrestling is there. It should be used for helping the talent who are on the edge of glory, to quote Lady Gaga, ensuring that their potential is maximised and their abilities refined.
Sure, WWE has had a few success stories from its current method. Dolph Ziggler is perhaps the best documented successful graduate from the WWE system, but the proof is there that the current way simply cannot continue. The majority of graduates from FCW, as seen primarily on NXT, are still very inexperienced and some of their matches are cringe-worthy, to be polite about it. The notable exceptions to this are, of course, the superstars who were well ventured on the “indy circuit” prior to joining WWE. Performers like CM Punk, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cesaro and Alberto Del Rio all had vast amounts of prior wrestling experience but WWE/FCW helped them to refine their abilities and become the television main stays they are today.
The evidence is there that WWE needs to modify the way in which it recruits to its Developmental Promotion, as the current graduates’ abilities do not reflect the standard in which WWE portrays itself during its weekly episodic programming. If it truly wants to be the best professional wrestling promotion on the planet in terms of product and profits, then it has to reach out for the best; plain and simple.
Remember to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic by joining the discussion in the comments section below.
That is it for this edition of the Taj Show. Have a topic you would like me to discuss? It can be anything wrestling related and does not have to be WWE specific. If you’d like to contact me for praise, criticism, or just general banter; then feel free to tweet me @MGTAJ.
Until next time, Stay Classy San Diego!