WWE(R) Performance Center Opening - 18th April 2013
to right: Mason Ryan, Adrian Neville, Corey Graves,
Peter Clarke, Orange County Commissioner, Teresa Jacobs,
Mayor of Orange County, Paul "Triple H(R)"
Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent and Live
Events, WWE, Rick Scott, Gov. of Florida, Garry Jones,
President of Full Sail University, Conor O'Brian,
Paige, Xavier Woods
Conn. - April 18, 2013
Opening this summer, the WWE state-of-the-art Performance
Center will serve as the new home to WWE's talent
developmental system, recently re-branded NXT(R) and
create nearly 100 high-wage jobs in Orlando, Florida.
26,000 square-feet, seven training rings, a world-class
strength and conditioning program and cutting-edge
edit and production facilities, the new Performance
Center will give WWE the ability to train more potential
performers than ever before through a comprehensive
program including in-ring training, physical preparedness
and character development. The new center will be
the training ground for talent that includes former
professional and collegiate athletes, Olympians and
entertainers, and will offer a best-in-class sports
medicine program creating a central location for all
WWE talent to receive the best care both in and out
of the ring.
economy has created nearly 300,000 new private sector
jobs in just over two years, meaning that thousands
of Florida families now have the opportunity to pursue
their dreams," said Governor Rick Scott. "WWE
could have chosen anywhere in the world to house this
new global performance center -- and they chose the
Sunshine State. Today's announcement that WWE will
create nearly 100 more jobs for families in Central
Florida is further proof that everything we do is
geared towards job creation and it's working."
are so excited that WWE has chosen to establish its
training and talent development operations in Central
Florida," said Teresa Jacobs, Mayor of Orange
County. "In addition to strengthening our burgeoning
entertainment production industry, the WWE Performance
Center brings high-value jobs, capital investment
and continued economic expansion to our area."
announcement 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 WWE.com
and in more than 60 countries worldwide, to Full Sail
Live, the university's state-of-the-art performance
venue. The partnership, which created a new 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
WWE Performance Center and our partnership with Full
Sail University are critical to the future of our
company," said Paul "Triple H(R) "
Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent and Live
Events, WWE. "Orlando is now the home to the
next generation of WWE Superstars."
with WWE has elevated the education experience here
at Full Sail University by creating many opportunities
for our students to gain hands-on experience by being
mentored by some of the best minds in the entertainment
production industry," said Garry Jones, President
of Full Sail University. "We are excited to welcome
WWE to the neighborhood and can't wait to see what
the future holds for this evolving partnership."
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Blog, JR at @CACReunion, WWE Performance Center, Who
Killed the Territories?, Order JR's Products for Grill
04/19/2013 - 9:30am J.R.
Greetings from the bipolar weather capitol of the
world...Norman, Oklahoma. Let's of random thoughts
and opinion to grill here today so let's light the
time at the 48th Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion this
week in Las Vegas. It wasn't a money making trip as
my lovely wife attended and did her part to contribute
to the economy of Vegas by doing two days worth of
shopping. Seriously, we both had a wonderful time
seeing so many old friends and fans that we have gotten
to know over the years.
CAC is a great non profit organization that does many
amazing, charitable things for those in need from
within the wrestling biz. CAC doesn't look for publicity
as many of their benevolent acts would bring embarrassment
to many of the recipients. But, take it from me, CAC
helps lots of people that you know or have heard of
over the years and I'm of the mindset that more people,
fans and wrestlers alike, should join the organization.
For more info check out the CAC website at http://www.caulifloweralleyclub.org
I wish the event would be moved to June as I feel
that following WrestleMania so closely and while many
WWE talents are in Europe and can't attend doesn't
serve the attendance at CAC well. Two trips in one
month are too much for many to endure both physically
and financially. Hopefully the CAC Board of Directors
will take this into consideration. If they want to
grow, get younger, etc then why not have their only,
annual fundraiser when fans can bring their children
who are in school during the month of April but are
available to travel to Vegas in June?
I had the pleasure of presenting Adam Copeland AKA
Edge the Male Wrestler Award from CAC in a surprise
presentation. Only three people knew of this matter
as it was a total surprise to Edge. I followed such
powerful and serious presentations as the DDP/Jake
the Snake Roberts duo and the late, Paul Bearer/Percy
Pringle presentation so I attempted to ad lib my way
into a more light hearted mood in what felt like a
somber room and rightfully so at that particular time
of the evening.
Reading Adam's resume is really amazing as he's accomplished
and earned an amazing body of work winning over 30
titles in WWE. However, Adam is a much better human
being with a kind soul and unwavering character which
even surpasses his professional accomplishments inside
the ring. The 2012 WWE Hall of Famer is one of my
all time favorite signees as we signed him, and Christian,
We loved spending time with Adam and his best pal
Beth Phoenix in Vegas as Adam prepares for a five
month stint of filming the new season of SyFy's Haven
in Nova Scotia, if I'm not mistaken. Adam's character
on Haven has expanded to appear on every episode at
The amazing work that DDP is doing with Jake Roberts
is awe inspiring. I met 3 of Jake's 8 children at
CAC and it was a wonderful reunion for the previously
estranged family. Obviously, it was a very emotional
weekend for the family as the creator of the DDT is
well on is way to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse
and let's all pray that he steers the course and reaches
his destination. Jake's speech at CAC was damn amazing
as was DDP's.
