Luke Harper recently appeared on E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness (via wrestlinginc.com) to talk about various topics. Here are the highlights.
His career before WWE: “I remember vividly, I was working for Dragon Gate in Japan, and I came home, and I wasn’t making tons of money by any stretch of the imagination, and my wife was eight months pregnant. And I said, ‘man, I’ve got to stop doing this’ because six months earlier, I tore my knee up and was supposed to go for a [WWE] tryout and then, Joey Mercury called me. He said, ‘can you come down?’ I said, ‘no, I’m hurt. I can’t.’ So that just went into thin air. I was like, ‘whelp, there it goes.’ Then, I came home, I told her, ‘I think this is it. I’m just going to [stop wrestling].’ Like [Christian] said, I’ve got to support my family somehow. And then, of course, WWE called and said, ‘oh, we want to bring you in for a tryout.’ Went down, and now my wife was nine months pregnant, and had the tryout, came home, got the call while I was in the hospital having my baby, from Johnny Ace saying that they wanted to hire me. So it all worked out and I’m notoriously pessimistic, so I thought for sure I wasn’t going to get hired, my knees weren’t good enough, the doctors are going to tell them, ‘no’, all this s–t. Like, look, I like to be negative, so when something positive happens, it’s way better.” Harper continued, “I thought for sure they would be interested, but again, I was 32 [years old] at the time. It’s not like it is today, so having a name on the indies was kind of not good at the time. And then, I got the call and I had to go to Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania] for the medical, I thought for sure something was wrong with me because the doctor literally kept checking my knees. He was like, ‘man, I don’t know. They’re really loose.’ And I was like, ‘what the f–k does that mean?’ I go, ‘is this going to hurt my chances?’ And he’s like, ‘I don’t know.’ So after that, I went home and told my wife, ‘there’s no way. I’m done. That’s it.’ And then, of course, they called, so I was happy.”
Who helped get him signed by WWE: “The other thing is, when Johnny (Laurinaitis) called, I missed the call because I had no reception.” Harper recalled, “and then, his voicemail cut off. It cut his number off. And so, I looked up a number and called an office. I googled and somebody had registered their number as… I don’t know how, but I got somebody else. It was not WWE. So then I was like, ‘oh,’ and again, I was like, ‘whelp, they’re not going to hire me now, like, I missed the phone call!’ And then, [Cesaro] texted me Johnny’s number, and I called, and it all worked out. But yeah, it couldn’t have been better timing. Cesaro], Rollins, and Ambrose kind of helped put it in their ear that I was good and worth another shot.” Harper explained, “so those three kind of helped me get signed. So I got a call before I was even signed, before medicals or anything, [Cesaro] goes, ‘hey man, I need you to talk to this guy.’ And I go, ‘okay,’ so he puts Bray Wyatt on the phone and I’ve never met him. And this guy talks to me for 20 minutes about this idea he had, and how I would fit in perfectly, and how it’s going to be great, and the best thing that [has] ever happened. And, literally, my head was spinning. I don’t know if you’ve ever talked to Bray, but he can talk. So I wasn’t even signed yet! So by the time I got down there, like the first couple of weeks, we tried it out. We used to do it for promo class for Dusty [Rhodes] and he loved it. And then, we got Rowan involved and the rest just fell together.”