WWE’s tryouts were successful for a number of individuals who found themselves signed to the company!
A year ago it was reported that with changes coming to NXT, WWE were set to revamp their entire hiring process. Gone were the says of recruiting the best wrestlers from across the independent scene, instead the company were looking to recruit star athletes right out of college to mold into Superstars of the future.
This led to the creation of WWE’s “Next In Line” program which aimed to provide a pathway from college sports to the sports entertainment giant. Successful signees would then put pen to paper on NIL contracts (Name, Image, Likeness). The first major name to sign one of these deals was Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson.
As part of SummerSlam weekend, WWE held a series of tryouts where 50 collegiate athletes attempted to show what they had in terms of becoming a sports entertainer. While the tryouts were called a “disaster” according to some reports due to the number of injuries suffered, WWE did find some of its future Superstars during the weekend. According to ESPN, 14 of the 50 athletes in attendance were signed to a WWE contract. Their names are unknown at this time.
Also in attendance in Nashville was NBA Champion Dwight Howard, who expressed interest in setting his sights on professional wrestling and impressed with both his promo ability and his eagerness to learn about the business, spending hours at the tryout and asking questions about how to execute moves properly in the ring. It’s unknown if he was among those signed to a contract.