It was great seeing Ivan Koloff who has issues getting
around and walks with a cane. Ivan is still barrel
chested but like many older veterans is 'shrinking'
or so it seemed. Uncle Ivan was a great hand with
amazing endurance and strength back in the day and
is now an ordained minister and spends most of his
time helping others including speaking with inmates
in prison. The former WWWF Champion, who defeated
his hero Bruno Sammartino, always treated me wonderfully
when I went to work for Jim Crockett Promotions back
in the 80's.
Greenwald aka Molly Holly also received an award,
presented by Lisa Moretti aka Ivory, that was well
deserved and beautifully received. If more people,
men and women alike, had Molly's character and integrity,
the business would be infinitely better off. I hired
her on the recommendation of Dean Malenko and even
though she did not fit the stereotypical mold of a
WWE Diva, Nora was one of the most successful and
productive women that ever worked in WWE. She's now
working in a drug treatment facility in Minnesota
and is happily married.
announcement earlier this week of the construction
and soon to be opened for business WWE Performance
Center in Orlando is HUGE news for the long term future
and success of WWE and is a personal dream come true
for me. Back in the mid 90's when we started the developmental
system in such markets as Louisville, Memphis, Cincinnati,
and Los Angeles, I always wanted to someday have a
NFL-like facility where athletes could be trained
in all facets of the business. To successfully recruit
world class, Division 1 like college athletes, we
needed to have a facility that would fit every need
and compete with the facilities that many of these
high level athletes were accustomed to frequenting.
will now have that facility in Orlando just minutes
away from Full Sail University where NXT will continue
to be taped approximately every three weeks. WWE's
relationship with Full Sail University is a long term
one that will see the two entities develop not only
in ring talent but other roles including technical
bad some cynics are critical of this positive move
saying, what we all know is true, that nothing will
ever replace a well run, wrestling territory that
produces its own weekly TV show, has a roster full
of positive, veteran talents who want to share their
knowledge and skills while teaching the next generation
of stars in weekly regular events in front of different,
live audiences on a regular basis.
that scenario is not going to happen. Wrestling territories
are dead and aren't being resurrected. One of the
most ludicrous theories from some of the disgruntled
collection of negative individuals is that WWE "killed
the territories." This inane theory is laughable.
promoting and behind the times, near sighted promoters
killed their own territories by not using updated
promotional skills and techniques, by not continuing
to maintain a great relationship with their TV stations
via sound, media relations, and, arguably most importantly,
by not developing their own, homegrown, new wrestling
the advent of cable and satellite TV made many of
the low budget, locally produced TV shows look obsolete
and minor league.
school promoters found themselves in a comfort zone
of "this is how we've always done it" and
that philosophy killed their business but the popular
theory of displacing blame is to accuse the WWE of
doing the dirty deed. I was there...I saw it with
my own eyes...I worked in a territory or two for the
record during the time that these beloved territories
In the UWF, the economy killed our region of the country
due to the oil market crash which drove unemployment
numbers to all time highs and lessened disposable
income significantly. However, the other cold, hard
fact is that we weren't developing any hot, new stars
with which the fans could emotionally invest. WE failed
in that aspect of the promotion of which I was a part.
The good old boy system of promoting passed away,
unfortunately, just as many mom and pop retail stores
did when mass marketers like Wal Mart came to town
with new products that were promoted in up to date,
aggressive methods. In some cases the Ma and Pa stores
refused to invest to compete and were hell bent on
sticking with the "this is the way that we've
always done it" theory. People who are resistant
to change are likely bound to fail.
The future of the genre is to develop new stars who
now have to be trained in a different manner than
in the territory days. The new, WWE Performance Center
will enable WWE to do just that while attracting a
high level athlete from many structured environments
and athletic programs.
If one is a true student of the game, one knows that
promoters have been signing main stream athletes to
perform in a pro wrestling ring for decades and the
list of stars from this process is a who's who.
We are recruiting highly skilled, motivated, intelligent
athletes who have marketable personalities and who
have an aptitude for the biz. For any one to think
that we are signing individuals who have zero knowledge
or passion for our product is just silly. Plus, merely
having a muscular physique isn't the only criteria
as being a well conditioned, natural athlete with
a great motor and a marketable personality is more
important that having a marketable physique. The list
of talents that we signed over the years displayed
a variety of body types and I feel that we are returning
to that theory.
Plus, WWE will continue to recruit the best of the
independent scene however every time someone's friend
or favorite isn't immediately signed the indictment
will be distributed that WWE isn't looking in the
indy scene which, if you look at the current WWE roster,
contradicts that theory immediately.
Of course these indy stars will have new, WWE names
so that WWE can own and manage the intellectual property
of the individual which is the smart and responsible
thing for WWE to do. Anyone who doesn't understand
that simply doesn't understand the entertainment business.
We have tons of Q&A's to update so check that
out here on the site too.
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