The WWE Performance Center is one of the most expensive and important investments in the history of the company. Triple H and Vince McMahon agreed to have a state-of-the-art training facility for young talents on developmental contracts. It features a combination of experienced wrestlers taking classes taught by the likes of Shawn Michaels to get to the next level and new wrestlers learning the basics from a deep list of respected coaches.
We will look at the best success stories that show how positive the Performance Center has been on quite a few careers. Wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Bray Wyatt will miss the cut since they either did not spend any time in the Performance Center or were on their way out when it was made. These are the ten wrestlers that most benefited from the Performance Center.
10 Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is the example of a wrestler learning everything at the Performance Center. WWE essentially built him from scratch with zero wrestling experience. Mark Henry was the one to get him a deal after seeing Strowman compete in powerlifting.
The Performance Center helped him learn the basics and the more advanced character elements. Strowman has found success as an upper-level star and will likely be a major part of WWE for many more years to come.
The career of Ricochet made him a star before joining WWE, but he certainly benefited immensely from his time in the Performance Center. Ricochet was known for his incredible athleticism and high-flying moves in promotions like New Japan and Evolve.
His stint in the Performance Center and performing at NXT helped add more layers to his work. Ricochet has found success on the main roster as a singles star, even winning the United States Championship. He even admitted in an interview that the Performance Center shaped him into a more mature perform.
Asuka made a huge decision leaving the Japanese wrestling scene to join WWE. The decision was made to advance her career to a bigger stage by appearing in NXT and learning at the Performance Center. Most of what she learned was how to get around the language barrier and play to the cameras.
The stint clearly worked, as Asuka became one of the top stars in NXT history. Her main roster run has not lived up to most of our hopes, but she did win the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match and had a WrestleMania classic against Charlotte Flair.
7 Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin represents what the original plan of the Performance Center was when it was created. The hope was to sign athletes from the NFL and other sports to developmental contracts. Instead of working the independent circuit, they would get the chance to learn from the ground up in WWE.
Corbin was the first success story of a former NFL player learning at the Performance Center and making an impact in NXT. The current status of Corbin in the main event picture of Raw makes him a resounding endorsement of the Performance Center.
6 Sasha Banks
The evolution of Sasha Banks was a huge story of the ways WWE has evolved itself following the creation of the Performance Center. Banks struggled to find a character in FCW and in the early days of NXT. The time working with Dusty Rhodes’ class at the Performance Center helped her greatly.
Banks introduced her new character as "The Boss" after getting inspired by her uncle Snoop Dogg. The incredible work allowed her to rise to the top of NXT and get called up by WWE. Banks is currently trying to get released from WWE, but she had a tremendous if it ends.
5 Becky Lynch
Another incredible women’s wrestling star to get huge help from the Performance Center is Becky Lynch. Trying out a few different characters, Lynch struggled to find an identity. The classes and coaching helped her find the role she needed in NXT to eventually get called up to the main roster.
Lynch has become one of the top overall stars in WWE today. The current role of Becky as a top superstar would likely never happen if she didn’t have a run in the Performance Center.
4 Velveteen Dream
The best current NXT success story that showcases the ways the Performance Center can help a talent is Velveteen Dream. WWE signed him at the young age of 19 despite falling short in the Tough Enough reality show competition.
The time spent in the Performance Center would see Patrick Clark Jr. come up with the Velveteen Dream character. It is hard to create a gimmick that is unlike anyone else in wrestling, but he did it. A wrestler that young performing at such a high level in a unique manner is the best sign of the Performance Center working.
3 Alexa Bliss
The accomplishments of Alexa Bliss make her one of the all-time successful female wrestlers in WWE history. Bliss learned how to wrestle at the Performance Center with WWE’s coaching staff. The learning pains in NXT did not find much success, but she thrived on the main roster.
Bliss’ character work put her at another level as arguably the top overall heel in the company. WWE would have Alexa become the first woman to win both the Raw Women’s Championship and Smackdown Women’s Championship following the brand split. Bliss is still thriving today as a top female star.
2 Aleister Black
Aleister Black had a successful run on the independent circuit as Tommy End, but he was never viewed as a top star. The news of him signing with WWE did not make waves like other top indie names such as Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, and Ricochet.
Black would, however, rise to their level after spending some time in the Performance Center before debuting. The presentation and character work of Black made him stand out for all the right reasons. Black used the lessons taught at the Performance Center to become an all-time great NXT story.
1 Charlotte Flair
The rise of Charlotte Flair did not happen overnight. Unlike most of her peers, Charlotte had no experience when she signing her WWE contract, which was mostly based on her potential as Ric Flair’s daughter. The time spent at the Performance Center gave her the lessons needed to become an effective character along with using her athleticism to become a good wrestler.
Charlotte showcased how much she benefited from the Performance Center by becoming a top star for WWE. The main roster run has seen Charlotte accomplish just about everything possible in a short time. An argument can be made Charlotte is already the most successful WWE female wrestler of all time, and such a feat is only possible due to her time at the Performance Center.