More than 30 people did their best to become WWE Superstars at a three-day tryout held last week at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. It’s always exciting to hear about these, and learning who may be showing up in NXT and on the main roster soon. Just last month there was a separate audition for Erica Wiebe, a Canadian Olympic wrestler and gold medal winner. And it was last fall’s big audition that brought Ruby Riot, Abbey Laith, and Mae Young Classic finalist Shayna Baszler into WWE.
As reported on WWE.com, last week’s audition was run by head coach Matt Bloom, and featured wrestlers and other athletes from Canada, China, Russia, Australia, Mexico, India and Brazil, as well as the United States. Perhaps the most well known to audition was Ashley Lomberger, better known as Madison Rayne.
A 12-year wrestling veteran, Rayne was a TNA/Impact/GFW Knockout from 2009 until July of this year. She was a 5-time Knockouts Champion, as well as a two-time Knockouts Tag Champion, first as one of the Beautiful People and then alongside Gail Kim. She also wrestled for Shimmer, where she held their Tag Team Championship with Neveah. Here she is in the ring with Jade, also known as Mae Young Classic competitor Mia Yim:
Other attendees included Alex Rohde, who wrestlers in the Western U.S. as Alexander Hammerstone, and who definitely has a WWE look about him:
John Washington, who wrestles as Owen Travels, has a promising skillset and look, as well as a propensity for dressing like a literal Sun God.
WWE’s interest in wrestlers of Indian descent continues with the attendance of Munraj Sahota, son of the Great Gama Singh and cousin of current WWE champion Jinder Mahal, as well as Harpreet Singh, who wrestles on the American indies as Robo the Punjabi Lion. Robo has a great look, but seems to rely on a manager when it comes to cutting promos:
El Hijo del Medico Asesino is a masked luchador from Mexico, who WWE.com describes as having “three generations of experience,” which is a very WWE understanding of how experience works. He already spent a little time in WWE developmental in 2011 and 2012 under the name Benicio Salazar, where he appeared in the ring with likes of Bray Wyatt and Kassius Ohno.
Matthew Hannon also spent six months in WWE development in 2011, after which he returned to his indie persona of Matthew Justice, declaring that he loves wrestling and just isn’t made for Sports Entertainment.
Karen Yu, aka Karen Q, has appeared on Women of Honor, so maybe she can join the Undisputed Era if she makes it to NXT.
Lea Nox doesn’t seem to have had a long career so far, but she looks like Even-More-Evil Emma, which could be an advantage or a disadvantage. It’s hard to say.
Other wrestlers who tried out include Karleena Ailie, who wrestles as the very creepy Karleena Gore, Russian wrestler Natalia Markova, Haleem Ramdoum aka GT Vega, and Puerto Rican wrestler Victor Ortiz, grandson of the legendary Vikingo.
As always, there was also plenty of non-wrestlers on hand, including Chinese boxer Taishan Dong, who stands seven feet tall, and definitely has the look of a WWE giant.
Also in attendance were Logan Holler, a female boxer from South Carolina, and Andrews Nakahara, a Brazilian MMA fighter. For the complete list of attendees, check out WWE.com. In the months to come, it will be fascinating to see who WWE decides to sign, and in the years to come it will be fascinating to see what they find to do with them.