– WWE NXT General Manager William Regal recently sat down with Fighting Spirit Magazine to shed some light on what he is looking for in prospective talents for WWE. Courtesy of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, below are highlights:
* WWE talent scouts are currently looking for an array of different talents and are foremost concerned with their in-ring acumen. The days of only looking for one type of person are over, says Regal. He says they are looking for people who can fill necessary roles for the company, and are particularly interested in men and women who’ve gotten over in other promotions.
* According to Regal, when someone recommends a wrestler, the first thing Triple H asks is, “Do they look like they can beat somebody up?” Both Regal and Triple H agree that believability is invaluable in their line of work. He recalls one wrestlers who received a try-out 18 months back; he was very good but WWE didn’t sign him because he looked too young. Regal wanted “someone who looked like a man,” and told him to come back in a couple of years.>
* When asked about the perfect age, he says that the best wrestlers are generally around 30-years-old.
* As far as developmental talents who didn’t come through the indies, Regal says they’re basically looking for people who would “make good action figures.” He says that prospective Superstars must at least look the part.
* Regal says that the most successful people in the wrestling industry have usually been those who possessed an incredible work ethic. He says WWE developmental used to be nothing but bodybuilders, which ended up proving fruitless: “You’d get one good one, out of every thousand.”
* Regal praises NXT’s Stuart Tomlinson (Hugo Knox), a former soccer player who just started working NXT live events. He says Stuart is opening doors for WWE in Europe due to his already established notoriety.
* Regal talks about the best exercises for pro wrestlers; he says Seth Rollins and Ryback both do burpees, because standard cardio can’t keep them in “wrestling shape.” He also praised hill running and kettlebell swinging.
* When asked about the important of an “amateur background,” Regal says that MMA training is probably more suitable for today’s prospective Superstars. He goes on to say boxing is also probably more applicable than amateur wrestling, as boxing footwork is more akin to how pro wrestlers perform.
* Regal says that major wrestling academies should teach everyone to roll before teaching them how to bump: “If you can roll at every angle, it becomes second nature to protect yourself when you fall.”
* Regal calls for a change in wrestling culture, as far as wrestlers taking bumps on their head or neck. He thinks people should stop using brain busters because “the casual fan thinks you just messed up a vertical suplex.” Regal had a major neck operation last year, before which he claims he spent 20 years sleeping just three hours a night. He swears by training his neck with bridging exercises, and claims it helped keep him together as long as it did.
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