Bridgeport- WWE”S Monday Night Raw returns to Connecticut Monday Spet 17th at the Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport. In honor of Raw we had a chance to sit down and have a conversation with WWE Superstar Brodus Clay about his career so far.
Brodus: Whats up fellas
CTW: You started out your career in the WWE developmental system. How much time did you spend down there?
Brodus: Well it was two different stints of about a year and a half each. I took a brief hiatus in-between to go back to body guarding.
CTW: Was the hiatus because you didnt think this was the right path for you, or did you get discouraged from seeing other guys getting called up?
Brodus: It was a little bit of that, and i was getting a little bit frustrated, and they were getting a little bit frustrated with me. We just couldn’t seem to get anything going. Timing is everything, and i might have been a tab bit impatient looking back at it. But, it worked in the end. The time away was good for me and it was good for them, and when I cam back it was completely different, so Im kind of glad it happened.
CTW: So you finally get called up to season 4 of NXT on WWE TV. It’s not the typical way of breaking into the company. They put you through a series of wacky competitions, such as moving a barrel up a ramp in order to impress a panel of WWE Veterans. What was it like to be a part of that?
Brodus: I kind of went into business for myself. I really didn’t care about the panel of judges. A lot of times you get pigeonholed into certain things , like you’re a big guy so nobody thinks you can talk, or you’re a little guy so nobody thinks you are strong. So I kind of played the game for my own amusement. Whenever i felt i had the need to stand out or show i could do something, i did it. I had a real chip on my shoulder on the show , so I used it as a launching pad, and i feel i was pretty successful at doing that.
CTW: How bitter was it to finish second place to Johnny Curtis?
Brodus: You know what, Johnny Curtis, I came up with him, I trained with him. At the time I was genuinely shocked. They talk about that promo i did when i was eliminated, (see below) and that was 100% how I felt, it was legitimate. If you watch American Idol, or X Factor, you see the guys that come so close to winning but then dont. I understood how they felt. It was definitely bittersweet, but they wouldnt have gotten that reaction out of me, and I probably wouldnt have gotten paired up with Alberto Del Rio had I won.
CTW: So you mentioned Alberto. You made your Wrestlemania debut at wrestlemania 27 alongside Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship match between him and Edge. Little did anyone know that would be Edge’s last match. Looking back what was that like to be ringside for that event.
Brodus: To be honest with you, when I think about it, it was really an honor. Wrestlemania is amazing and everything you think it is. I was the first guy down that ramp , so I go to just stand there and just soak it all in. It was absolutely incredible, its the only way to describe it. I thought we had a good showing, we set the tone that night. if you had told me that that was going to be Edges last match that night, I wouldn’t believe you , I would have thought he was going to go on forever. It was a bittersweet moment.
CTW: So you fast forward a few months, and we have a highly anticipated re-debut of Brodus Clay. We saw these promos for months of a mean monster type guy coming. Then comes the time for the debut, and out comes “The Funkasaurus. Take us through from your point of view, how that came about , and what the reaction was.
Brodus: Ok so the weeks leading up, i swear i was about to lose my mind, what little hair i had on the top of my head i was pulling out. Literally every week I was getting ready to debut, ready to debut , but then week after week something would happen to delay it. I was turning into a laughing stock. I was getting text messages from home, saying what is going on. Finally the day comes and they show the sign with the disco ball and my name, and I get a text from my brother saying “Why is there a disco ball on your name?” So when I did come out it was dead silent, I could have said my name and it would have echoed through the building. There was a guy who was fired up and was dressed in my old ring gear, with his hair spiked up and a cut off shirt , and his mouth was so wide open, he was so upset. During the match he yelled at me “you suck Brodus Clay” and I yelled back “My Bad” and it kind of just went from there and I kept that as my catchphrase. It’s so hard to surprise people these days with the internet, but it shocked people.
CTW: I think even the announcers were surprised, everyone was expecting this monster Brodus CLay, one of the most aggressive guys in the business, and all of a sudden here is this guy rocking a fedorah and breakway pants. It caught us off guard for sure.
