A new report has claimed that WWE are set to scrap their current policy on recruitment after the recent round of try-outs were branded a disaster.
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 mould 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 WWE. 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 medallist Gable Steveson.
However, the company might be about to perform a U-Turn on that policy after a spate of injuries at a recent try-out during SummerSlam weekend.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez noted that from reports he had received, the try-out was a disaster.
Apparently this most recent set of WWE try-outs, this was the set out of try-outs 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 try-outs: 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.”
WWE’s NIL program was recently in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after collegiate amateur wrestling star AJ Ferrari is under investigation over allegations of sexual assault.
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