WWE is hosting tryouts this weekend, with dozens of hopeful athletes and independent wrestlers coming together in an attempt to gain employment with the largest sports entertainment company in the world. 21-year old Deonna Purrazzo knows that feeling all too well.
Purrazzo attended WWE tryouts earlier this year, and was in a unique situation -- she'd already worked for WWE several times at NXT tapings. I spoke to Deonna for an exclusive interview recently where she opened up about the process.
"I was so nervous going in," Purrazzo explained. "I feel like I was in a weird position. I had wrestled for them six times before my tryout, so I didn't know what else they wanted to see from me. It was really hard. As a wrestler, and I think it's something other wrestlers relate to, we're so grateful to be in that position that we don't want to be disrespectful to anyone. We're quiet and observing and want to learn everything possible from these world-renowned trainers. But they're like 'show us personality!' That was the hardest thing for me. The drills and rolls are something anyone mentally can get through, it was more that I have to show you who I am outside of wrestling and that's the hardest part for me."
Purrazzo told me that even though she wrestles practically full-time all around the country (her goal is 100 matches this year), she didn't look down on those who attended the WWE tryouts with no wrestling background.
"I had so much fun and gained such a respect for the athletes that come into wrestling having no prior experience," she said. "The bodybuilders and the figure competitors – people are asked to take a flip bump without doing a forward roll before. If you ask me to do a flip bump – that's easy, I can do that in my sleep! I've been doing that four days a week for three years. To ask someone on their first day, I thought 'Oh my God, I would be terrified.' For them to be able to jump right in and do what we do and try to do it as well, I gained a lot of respect for them."
While no contract was signed (yet) for Purrazzo, she did get a call back to work WWE's NXT tapings, something she saw as a positive.
"I thought that was a really great sign. I don't know what the future holds with them, but I know that they've been happy with what I've been able to do. I'm really fortunate to be able to do it, and if they want me back, I'll be there," said Deonna.
Wrestling Inc.'s full interview with Deonna Purrazzo will be releasing soon. You can hear Deonna's comments on her NXT tryout in the video player above, so be sure yo subscribe to our Youtube page, which is full of podcasts and exclusive interviews.