What WWE Can Learn From TNA’s Christian York
TNA wrestler Christian York, 35, proves that age is no factor in being a rising star America’s second largest wrestling...
TNA wrestler Christian York, 35, proves that age is no factor in being a rising star America’s second largest wrestling promotion. But will WWE ever be willing to hire older wrestlers as up-and-coming stars?
Back in November 2012, indy star York successfully passed his “Gut Check” trial on Impact Wrestling, winning himself a spot on the TNA roster. Following his signing, York was thrust straight into the X-Division title scene. Now, he is arguably one of the most over guys in the company.
The Virginia native’s success is a combination of technical ability and solid booking. Over the past weeks on Impact, York has proven himself in feuds with both older wrestlers (Rob Van Dam) and those with less experience (Kenny King). A friend of mine recently commented that watching York is like watching Bret Hart in his WWF days: you know he is good because he makes everyone else look good.
Gut Check judge Tazz really said it all in his evaluation speech, remarking, ‘You know what the “it” factor is, right? Well, in my opinion, you have it.’
We are constantly being told that promoters and talent scouts are on the look-out for the next “big star” in professional wrestling. However, it appears the No. 1 promotion in North America – WWE – is ignoring some of the best talent in the independent scene because they are no longer in their 20s.
For TNA fans, this is only a good thing as it means the Tennessee-based company is getting their hands on more experienced wrestlers like York. However, for WWE devotees like myself – who had to sit through Kaitlyn and Maxine’s infamous bout in 2010 – this ethos is frankly frustrating.
York’s double appearance at TNA’s latest PPV event in Orlando shows that they are willing to make an investment in their new cruiserweight star, however it’s hard to imagine Triple H doing the same in WWE.
As Paul Heyman points out in this AOL interview, there is a benefit to hiring 21 year-olds and moulding them into the stars of tomorrow. (If you check out WWE’s excellent developmental show NXT, you can see these 21 year-olds in action.) Nevertheless, the company should not be ignoring the older talent in the independent scene. The same goes for former WWE wrestlers.
It was reported recently that WWE had “no interest” in Samoa Joe, 33. Similar comments have been made about Colt Cabana, 32. These are arguably two of the most technically proficient and popular wrestlers in the US.
It worked second time round for the American Dragon Brian Danielson. It’s working in TNA with York. So, will WWE ever be willing to hire some real veterans?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.