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By whom were they trained?

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The era of the New Generation in WWE is one of the weirdest eras in wrestling. The old guard of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage and the Million Dollar Man were being phased out in favor of young talent. Age wasn’t the only factor in this change of direction, the steroid trial forced WWE to push some of the smaller guys to show that their bodies weren’t that important to their success. Many of the wrestlers brought in to fill the void left by the starting bodybuilder types came with a work-related gimmick, causing a real disconnect with the fans. Would Kane have had the Hall of Fame career he pursued as a wrestling dentist?


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As strange as the time spent in front of the camera is, the way people get into the business is also changing drastically. It used to be that to get into the business you had to know someone or have a presence about you that made wrestlers notice you. Business icons such as Sting, Road Warriors and Big Show were all brought into the wrestling fold because they were seen doing security or training. Wrestling schools had just started popping up across America in the late 80s and early 90s, meaning anyone could train to be a wrestler. A number of notable wrestlers of this era trained at these schools before coming of age.

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11/11 Kama: Trained by Larry Sharpe

Kama, who would go on to have a HoF career as Godfather, was Charles Wright’s second WWE gimmick, after appearing as Papa Shango. Kama was a character who was a UFC-like fighter who wore a large gold chain made from The Undertaker’s melted urn.

Kama was trained by Larry Sharpe at the Monster Factory. The Monster Factory is considered the first legitimate wrestling school open to the public in America and has seen big names learn their craft under the watchful eye of Larry Sharpe.

10/11 Flash Funk: formed by the New Japan Dojo

Better known as 2 Cold Scorpio, Flash Funk was a ’70s pimp-style gimmick, complete with bright colors, knee-high boots and huge collars. Flash Funk would dance to the ring, accompanied by a few of his funkettes.

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Flash Funk is a graduate of the famous New Japan Dojo, a wrestling training program steeped in the honor and tradition of Japanese culture, where young lions are taught that respect is as important as wrestling lessons.

September 11th Jean Pierre LaFitte: trained by Édouard Carpentier

After retiring former partner-turned-enemy Jacques Rougeau, Jean Pierre was renamed a descendant of a famous pirate, even struggling in an eye patch. He had great matches with Bret Hart and was in a strong position on the card until he fell to the Kliq.

He pursued a respectable freelance career until 2016, when he reinvented himself as the French-Canadian Frankenstein PCO, where his career enjoyed a belated resurgence. Pierre was trained by French-Canadian wrestler Édouard Carpentier, the man who was responsible for bringing Andre The Giant to North America.

8/11 Waylon Mercy: Trained by Dusty Rhodes

Waylon Mercy was an early runner in cult leader Bray Wyatt’s gimmick, but unfortunately for Dan Spivey, it never quite worked out for him. Spivey was scouted by American Dream Dusty Rhodes in Tampa due to his height and Dream began training him, booking him as part of the Skyscrapers, where he first teamed with Sid Vicious and then a very young Undertaker.

Spivey spent most of his time on tag teams until his WWE run as Waylon Mercy, his lack of experience as a singles wrestler was one of the factors Mercy didn’t stand in. didn’t connect with the fans.

7/11 Razor Ramon: Trained by Hiro Matsuda

For every mismatched gimmick the new generation pushed on its fanbase, the occasional perfect gimmick for the wrestler would pass. For example, Razor Ramon, an Al Pacino Scarface-inspired character who just “oozed machismo.”

Under his real name, Scott Hall, Razor will form the New World Order, alongside his best friend Kevin Nash and icon Hulk Hogan. The NWO isn’t the only bond Hall and Hogan share, both men were trained by the same man, a highly respected Japanese wrestler and trainer, Hiro Matsuda.

6/11 British Bulldog: Trained by Ted Betley / Hart Dungeon

British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith started a singles run after the British Bulldogs team broke up with Dynamite Kid. Known as a good worker and a prankster he married into the Hart family, this relationship played into the high point of his career when he beat his brother-in-law, Bret Hart, in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium in his country of origin.

Davey Boy, like his cousin and former tag partner, was first trained by British wrestling legend Ted Betley, before moving to Canada where they graduated from the infamous Hart Dungeon.

5/11 1-2-3 Kid: Trained by Boris Malenko

The 1-2-3 Kid, Sean Waltman, earned the name after pinning Razor Ramon in a shock Monday Night Raw result and became a trendsetter for smaller wrestlers. Best known for his time in DX as X-Pac, Kid was often used to wrestle WWE talent that creativity wanted to push, using him to educate people WWE style.

Kid got his start in professional wrestling by showing up at shows, offering to work as part of ringside crew for free until Boris Malenko, father of Dean Malenko, agreed to train him. Under Malenko, Waltman would be tutored by legends like Karl Gotch and coach of champions Eddie Sharkey.

4/11 Favorite: trained by Antonio Inoki

Brian Adams was born and raised in Hawaii and joined the US Air Force once he left high school. It was while stationed in Japan that Adams discovered a love of wrestling and his height caught the eye of Japanese wrestling royalty Antonio Anoki. Adams joined WWE and was given the name Crush as he joined Demolition to relieve Ax, whose injuries meant his career was coming to an end.

The Crush name stuck with Adams through several gimmicky changes in WWE, his brief stint with Kronik after the purchase of WCW was the only time Adams was called anything else in WWE.

3/11 Bertha Faye: Trained by Mildred Burke

Bertha Faye lived in a trailer and was Harvey Wippleman’s lover and was used as comic relief. It shouldn’t be surprising to hear Bertha Faye leave WWE because she wasn’t taken seriously by management, considering her trainer was Mildred Burke, the woman who, in the 1950s, went to war with the NWA after failing to recognize women’s wrestling.

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This battle caused so much heat between Burke and the NWA that for the rest of her career, Mildred would travel with a bodyguard.

2/11 Dean DouglasDominic De Nucci

Shane Douglas secured his legacy the night he became NWA Champion and threw the belt in the trash. His run as ECW Champion earned him a reputation as a reliable and tough workhorse, and WWE entered the picture, introducing him as college professor, Dean Douglas. Like many next-gen gimmicks, the Dean Douglas gimmick stifled the charisma and in-ring work of Shane Douglas.

His only title run was a 20-minute run as Intercontinental Champion. Douglas was trained in the same class as Mick Foley by Dominic DeNucci, former tag team partner of the oldest reigning WWE World Champion, Bruno Sammartino.

1/11 Hunter Hearst Helmsley: Trained by Killer Kowalski

In another example of a bad gimmick hiding a talented wrestler, Hunter was a snob, a variant of his Blue Blood gimmick on his WCW tag team with Steven (William) Regal. Ribbon in his hair and wrestling in jodhpurs, it was hard for fans to see past the theater of his act, and it wasn’t until he was paired with Shawn Michaels that his career took off.

Triple H is one of the most important men in the world of professional wrestling, having taken creative control of WWE after allegations by Vince McMahon. Hunter always wanted to be a wrestler and pestered his bodybuilding coach to introduce him to retired wrestler Killer Kowalski, who trained him and used him in his own small promotion.