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A new beginning for WWE
The next generation of WWE Superstars, Divas, referees and announcers now have a new place to call home: The WWE Performance Center has officially opened.
On July 11, WWE unveiled its world-class training facility that is the new foundation for WWE’s guaranteed success. The newly established home to WWE’s talent developmental system, NXT, the facility in Orlando, Fla., was officially unveiled at a press conference hosted by Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events Triple H, Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Mayor of Orange County Teresa Jacobs and Chief Operating Officer of Full Sail University, Ken Goldstone.
Announced two months ago by WWE COO Triple H and Florida Governor Rick Scott, the 26,000 square foot facility gives both WWE and NXT Superstars and Divas a state-of-the-art home to hone their in-ring training, physical preparedness and character development with real-time feedback from WWE coaches, trainers and doctors. The Center houses seven wrestling rings, a world-class gym, and a full medical staff on site five days a week. The WWE Performance Center also features high-tech production and edit suites in accordance with WWE’s partnership with Full Sail University, whose students edit and produce weekly, internationally-broadcast episodes of WWE NXT at the university’s Full Sail Live facility.
“The WWE Performance Center represents the guaranteed future success of our company, providing the next generation of WWE Superstars with a world-class facility to call their own,” said WWE COO Triple H.
“To us this is much more than a [training center],” said NXT Superstar Xavier Woods, one of the approximately 75 talents – ranging from collegiate and professional athletes to Olympians and entertainers – who'll train in the Center. “This is our home and we’re very privileged to live here.”
At least one Superstar was even a little jealous of his developmental comrades.
“I'm envious that our NXT Superstars get to train here,” said Sheamus. "You have to crawl before you walk and this where you can learn.”
“Talent is the only natural resource WWE has," said Triple H, who took the podium after an introduction by Michael Cole, "And today is a new day."
The Performance Center’s significance also extends beyond the ropes, as Florida state executives spoke on the positive impact the facility will have on Florida’s state economy and on the WWE Universe itself.
"We think the opening of [the Center] is terrific news for our local economy,” said Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson. “The presence of WWE makes Orlando a television mecca."
“WWE gives mothers time with their daughters, fathers with their sons, and friends together with friends," said Ken Goldstone, COO of Full Sail.
At one point in the ceremony, Triple H and Goldstone teamed up to award a $10,000 “WWE Scholarship” check to Full Sail University graduate Felipe Giannazzo intended to help him start a life in the post-graduate world.
With its top-tier amenities, the Performance Center represents less an expansion of WWE’s umbrella than the very future of the sports-entertainment industry.
“[This is] years in the making, top facility,” said WWE Developmental trainer Bill DeMott. ”The evolution of this business continues and it starts today.”
“You are now looking at the guaranteed future success of WWE,” said Triple H.
The Game’s wife, WWE Executive Vice President Stephanie McMahon, echoed the 13-time World Champion’s statement. “This [Performance Center] is the future of our business,” said Stephanie, who also signified the Center’s opening by tolling the original ring bell from Madison Square Garden. “And the future is now.”
“I don’t think there’s anything in the NFL, NHL or NBA that can really outdo this facility put together here,” WWE Hall of Famer and NXT trainer Dusty Rhodes told WWE.com. “It’s a great opportunity for our young talent, it is the future of the WWE entertainment industry, and there’s everything here you need, man.”
WWE Performance Center Key Highlights:
In-Ring Training Room
- 2,000 square-foot world-class training room with seven training rings
- Including one "show ring” with theatrical lighting and broadcast capability to provide developmental talent with a full training experience
- Connectivity between the Performance Center and WWE’s headquarters in Stamford, Conn., via closed circuit cameras will allow for real time feedback from WWE executives
- Best-in-class sports medicine facility with on-site medical care creating a central location for all WWE talent to receive the best care both in and out of the ring
- Dr. Michael Sampson, Medical Director, holds regular office hours
- Access to a full-time athletic trainer and full-time physical therapist whenever talent are training as well as a network of local specialists
Strength and Conditioning
- 5,500 square-foot state-of-the-art strength and conditioning room that will allow for daily training sessions for all developmental trainees
- Featuring cutting edge strength and conditioning equipment, cardio machines, medical rehab equipment and floor space for stretching and plyometric movement
- World-renowned strength coach Joe DeFranco will serve as a consultant
- A small, private studio that allows talent to practice on-camera techniques and work individually on character development and performance skills
- Capable of being operated by the talent themselves, this one-of-a-kind studio functions without technical personnel and is controlled using a simple iPad interface
Edit and Production Suites
- Cutting-edge edit and production facilities dedicated to creating improved TV performances for in-ring talent
- Flash (Pre-tape) Studio – a full-function, green-screen capable studio designed to allow talent to practice their TV presentation skills or to create content for NXT or WWE programming. The room features a Sony ENG style camera, studio lighting and high-resolution recording using AJA Digital recording hardware operated by production staff
- VO Booth – a practice room designed for announcers-in-training to work with WWE seasoned professionals to hone their live action announcing and play-by-play skills. The room allows for up to three announcers to work directly with an audio engineer to provide quick and easy record and playback functionality
The Performance Center solidifies WWE’s presence in Orlando and evolves WWE’s partnership with Full Sail University. Last year, WWE and Full Sail announced an innovative partnership that moved live tapings of WWE NXT series, WWE’s weekly one-hour show that broadcasts on Hulu Plus and in more than 100 countries, to Full Sail Live, the university’s state-of-the-art performance venue. The partnership, which created a student scholarship fund, also allows students of the university’s entertainment-focused degree programs, including Film, Show Production, Digital Arts and Design, Internet Marketing and Entertainment Business, to gain real-world experience alongside WWE production staff during WWE NXT tapings.
For more information about NXT and talent bios, visit http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt.