PWInsider.com is reporting that Teddy Hart and Harry Smith’s recent tryouts in WWE dark matches were positive. Smith, while in great physical shape, needs more seasoning (he is very young), and Hart turned quite a few heads backstage, hopefully for him getting him out of the doghouse.
Also according to PWInsider.com, CM Punk and Samoa Joe are also getting serious consideration from WWE and praise from some workers who’d like to see them come in.
In WWE developmental news, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin (Tough Enough 4 contestant and MTV reality show regular) has a contract in hand and is expected to sign soon, being sent to WWE’s new Deep South developmental group in Atlanta. There are also talks of making him a TV announcer down the road. Already down in Deep South, doing basic non-in-ring training under Bill DeMott (who was recently removed from the Smackdown Superstars page on WWE.com, and with Al Snow has increased his role developing and training up and coming talent) are about 20 wrestlers, including Jack Bull (Russian 54 is Hustle), Mac Johnson, Mike Knox, and The Miz’ fellow Tough Enough contestants Ryan Reeves and Nick Mitchell.
Also according to the WON, Jim Cornette — who has been on a forced leave of absense from WWE developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling — is set to come back soon. Tommy Dreamer has been booking the TV shows in Cornette’s absense, and wrote it into a storyline where people were wondering why he was missing. There is a big philosophical difference between WWE management and Cornette on how to use OVW talent on OVW’s weekly television show. OVW is comprised of both paid members of the wrestling school (eg, Elijah Burke), as well as contracted WWE developmental workers (Seven/Mordecai, Brent Albright, Jillian Hall), injured superstars getting the ring rust off (Cade), and other young wrestlers that still have a lot to learn (Snitsky, Maria, Dean, Heart Throbs). From WWE’s perspective, their developmentals ought to get the majority of TV time, and when called up to WWE under new gimmicks, the new gimmick should be addressed in OVW booking. From Cornette’s, since WWE developmentals get called up often, he feels he needs to give a lot of attention to the workers he knows will be there long-term, and OVW gimmicks should be preserved in most cases, in order to keep the booking and TV consistent. In some cases, such as Matt Morgan adding a stutter, or Nova changing his name to Simon Dean, it’s more complicated than others. One example of this is WWE planning to call up Garrison Cade after a few weeks down in OVW, but changing its plans. Cornette, knowing of the original plans, had already “written Cade off of the show.” Everyone is interested in seeing where this goes, and for more details, you can order a copy of the Wrestling Observer by going here.