A couple of weeks ago, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that WWE would be holding tryouts for Canadian wrestlers in Toronto in the days before SummerSlam took place in that city, a news tidbit that we covered here at Pro Wrestling Post. On Friday, August 9th WWE confirmed this, posting an article about the tryouts on their website.
The next day they posted a video containing footage from the tryouts, and interviews with some of the participants and coaches, on the WWE Performance Centre’s YouTube channel, which you can see here:
In the video, head coach Matt Bloom goes out of his way to praise the quality of talent in Canada. For anyone who follows independent wrestling in the country, this is no surprise as there are many promotions spread across the country. And they are brimming with men and women who excel in the ring.
Among the participant’s interviews are Jody Threat, a prominent female wrestler with Ontario’s Smash Wrestling. And Bianca Carelli, the daughter of Anthony Carelli, AKA Santino Marella. Both the video and the news article also highlight Randy Arruda. He was trained by Carelli at his Battle Arts Academy. He performs as Randy Reign, primarily for Ontario’s Destiny Wrestling. Although he has also wrestled for Pro Wrestling NOAH and done dark matches for WWE.
Other participants get to tell their stories, including Michael Mizerski, who has fought a harrowing battle with cancer but still continues to pursue his pro wrestling dream. Mizerski wrestles all over Canada as John Atlas, and more on his inspiring story can be found here.
It is clear that WWE views Canada as a fertile territory for talent. They have held similar tryouts overseas in the Middle East and Europe. But in the past Canadian wrestlers have had to travel to the Performance Centre in Orlando, Florida to get seen by coaches. But this first tryout in the country shows that the company acknowledges the depth of the Canadian wrestling industry.