Someone once said "If you want to remain humble, be a scout." Three months ago in August when the UTA held it's initial brand split and roster draft, we graded out each pick by where they were taken, how they were doing at that point and what we thought might be their future.
There were hits and misses. There were some who fell short of our expectations and those who delivered well past them. It's been three months and the UTA decided to alter the brands and shuffle the draft deck just a little bit. We again put on our talent evaluator hats and act like your favorite talking bobble heads as we break down this, the second UTA brand talent draft.
In the first draft, Victory opted for a lot of younger, less experienced names. The results included a lot of home grown talent Victory has built around. Victory has developed nicely into must see tv. The challenge is to keep the momentum going.
This time around, Victory maintained some competitive balance and got a few more names to increase their star power. The issue may be some of the names they've gotten to hang their hats on. Do they have star power left or did they get picked up at the end of the line?
The unquestioned leader of the brand is Eric Dane the UTA World Champion. There are a few stars with the potential to challenge the leader of the pack such as Colton Thorpe, Mikey Unlikely and Perfection. The show didn't really seem to suffer or lose anything of significance in this draft. Victory figures to gain momentum going forward.
Eric Dane. The World Champion and the face of the UTA. He has made Victory his own and runs with every opportunity. The next question is can he carry the company? The best in the game right now. A+
Cayle Murray. The momentum is there despite the questionable loss to Thorpe at I.A. He can only help himself with a rebound win and taking the Wildfire championship. Considered by some to be the most popular wrestler in the UTA right now. Is the breakthrough win and a championship on the horizon or will there be a step back? B+
Colton Thorpe. The Wildfire Champion has established a stranglehold on the once cursed championship and is in one of the hottest feuds in the company right now. The only question here is if there is enough of a mean streak to keep the title and continue to rise through the ranks or if he's hit a glass ceiling weather that is self or company imposed. A -
Jack Hunter. The Street Fightingest Street Fighter in the UTA today and perennial laughing stock. All hype and absolutely zero substance. He's good for a laugh and a few easy wins. F
Yeshua Pandemonium. Early reviews are mixed and initial struggles in the ring with opponents has take less time to see than his entrances. Needs to stop worrying about theatrics and get some wins. C -
Bobby Dean. Disappointing showings in some key title matches has caused Bobby's grade to slip here. It's a shame. He could be so much more than the jolly fat man he's allowing himself to be. All the talent is there. Could fall into mid card shuffle with Yoshi and Santa overtaking him as the most talented big man in the UTA. C+
Will Haynes. His ref stoppage win over Mikey Unlikely at I.A. was his saving grace, continued injuries and momentum impeding setbacks haven't helped his grade. Hayes needs to get serious about more than vengeance and find a way to stay off the Injured reserve list. B -
Perfection. Big win at International Affair has set him up for a shot at the UTA World title. Former two time World Champion hasn't missed a step since returning. Hasn't been struggling without his former Dynasty mates. If anything he seems to be better off on his own. His pending feud with Yoshi will be his first serious test since returning. A third World title should be #1 on his agenda right now. A -
Lisil Jackson. His first signature win was over Ron Hall on Victory. His breakthrough moment may have been his win over Brother Judas at International Affair. The key will be not to be reliant on his religion. The fans are solidly behind him. The momentum is growing. Let's see what the high flying Jamaican can do with it. B -
Santa Claus: Tis the season for Santa to visit the UTA, his early shot at then World Champion La Flama Blanca was a good sign but for this grade to be any higher, Santa needs to be more than seasonal help. C
Lew Smith: He was thiscloseandnoteven to the UTA World title and has fallen off sharply since his win was nullified. The choice is his, regain the edge that got him so close to the World title to start with or become an after though in the mid card door-drums. The choice is his. A heel turn might be what he needs to restart his momentum. C
B.R Ellis. He was an incomplete due to lack of TV time when we wrote our review of the last draft. He's still a bit of an unknown. He's had some good showings in tv since he started but hasn't fared well against actual competition. We're not counting his win over Skylar Montgomery. Incomplete
Mikey Unlikely. We said it last time and we'll repeat it here, Hollywood has breed a taste for sadism in Mikey. Nothing has been off limits in his ultra personal feud with Will Haynes. Has blossomed nicely into one of the premier heels in the UTA today. Mikey has to avoid another lop sided ref stoppage loss like he took at I.A. He needs to get into the hunt for a title soon. B +
Skylar Montgomery. A body that has shown nothing and is likely not going to do anything but pad records for the foreseeable future. F
Marie Van Claudio. In our last draft issue we discussed her inconsistency. She has a bad habit of playing to the level of her opponents. She had a great showing for herself in the ladder match at I.A. but came up short again. Her face turn may be the thing she needs to break on through and capture that first championship. Did sustain some minor injuries from the ladder match, but perhaps the recovery period will help her refine her game. The consistency has to develop at some point, doesn't it? C+
Amy Harrison. The questions we asked last draft seem to have been answered. Her stock is rising. Her confidence is growing with each week and win. Her unexpected victory at I.A. got everyone's attention. The question is if she can keep it going or if might all turn into too much too quickly. We admit we were wrong, she's gone from a head scratcher in the last draft to Prodigy champion for this draft. B
Yoshi. Celebrated big man and former UTA World Champion returned at International Affair. We will see as he competes with Perfection and others if he is still at an elite level. Incomplete
Jeff Andrews. Has yet to debut on UTA TV. Has worked at house shows. Jury is out on this late round pick. Incomplete
Kodo Dragon. Has yet to debut on UTA TV. Has worked at house shows. Jury is out on this late round pick. Incomplete
Madman Szalinski. The controversial former UTA Champion has returned at International Affair, where this goes is anyone's guess but it should be fun to watch. Incomplete
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"When people say UTA I want them to think of exactly what those initials stand for: Unusually Talented Assholes"
- Shawn FX