He's known for his devastating power moves and finishes his opponents with a "single-knee facebreaker" - now a Rotorua man's dream of joining World Wrestling Entertainment is one step closer.

Reon Mahima, aka Rhys Youngblood, has been invited to take part in a two-day tryout in Melbourne next month in a bid to clinch a coveted professional contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

The 27-year-old has been training in Wellington with Kiwi Pro Wrestling for the last two years, determined to follow in the footsteps of WWE legends The Rock, John Cena and Kurt Angle.

WWE programmes are broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages and reach more than 650 million homes worldwide.


Its top wrestlers can earn in excess of a $1 million a year.

"I've been watching wrestling since I was a kid and, for me, I've always felt it's my calling. When I watch it now I feel like I can do what they do," Mahima said.

"I look at the wrestlers with respect but I see them all as my rivals now."

The former Rotorua Boys' High School student has won national and Australian titles in amateur wrestling, Muay Thai kickboxing and American Football.

In 2010 he was chosen for the WWE development squad to train in Florida.

"It was an amazing experience to be trained by some of the greats - legends in professional wrestling - but at the end of day it came down to not being experienced enough and now I believe I've got that experience and feel like I am as good as any of them. I've been training every day for six hours, lots of cardiovascular work and wrestling, but it's also about your persona.

"You have to turn it up, you have to hype up the match and as The Rock says, 'turn the volume up'."

Mahima and nine others from Kiwi Pro Wrestling will take part in the tryout. They all train under former professional wrestler Rip Morgan.


Morgan said: "He [Mahima] has come along leaps and bounds since being with us.

"This is a big opportunity, [WWE] have seen him before which is obviously a big bonus."

Mahima said while there was a strong wrestling following in the country the WWE was missing one ingredient.

"Honestly, I think the people of New Zealand are waiting for someone to cheer for, we don't have anyone Kiwi in there and I see that as an open spot."