MMA fighter Seth Petruzelli spoke with FOX Sports about how he became the head striking trainer at the WWE Performance Center. “One of my amateur fighters who used to train at my gym, Josh Woods, he was an amateur fighter, 5-0, and he always loved wrestling his whole life,” Petruzelli said. “He was a collegiate and high school wrestler. He went to a tryout for NXT and got accepted into their developmental program. So he’s wrestling for NXT right now, but one of his coaches came up to him and said ‘Look, we know you came from an MMA background and we’re really looking to get a coach to come in here to teach MMA, the jiu-jitsu, the striking, just to get some of our guys better technique and some more realistic moves.'”
Petruzelli said Triple H was behind the idea of bringing him in. “Triple H really wanted them to get a real look at it,” he said. “MMA is so huge now and people know like, ‘Oh, he dropped his hands’ or ‘Oh, he got caught with a punch’, so they are catching on to the phony stuff. So they really wanted me to teach them the proper footwork, the way to turn your hand over (for a punch), the proper hand and foot combinations, the timing, speed, and about how to keep your hands up to block, how to slip, how to bob and weave. They really wanted the wrestlers to look like they knew what they were doing.” Read the full story at FoxSports.com.
Powell’s POV: An excellent interview with Petruzelli talking about several of the wrestlers who have been called up to the main roster who took advantage of his training. He also left the door open to getting in the ring at some point by saying, “It’s something I’ve been thinking about in the back of my head, so don’t be surprised if it happens.”