Former WWE tag team champion Brian Kendrick is one of the most physically gifted athletes to ever set into a wrestling ring, but the veteran is far from done giving back to the industry that helped make him a star.
At 36 years old, Kendrick is in a different place in his career. While he is focusing on teaching at his school—Brian Kendrick's School of Professional Wrestling—he has also wrestled in NXT within the last year and continued to work with WWE behind the scenes.
Kendrick recently spoke with Ring Rust Radio (quotes courtesy of the News of Delaware County's Joe Arcidiacono) about working with NXT and possibly doing more with the brand in the future, helping WWE to help train Eva Marie, his run with TNA Impact Wrestling and much more.
In February, Kendrick made an appearance on NXT programming, going up against Finn Balor in the main event. Many WWE fans were excited to see the veteran back on television and wondered how long he would stay.
While Kendrick hasn’t been seen on NXT since, he revealed he hopes to have the opportunity to wrestle in WWE’s developmental territory once again:
I do have interest in returning. It came out of the blue the opportunity to do it. I had friends in the right places [so] it fell into my lap. Hopefully something will happen before the year is through. [I'll] keep my fingers crossed. As of right now, I have no matches scheduled...with NXT.
Wrestling in the ring isn’t the only place Kendrick is still having an influence on WWE, as he was also the well-publicized trainer of WWE Diva Eva Marie.
Whether it was in video packages or on the television show Total Divas, it was Kendrick who was assigned the tall task of trying to teach Eva Marie the basics of wrestling. She may be green in the ring, but Kendrick has given her a good base to grow from.
Kendrick talked about training Eva Marie and her upside if she continues to train hard:
It came about when William Regal called me up. He works in the offices as a scout and mentor to a lot of WWE people. He reached out to me with the opportunity, and I had very little expectation, the company had no expectations and she came in and worked her ass off.
I hope she continues to wrestle with people with more experience than her, and with her drive, aptitude and willingness to try, I think she can do great. If she can get in there with the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley, Paige, Becky Lynch, or any girls with experience, it could help her get to that next level.
It is unclear whether Eva Marie will ever become a competent in-ring worker, but she is definitely better than she was before, and Kendrick’s training has a lot to do with that.
Other wrestlers should be picking the brain of Kendrick, whether they are NXT talents or the independent wrestlers he faces. The WWE veteran is a fountain of wrestling knowledge and has the experience to back up his words.
Most fans know him for his time in WWE, but Kendrick also spent several years in TNA over two different stints. When asked about the differences between WWE and TNA and the end of his time in Impact Wrestling, Kendrick spoke candidly:
I enjoyed it. It’s a different animal in TNA and not ran the same as WWE, which I grew accustomed to with that level of work. TNA was great while I was there, but like many other TNA wrestlers, I wasn’t working, getting paid for months off and not being able to wrestle anywhere else. Stuff like that gave me stomach pains because they took what I loved away from me.
When I was working at TNA I loved it, but when they contracted me, wouldn’t bring me in and refused to let me wrestle anywhere else, I just wanted to go postal.
Kendrick is a unique man with a unique in-ring character, and trying to limit or script him is not the way to handle him. With serious skill in the ring and the experience needed to be a star, there is still plenty left in the tank for the former tag team champion.
While the chances of ever holding a singles title in WWE are slim to none, the way the company books NXT could provide the opportunity for Kendrick to become a regular performer who could put over younger guys in the same way Rhyno does right now.
There is no doubt Kendrick has plenty of value for WWE, whether it is in the ring or behind the scenes teaching the stars of tomorrow at his wrestling school. Either way, the veteran will have an influence on the sport for many years to come.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).