|By Jay Calderon | June 19, 2012 | Comments|
On what it's like being in his current position when many people doubted that it could happen: "It's great. It's one of those things that you never expect to happen. This has always been my dream as a kid -- to be at this level and to do this kind of stuff. I actually have aspirations of getting even higher. Getting to where Cena is, where regardless of whether he's in a title match or not, he's always the last match on the show.
"But, just five years ago, if you would have asked somebody if I could have been a superstar in WWE, they would have said, 'No, he's too pale, he's not charismatic enough. he's not this, he's not that, he's not whatever. He's a good wrestler, but that's not enough to make it in something like the WWE.' So, it's real nice."
On how he got his start as a professional wrestler: "No (I wasn't a backyard wrestler). [Laughs.] I've heard that. I want to say it's on my Wikipedia page, but the only reason -- like, I graduated in 1999 when people were just kind of learning to build websites. So, my buddy was taking a class where they built websites. So, we took pictures where we were these wrestlers. I was the Uno-Dos-Tres Chico and all these really stupid things. So, anyway, we put out the website for his class and all of a sudden, it's on Wikipedia.
"I went and got trained by Shawn Michaels. It's very important, we say in WWE, to get professionally trained if you're going to do this. Don't try this at home, it's very dangerous.
"So, yeah, I went and trained with the best. Shawn Michaels is awesome. I went and trained for a full year down there and then I went to train with William Regal in Memphis. I've trained all over the world with some of the best wrestlers.
"Actually, I was supposed to train with Dean Malenko because $500 is a lot of money for a kid who is 17, 18-years-old. So, I gave [Malenko] my $500 and all of a sudden, a week later the school closes. Then, I saw this advertisement on Monday Night Raw about Shawn Michaels opening up this school and I thought, 'Well, I hope he's there because if he's not, this is a waste of a lot of money.' [Laughs.]
"That $500 deposit, I gave it to them when I was a sophomore in high school. I just started working at McDonald's and I was 15. I wasn't even allowed to serve burgers, I was just mopping floors. ... Yeah [this was pre-vegan]. [Laughs.] I've only been vegan for 2 and a half years.
"But, I did tell that story to Dean Malenko -- that they took my $500 and they did not give it back and he does not care at all. [Laughs.]"
On what it was like training with Shawn Michaels: "Well, you didn't really talk to him at first because you're still a little awe-struck. We're all there early -- I think the first class started at 9 AM or something -- and were all there at like 8 o'clock. I'm nervous because I don't know anything about what this is going to entail. Shawn just strolled in, casually, 5 minutes before 9 and he was really laid back.
"You could see that he's kind of eying us up, kind of, 'what do I got here?' He's clearly not looking at me like, 'This guy's our superstar potential.' [Laughs.] But when you really start to know Shawn and relate to him, he's really fun. It's interesting looking back at it, because he would sort of let us take cracks at him a little bit.
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