In a recent appearance on Table Talk w/D’von, Lilian Garcia revealed how The Rock helped her career during their time together in the WWE.
After joining the company in 1999 as a ring announcer, Lilian Garcia was an ever-present on WWE television until her departure from the company in 2016. While The Rock was cutting his signature promos throughout the early 2000’s it was often Garcia holding the microphone. And Garcia has revealed it was “The Great One” who helped her find her most famous role within the company.
“The fact that I got to do The National Anthem– and it was because of The Rock. It was him who found out that I sang, and when I went to one of the live events, he was like, ‘Oh, well we always play The National Anthem as an instrumental, so we should probably have you do it to see what you sound like.’ Then I did it Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. By Monday, I remember Pat Patterson running in to tell Vince McMahon and some of the other producers that, ‘Oh my God, she killed it all weekend.’ And Vince was like, ‘I have to see this for myself.”
This lead to Garcia performing at Wrestlemania 2000 and numerous other Wrestlemania’s and high profile shows throughout the rest of her WWE career.
Arguably Garcia’s most memorable performance came when delivering a spine-tingling rendition of the American National Anthem just two days after 9/11. In the lead up to her taking to the ring, Garcia recalls how she was given an impromptu pep talk from Paul Heyman in a bid to settle her nerves.
“I remember Paul Heyman looking at me and seeing that face of mine, of, ‘How am I supposed to do this?’ And he says, ‘Look, you got this.’ It’s I like I had the training ground leading up to it, being able to sing it every single week. He says, ‘You got this!’ And he goes, ‘Look, if you fall hard and you cry, you cry. Just don’t worry about it. Just be you, and go out there, and sing the feeling you are feeling right now.’ I needed that. It’s almost like a pep talk, and I’ll forever be grateful for him to stop and say those words to me.”
Garcia has appeared sporadically on WWE television since leaving the company, and recently announced that her podcast Chasing Glory will be coming to the WWE Network.
You can watch the full interview in the video above, with a h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.