“Breakout,” pro wrestling’s first ever combine, offers a full ride to pro wrestling’s first ever degree program.
By Michael Melchor, Executive Editor
One of the biggest stories in pro wrestling happened in New York on Saturday, April 6 at approximately 8:00 AM.
Earlier in the week it had been announced that Ohio Valley Wrestling was in the final stages of gaining state accreditation to open a trade school for processional wrestling. Not only can a degree in professional wrestling finally be obtained, but financial aid and scholarships would be available for it as well.
On Saturday morning at WrestleCon – one year to the day after it was announced that Al Snow had purchased OVW from Danny Davis – Snow and Gilbert Corsey, Vice-President of Broadcasting for OVW’s parent company Gladiator Sports Network, announced the first ever pro wrestling combine.
— OVW Wrestling (@ovwrestling) April 6, 2019
“This combine addresses the sport in sports entertainment,” Snow said in a press release. “It’s not a training camp or a seminar…it’s never been done in professional wrestling.”
The press release continues:
A Combine is a combination of certain sport specific drills to determine speed, strength and skill level. It includes I.Q. and mental testing. These abilities are put on display for coaches and scouts for the evaluation of the athlete. It’s a common concept in sports like football and basketball. OVW’s parent company Gladiator Sports Network is recruiting college and professional athletes along with military and pro wrestlers from across the country to participate.
The top 15 athletes will be “drafted” to OVW earning a full tuition scholarship including room and board to the newly redesigned Al Snow Wrestling Academy at Ohio Valley Wrestling. With provision approval pending a final vote from Kentucky’s Commission for Proprietary Education OVW is on track to be the first accredited professional wrestling and sports entertainment trade school in the world. In addition to in ring training the redesigned curriculum includes courses in exercise science, nutrition, broadcasting production, marketing and business. The first class begins in September 2019.
What this means for pro wrestling cannot be understated (although it certainly seems to have been on the biggest wrestling weekend of the year). This is not a “tryout camp” where prospects are pushed until they puke and then told they don’t have what it takes.
This is a complete examination of physical, mental and emotional well-being as it pertains to being a professional wrestler. In addition, it is an unprecedented opportunity to earn a degree in the sport and receive a full ride for those at the top of the heap.
More than that, this is what Snow said it is – an investment in the future of professional wrestling. WWE’s performance center, while state-of-the-art, does not offer a degree in the sport nor the complete evaluation that the combine promises to.
WWE’s Wellness Program for its athletes is noted for how it takes care of its athletes and can correct health issues, but what if they could be found before someone even steps into a ring? What if someone looking to achieve their dream is caught with a serious condition they didn’t even know they had?
On the opposite side of that coin, what if the next pro wrestling star is out there but doesn’t have the ability or money to be able to take the shot that would help them achieve their dreams? What if they are drafted at the combine to learn from one of the best wrestling schools in the world – the only accredited school – and could earn a degree en route to WrestleMania one day?
Those are the kinds of things OVW’s pro wrestling combine can offer when one sits and thinks about what this means. There are many more possibilities coming out of this groundbreaking venture.
Once the dust settles regarding the historic women’s main event and Kofi Kingston’s title win at WrestleMania, fans and industry insiders alike will be looking toward the future at what the sport may have to offer a new generation willing to train, learn, and earn the place in the business. Al Snow and Ohio Valley Wrestling have offered one of the best they could hope for.
What OVW is doing right now is simply outstanding for the future of the wrestling business. The Harvard of professional wrestling might be the most accurate statement I’ve ever heard considering all the stuff they unveiled today. https://t.co/c28lOEYt4O
— 20×20 Pro-Graps Podcast (@20x20Podcast) April 6, 2019
More information about the Combine – inlusing how to register – can be found HERE