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Geno

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WrestleMania comes to Tampa next year at Raymond James Stadium. Tickets will no doubt sell for hundreds to even thousands of dollars for ringside seats. But The Minnreg Hall in Largo hosts the students WWE is training to become the next “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan. Tickets are cheap… starting at $10. WWE calls their pro wrestling school “minor league” NXT. And even though these aren’t the wrestlers who headlined WrestleMania last year, they could very well be on the card at WrestleMania in Tampa next year. Thus the name NXT.

You may not know this, but yours truly was a pro rasslin’ ring announcer back in the day. As a kid, I wanted to be the next “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. My high school buddy and I learned the moves so we could become pro wrestlers. I detoured and got hooked on radio. My buddy though stuck with it and was a WWE wrestler for a few years. These days, he’s one of the coaches who gets these kids ready for the big time. They learn all the ins and outs, from knowing how to take a fall without breaking your back to developing a catchy character that fans will love or hate.