A long-running joke in wrestling circles is that “TNA is where washed-up WWE guys go” or is “exactly like WCW in the mid-to-late 1990s.”
While you could certainly make a case that TNA (or Impact Wrestling) has made a habit out of signing former WWE stars, every once in a while, the opposite happens and the WWE signs someone who made a name for himself in TNA first.
It happened most recently with Consequences Creed (a.k.a. Xavier Wood), but apparently, it’s happened again.
As noted before, former TNA talent Chase Stevens got a WWE tryout at last week’s RAW and SmackDown events in Ohio. The rumor going around the independents is that WWE has offered Stevens a contract.
For those who are unfamiliar with Chase Stevens, he’s perhaps best known for his on-and-off work with TNA between 2002 and 2007, where he and tag team partner Andy Douglas performed as “The Naturals” and once feuded with “America’s Most Wanted.”
Stevens has actually been on the WWE’s radar since shortly after he parted ways with TNA. In September 2007, Stevens (along with Douglas) was actually scheduled to work a tryout match for the WWE, but Douglas posted about it on MySpace beforehand, resulting in WWE officials cancelling the match.
Although Stevens did make three TV appearances for the WWE in 2008 (doing job duty), he never received a contract offer and went back to the independent scene, where he’s competed for a number of organizations, including Showtime All-Star Wrestling.
All in all, Stevens has spent 14 years as a professional wrestler and is one of the better indie wrestlers around.
All this said, I am pretty surprised that the WWE is even considering signing him.
Stevens is talented, sure. But he doesn’t fit the typical WWE mold (he’s only 6’0", 220 pounds) and he’s already 33 years old, which is older than a big portion of guys who are already on the main roster.
Perhaps the WWE really likes his experience and/or his skill set and will be looking to hotshot him to the main roster ASAP (if he indeed signs a contract, of course). If not, then Stevens may still be down in Florida Championship Wrestling when he’s 35-plus years old.
Note: As part of the new WWE blog, I'll be asking all of the B/R wrestling readers for questions for a new mailbag that I will post on Fridays. It will be a slideshow featuring 10-20 questions and answers on a wide range of topics. You can submit questions either through Formspring orTwitter, and the best ones will be answered in the B/R mailbag