The WWE held another talent tryout this week at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, conducted by PC Head Trainer Matt Bloom (formerly WWE Superstar Albert and Tensei and NJPW star Giant Bernard) and his coaching staff. Forty athletes from various walks of life, from indie wrestling to fitness performers to NFL or college football players attended the WWE tryouts.
Here’s a look at some of the indie names that were at this week’s tryout, as announced by the WWE on their website.
6’0″, 220 lbs., Malahide, Ontario, Canada
A 17-year indie veteran, Cody Deaner is best remembered by most for his one year run with Impact Wrestling in 2009 and his angle alongside ODB. Five years prior, he had a one-off match with the WWE when he faced Kurt Angle (as Cody Steele) on SmackDown. Cody Deaner continues to wrestle around North America on the indies, primarily in his home country of Canada, where he’s made appearances with SMASH Wrestling, Border City Wrestling (where he had a 301 day reign as the Can-Am Champion), Pro Wrestling Eclipse and more.
5’10”, 200 lbs., Angus, Ontario, Canada
A 14-year veteran of the indies in North America, he spent several years with Impact Wrestling up until just recently, where he was the leader of the popular faction The Decay, alongside Abyss and Rosemary, where he captured the Impact World Tag Team Championship. Steve was trained by current NXT Superstar Eric Young.
5’10”, 160 lbs.
A Native American wrestler who began her journey into pro wrestling last February of 2016, she competes in California and the West Coast, primarily with Supreme Pro Wrestling.
SLOAN CAPRICE / MIKE VERNA
New York City, 6’0″, 235 lbs.
This 25-year old indie journeyman competes as two different characters, depending where he is. He’s been a CHIKARA regular the past two years as Sloan Caprice, but elsewhere he competes as Mike Verna, most notably Chaotic, Tier-1 and New York Wrestling Connection (NYWC).
6’9″, 245 lbs., Erie, Pennsylvania
This giant is a product of Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW), where he received training from current NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano. He’s also a regular with Carolina Wrestling Federation (CWF) Mid-Atlantic, and a former college basketball star with Hofstra University.
6’4″, 280 lbs., Atlanta, Georgia
An imposing powerhouse trained by former WWE and WCW Superstar Mr. Hughes, Odinson is a regular on the indie circuit, most notably with Full Impact Pro, Anarchy Wrestling, New South Real Pro Wrestling (NSRPW) and Southern Fried Pro Wrestling. He’s the reigning NSRPW Champion, having held the title over 300 days.
SOLO / MARCELLUS PRIME
260 lbs., Roseland, Maryland
Trained by Samu (one of the Samoan family), this powerhouse is a regular with Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW) as well as the Samoans World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW). He’s a 2x MCW Tag Team Champion, 2x WXW Tag Team Champion and the current Dynamite Championship Wrestling (DCW) No Limits Champion.
6’5″, 245 lbs., St. Louis, Missouri
At 24 years old, he still has a lot of room to grow, but he’s already beginning to attract notice on the indie circuit. He was recently part of Ring of Honor‘s Top Prospect Tournament for 2017, as well as appearing on ROH dark matches for the past couple of years. He’s also appeared for the likes of Beyond, Anarchy and Resistance Pro.
6’2″, Auckland, New Zealand
A regular roster member for Impact Pro Wrestling New Zealand (IPW), this indie star has also spent time training with the Ring of Honor Dojo.
6’1″, 200 lbs., San Francisco, California
A main stay with All Pro Wrestling (APW) in California, as well as Pro Wrestling Revolution, he had an enhancement tag team match last year in the WWE, where he faced The Shining Stars on WWE Superstars. He’s a 2x APW Worldwide Internet Champion and PWR Tag Team Champion.
6’1″, 245 lbs., Evansville, Indiana
An indie wrestler out of Indiana, he previously tried to get on WWE Tough Enough a few years back.
6’2″, 245 lbs., Brooklyn, New York
Another Tough Enough hopeful from a few years back,
6’6″, 250 lbs., Boston, Massachusetts
Still incredibly new on the circuit, he’s a recent graduate of Lance Storm‘s Storm Academy in Calgary, Alberta.
Check the WWE article for the full list of the 40 athletes at the Try Out