WWE.com announced on Thursday that there is a massive tryout underway this weekend, featuring a whopping 39 participants (19 male wrestlers, 19 female wrestlers and a female referee(!)). For fans of indie wrestling, there are a few familiar names in there that might just blow your mind, the most notable being Eddie Kingston and Shayna Baszler.
Baszler, who is perhaps best known as one of MMA’s “Four Horsewomen,” a group of hardcore pro wrestling fans that includes Ronda Rousey. Baszler wears her wrestling fandom on her sleeve and can be found at basically every PWG show rooting harder than anyone. She made her pro wrestling debut last September and is already making Matt Riddle-like progress in the sport, impressing fans and just recently winning the AIW women’s title.
If you’re not familiar with Kingston, what the hell, dude. You may remember him from when Bull Dempsey stole every aspect of his gimmick and character and catch phrases for his initial NXT ruperha. You may actually remember him from basically every indie promotion ever, including lengthy runs in PWG and ROH, although he is likely best known for his work in CZW and CHIKARA. He was part of CHIKARA’s second class of trainee graduates and has been with the company ever since his debut in 2002. He is long noted for being one of the very best promos on the indies, but he’s also a hell of a wrestler.
Among the other familiar faces in the crowd of trainees are Heidi Lovelace and Kimber Lee, also familiar to CHIKARA fans, as well as followers of Beyond Wrestling and Shine, among many other promotions. And this one may make you super happy: 3.0 (AKA 2.), the team of Shane Matthews and Scott Parker, are part of the camp. They managed to win over the entire NXT Universe in a squash loss (under their real names) against the Revival at the WrestleMania AXXESS tapings back in April, so I’m dying for them to get a shot at a contract.
In all, just from Baszler and Kingston alone, this is an incredibly intriguing and promising crop of wrestlers to get a tryout. (There’s also a Fatu and a Rougeau in there, if you look closely.) History indicates that at least a couple of these hopefuls will end up receiving a deal, and I’d say Baszler is the most likely of any of them to walk away with a contract.