Chair Shots: My Trip to the WWE Performance Center
Dec 3, 2013 - 10:10:57 AM
Welcome back readers to the column that was just named “Sexiest Man Alive”- Chair Shots! So last week I was thrilled with the opportunity to tour the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL; the home of NXT and its wrestlers. It was a chance that not a lot of people get, and I was going to get a few moments to sit down with one of the greats of the WWE as well as the head of The Authority, Triple H. All I could think was, “How did I get so lucky?” By the time I left the facility, my thoughts were quite different.
The building is huge, at 26,000 square feet, and as I walked through the front doors I was met at the reception desk by a lovely lady, none other than WWE Diva Bayley. But what struck me the most was the huge gold statue to my right. That surely couldn’t be a pen….
”Hi, my name’s Bayley. OMG, it’s such a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been reading Chair Shots for like ever and you’re my one of my favorite writers on LordsofPain.net. Hey can you tell me, is it true that Super Chrisss is really a fan of Zack Ryder? I mean, I didn’t know he still had them. Anyway, when they asked if anybody would want to greet you I just jumped at the chance.”
“Wow, you’re quite peppy aren’t you? Hey, I’ve got to ask, is that a statue of a …..”
“Yeah, that’s Mr. McMahon’s penis. It’s like 10 feet tall and I heard that it’s actual size. I mean that would be crazy right. I don’t want that thing anywhere near me. But it’s kind of a ritual though that when you come in every day you have to rub it for luck.”
Why did it look wet?
“Um…..yeah. OK, so where are we going first?”
“Well, I’m supposed to take you to go see Triple H. He’s the best isn’t he? Every time he’s here I just want to give him a big giant hug.”
So Bayley took me to the office of the man I had watched on television for so many years, the head of The Authority Triple H.
”Welcome to the WWE Performance Center. Come on in and we’ll have a little chat before you get the tour.”
As I looked around the office I was overwhelmed at how much this man loved himself. There were Triple H posters, DVD’s, action figures, Wrestling Buddies, and even Degeneration X bobbleheads. Wait, was that actually X-Pac in the corner and not a bobblehead?
”So, I know you haven’t seen much so far, but what do you think about the place?”
“Well, I was a little surprised at the statue in the lobby.”
“Yeah, pretty garish isn’t it. When the old man croaks we’re going to change it to my penis, and we’re going to make it out of marble instead. I mean gold right? So gaudy! Anyway, the Performance Center has 7 training rings, a state of the art video facility, the best trainers in the world, and a few other things we’ll show you along the way. Now unfortunately I’ve got to go pump my wif….some iron this morning so I’m going to give you a map and send you on your way.”
I thanked Triple H and made my way around the complex. He wasn’t kidding that this place was impressive. I walked by the training rings where I noticed Billy Gunn working with Corey Graves and Alexander Rusev. The Divas were in a training room to the left, working on some chain wrestling, so I made my way there to chat with head trainer Sara Del Rey.
I stood and watched for a minute as Del Rey worked with Paige and Charlotte. Charlotte had strung together two deep arm drags, a hip toss, and a fireman’s carry before she started to roll-up Paige from behind.
” No roll-ups dammit! How many times do I have to tell you that!”
Del Rey saw me standing there and made her way over.
”Hey, you must be the writer from LordsofPain. Nice to meet you. You know, no matter how many times you tell them, they just want to roll-up their opponents. I keep trying to break them of it, but for the life of me I feel like smacking them all senseless.”
“Yeah, I’m really impressed with how well these girls wrestle. It’s not something I’m used to seeing on the Main Roster. If you’re trying so hard to break them of ending their match in a roll-up, why do we see it so often?”
“Triple H had a wizard cast a spell on the Performance Center. Basically, everything I do here gets wiped from their memories when they get called up. He’s not exactly a fan of women’s wrestling, but I do the best I can to drive it home. If they’re strong enough, they’ll be able to succeed. Maybe even break the spell on occasion.”
As I left the Divas training room and continued my tour, I head Del Rey again screaming at the top of her lungs.
”NO ROLL-UPS! I swear if I see one more roll-up today I’m going to make you all go on Total Divas and have to hang out with Eva Marie.”
My next stop was the WWE Character Creation Department. They were right in the middle of a meeting, so I hung back by the wall as Dusty Rhodes, Byron Saxton and Canyon Ceman worked on a new character.
