WWE holds tryout for 28 top athletes in Manchester, England
WWE’s tour of the United Kingdom has brought with it not just the thrilling action of Raw and SmackDown LIVE, but also a golden opportunity for 28 athletes who attended a tryout this week in Manchester, England.
NXT General Manager William Regal and WWE Performance Center Coach Robbie Brookside, both masters of the classic British style of wrestling, oversaw the tryout, which was held Monday and Tuesday at the Manchester Arena.
The camp featured a diverse pool of prospects, including:
- British wrestler Andrew Inch, an 11-year veteran who competes out of Scotland under the alias Andy Wild
- 21-year-old Omari Hockel, a 6-foot-4 speedster who wrestles in the Fight Club: PRO and Lucha Forever organizations, among others
- Decorated amateur grappler Chinu Sandhu. The 275-pounder’s accomplishments include being an eight-time British wrestling champion and a bronze medalist in the 2014 Commonwealth Games
- “Big T Justice” Tosan Adeogun, a rugged giant from Preston, England, who stands nearly seven feet tall and weighs more than 300 pounds
- Jackie Polo and Mark Coffey, a championship tag team from Glasgow known collectively as Polo Promotions
- 6-foot-3, 240-pound Iestyn John Rees, a 12-year veteran from Gloucester, England, who has won heavyweight titles throughout the U.K.
- Donna Dale, aka Little Miss Roxy, a fire-eating former gymnast who has competed professionally for three years, including for English promotions Absolute Wrestling and Tidal Wrestling
- 24-year-old Chris Wareing, aka “Smash Mouth” Chris Ridgeway, a hard-hitting junior heavyweight from Liverpool who counts current WWE PC Coach Johnny Moss among his mentors
- Rough-and-tumble independent wrestler Jason Melrose, better known to ring fans as “The Primate” Jason Prime
- Six-year veteran Samantha Hunter, aka Sammii Jayne, a reigning women’s champion in Spain and England
- “The Pride of Wales” Eddie Dennis, a 6-foot-5 grappler who has competed for PROGRESS Wrestling and Revolution Pro
- Ashton Smith of Kingston, Jamaica, a former Preston City Wrestling Cruiserweight Champion and the reigning FutureShock Wrestling Champion
- “Screwface” James Ahmed, a 14-year veteran who competes in England, Germany and Denmark
- Scottish high-flyer Alan Niddrie, aka Kenny Williams, a three-time holder of Insane Championship Wrestling’s Zero-G Title
- 6-foot-9, 285-pound Charlie Spooner, aka Charlie Winston, an independent wrestler from Norwich, England, who has also wrestled in the Canadian Maritimes
- 23-year-old Courtney Stewart, a Glaswegian kickboxer-turned-wrestler who has competed in the U.K., the United States and Japan
- Wesley James Male, aka “Ugandan Warrior” Nsereko, a five-year veteran originally from Kampala, Uganda
- 6-foot-10 kickboxer Colin George, who is 16-9 in pro fights
- “Sexy Kev” Kevin Lloyd, a 178-pound former bodybuilder from Warrington, England
- Michael McLuckie, aka Michael Chase, a 10-year ring veteran and a mainstay of central Scotland’s Reckless Intent Wrestling promotion
- Eight-year veteran Nicky Griffin, who has won titles throughout England under the name Dick Riley
- Danny Duggan, a 212-pound British wrestler with three years’ experience
- 23-year-old “Sammy Smooth” Samuel Stoker, a champion in the London independent circuit
- Ryan Camerford, aka Jack Sexsmith, a frequent competitor in PROGRESS Wrestling
- Mixed martial artist Jake Constantinou, of Leicester, England. With a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Constantinou is 2-0 in pro fights and 3-1 in amateur competition
- Folakemi Lawal, a 26-year-old bruiser who also goes by the name “Voodoo Queen” Amarah. She has competed in promotions including Bellatrix Female Warriors and Wrestle Force
- Kelly Robinson, better known as Kasey Owens, a seven-year veteran based out of Glasgow and a former ICW Women’s Champion.
This week’s tryout continued WWE’s ongoing efforts to recruit competitors from around the world. WWE held talent tryouts in Dubai and London earlier this year, and scouts recently visited several countries in South America to observe independent wrestlers in the region.
Check out photos from the Manchester tryout below: