Former WWE Superstar Brodus Clay recently spoke with Lee Sanders of The RCWR Show. Here are some highlights from the interview:
Getting into the wrestling industry:
The first time mostly, I was always a lifelong wrestling fan. I actually tried a couple of times to get into wrestling and all failed miserably. I went to a wrestling school in Canada. That did not work out well, I think I was out there for like a week. I saw that was not going anywhere. I called the Power Plant (WCW) a couple of times. They never picked up though. Eventually I got together with some guys who were wrestling fans who wanted to be wrestlings historians. I used to work for a spot called the “Saddle Ranch”. Then Wrestlemania came to Hollywood. This was at the Staples Center. They had Tommy Dreamer, Mike Boche, Chris Masters and a few other guys were there at the club that night. I did not have them waiting in line and took care of them and put them up on stage. It was cool, we were just hanging out and unfortunately or fortunately a fight broke out. There were two little guys that were fighting over a woman that had already left them. It was kind of funny to think about it. I was telling these guys to be cool and have a good night. As I was walking away, one of them hit me. I could not even believe he did that. I looked at him like, “no you didn’t!” At that point I clocked the two guys heads together and suitcased them out. What suitcased is where you grab by the belt around and carry them out by their pants. So they look like suitcases when you carry them out. Tommy Dreamer thought that was hysterical and he said you need to be doing that on TV. I laughed back and said, “ya’ll ain’t hiring.” He said, “well actually I am part of the Talent Relations for WWE.” I said, “well actually I am the head of Talent Relations for Saddle Ranch so if you want a job you got it.”
He [Tommy Dreamer] started working with me throwing guys out and stuff. Just the experience that night hanging out with them and stuff it was cool. He told me to keep in touch and send pictures and stuff. He had asked if I had ever wrestled before. I had said I had watched it my whole life and played organized sports my whole life. But I had never got the chance to work in the ring. About four months later he called me up and said we want to bring you down for a tryout with Bill Demott and I was like, “what?” He (Tommy) said we will fly you down to Atlanta. He (Bill Demott) had a reputation of being tough on new guys. I wasn’t too worried about it. I did not do what I would say was spectacular but I did not quit. All the drills and stuff were a little different than what I was used to with football. Bill saw something in me and basically put in the word for me. Then I talked with John Laurinaitis and they signed me. They sent me to do some training to work on my bumps. It all happened kind of fast but I had a lot of good people looking out for me. Also the respect that I had for the business got me. Sometimes guys don’t like what you did before because you are basically starting over. For me it did not matter what I did before and I didn’t try to drop names to get myself over, I was trying to earn my spot. It was like building my own career. I am actually pretty proud of that.
Working with Alberto Del Rio:
Alberto was a class act. My nickname for him is El Presidente. He just carries himself in such a way. His knowledge is incredible. We always got along as I had appreciation of the business and he had a great lineage of the business. I was just a sponge around him. The same with Ricardo Rodriguez as he just really did not get enough credit in my opinion because he could be like a Paul Heyman. Just the way he carries himself whether when he’s in the ring or in a match… he knows what you are going to do before you’re going to do it. You can look to him for confidence. It was a no lose situation but a great situation for me to ne in. I think our time was short but it was a great experience.
Why his debut kept getting delayed for almost two months:
You know, I would love to tell you. But to be honest with you I was coming into work everyday and thinking, “is today going to be the day? Today is the day alright. Today is not the day alright, today is not the day alright.” I honestly think they just did not know whether to let me be the monster or let me be the Funkasaurus. For a while it was going to be Heavy G. but no one wants to be called Heavy G when you’re dieting and doing your thing. That is the last thing you want to have. I actually came up with Funkasaurus. When me and Rob were at “Hard Knocks” working out we came up with Funkasaurus. Fortunately the writer was tired and I said, “can I call myself Funkasaurus?” He said, “what? Yeah alright, cool, whatever! You’re not debuting tonight anyway.” Ladies and gentleman from the Plant Funk. You could have heard a pin drop in that arena that night. It was the first time in a long time in wrestling that we actually kept something a secret.
His version of the Hall of Pain gimmick and if it mirrored Mark Henry’ version:
Completely different. Here is the thing, we pitch ideas all the time. At the time I was Brodus Clay and we decided to go a whole different direction with the Funkasaurus. Mark is every bit of a super destroyer. He is the world strongest man. Mark is a world of pain for anybody. Here is the thing, when you have an idea and it is just an idea, it is something on a piece of paper. If someone takes it and makes it their own, they make it something new then it is not yours anymore. So I never felt like he took anything from me because I would not have done it the same way he did.
His WWE release:
I was driving to go train at Hard Knox. I got a phone call and they were like, “I think you know why we are calling.” I am like, “ok.” We discussed a few things and I thanked them for their time. We parted ways and that was it. Then I looked online and on Twitter and it started blowing up. So I made a statement and as far as I was concerned, I was going to finish my day. I did not want people to be all negative and all like, “I am so sorry.” There is people that had really bad mornings and I wasn’t one of them. I had one of the greatest jobs in the world, but that is not the end of the world. There’s people out that don’t know if their child is going to make it out of the hospital or not. Also may not know where their next meal is coming from. There is people that had some bad days. Like nobody wants to lose their job. They way I look at it. You can break bread or play dead. Only you can close doors or burn bridges. I don’t think I have done anything to do that.