Bill DeMott, the former head trainer for WWE NXT, will be conducting a seminar for aspiring pro wrestlers and those interested in other factes of the business at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 at the Main Event Training Center, 3434 NE 2nd Ave., in (South Florida) Oakland Park, 33334.
The Main Event Training Center, under the direction of Head Trainer Pablo Marquez, is associated with Coastal Championship Wrestling.
“We’re going to be doing a seminar,” DeMott said during a phone interview. “That means I get to be in front of a bunch of young talent who are trying to work their way up the ranks, and we get to drop some knowledge and share some wrestling stories and get some work done.”
DeMott got plenty of work done while helping groom sports entertainers through WWE’s developmental system, FCW and NXT, which exploded into its own brand. As the head coach/trainer, he led a dream team of coaches/trainers at the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in (Central Florida) Orlando.
DeMott noted: “Whether it’s WWE or [Jeff] Jarrett’s [Global Force Wrestling] starting up -- he’s always looking for new talent -- or whether it’s Ring of Honor or Japan or Puerto Rico or Mexico, I feel like right now, because I’ve been through the system for so long and the positions I’ve held within the companies, my knowledge is pretty relevant. I have a good idea of what people are looking for. I think I can give them a better idea to prepare them or at least point them in a direction differently than what they’re going through now.”
What has changed in the business or has it changed?
BD: “I think the biggest thing that’s changed in the business is in my generation there were a lot more places to go and learn your craft. Now you have different schools across the country and places running shows. There’s still Japan and Mexico, but you have to have an ‘in’ now.
“My biggest message for everybody starting out, trying to get their feet wet, is they’ve got to go explore other places other than their comfort zone. You have to put yourself out there because there’s no more Portland and the Carolinas and Puerto Rico and all these places that were running hot for years. There’s only two or three places to go, and you’ve got to make a name for yourself somewhere. So I think that’s what’s changed mostly.
“And the other thing is realize that wrestling is just a small part of what happens now in sports entertainment.”
DeMott, 48, was trained by WWF Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz in Brooklyn. A former Misfit in Action, DeMott wrestled for ECW, WCW, WWE. He also competed in Japan and Puerto Rico. He later trained wrestlers for WWE’s Tough Enough and Deep South Wrestling, a WWE developmental group based in Georgia, before landing a position with WWE’s FCW in Tampa, which later became NXT.
What are you most proud of from your time with WWE?
BD: “Everything that’s going on. What they did yesterday I’m proud of. What happened last year I’m proud of. What’s gonna happen a year from now, because I’d like to think in some way, shape or form that I was part of that.
“There’s a lot of people who get opportunities to do things in this industry -- wrestling and sports entertainment -- and I feel like my opportunities have been great. I feel like I capitalized on them all, and I feel like I’ve laid the groundwork for the future of the business. So I’m just proud of the whole thing.”
Who have you helped progress through the ranks of WWE?
BD: “Holy cow. [It’s a long list] That’s the good thing. It is a long list. I never take credit for any of it. [It’s a team effort]. The coolest thing for me most recently was at Night of Champions. Everybody who held a major championship was NXT talent. That speaks volumes of what’s being done, and I’m proud of every one of them.
“From The Miz to Ryback to Doc Gallows [now] over in Japan and Mike Know who does his thing to Charlotte and Bayley and Sasha [Banks] and Kevin Owens and Finn Balor and Xavier Woods...Adam Rose, Bray Wyatt...The fact that I got to work with Dusty Rhodes for so many years.
“It’s probably safe to say that with all the talent that’s still yet to be seen by the world that I’m going to be proud for a lot of years to come.”
DeMott met Dusty when they worked for WCW in the 1990s. DeMott wrestled as Hugh Morris.
BD: “When I first got there [WCW], he told everybody on a Saturday Night Main Event show to watch this Hugh Morris. He’s a sleeper, and big things were coming. Fast forward, I told Dusty who knew it was going to be in the way that it was.
“It was a pleasure working with him. His office was next to my office. We got to talk about life. He was so much more than just a guy in the wrestling business. I think about him all the time. He was a great guy. He did more for me in life than in wrestling. There’s a picture of him in my house, and everywhere we go we see Dusty. You get to work with guys in the ring for years, but I got to spend valuable personal time with The Dream, and that’s what I hold onto.”
You had such a successful career out of the ring, but what are you most proud of in the ring?
BD: “The fact that I was successful. I started in Brooklyn, kind of trying something. I was a casual fan, and I tried it, and I became successful at it and fell in love with it, and the fact that 28 years in and out of the ring in this business and working my way through the ranks, through the levels of this business. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to do that. Usually when your career is over in the ring, you’re done, and you move on. I made another career out of this business. So I’m proud of the whole thing. I’m proud of everything top to bottom.”
Have you ever seen a collection of young talent like at NXT?
“There is a drive there. Some of them come in with a different attitude toward the business, using it as a stepping stone into movies or TV or something else, and there are those who are diehard guys and girls who have been trying for years to get an opportunity. Once they step into that building [WWE Performance Center] together, they know why they’re there. You get the buzz. That group of talent is second to none, and then you add in the Apollo Crews who came in after making his name on the indies -- same with Owens and Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville and those guys, same with Seth Rollins and [Dean] Ambrose when they came in -- you have the best talent going.
