Fighting

PRO WRESTLING: WWE NXT, Wesley Blake at Fenn Center in Fort Pierce

Trained by WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk Jr. at the Funking Conservatory in (Central Florida) Ocala, Wesley Blake is making a mark with WWE NXT. The Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce will house NXT on Saturday, April 11.
Trained by WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk Jr. at the Funking Conservatory in (Central Florida) Ocala, Wesley Blake is making a mark with WWE NXT. The Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce will house NXT on Saturday, April 11. Photo By Jim Varsallone

Wesley Blake is one half of the NXT tag team champs.

A standout high school football player from Texas -- a state priding itself in a long history of stellar football players and pro wrestlers -- Blake is the latest Texan football player turned pro wrestler, making his mark in WWE’s NXT.

Blake, 27, is an alum of the Funking Conservatory in (Central Florida) Ocala under the direction of WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk Jr., another with Texas football and pro wrestling roots. Blake wrestled as Cory Weston for the legendary Funk on !BANG TV! shows.

Debuting in 2011 with the Funking Conservatory, Blake’s acumen and athleticism made him a quick learner, transitioning well from college football to pro wrestling. He has a good look, a good personality, a good mindset and can adapt -- whether it’s in the air or on the mat.

The 6-1, 240-pound Blake teams with Australian Buddy Murphy in NXT. A winning combination, they won NXT tag team gold by defeating the Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) on Jan. 28 on WWE Network.

The champs are now known collectively as Blake and Murphy.

Interview with NXT’s Wesley Blake

Legendary response

WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk Jr. answered some questions via email about his standout wrestling pupil, Cory Weston, now NXT’s Wesley Blake.

How did you and your wife, Marti, meet Cory?

“Cory and his father called and met Marti and I at the !BANG! TV Sound Stage in Ocala, Fla. Cory and his father are from San Antonio, Texas. Cory was an outstanding football player in high school playing middle linebacker and striking fear in the hearts of running backs running into the middle of the line. After high school, Cory became a professional level bodybuilder and in college became the strength trainer for the Texas State University football team and maintained the training program for TSU until graduation. After talking with Cory and his father, we discovered we had much in common coming from Texas and his father being familiar with the history of the Funk Family. It was a privilege for this West Texas football player to be training another fellow Texas football player and wrestler from the great state of Texas.”

What was Cory like?

“In competition, Cory is a tough an athlete as you will ever meet. At 6-foot-3 and somewhere near 240 pounds, on the football field and in the ring, Cory is 100 percent competition. In person, Cory is the nicest and most gracious person to meet. Along with being tough, Cory is a very giving person. He is very quick to compliment other people.”

What can you say about his progression, working with you all?

“The first year Cory was working on a horse ranch from 4 a.m. until the afternoon here in Florida, and the second year was a jr. high school teacher. After work, Cory would then spend a couple hours in the gym and then would be at practice without fail every training day -- always early and eager to learn in the ring. Cory is a natural athlete and worked very hard to learn the skills needed in professional wrestling inside the ring and out. Cory’s good nature and gracious manner endeared all who knew him.”

Cory said you all were like second parents to him. How do you feel about him and his being with NXT as a tag team champ?

“It is an honor to have Cory feel so deeply for us as we feel for him. His father, Charles, is one of our best friends, and it has been our pleasure to meet his mother on several occasions over the years. Cory’s family is as special as he is. Cory is an asset everywhere he goes. Cory has the athletic skill and the good attitude that will put him at the top in life. He is willing to put the work into everything he does especially professional wrestling. Cory will give to his fans and the company he works for his best every day.”

Do his efforts help open the door to other Funking Conservatory talent who are trying to make it with WWE?

“We are all proud of Cory’s accomplishments. Cory represents the spirit of Funking Conservatory Team. He is an inspiration to all of us here at !BANG! TV. Cory shows we are on the right track and with hard work, dedication and the understanding that we must all contribute to the success of the company we work for. Cory Weston is an example that there can be success in the wrestling business for all of our athletes who apply themselves as much as Cory has been willing to do.”

Visit Dory Jr. and Marti Funk on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

http://www.dory-funk.com/bt-20.html

NXT in Fort Pierce

WWE NXT is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11 for a house show (no TV) at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce.

Tickets $10, $20. There will be a meet-n-greet before the show. First come, first served.

Check FennCenterEvents and

http://nxttickets.ticketforce.com/ordertickets.asp?p=137

http://www.stlucieco.gov/parks/fenn_center_events.htm

All about NXT

For NXT information and upcoming shows, visit

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt

NXT on WWE Network

NXT is 8 p.m. EST Wednesdays on WWE Network and on-demand.

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