As mentioned in the Rumor Roundup just yesterday (Sept. 28), former UFC fighter and current AIW Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler has reported to the Performance Center for a tryout, and WWE.com brought a lot of additional details for this record setting tryout featuring 20 women (including one referee) in addition to 19 male prospects.
So, let’s crack that bad boy open and see who we got, shall we?
Shayna Baszler: One of the mixed martial arts world’s version of the Four Horsewomen, Shayna hasn’t given up on fighting but she’s put pro wrestling first over the course of the last year or so and it’s really paying dividends. No surprise for someone trained by the legendary Billy Robinson, but she’s taken to the professional grappling arts like a duck to water, up to and including her aforementioned AIW Women’s Championship win. And with all the talk of a New Era and whatnot, signing a 36-year-old MMA star for their women’s division would certainly indicate another shift in WWE’s hiring practices.
Heidi Lovelace: The woman that Shayna beat for that AIW Women’s Championship, Heidi Lovelace is one of my absolute favorite women to watch in indie wrestling today. Six years into her pro wrestling career, she’s incredibly fast and smooth on offense and living up to her nickname as the Punk Rock Rag Doll on defense, selling sympathy like nobody’s business and bumping like a mad woman. She’s one half of the current Shimmer Tag Team Champions alongside Evie, and also definitely does not work for Freelance Wrestling as Sally Stitches.
Kimber Lee: A former Chikara Grand Champion trained by Drew Gulak at the CZW Academy, Lee is perhaps unfortunately best known for the incident that occurred opposite Chris Dickinson at a Beyond show last year. The two had an intergender match that culminated in hard chair shots to both wrestlers’ heads, as well as Lee eating a Pazuzu Bomb that came close to putting her neck through the bottom turnbuckle. That aside, Kimber is a solid wrestler who would be a welcome addition to just about any roster.
Nicole Savoy: A California indie standout who’s been breaking out nationally this year, Savoy is a grappler par excellence and a veritable suplex machine. The current Heart of Shimmer Champion, she won that title in the tournament at Shimmer 80, still one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. Coincidentally, she and Shayna Baszler, alongside veteran Mercedes Martinez, have formed a unit in Shimmer since then, which would certainly be a welcome direction if these women get signed.
Su Yung: If she’s signed from this tryout, this wouldn’t be Su Yung’s first rodeo, having spent a good chunk of 2010 and 2011 signed to WWE developmental territory FCW as Sonia. She’s honed her skills as a competitor and especially as a character in the years since. From PikaSu to the Premier Athlete Brand’s Secretary Su to the heel turn that unleashed the Undead Bride on the pro wrestling world, she’s quite versatile.
Eddie Kingston: The War King is a 14-year veteran of the independent scene. Among his many accolades, he won the 12 Large: Summit to become the inaugural Chikara Grand Champion, and is a former AAW, CZW, and IWA-MS champion besides. He’s a great in-ring competitor, a suplexing and striking strong style machine, but his real value is on the mic. Five years ago, in fact, he talked me right to the pay window for my first ever independent wrestling iPPV purchase. Go watch that promo, folks, and you’ll see exactly why I’d love to see Eddie on my TV screen every week.
Cedric Rougeau: He’s not the Mountie, but he is the son of the legendary Jacques Rougeau. Coming in at 6’6” and 300 pounds, he cuts an imposing figure to be sure. Information is kind of thin on the ground for his career to date, but watching this highlight video he moves well for a big man and that slingshot sunset flip is picture perfect.
Jacob Fatu: The Samoan Werewolf, son of the Tonga Kid and nephew to and trained by Rikishi (I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what this makes him to the rest of wrestling’s Samoans), Fatu has been working the California indies for several years now.
Jeff Parker & Matt Lee: Better known as Scott Parker & Shane Matthews, the team of 3.0 have 12 years of tag team experience to their names. They’re two-time former Chikara Campeons de Parejas, and they’ve already appeared on NXT in a losing effort to the Revival at this year’s WrestleMania Axxess taping.
Plus WWE Vice President of Talent Development Canyon Ceman promises two more big women’s tryouts to come, one in Europe in November and one in Australia in December.
Anybody you’d like to see signed, Cagesiders?