WWE's stars of tomorrow will learn the art of entertaining inside a ring at a newly-announced training facility in Orlando, FL.
Jon Busdeker of the Orlando Sentinel reported that, "A new World Wrestling Entertainment training center in east Orange County will have seven wrestling rings and a sound stage." Busdeker added that the 26,000-square-foot facility will also "have strength-and-conditioning and physical-therapy areas."
In a way, Florida has become WWE's second home. The state is also home to Full Sail University, where WWE puts on their NXT TV tapings.
The money and effort WWE is putting into this building and to its developmental system as a whole shows a clear commitment to bettering the product and to securing its future.
What other add-ons should the center have? What else will enhance the training experience of WWE's future stars?
The way an NFL quarterback studies video of defenses, a WWE prospect should spend significant time learning through repetitive viewing.
For both promo work and in-ring action, trainees can soak up the nuances of the complex beast that is pro wrestling. From selling a story to making a punch look devastating, there is plenty more to the business than power and agility.
Sit prospects in front of the screen and make them watch Nick Bockwinkel and Jake Roberts speak to the audience. Have them study how Dean Malenko or Dynamite Kid worked on the mat.
Of course, potential WWE stars will need to do the majority of their work between the ropes, but film study can be an important part of the process.
This is more about the experience inside the facility than the facility itself, but varying trainers can lead to an expanded repertoire among the prospects and add to their wealth of knowledge
Guys like Joey Mercury and Norman Smiley are part of NXT's training staff. They will certainly offer newbies a strong base to build on.
WWE should also bring in guest trainers from Japan, Mexico and elsewhere. Perhaps a few things that one of these guests says to them sticks. They can certainly offer additional approaches, mantras and ways to see things. Making sure to have advanced students exposed to a variety of styles will only lead to more versatile performers.
It's not a complicated or an expensive item, but it's one that the bruised prospects who will take bump after bump will greatly appreciate.
Few things are harder on your body than getting tossed around a wrestling ring for an extended amount of time. Contusions and swelling are unavoidable parts of the business. Having a few ice baths at the ready will help the newbies recover.
Runnersworld.com shared information from two studies that back up the health benefits of ice baths post-training.
Yoga isn't just for hot, young women. Several NFL players, for example, have taken to the practice. Kevin Boss and Troy Polamalu (h/t Yahoo! Sports) are among the players who have improved their flexibility with yoga.
Having future Superstars and Divas follow their lead is a low-cost way to work on their bodies.
Prospects can help prevent injury and increase their range of motion. Just ask former WCW world champ, Diamond Dallas Page. Page has been using yoga to turn lives around (h/t WrestlingInc.com).
Page told WNS Podcast Crew about the effects of his yoga practice, saying, "I realized by wearing a heart monitor that I could get my heart rate jacked up standing still with minimal joint impact yet still dramatically increase my flexibility and core strength."
Making yoga a part of the training center would have a number of benefits and would need little more than some floor space, mats and an instructor.
The Orlando Sentinel writes that "the center is expected to employ about 100 people," but only 16 of those folks are expected to have full-time jobs.
One of those people should be a nutritionist.
For these prospects to get the most out of their body, to bulk up without using steroids or damaging their heart in the process, a nutrition expert on staff would help dramatically. Wrestlers of the past probably lived on beer and burgers, but the stars of the future can be quicker and have better endurance, thanks to a great diet.
The Virginia Mason Athletic Center is the phenomenal facility where the Seattle Seahawks get ready for their season. Among all the impressive amenities it has, the center includes lap pools (h/t Yahoo! Voices).
The Seahawks facility is 200,000 square feet compared to WWE's 26,000, so no one is going to expect the same number of pools, but a few places for wrestlers to swim laps would do wonders for their bodies.
Olympic swimmer Janet Evans writes on HumanKinetics.com that "swimming is the ultimate all-in-one fitness package, working most muscles in the body in a variety of ways with every stroke." It's a much lower-impact workout compared to running or weightlifting and would benefit the high-flyers as well as the bruising powerhouses.
It almost goes without saying, but for something that requires as much strength and physical endurance as pro wrestling, there's going to be some major weightlifting required.
With all the breakthroughs in the study of the human body and who best to strengthen, training equipment is advanced and highly effective. WWE should put a significant chunk of their budget in getting the best stuff available.
A virtual tour of the weight room at The University of Alabama shows what the ideal weight room should look like. The center in Orlando won't have nearly as much as space the Crimson Tide players do, but the focus on quality should remain the same.