An army of European hopefuls turned up to Cologne's Motorworld for WWE's first every talent tryout in Germany, amongst them top independent star Ilja Rukober - better known as Ilja Dragunov.
Russian Dragunov has been earning plaudits in the industry over the past few years after winning Westside Extreme Wrestling's 16 Carat Gold Tournament in 2017. He participated in PWG's prestigious Battle of Los Angeles tournament this past September, and most recently squared off with WWE's Pete Dunne at PROGRESS Chapter 76.
The five-day tryouts saw a whole host of other notable European names turn up hoping to impress Performance Center top brass Matt Bloom, Robbie Brookside, and Sarah Stock. Alongside Dragunov were Netherlands giant Jurn Simmons, French starlet Mila Smidt, and third-generation grappler Camille Grignon.
The Germany camp didn't just attract those already running the ropes. A number of professional athletes, strongmen, bodybuilders and fighters made their way to the Rhine city, amongst them Germany strongman champion and certified unit Raffael Gordzielik, as well as Kenyan Christopher Oketch, a powerlifting champ in Qatar and his homeland.
With a bit of luck, a few of the dozens in attendance could become, if not the next John Cena, then perhaps the next Alex Wright.
Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know).
He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.