Answered by Richard Gray of WrestlingNewsWorld.com
This is the most frequently asked question we get on a daily basis so rather than continuing to answer it, I decided to type out a detailed response. This article will be added to and edited so remember to check back frequently.
The first thing a lot of people are not aware of is WWE has their own employment website similar to what you would find at Monster.com. Here, they post job openings and what is required to apply. This website is located at WWE-Careers.com.
Many of you want how to become WWE wrestlers so I am going to begin with that. As mentioned, I will be adding to this article with further information on other positions.
How serious are you about becoming a WWE superstar?
How serious are you about becoming a WWE superstar? This is a question you need to give careful consideration before going any further. Becoming a WWE wrestler is a grueling process in which only the best will make it. You have to be willing to travel 300 days out of the year, start out making next to nothing and get ready to work through bumps and bruises. A lot of people believe just because a WWE wrester is on television they make a significant amount of money and have a relatively easy job. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many wrestlers who have “made it” and are signed to developmental contracts with WWE are only making around $25,000 per year. Take a look at these statistics from an article I penned in May 2011:
As of May 2011, WWE received up to 2000 wrestler applications a week. There were 70 people signed to a developmental contract at the time (a number that has since increased) from 14 different countries. Around 5 were projected to actually make the main WWE roster.
The odds of becoming a WWE superstar are actually lower than making it in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League.
I’m serious. Where do I start?
You need to be at least 18 years old and out of high school. If you’re currently reading this and still in middle or high school, work on staying in shape but there isn’t much you can do to begin preparing for a career in WWE. Education is important because the chances of making it are very slim so I wouldn’t recommend dropping out of school to begin preparations. The best wrestling schools are not going to accept an applicant under 18 years old.
If you are of age the first thing you need to do is get trained. There are a lot of wrestling schools to choose from but I’m only going to name a couple. A word to the wise about choosing a wrestling school, only pick a school that is run by a former successful wrestler. Why would you pay someone to train you that never made it? Be very cautious when picking a wrestling school but there are a lot of bad ones and only a few that are credible.
Below are my recommendations of credible wrestling schools:
Team 3D Academy
Owned by TNA’s Bully Ray & Devon
Located in Kissimmee, Florida
Storm Wrestling Academy
Owned by Lance Storm
Located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling Training Center
Owned by WWE’s Booker T
Located in Houston, Texas
Operated by WWE
Located in Tampa, Florida
Ohio Valley Wrestling Training School
Owned by Danny Davis (Daniel Briley)
Located in Louisville, Kentucky
These are not the only credible pro wrestling schools but all of the trainers listed above have had students make it to WWE and TNA. They are expensive but you are going to save money by getting trained properly. Many people will go to “cheaper” schools at a bargain only to find out they got ripped off. At the above schools you are not going to get ripped off and are going to get trained with all the tools you will need to make a serious run.
I’m serious and I’ve been trained. Now what?
If you’re serious about becoming a WWE wrestler and you’ve been trained now you have to get your name out there. I tell everyone that will listen to me to get to Florida. Florida is the home of WWE’s official developmental territory (NXT Wrestling) and TNA Wrestling’s homebase for their television and pay-per-views. The NXT facility is located in Tampa while TNA tapes in Orlando. Many aspiring professional wrestlers live in the Tampa/Orlando area. If you are serious about becoming a professional wrestler, move to Florida.
It’s not the end of the world if you cannot move to Florida but you are going to be behind considerably. If you can’t make it to Florida you may want to consider Louisville, Kentucky. This is the home of TNA’s official developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. You can also get trained there. The ideal situation would be to train with someone that can get you booked. The professional wrestling business has as much to do with who you know than it does how much you know.
The only warning I give people that want to immediately go to NXT Wrestling school or Ohio Valley Wrestling school is make sure you are ready. There’s nothing wrong with getting trained by these facilities but don’t just assume that if you train there, you will get hired there. This is why I did not list them above the other schools as the other schools are just fine.
I’m serious, I’ve been trained and I’m beginning to get booked. What’s your advice?
Work as hard as you can in and out of the ring. Whatever you do, don’t get it a big head and become an egotistical know it all. I know of some very talented people that have failed because of their egos. It’s essential you make friends with people inside the business and network as much as possible. However, I will warn you. A lot of people are looking to take advantage of green (new) workers and will make promises they have no intentions of keeping. Be smart, don’t give money to people that promise to get you booked, etc. There’s nothing wrong with buying a round of beers but when someone starts hounding you for money, they’re likely just ripping you off.
Regardless of where you are getting booked, don’t get overly concerned about pay. Sure it’s nice to get paid but your ultimate goal is to get noticed by one of the top independent promotions. The way you get noticed is by performing good matches and getting over with crowds. Your goal is to get booked by one of the following independent promotions:
This isn’t a requirement as there are ways to get noticed on the independent scene outside of the aforementioned promotions but these are two routinely scouted for talent. The most important thing is getting booked and making connections. Getting your name out on the independent scene is very important.
As stated, I recommend the Florida indies as it’s an area where you will develop several viable connections that will help you in your quest for a contract.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article yet haven’t even scratched the surface in all the ways to get signed. I’ve specifically highlighted one route but there many other situations that can lead to getting signed.
WWE travels all over the world and will often call local independent promotions for “extras.”
Many readers may recall Colin Delaney, who was a regular on the New York independent scene, and was called in as an extra in WWE. He ended up getting signed to a full time contract after getting over as an extra.
As long as you’re properly trained and getting booked, you’ve taken huge strides in attaining the ultimate goal. Paying your dues in the wrestling business isn’t easy and requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
This article is still being written. Check back later for more updates.