A decade ago a Louisville, Kentucky institution was churning out WWE Superstars left and right. The institution went by the name Bolin Services, and in the course of a decade, BS sent more than sixty men and women to the WWE main roster, including the most recent face of the company, John Cena.
Given the struggles Roman Reigns is having becoming the new face of the company, I got in touch with Kenny Bolin and son Chris to ask if Bolin Services might have been able to do anything for him.
“He would not have been the main guy,” says Chris Bolin. “He would never have been in Cena, Rico, or Carlito’s spot. He would have been one of the background guys like Sean O’Haire. Except O’Haire could cut a decent promo.”
Truth be told, no one was pushed as the main guy or the face of the company because in Bolin Services, Kenny Bolin was the face. Everyone had a role, and everyone worked together. “Sometimes I had the spotlight,” says Kenny. “Sometimes it was Cena. Sometimes it was Rico or someone else. There was no ego because everyone understood their role.”
Even the great John Cena had no trouble filling a supporting role when asked. “He was a team player. He was always on, but he never upstaged anyone. He understood when one of us looks good, we all look good.”
Bolin’s system was forged out of necessity caused by the WWE developmental machine. There was no way of telling when someone would get called up to the main roster, and you never knew who was next to go. Kenny remained front and center as the guys around him, one by one, left for the big time. “Guys would leave, new guys would come in. It didn’t matter who they gave me, they all got called up. That’s why they called me the Starmaker.”
Truth be told, neither Kenny nor Chris see Reigns as a fit for Bolin Services. Had Roman Reigns been sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, Chris Bolin believes that he would have been one of the Disciples of Synn, a rival faction led by Jim Cornette’s now wife Stacy. “He would have fit in better there, like Batista when he was Leviathan. Bolin Services liked guys who could banter with my Dad. Rico, Cena, these guys could hold their own. Reigns just isn’t a BS guy. He doesn’t have the personality for it.”
That’s not necessarily bad news for Roman Reigns. Batista went on to become a four time World Heavyweight Champion and a two time WWE Champion.
But Batista was never the face of the company.
For more on Kenny Bolin, Bolin Services, and the WWE developmental era at OVW, read Bluegrass Brawlers: The Story of Professional Wrestling in Louisville and I Probably Screwed You Too: The Mostly True Stories of Kenny “Starker” Bolin.