A current AEW star has opened up about their tryout with WWE and why they think they wrecked their chances of joining that company.
Long before he begged WWE Hall of Famer Billy Gunn to “scissor me Daddy Ass” Anthony Bowens was a young athlete trying to break into the world of big-time wrestling.
Like so many others, Bowens tried out for WWE only to get knocked back by the company. Appearing on Talk Is Jericho with AEW colleague Chris Jericho, the five-tool player explained exactly where that tryout went wrong:
“So, physically, I did great, so I’m like this is fantastic. And then on the third day they have you cut a promo and you sit in front the entire room and get all the coaches and it’s led by Coach Regal and you know, when you know him he’s super sweet. But if you don’t know him, he comes off as very, very intimidating. He’s got these very fierce eyes that look into your soul.”
“So I got up there and the one thing he told me going into it was he’s like, you’ve got a lot of the tools that we need to make you a superstar just work on your promo and your personality, but don’t cut promos like a wrestler, just have a conversation. So that’s what I practiced, and I cut the promo. It could be about anything, whatever. I did something along the lines like I have scars over my legs from surgery, and I was like a model at the time.”
“So it’s kinda like an inspiration, you don’t have to be this portrait of beauty to be a model, that guy kind of vibe. Okay, and then he goes, ‘alright, Anthony, can you do one more wrestler like’, and I was like [stammers]. And at the time, I didn’t really have a character, I was still in the closet, so there was this imaginary wall up that I couldn’t like really get my personality out.”
“So I was just this bland, blue-chip athlete with just nothing else. And I cut the worst [promo], they probably have in the archives, I hope they burn it. I cut the worst promo probably in the history of wrestling. I think I made fun of [head coach Matt] Bloom’s voice it was brutal.”
Anthony Bowens went on to explain that when he got word that he hadn’t made the cut, it was the beginning of what he calls the worst day of his life:
“I think that’s what it was for me, it was terrible. And then I actually when I got the email, it was the worst day of my life. I woke up that day, I got the email from them that said not right now, but keep in touch.”
“And then I went into the city because I was in such an abysmal mood and I blew a casting that I had with Foot Locker and then I came home and then I found out my grandmother passed away, which she was like one of the most important people in my life. So it’s just kind of like it was the first day that life kind of kicked me in the balls.”
Thankfully, Bowens is made of stronger stuff, and taking inspiration from his rejections and the memory of his grandmother, he began working harder than ever to make his way in the pro wrestling business:
“It was also probably one of the biggest days of inspiration that I had because I’m not one to kind of accept negativity too well, I like to spin everything to a positive. And I just kind of I went crazy. I want to do everything I could to get better and prove them wrong that they made a mistake that they didn’t sign me and also to make my grandmother proud.”
“So I started taking acting classes, I did improv classes, I did sketch comedy shows, we started the YouTube channel and grew that I got an agent, I started doing commercials. I just wanted to do everything I could to kind of get my personality, you know, out of that gutter. And it worked.”
Anthony Bowens had been out of action with a leg injury but it appears that he might be healed up given his actions on AEW Dynamite where he attempted to help Max Caster and The Gunn Club defeat Danhausen and FTR only for his interference to go wrong.
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