Brodus Clay Discusses His First WWE Release, Who Discovered Him, Tommy Dreamer’s Influence
Here are some of the highlights of Brodus Clay’s interview with Brian Soscia:
If he understands Damien Sandow’s vocabulary: “Actually, I do. The Funkasaurus is on point with the language. What’s funny is they say that Rhodes Scholars, there’s two of them, right, have you ever noticed that Cody Rhodes never says anything witty? He just kind of looks at Sandow and goes, yeah. He doesn’t say anything. Sandow will drop these Thespian bombs and Cody will kind of look at him, can I talk now, and he [Sandow] will give him a look, and then [mimicking Cody] “yeah.” Or he’ll say you’re welcome and then Sandow will give him a dirty look like don’t say my words. There’s some dissension in that name. Whereas my team’s named Tons of Funk. It represents just that. Myself, Sweet T, the Funkadactyls. It’s a lot of fun and we’re unified and focused.”
His feelings on his and Tensai’s transitions from monster heel to face that kids love: “To be honest with you, the angry guy gets old fast. I mean, how long can you be mad? That, I’m unapproachable and I’m so tough and angry that I’m going to hurt everybody I think is a real turn off to fans. I mean, there’s some diehards that want monsters and stuff because they want to be monsters and they can’t. Honestly, when I look at great performers and great athletes, they always had tremendous charisma and there’s no reason why if I have it I shouldn’t use it. When you come out, if you look at someone like Shaquille O’Neil, perfect example. Here’s a guy who just had his jersey retired. When tipoff came he was a beast, straight business. But before tipoff, interviews, entrances he was goofy, silly, makes you want to laugh, approachable. Apollo Creed [laughter]. He actually only won one match in the entire series, but everyone remembers his entrances and his death scene, which inspired Rocky.”
Who his influence was when he first started getting into wrestling: “I was discovered by Tommy Dreamer. When Wrestlemania was in Los Angeles, he had brought a few wrestlers with him to dinner. When I was not a body guard, I was a substitute teacher during the day, I was bounced clubs at night and yeah, I was working. I worked like every other week for Snoop. At a place called Saddle Ranch. I ran security there. So I would check in and make sure everyone was working and doing their thing. They [Dreamer and guests] came in and I was a huge fan my whole life. So as soon as I saw Tommy Dreamer and those guys I wouldn’t let them wait in line. I brought them in and put them up on the stage, VIP service, I bought their first round of drinks and their food and I took care of them. A fight broke out by two of the smallest guys. It was like children. I walked over and was like fellas, laughing, guys seriously, stop. They both hit me. It was like [knocks lightly on the table]. I may or may not have quite possibly butted heads together. As they fell I picked them up by their belts, I call it suitcasing them, and carried them out. Tommy came running up to assist me actually. I was like, you are not helping me, [imitating Dreamer's voice] no no no, I used to do this. I know what I’m doing. So that was cool. We shook hands and then he was like hey, you should be doing this with us. I said yeah right, you guys ain’t hiring. He was all well actually, I’m in charge of talent, and I was like oh okay, you don’t have to say all this, I appreciate you. We exchanged numbers, a few weeks later he gave me a call and said you’re flying to Atlanta for a tryout. I was like that’s awesome, yeah right. Next thing I know I was in Atlanta for a tryout and then they gave me an opportunity.”
His first release from the WWE: “I got a call after practice, which is rude [laughter]. Call me before practice. I was told that I wasn’t developing like they wanted and that they were going to look into future us working together, but for now we needed to part ways. I was like alright. I packed my bags and went back to California and actually put wrestling behind me. I actually thought, well you know what, I thought it was crazy I made it once and to think I’m going to come back or whatever was unrealistic goal. So I went back to bodyguarding and substitute teaching. I was actually doing very well, traveling the world with Snoop. So I was kind of doing that. I would have dreams at night about wrestling and stuff but I kept it very quiet.
“Snoop, we came off a tour from Australia and he was going to Jacksonville’s Monday Night Raw, when he hosted it. I tried to change shifts so I didn’t have to go because I didn’t want to go. I got fired from there. Would you want to go back to your old job? I was thinking they fired me, they’re going to make jokes that I’m there. I’m going to be one of those guys that I’ve seen that got fired and is hanging up against the wall. I didn’t want to be one of those guys. I had some dignity and pride still. I didn’t want to see them. They didn’t want me, I didn’t want them. So that was my attitude.
“That changed. As soon as I showed up they had open arms. They met me at the door. I remember Cena shook my hand. John Laurinaitis was like you know the door’s still open. I was like you guys closed it pretty hard actually. I still have splinters in my face, but that’s cool. About two weeks later I was sitting around and I was like I can either do this bodyguarding the rest of my life or I could take a chance and go back and do what I always wanted to do. I called them up and asked if the offer was still on the table and he was like yeah. I came back and I’m glad obviously I did. It’s been great ever since.”
On Who Discovered Him: “I was discovered by Tommy Dreamer. When Wrestlemania was in Los Angeles, he had brought a few wrestlers with him to dinner. When I was not a body guard, I was a substitute teacher during the day, I was bounced clubs at night and yeah, I was working. I worked like every other week for Snoop. At a place called Saddle Ranch. I ran security there. So I would check in and make sure everyone was working and doing their thing. They [Dreamer and guests] came in and I was a huge fan my whole life. So as soon as I saw Tommy Dreamer and those guys I wouldn’t let them wait in line. I brought them in and put them up on the stage, VIP service, I bought their first round of drinks and their food and I took care of them.”
You can watch the interview below: