When Jason Ferrer awoke Wednesday morning, he looked forward to the day, until he looked in the mirror.
Oh no. A zit.
He quickly phoned a friend, a make-up artist.
Ferrer -- a Media Communications student at Full Sail University who works behind the scenes for WWE at NXT shows at Full Sail Live in Winter Park -- was invited by WWE to participate in a Tapout commercial at the WWE Performance Center in nearby Orlando, working (this time) in front of the camera.
Thus, the angst from the unpleasant early morning surprise. Little did he know that a much better surprise, a happy one, awaited him.
You see, the commercial opportunity, a ruse. One of Dolph Ziggler’s Swerved pranks? Hardly.
Instead, WWE planned a special ceremony to surprise Ferrer with a $25,000 scholarship while commemorating the 25th anniversary of WWE Monday Night Raw.
When the 20-year-old Ferrer arrived outside the Performance Center, so did Full Sail University President Garry Jones. After spotting each other, they walked inside together...Jones played it cool.
Indoors, business as usual. NXT superstars and WWE developmental talent in several rings, working out under the direction of coaches. To further the effort, plenty of suits in the room with cameras stationed for the apparent commercial shoot. Staffers escorted Ferrer to the back for preparations.
When Ferrer returned, NXT superstars, coaches and developing talent surrounded his entrance, applauding and cheering vigorously.
Ferrer realized the “commercial” was off, and the pop was for him. Then WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul Triple H Levesque (via recorded video) asked Ferrer to enter the ring.
That’s where WWE Assistant Head Coach/Producer Sara Amato stood along with WWE Executive Vice President of Special Events John Saboor and Jones. Saboor and Jones each spoke about the positive working relationship between WWE and Full Sail University and the amount of scholarships provided by WWE to Full Sail students.
Jones and Saboor returned the serve to Levesque who again appeared on video screen. He revealed the big surprise, the $25,000 scholarship for Ferrer. NXT Women’s Champ Ember Moon and NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano carried the huge cardboard check into the ring, presenting it to him.
Life changing, Ferrer broke down in tears.
Ferrer was selected for exhibiting exceptional professionalism, creative talent and maintaining good academic standing, while shadowing professional WWE staff and crew during the production and presentation of NXT events at Full Sail Live at Full Sail University. He grew up a WWE fan and has always been interested in becoming on-air talent for the company.
Since 2012, WWE has granted nearly $400,000 in scholarships -- to 37 Full Sail University students -- applied toward their study within the university.
Ticket sales from NXT shows at Full Sail Live are part of a scholarship fund by WWE for Full Sail students.
- WWE Raw 25, NXT TakeOver, Royal Rumble
WWE Monday Night Raw, celebrating its 25th anniversary, is 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT Jan. 22 live on USA Network from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Manhattan Center in New York City.
For Raw 25 information, click:
NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia is 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT Saturday, Jan. 27 live on WWE Network from the Wells Fargo Center. Pre-show at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, featuring the presentations of the NXT Year-End Awards.
For NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia information, click:
The WWE Royal Rumble is 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT Sunday, Jan. 28 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
For Royal Rumble information, click:
- Pro Wrestling on the Web and Social Media
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