WWE Executive Confirms They Want To Recruit Athletes Under 30

Speaking to ESPN, WWE Senior Vice President for Global Talent Strategy and Development James Kimball confirmed WWE is looking to lower its roster's average age.

"We would like that [age] number to come down, especially on the developmental standpoint," said Kimball. "The second you enter our developmental program and then potentially end up on NXT TV and then onto Smackdown or RAW, you want that number to be 25, not 30 or 35."

WWE has refocused its development strategy away from hiring indie wrestlers, and is primarily concerned with talent based on their look. This is due to the company feeling it has too many older stars on the main roster.

Kimball noted the NXT system allows talent to develop quickly, but they need to be young, to begin with in order to meet that desired main roster age.

"We're able to develop them in an accelerated manner," said Kimball. "Get them to WrestleMania or RAW, do media training, do community events. All those initial exposures to the business, those have been done while you're still in school. And then you come down to Orlando and off you go.

"Even if you come to WWE when you're 23, 24, 25, that's a significant improvement over what has historically been the case with some of our developmental talent," Kimball continued. "We fully support every athlete pursuing their dreams in their given sport. The idea is that we have that opportunity in college to evaluate them as a potential talent, and for them to evaluate us."

The development process goes beyond in-ring work. Kimball emphasized that training these athletes inside the ropes is only half the battle, as promo skills are just as much of a "requirement".

"Ideally, you'd like to find a nice blend," Kimball said. "It's understanding how to transfer true athleticism from a given sport to a 20-by-20 ring, understanding spatial awareness and timing. And then it's the ability to express themselves on a microphone. That becomes a requirement over time, whether you're a heel or a face, or you're heavy on promo or even light, at some point you need to be able to tell a story."