I can remember when I first got signed onto WWE and I had to relocate to Luiville. Iâ<80><99>d lived in LA my whole life so I had no idea what to expect. Man, did I get some heat from the start. I no-showed the second TV taping after I got there because I didnâ<80><99>t see my name on the card. I know! I was as green as you could get.
I got a phone call later that evening from John Lauranitas telling me to get down there. I could hear Danny Davis in the background cutting the loudest promo on me. I was scared shitless. They got me a ride since I didnâ<80><99>t have a car yet, and as soon as I got there I was escorted to the production room where John L, Jim Cornette, Danny Davis & Bruce Prichord where all waiting for me.
I knew I didnâ<80><99>t have a good excuse so before they could say anything I assured them this would never happen again. I F*#*&%D up, so I just manned up to it, learned from it, and they were respectful of my approach & told me to never do it again.
Looking back I loved OVW. It was like college for wrestlers. At least for me for sure! I was only 20yrs old when I arrived there. Everything was so innocent compared to when you get called up to the big dance. We were all developing, we were there to make mistakes and learn. When you get called up to TV, itâ<80><99>s sink or swim.
I had so much fun once I started to make buddies! My crew was Jetter, Matt Morgan, Mark Magnus, Chris Cage, Mickey James, Nova, Aaron Stevens, Carlito, & Joey Mercury. One of the funniest memories I have was a match at one of our practices. It was Matt Morgan vs. Kenny Dykster w/ manager the Boogie Man. Although his character was not fully developed yet since it was only a few wks in.
So, Kenny is working the donut gimmick, get it–Done/nut, and Boogie had sugar donuts with him in support of Kenny. So, Boogie gets a bit carried away and rubs donut all over Mattâ<80><99>s face while the ref was distracted. Not once. Not twice. Three times during the match! Matt got so angry, he broke character and took a swing at Boogie. But the sight of Matt with powdered sugar all over his face and beard was one of the funniest things Iâ<80><99>ve ever seen. All you could see was his eyes.
We were a tight group. I didnâ<80><99>t know many people outside of my peers. We all stayed in the same area: Cypress Pt, Mallard Creek, and then there was one more but they were across the street from each other, and about 80% of the crew was in one of the three.
We had quite a few trainers. When I got there it was Ripp Rodgers who thought us how to work. He was old school so practice was early as hell & long. He really laid down the foundation for all of us. Then we had Lance Storm and Bill Demott. Lance was awesome, he prepared us for the type of matches we would be faced with at WWE TV.
Bill was funny as hell but he was bitter and wasnâ<80><99>t as much concerned about preparing the next generation of superstars. He made us bump one practice about 240 times. We started tallying them up. For someone coming in off the street, like Tough Enough contest, Iâ<80><99>m all for that. BUT, not talent just on the verge of starting on the big show.
We were a tight group and Iâ<80><99>ll never forget that time period. Things were just so much more simple, and I met some of my closest friends in the business while coming up in OVW. We all have a bond through the time we spent there. We came up together and used to talk about when we would start in WWE and how great it would be to live out our dreams together.
I want to thank OVW, particularly Danny Davis for what he did for me and all the other developmental wrestlers that step foot in the Davis arena and when on to make it to the WWE.