AEW standout Britt Baker has taken the opportunity to clarify her previous remarks regarding WWE's recruitment approach, specifically in regards to their preference for signing young athletes over established talents from the independent wrestling scene.
During the recent "NXT" Great American Bash event, a Twitter account brought attention to a past comment made by Baker where she expressed concern about building a successful roster solely by training models and athletes to wrestle in a specific manner.
The tweet highlighted the names and ages of WWE stars like Roxanne Perez, Tiffany Stratton, Cora Jade, Rhea Ripley, and Bianca Belair, all of whom have emerged through WWE's Performance Center.
Baker Clarifies Support for Indies
In response, Baker addressed the tweet, asserting that her initial comment was intended to advocate for independent wrestlers rather than criticize WWE's Performance Center.
"The quote is out of context and incomplete. It's from 2021 when WWE stated they would stop signing indie wrestlers and focus on pro-athletes," clarified Baker. "I think most pro wrestlers would tell you how valuable the independent wrestling circuit was to their development, and multiple girls you listed all came from the indies.
It wasn't a dig at the PC; it was in support of independent wrestling." It's important to note that in 2021, WWE's CEO, Nick Khan, revealed the company's intentions to steer "NXT" in a different direction. He emphasized the desire to recruit talent not only from the indie wrestling scene but also from other avenues.
In response, AEW President Tony Khan disagreed, stating that true greatness in the wrestling industry couldn't be achieved by molding talents to conform to a specific formula. Britt Baker's personal journey to success aligns with the sentiments she expressed.
Like many of her AEW colleagues, Baker honed her skills on the independent circuit before making her mark in AEW. She even had a tryout with WWE's "NXT" brand at one point. This exchange of views highlights the ongoing debate in the wrestling community regarding talent development and recruitment strategies.
Both WWE and AEW have their unique approaches, each believing in the value of different paths to stardom. As the wrestling landscape continues to evolve, the discussion around fostering new talent and preserving the essence of the sport remains a crucial aspect of the industry's growth.
Baker's clarification serves as a reminder of the vital role that independent wrestling has played in shaping the careers of many accomplished wrestlers, while also acknowledging the diverse philosophies that underpin the choices made by major wrestling promotions.
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