Brodus: I remember Triple H came up to me and said “whatever you do, do not look at the internet , it’s probably going to be bad”
CTW: It seems to have worked though, and you have become pretty popular.
Brodus: Yeah i think a lot of times people get stuck in a box, and you can probably relate to this, but men aren’t allowed to cry, and men aren’t allowed to dance. You have to be a tough guy and be in a bad mood all the time, and i don’t know anybody like that . I know some guys that are complainers and are scarcastic all the time, but even they smile every now and then . It was one of those things , where it is a lot easier to be “The Funkasaurus” then to be Brodus “I hate everything and your Momma” Clay. I’m glad that i get to be this. Doesn’t mean the mean aggressive side won’t come out every now and then. If someone cheap shots me in the match , I’m not going to dance with him about it. There are going to be times where the music gets put aside and we have to get to business. The main reason we are there though, is to put on a good show and let people have a good time. The kids don’t really get involved much anymore. When i watched wrestling as a kid, you would have Hulk Hogan, and Junkyard Dog, going back and forth with the crowd. Even the Bad guys like the Honky Tonk Man would come out and interact. You might not have wanted to hear him sing but you got to hear it. It’s kind of cool being a part of that style, interaticng more with the crowd. Its filtering down a bit too, like the “One man rock band” Heath Slater, he comes out and sings and plays air guitar and his voice is horrible, but it is refreshing and the fans feel a part of it.
Brodus: Every Week, there is a costume issues. I have no voice, I have no opinion. I outweigh them both by over 200 pounds, but I literally send text messages with a color suggestions, and I get no answer back. They come up to me with the most ridiculous colors, and I say I’m not wearing that. They tell me I’m not being fair but I’m just not in the mood to wear Diamond Pearl blue, with Fuchsia outlines, it’s jut not my thing. We see things very differently in terms of style. I’ve been basically dressed the same way since I was ten, so I’m obviously behind the times, or I’m just consistent depending on how you look at it.
CTW: WWE has seen its fair share of Big men in the past. How do you compare your style to the other Big Men, and who would you say are your biggest influences in the ring?
Brodus: There are probably two main guys that i really just idolized and they are “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, and I loved Andre the Giant when he was a bad guy. I thought he was amazing. I also loved King Kong Bundy, I loved the five count. I use his finish and the cut of my gear is similar to his. I also loved Taz , he was smaller but man he had some great suplexes. A lot of big guys don’t use suplexes , but I have a few of them in my bag. The rules are different nowadays and I cant do everything they used to do. There were also guys like Ravishing Rick Rude, and Paul Orndorff, who had this great cockiness to them. They also had great abs which I clearly don’t , but I take a little bit from a bunch of guys. Dusty Rhodes though was a great mentor to me and I’m really appreciative of that.
CTW: I have to ask this question, I know we talked about you changing gimmicks earlier, and you used to be a bodyguard for Snoop Dogg. What do you think of Snoop Dogg changing his gimmick?
Brodus: You know what, i’m all for growth and change. I love Snoop and he’s always been a great friend and advisor. I mean why not? If I could become “The Funkasaurus” why cant he go from a dog to a cat.
CTW: You are always on the road, do you have any travel tips for our readers out there, and do you have any places you like to stop when you come through Connecticut?
Brodus: I cant remember the name of it, but there is a barbershop right off the freeway in Stamford, where the nicest guy in the world cuts my hair whenever I come though CT. I’m also a huge New England Patriots fan, and I know they claim about half of the state as fans. As far as travel tips, fold everything as neatly as you can, it makes life much easier.
CTW: We are looking forward to seeing you on the 17th, and if there are any families out there thinking about going to their first show, what would you say to them to get them through the door?
Brodus: It’s like going to the circus, and the amusement park. There are fireworks, some singing if Heath Slater is there. There is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. It’s a great great time, and compared to other things out there its fairly inexpensive.
CTW: We look forward to seeing you in Bridgeport in a few weeks and want to thank you again for taking time out of your day to talk to us.
Brodus: Alright, thanks guys.
You can purchase tickets here.