Area native Naylor leaves WWE
The departure from WWE developmental of a former area resident, deaths of a famous wrestling clown and the parent of a prominent wrestling performer, and some regional appearances by WWE performers are among the headlines in the wrestling world this past week as we stagger toward next week's Money In the Bank pay-per-view.
Rob Naylor, a former Coal Township resident, was a casualty of the recent transition by WWE developmental from its former home in Tampa to the spacious new facility in Orlando that will become the company's new training ground for the superstars of the future. An official grand opening is set for next week.
Naylor had been a popular creative assistant for the past 18 months, working behind the scenes, doing an incredible variety of odd, yet critically important jobs with a passion and love for the business that will be difficult to replace.
He clearly made a tremendous contribution and positive impact on the people with whom he worked on a daily basis, as evidenced by the tweets traveling social media last weekend when the news of his departure was reported on the wrestlingobserver.com website.
Subsequently, there were scores of well wishes extended to him by dozens of the young talents with whom he worked at the Tampa facility and some from the higher- ups like Triple H and Jim Ross, who were heavily involved with the television tapings of NXT. Rob was overwhelmed by the ovation and emotional sendoff he received at the final television tapings and at the last house show at which he worked.
Due to the company re-designing positions at this time for the move to Orlando, the work Rob was doing was included in a position assigned to someone else, who was brought onto the scene by somebody up above in the corporate hierarchy. Naylor was offered another spot in the company that was less lucrative for him given the need to relocate to the Stamford, Conn., area, so he has chosen to remain in Tampa and take another job.
He certainly seemed well-liked and more importantly, well-respected by the aspiring wrestlers and divas with whom he worked, perhaps more so than some in the company realized. That is probably why Triple H said he would be welcome back in the future and why JR tweeted enthusiastically that " he was a fine young man with a bright future." Not bad endorsements for a local native who has acquitted himself quite well in the sports entertainment business.
When you see any of the recent additions to the WWE roster and those who come up in the near future, including the Wyatt family set to debut this Monday, you can be sure that they have been among those with whom Rob has worked. And, although he was thrilled to work daily with Dusty Rhodes and meet so many of the biggest names in the history of pro wrestling during the past year and a half, it was the "kids" he was most proud to have had the chance to work with in Tampa.
Deaths to report
Sorry to report the death last week of Matt Osborne, who had a pretty successful pro wrestling career in several territories and promotions before hitting his biggest success as the first Doink the Clown in WWE. The father of Paul Heyman also died this past week at the age of 87.
WWE at Mohegan Sun
WWE has a house show tonight at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre with a special starting time of 5 p.m. Raw will be in Baltimore Monday night with a Wyatt family debut scheduled, along with a job performance review for Vickie Guerrero scheduled. Not exactly a ratings grabber.