The world of professional wrestling is never short of stories of grit, resilience, and undying passion. The recent trajectory of Dutch, currently known for his nefarious role in The Righteous on Ring of Honor (ROH), serves as a testament.
The wrestling sensation made headlines again, this time with his revelations about his initial foray into the WWE developmental system, which eventually set the stage for his AEW signing. Taking a trip down memory lane on the popular "Developmentally Speaking" podcast, Dutch opened up about his first wrestling match in 2008.
It wasn't until late 2009 that his bookings began to grow consistent. Fast forward to spring 2010, and the young athlete took a bold step – he sidestepped his college mid-terms, invested $100 in a trip to Ohio Valley Wrestling in Kentucky, and signed up for the WWE developmental tryout.
Tryout Tales: Dutch Righteous Spotlight Strategy
Describing the tryout, Dutch shared, "It was an intense two-day process. Attendees were divided based on experience levels and went through drills that tested their mettle.
Most of us repeated the basic wrestling moves. But I knew we were being filmed. So, whenever the camera focused on me, I would execute a nip-up, adding a bit of flair to stand out." The journey of learning continued as wrestling aficionados, including Jim Cornette, curated a series of classic matches that every budding wrestler should study.
The presence of wrestling veterans like Rip Rogers and Al Snow provided added insights. An interesting phase of the tryout was the promo class, where Dutch had to cut a promo focusing on WWE superstar John Cena. He reminisced about being the last in line and thereby receiving invaluable feedback from Al Snow.
As the two-day trial drew to a close, the participants showcased their skills in an eight-man tag match, providing them just about 30 seconds to leave a lasting impression. Dutch's initiative to personally approach John Laurinaitis might have clinched the deal.
Within two months, he received a call from WWE, offering him a three-year contract – a defining moment in his career. Though WWE was a brief chapter, Dutch's unyielding spirit eventually earned him a deserving spot with AEW.
This tale of ambition and dedication is a reminder of the sweat and determination behind every spotlight in the wrestling arena.