”So we got ourselves some new talent coming in from Ring of Honor, if you will, and we need to come up with a character. So let’s get funky like a monkey and do what we do.”
Wait, was that an ACTUAL monkey?
” Bryon, my brother from another mother, will you spin the wheel and make the deal please?”
Against the wall was a giant money wheel, like at a carnival, but there were names on it….. so many names. I’m not really sure what the monkey is fo….Oh Dear God! Did that monkey just fling his shit at the wheel?
” Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. That monkey really gave that wheel a clubberin’”
“No Whammys, No Whammys”
“This isn’t Press Your Luck Byron. Now go over there and bring me the card with the monkey poop on it.”
Saxton brought the card over to Dusty. I can’t believe that this is how they pick their names. I mean I know some of them are stupid, but really?
”So thanks to our Creative Consultant Mr. Bischoff, Eddie Edwards will now be known as Ice Skater McGee. He’ll be from upstate New York and we’ll dress him up like that little fairy fella from “Blades of Glory.” Maybe we can pair him up with Fandango on the Main Roster. Gold gentleman, that’s pure genius right there!”
I quietly crept out of the room while Dusty and his cronies giggled like schoolgirls at the thought of Ice Skater McGee making it to the Main Roster. I saw a door in the distance labeled I.W.D.C, which intrigued me, but I had to go check out the Weight Training Facility first.
As I entered the weight room, I was taken aback. There, working out was none other than Chris Hero. I thought he had been released. He had a sad look in his eyes, so I went over to talk to him.
“Hey, you’re Chris Hero right?”
“No, there’s no more Chris Hero, only Kassius Ohno.”
“But I thought you were released.”
“No, that’s a story they made up for the press. They won’t let me leave until I look like they want me to.”
“Well if you were let go, why don’t you just walk out?”
Hero looked down at his ankle in defeat. I followed his eyes to the chain that was shackled around his foot. The other end was attached to the weight training equipment. Hero couldn’t go anywhere if he wanted to. He was a prisoner of the weight room.
”Please help me……please!”
There was nothing I could do. With regret I left Chris Hero to do squat thrust after squat thrust until they were satisfied. I had never seen a grown man look so beaten before. I heard him plead again as I made my way out.
My next stop was the mysterious door at the end of the hall. Now what in the world could I.W.D.C. stand for?
As I entered the room, I was met by Head Trainer Bill DeMott.
”Hey, welcome to the Indy Wrestler Deprogramming Chamber. In here, we take our newest recruits from the Indy scene and mold them into the perfect WWE competitor. Want to see how it works?”
“Sure, why not?”
I had a feeling I should be scared.
”Right now we’re working on Davey Richards. I wasn’t really sold on signing him, but Regal wanted him here. He’s been a tough nut to crack, but Norman and I are getting there.”
And there he was, hanging from the ceiling at the far end of the room- Davey Richards.
“Richards, what do you do after you’ve been hit with a DDT in the ring?”
“I get right back up and hit my opponent with a clothesline, sir!”
“INCORRECT! Norman, hit him with the hose.”
And then I understood. Norman Smiley turned on the fire hose and proceeded to blast Davey Richards with water.
”Richards, what’s the most important thing about wrestling a WWE match?”
“Hitting as many spots as I can and making myself look good, sir!”
“INCORRECT! Norman, hose!”
As Norman Smiley blasted a helpless Richards with a high-pressure fire hose, he busted out the Big Wiggle. I couldn’t help but laugh. I mean who doesn’t love the Big Wiggle? Besides, it was only Davey Richards.
”As you can see, Richards is pretty tough, but after another hour or so of this he’ll be selling moves and telling stories just like all the others. Now I really do appreciate you coming by, but we’re going to take it up another level and it gets kind of messy from here.”
From the corner of my eye I saw Smiley putting on rubber gloves and opening a bottle of…..Oh god! I’m not even sure Richards deserves that. DeMott stuck out his hand to shake mine, but I bolted out the door as quickly as possible.
I’d seen enough. This place was part training center, part circus, and part insane asylum, but hey it’s a gorgeous facility so it has that much going for it. As I made my way to the exit, I figured what the hell and rubbed the penis statue for good luck. After everything I’d seen, it was probably the sanest thing that had happened all day.
Until next time,
Chair Shots has its own Facebook page now. Find it here.
Chair Shots on Facebook