I've been reading in various places recently that an Indy wrestler called Chris Hero has been signed to WWE talent development FCW. I dont know very much about him other than he is an internet phenomenon. He has masses of followers and has made waves working for Ring of Honour (along with once Kings of Wrestling tag Partner Claudio Castagnoli, also now working with FCW).
It has been announced by FCW that he will go on under the name of Kassius Ohno under the company, rather than his former, presumably 'creator owned' name. This has Vince McMahon's fingerprints all over it. Ever since The Ultimate Warrior tried to claim copyright to the gimmick he made his name under with WWE (then WWF) even changing his name by deed pole to 'The Ultimate Warrior', (I think he still goes by Warrior), McMahon has been increasingly keen to own all rights to characters from the outset - further indicating CM Punk's influence within WWE, it should be noted he was allowed to keep this name from the outset.
It seems over the last year (and largely on the back of last years poorly received Wrestlemania) that the WWE has changed its tune. This time last year The Miz was riding high as the new WWE Champion, ranting and raving all over the screen with one of the biggest pushes since John Cena. Its rare we see the company get behind someone from the get go and stick with them these days. It was a pretty convincing title run in the end and The Miz looked set to become a huge star in the making. With rumours circulating in the last year that WWE was going to drop the word 'wrestling' from its branding and a total abandoning of the use of the word in WWE programming was becoming the norm. This is something the internet fan base were really upset by (and understandably so), and it has to be noted that in the last year things have changed. We now have former Ring of Honour darlings CM Punk and Daniel Bryan (formerly and confusingly Bryan Danielson) holding the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships respectively, and there is an over all sense that suddenly, and no doubt through CM Punks doing (at least to some degree), that 'wrestling' is back in vogue. It has to be said that the 'internet fans' are the fan base that truly need nurturing, I think the large section of the audience made up of children are more willing to believe in the characters of the WWE, they have great imaginations, but the adults need satisfying. It does look bright at the moment for the WWE, the roster is full of amazing talent, and there is a whole roster of FCWers to be excited about.
So with WWE forming a small army of 'independent wrestlers' I ask the 'universe' when, and where from, will we find our next hero?