WWE held a recent round of tryouts in Las Vegas during SummerSlam weekend, signing 14 future superstars from the event.
Samoa Joe was present at the event as one of the talent scouts for the company. Speaking to Alex McCarthy of TalkSPORT, Joe discussed the tryouts and the directive when it comes to scouting for the future.
"I think all in all we signed 14 talents. We were on the fence about a few so don’t quote me on that but I think we ended up signing 14. A few of those guys I’m really excited about. Really genuinely excited. Fantastic athletes, incredible body mechanics, very charismatic – I was very happy with the tryouts," said Joe.
He continued by saying, “As for the directive, yeah, there is a directive and they do come straight from Vince [McMahon]. Vince says ‘hey, this is what we want’. But, the directives, it’s weird. They’ve been around forever. I worked for WWE in developmental when I very, very first started in California and these directives existed. But, they change. It changes based on the needs of the company. It’s funny, I read the articles – I know exactly what you’re talking about – I read the outrage about the directive and I’m like, this is nothing different. And then next week, the directive will be different. I think at this point, the track record of NXT and the hiring process has shown that. There have been different cycles where different types of athletes come in. Everything from independent talents come in to just straight up athletes; these directives change and they shift basically on the needs of the company. The directive right now is probably a little bit younger and looking for a little more athletic, which isn’t terrible whatsoever, but that directive will invariably shift as the needs as the company shifts. So yeah, there is a directive, it comes from Vince, we all follow it and we get the job done for him. We’re happy to do so. It’s that simple by the way, too! There’s no other convolution to it. It’s ‘we’re looking for this right now, can you get us this?’ Sure! We’re the talent department, we’ll go look for that. It’s much like a casting agency if you’re in Hollywood. Then maybe a few months later he goes ‘ah, I need this, which is different from what I said before, can you get me that?’ And then we as a talent department goes ‘You know what? We can get you that!’ Then we go out and we find him that. Yes, that is how it works. I hope I have demystified the process for everybody. When you take the circumstances and you put it in some people’s imaginations, it’s a much more horrible process. But yeah, it’s as simple as that!”
Fightful Select reported on the shift in hiring focus within WWE when the company passed on signing Wheeler YUTA.
WWE President Nick Khan recently discussed the revamp coming to NXT, changing the system to move away from Independent talent. You can find Khan's full comments by clicking here.