Big E joined WWE’s developmental promotion, Florida Championship Wrestling in 2009. In a recent interview on Renee Paquette’s ‘Oral Sessions’ podcast, he told the story of how he got a tryout for the company.
The current Intercontinental Champion recalled that he had not even considered joining WWE as an option until a friend of a friend who knew Jim Ross, who was still with WWE at the time, suggested he gave the idea a chance.
“I was in Grad school at the time, and I knew a guy who knew a guy who knew JR. He said “Hey, I’m connected with WWE, is that something you want to give a chance?”
“Even though I was a fan as I kid, it never crossed my mind that this was a job, I just never thought about it.”
He discussed the process of getting a tryout from the initial suggestion, with the first step being to send shirtless pictures to the company.
“The first step was contacting the company, they wanted to see what I looked like shirtless, so I took some real awkward pictures. I sent them to the office and they flew me down, I guess they liked how I looked topless enough to send me down to Tampa for a tryout [laughs].”
Unfortunately for anyone hoping to see the pictures, Big E told Paquette he “hoped someone burned them”. He went on to finish off the discussion about the tryout by admitting it was random chance that he even got one, as he had met the right people at the right time.
I did the tryout in Tampa and I guess it went well enough for me to get signed, but it was just real random with me just bumping into the right people at the right time.”
Since joining the company, Big E has gone from strength to strength, winning the Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Championships as part of the hugely popular New Day faction a total of eight times, and, in singles competition, is now a two-time Intercontinental Champion.
If using any of the quotes above, please credit Oral Sessions with a H/T to Inside the Ropes for the transcription.