There are no NIL shortcuts in WWE

Shannon Heupel
The WWE launched a new NIL program "Next in Line" in 2021.

DETROIT — A crowd of over 54,000 fans are expected at Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions, on Saturday when the WWE hosts SummerSlam. This weekend also played host to a new round of WWE tryouts and although last year’s “SummerSlam Tryouts” featured Dwight Howard and Bellator standout and now signed WWE talent Valerie Louerda the list of attendees is filled with plenty of college athletes. In the new world of NIL, the WWE launched a new NIL program “Next in Line” in 2021.

The program brought in Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler Gable Steveson who had his first match in WWE’s NXT this past weekend during Great American Bash and also viral former Miami basketball players, “The Cavinder Twins,” Haley and Hanna Cavinder. Although this new era has already brought in over 30 athletes from several sports and conferences in the NCAA, the WWE still has superstars that transitioned from collegiate and even the NFL like Baron Corbin. 

The former offensive lineman, who played for the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts, came up through the NXT developmental brand when he signed in 2012, and with the NIL program in full effect I asked him about the advice he would give to football players entering the wrestling world.

“Don’t think of this as a stepping stone,” he told The Sporting Tribune. “If you enter this world and don’t know who Shawn Michaels is, if you don’t have passion for this, don’t do it.”

Baron was quick to say he will remind everyone you are no longer the toughest guy in the room, and if it can’t put your ego to the side to play a character that might be out of your imagination that the world would eat you alive. 

Follow The Sporting Tribune’s Adrian Hernandez at SummerSlam in Detroit on Twitter and Instgram.