When T.J. Perkins went to Florida Championship Wrestling without a WWE contract in 2009, it was a very different picture from how Ohio Valley Wrestling treated non contract talent before FCW took over for it as the primary developmental promotion. Wrestlers who went to OVW on their own had a decent shot of making TV and getting a contract if they impressed because Jim Cornette made a point to try to use the best performers on his roster for TV. In post-Cornette OVW and then FCW, while that dynamic theoretically existed to a point (remember, WWE had no ownership stake in the pre-Performance Center developmental operations), very few wrestlers were getting signed that way. Hell, FCW barely even promoted their wrestling school as a destination for non-contracted wrestlers and trainees even though it did technically exist as an independent operation.
"The best way I can describe [it] — and this describes a multitude of things, especially with WWE," Perkins told me in 2013, "is that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Everybody interprets that a different way: Like saying a carrot's being dangled for you: That hits the nail on the head for a lot of guys; but for some, not so much."