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By Mike Johnson on 2013-02-07 15:09:19
As I noted earlier this week in the Elite section, there were a slew of well known independent talents at WWE developmental over the weekend as the company invited a number of them to go through a tryout camp. This was done so WWE could evaluate them first-hand.

The camp was run by Bill DeMott with the other NXT trainers taking direction from him. Jim Ross was on hand as well.

Talents who were there included former WWE ECW star Shawn "Gavin" Spears (why a former WWE contracted talent needs to try out again is beyond me, but that's another story!), PWG champion/ROH TV champion Adam Cole, DGUSA star Samuray del Sol, ROH star Mike Bennett, Extreme Rising star Luke Hawx, former NFL player Lorenzo Hood, former New Japan talent Ricky Reyes, Northeast indy talent/Taz protege Smith James. former TNA star Jesse Neal and Nathan Banner, who did a tour of ZERO-ONE billed as Ernie Ladd Jr.

There were also a lot of novice athletes there as well, types who had contacted the company with their interest in training and getting signed. A good portion of those types were weeded out over the course of the weekend. One performer trying out actually quit on the first day because the regimen was so physically demanding.

The tryout was described as really, really brutal, especially on those who hadn't been through heavy, heavy pro wrestling style workouts in the past. One person claimed there was as many as 14 injuries over the course of the weekend from the workout, although others estimated that it was closer to 9-10 and that those with a good pedigree in the business and "had an idea as to what they were getting into" were fine.

The camp ran hard drills, had talents working matches and also cutting promos for the NXT staff.

Those attending were told they would hear back within 2-4 weeks about whether the company was interested in signing them right now but were told that no matter what happened, to stay in touch and keep working to improve as the company was always going to be looking out for new talent.

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