It is undoubtedly “tryout season” in the WWE.
The company has brought a number of workers from its developmental territory, Florida Championship, on the road in recent weeks in order to be evaluated by WWE officials.
FCW standouts Seth Rollins (a.k.a. Ring of Honor’s Tyler Black), Dean Ambrose (a.k.a. Jon Moxley), Antonio Cesaro (a.k.a. ROH’s Claudio Castagnoli) and Leo Kruger have all worked either dark matches or house shows recently.
And—surprise, surprise—yet another FCW talent received a look from WWE officials this weekend.
Accounts of Husky Harris competing at Sunday’s SmackDown live event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana are incorrect as it was WWE developmental wrestler Calvin Raines who partnered with Drew McIntyre in a tag team match against Ezekiel Jackson and Trent Barreta.
Jackson was asked on Twitter who his opponent at the event was and he replied Calvin Raines.
Raines (real name: Patrick Brink) actually debuted with FCW back in August 2008 as “Caleb O’Neal,” but he was released from his developmental contract shortly thereafter in March 2009. He would, however, sign another developmental contract in August 2010 and has been working down there as Raines ever since then.
I honestly haven’t heard or read too much about Raines (either good or bad), but the company must have seen enough in him to bring him back for a second stint in developmental.
That being said, it’s interesting to see a fifth FCW star get a look from WWE officials within a month’s span.
Clearly, the WWE is looking to infusing its main roster with new talent, and given the current never-ending season of NXT and its overall failures as a show, it would appear that FCW stars are going to go straight from FCW to the main roster for the foreseeable future.
I’m all in favor of seeing some of these talents—especially Rollins, Ambrose and Cesaro—on the main roster, but I sure hope the creative team has an idea what it wants to do with these guys before they get called up.
The last thing we need is for some of the most talented performers in WWE’s developmental territory to get lost in the shuffle because the creative team has no idea how to book them.
Like I said, I am not very familiar with Raines. But Rollins, Ambrose and Cesaro are three guys who the WWE can’t afford to screw up.