By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE issued the following press release to announce the talent tryouts that will be held during WrestleMania week.
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced that it will host a multi-day talent tryout, exclusively for current and recently graduated college athletes, as part of WrestleMania Week in Dallas.
The three-day event begins Wednesday, March 30, and will take place in Frisco, Texas, at the Ford Center at The Star, home of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and state-of-the-art practice facility. WWE will host more than 50 male and female participants with collegiate athletic backgrounds across football, basketball, track and field, wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics, cheer and dance. Several NFL Draft-eligible college football players are scheduled to participate in the invite-only event.
Athletes will partake in performance evaluations, individual and group promo evaluations, in-ring technical sessions and sit-down interviews as part of the tryout process. Additionally, current college athletes will participate in assessments as WWE continues its search for the next class of its “Next In Line™” program.
WWE launched its official NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program in December 2021 to establish a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE. Participants in the WrestleMania Week tryout will be considered for entry into the company’s second NIL class which will be unveiled in the coming months.
WWE’s inaugural 15-person NIL class included athletes from 13 universities, seven NCAA conferences and four sports. The comprehensive program serves to recruit and develop potential future Superstars, and further enhances WWE’s talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.
WrestleMania 38, the most stupendous two-night WrestleMania in history, takes place Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 live from AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Tickets are currently on sale via SeatGeek.com. WrestleMania 38 will stream live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.
Learn more about the path to becoming a WWE Superstar and the “Next In Line” program at wwerecruit.com.
Powell’s POV: Given the current approach with NXT, anyone who is signed at the tryouts may end up on television much sooner than past signees. The NIL approach is interesting in that the company is paying college athletes, yet those athletes are under no obligation to work for the company once their college careers are over.