Source: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter
The mugshot and arrest report of WWE developmental wrestler Stu Sanders (Stuart Bennett) is online following his arrest on Sunday night. You can see Bennett's mugshot & arrest report at hcso.tampa.fl.us/pub/default.asp?/Online/qdisp/bn=08037125. Bennett was charged with battery of a law enforcement officer and obstructing or opposing an officer. Bennett is the latest wrestler in a long list of wrestlers to be jailed at Tampa's Orient Road Jail. Since last July, there have been a total of six wrestler arrests at Orient Road, including four WWE-contracted wrestler arrests since the middle of February. This dubious list includes Dan "Waylon Mercy" Spivey, Andrew "Test" Martin, Ted DiBiase, Jr., Santino Marella, Mike Mondo, and of course, Stu Sanders. Nothing was done by WWE following the DUI arrests of DiBiase & Marella, but Mondo ended up losing his job over his incident. The reason for the preferential treatment is because WWE had big plans for both DiBiase & Marella, whereas Mondo was pretty much on the bubble regarding his employment with the company, and his arrest obviously didn't help matters.
WWE's developmental league Florida Championship Wrestling is still loaded with problems to say the least. Some people are calling it the new "Deep South," which isn't a good thing as it's being compared to WWE's former developmental system Deep South Wrestling. Last year, WWE officials pulled their affiliation from the organization after they came down one day and saw how badly it was being run.
FCW wanted to start taping television shows as early as late February, but they still haven't fixed up the place enough to be able to shoot television. Bathrooms weren't initially installed into the facility, and that was the main thing preventing them from doing shows there. Considering that FCW still has yet to hold a show at their facility, not to mention that there aren't any scheduled at the moment, it appears that the plumbing problem is still an issue down there. The wrestlers train at the facility all week, and if they want to use the bathroom, they have to cross the street and go to another place to use the bathroom.
Most of the guys currently in developmental have gotten no live-to-tape TV experience as the majority of Florida crew were never in Ohio Valley Wrestling. After WWE dropped their affiliation with OVW, they only sent 10 to 15 guys over to FCW, and a number of them have either been called up or released since then. Several months before WWE even pulled their affiliation with OVW, practically all of the new signees were being sent to FCW anyway.
FCW has something in the neighborhood of 60 guys in developmental and they run maybe two shows a week -- the weekly Tuesday night show at the Bourbon Street Night Club and sometimes a weekend show. With so many guys and so few shows, the future stars of WWE are getting a limited amount of ring time to say the least. If they even get any ring time, it's usually in a short tag match. When WWE was affiliated with Ohio Valley Wrestling, they didn't have nearly as many guys under one roof not to mention that they ran a weekly television taping as well two to three house shows every single week. If nothing else, it really tells you that WWE shouldn't have dropped their affiliation with OVW at least until they got things in order in Florida, and that was over four months ago. However, the upside to developmental Florida is that a number of wrestlers, both past and present, live in the area and can help teach the young talent.
The FCW wrestlers themselves don't have too good of a rep at the moment either as it's said to be a "major party scene." With so few shows, the rep on them is that the guys train a bit and then go out and drink & hang out at the clubs. Then of course this leads to DUIs, thus giving the company a black eye. If you go on some of the FCW wrestlers' MySpace pages, you can find a number of photos of them partying and hanging out at night clubs.
One of the reasons WWE executive Johnny Ace pushed for developmental to move to Tampa, Florida was because he loved the party scene whenever he was sent down there for business. That appears to be the biggest reason why he opted for developmental to take place in Tampa, Florida instead of Houston, Texas, where former WWE wrestler & current TNA wrestler Booker T already had everything in place with his wrestling facility, including television cameras. Last year when he was employed by the company, Booker T pushed for WWE to place a developmental league at his wrestling facility. He fixed a warehouse up and bought television cameras in hopes of attracting WWE. Of course, WWE bypassed him, which greatly upset him, and later played a part in him quitting the company.
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