“Back in the day, when you used to put company against company, I would love to see an NXT invasion, taking on the whole main roster.”
Following a solid four-year run developing talent with FCW and NXT, DeMott resigned in March amid accusations of misconduct by former trainees, which he denied.
When your time was done with WWE, how did you handle it?
BD: “It was just time to move on. Everything has a shelf life, and you have to realize what you’ve done, and if what you’ve done is more important than what you think you should be doing, then you have to make that decision. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I’m proud of the system.
“After 28 years, I don’t think you’re ever really done, and that’s why the seminars like on Oct. 2 at the Main Event Training Center are cool. I really haven’t spent too much time sitting, thinking about [WWE departure]. I just consider it another chapter in what I’m doing.”
Did it bother you a lot, a little, not at all how social media reacted to everything that transpired at the end?
BD: “I think you have to take social media for exactly what it’s for. I talk about it a lot on my podcast. I’m trying to get used to the court of public opinion. Unfortunately, social media probably will be the downfall of sports in general, but it is what it is. How it pertains to you as a person, you have to decide how you are going to handle things and what you’re going to do, and that’s what I did.
“You can’t get mad because everybody has a right to speak up, but my soapbox is be careful because there are people’s livelihoods and reputations on the line. More importantly, there’s no need to defend something you don’t feel has any justification to defend.”
DeMott expands on today’s social media.
BD: “It’s a shame, because there’s nothing you can do to prevent it, but sooner or later, there are things that might have to be done to control it.
“Hey, it’s social media. You want to tweet, tweet. It gets you noticed, and the whole point of it is trying to trend and get you more followers, but I say to everybody out there, and I tell this in the seminars. Be careful because things come out years later that someone will try to use against you or someone can put any caption to a picture or someone can tell their side of the story.
“So it’s very hard in this day and age for guys and girls to want to make a living. I’m not just talking about in sports entertainment, because IBM does a background check and Walmart and all places, and now social media is a big part of the background. So you’re going to retweet something or say something that’s going to rub someone the wrong way, and it’s going to turn around and blow up in your face. That’s when people realize, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s what I did to someone else.’
“It’s going to be tougher for the young people getting into this industry and in any form of entertainment going forward. Be careful because you’ve just seen a bunch of good people -- good guys and girls starting out in the business and some who have been around it forever -- whose livlihoods have been flung by the wayside, because someone can say something, and you got to take it.
“When people got nothing better to do, that’s what happens. It used to be if you said it to someone’s face, you handled it right then and there, but now it’s a court of public opinion. You can’t control social media.”
Social media effects everyone and everything.
BD: “The Olympics. It’s everywhere you go. It’s a crazy thing. I know there’s a lot of good for it, too, but I know there’s a lot of things you got to watch out for.
“I use it. I tweet, but everything is positive. I use Facebook to let people know what The Bill DeMott Experience is doing. I’m pretty caught up on the Instagram and the Periscope.”
Was there anything on social media about your WWE departure that you thought this is way too much here?
BD: “I think the whole thing was too much. That’s why there’s The Bill DeMott Experience. I want people to meet me 1-on-1, face-to-face and make their own determination of the guy. Not the guy you saw on Tough Enough. While that was a great stepping stone for me, it kind of put me in a certain role, and people went by that, and that’s cool, because when the red lights on, that’s the guy you get.
“The Bill DeMott Experience is just the opposite. Come and see me for who I am on a 24-hour basis. Have some fun, and let’s get some work done.”
What has life been like after WWE?
BD: “I’ve learned that after 28 years [in the business] that I’m not good at slowing down. I have the weekly podcast -- The Bill DeMott Experience -- on The Realm Network and can also be heard on iTunes. I’ve been working on this YouTube channel, also calling it The Bill DeMott Experience, and it’s where I go around and meet people who coach or have coached people in life.
“I’m getting to meet some pretty fantastic people. So if you go to the YouTube channel The Bill DeMott Experience, you get to see some cool stories and a different side of Bill DeMott.”
The Main Event Training Center is run by Head Trainer Pablo Marquez, a former WWE superstar who has wrestled nationally and internationally. Training is three times a week -- 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. Sundays.
BD: “Everybody who knows Pablo and everybody who speaks of what he does has him in high regard. He loves the business and wants to make it better.”
Ticket information http://ccwevents.com/training/
Bill DeMott in South Florida
at The Main Event Training Center
BD: “I did a training camp a little over a month ago for Mickie James and Nick Aldis (Magnus) in Virginia, and this is the first one I’m doing in Florida. It’s my first appearance in Florida since I left the company, and I’m excited to get out there. I always get that same feeling I got before I went through the curtain. I get to share and listen to what they think and try to put a spin on it and drop some knowledge.
“I’m hoping this sets off a chain of events. I have some opportunities coming up with other things, but I always go back to wrestling is what I do. So the more camps and seminars I do is good, because it also lets the younger generation form their own opinion.”
The Bill DeMott Experience on The Realm Network
YouTube The Bill DeMott Experience
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