For decades the WWE has always been known as the “land of the giants” due to the immense size of their wrestlers, but now they seem to be shifting away from this as they attempt to hire smaller wrestlers to keep up with the demand of WWE fans for better wrestling. Yes the demand for better wrestling continues and WWE has always been able to deliver good wrestling but not to the state that fans are demanding it today.
This is why a man like Roman Reigns counts as one of the “big guys” in today’s WWE. In the Attitude Era, he would be just another guy as most everyone was his size just as a rule. Times have changed, and WWE has seen the writing on the wall for some time that bigger guys do not sell like they used to. Regardless, WWE continued to hire them off and on because they felt “the look” could not be taught like wrestling could.
This led them to hiring a lot of guys with no experience that come from the world of football, MMA, and even soccer. The same issue WWE had with big guys, they also had with hot women. At one point, WWE just hired models and trained them how to wrestle, barely, and they were thrown on the main roster while the men at least had two years training.
Triple H seemed to think that the success of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan was no coincidence and began pushing for WWE to hire others like them, which saw the hiring of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins just to name a few. Eventually guys like Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Sami Zayn, and more were hired by the WWE under Triple H’s watch.
The Game then saw the success of women’s wrestling outside the WWE and brought in Sara Del Rey, known independent wrestling great, to focus on the women. She did just that and helped to start a revolution. The success of independent wrestling was growing all around the WWE, and one thing seemed constant…there were very few amazing big guys.
You had some out there that were the classic big man who also happened to be good. However, for the most part, you needed to focus on everyone under 220 lbs. That led WWE to bring back the Cruiserweight division, this time with a 205 weight limit due to the wrestlers getting smaller. Now it looks like WWE is not even willing to look at guys who don’t fit here.
According to Ringside News, recent WWE try-outs were sent emails saying that they were not looking to hire anyone over 205lbs. Obviously this was sent to people who did not fit the bill. This goes heavily against WWE policy as they are always open to a great big guy, so the fact that they turned any down is really surprising. The average guy WWE looked for was at least 220lbs and up, not 205lbs and under. Due to the major shift, it has gotten a lot of people talking.
Will WWE have the same thought if there is a top independent star who is over that? Right now there isn’t one that stands out, but there are some who are slightly over that size or right at it. Adam Cole and Kenny Omega are within range, as is Jay Lethal and Will Ospreay. This means a great deal of top independent talent next year that WWE is targeting also happens to fit within that class of guys they want to hire.
It will be interesting to see if WWE keeps to this policy for long-term use. They have clearly been successful with the formula in hiring independent guys, as it has only driven up better wrestling content. There are still uses with storylines, mostly for WWE RAW, but other than this, the WWE clearly does have an opportunity to change their look. If they look like the place that is not about the big guy anymore, but about the wrestler, that old perception of WWE being full of ‘roid raged guys will be gone.
[Featured Image By WWE]