On episode 197 of Talk Is Jericho, WWE's Luke Harper talked about his beard, almost giving up on his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar, getting put with Bray Wyatt in the Wyatt Family, and getting called up to the main roster after a successful run in NXT, among other things.
Harper stated that did not have to grow a beard for his WWE character since he already had it.
"I had it already and I liken it to being fat: it's not difficult to do - you just kind of give up on life. This is what happens! And it just happens to help me with my career now! And my wife doesn't mind it. It's a win-win."
Apparently, Harper almost gave up on his WWE aspirations when he was 31 years old, as most talents are signed by their 20s and he thought WWE was looking past him at that point. Moreover, Harper worked as an extra for WWE on as many as 19 different occasions without getting signed.
"Two days after I had my child in January , [I] got called by Johnny Ace [former WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Operations, John Laurinaitis]. And the other best part about that is that I missed his call because I was in the hospital, so he left a message, his [telephone] number cuts out." Harper continued, "so [I] instantly called Claudio Castagnoli [WWE's Cesaro] to [say], 'please tell me you have Johnny Ace's number' and he said, 'yeah, here it is right here.'"
Harper said he got his break with WWE because Cesaro, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose all vouched for Harper to then FCW trainer Joey Mercury.
"I was told again [WWE] were looking for guys over six [foot] whatever that could work. And so Claudio Castagnoli was down there, Tyler Black who is now Seth Rollins, and Jon Moxley who is Dean Ambrose, kind of all were close to Joey and said, 'hey, there's a kid out there that', I use the term, 'kid', loosely, 'there's a guy out there who can work and is tall and whatever and no one [has] ever called him.'"
Prior to getting his big break with WWE, Harper worked as a librarian.
"I was a librarian in a city school. That is correct." Harper added, "I kind of got hooked up through a family member who kind of had a connection and I applied and took the civil service test and all this stuff and kind of got in. I was actually the keeper of the text books and stuff, but I helped in the library."
Harper claimed that he worked on the indie scene as Brodie Lee before being renamed in WWE. Harper got the Brodie Lee name due to his fandom of the film Mallrats, and resemblance to actor Jason Lee, who played lead character, Brodie Bruce, in the film. Harper pointed out that he looks strikingly similar to Lee in his passport photograph.
"It is actually from Mallrats. Yeah, Jason Lee's [character's] name is Brodie. I love Mallrats. I love all Kevin Smith movies."
According to Harper, his wife is a fan of the name Brodie as well and the couple even named their son Brodie.
"I didn't want to name him Brodie, but my wife was insistent that we do. I was like, 'ugh, I can't do that! I don't want to be a mark!" Harper continued, "we kind of made a deal if WWE hires me, I can't use the name ever again, [so] let's give it to [our son]."
Harper said that he was first put in touch with Wyatt by Cesaro and Joey Mercury advised Harper to go with it. From there, Dusty Rhodes told them to cut promos together and helped them with vignettes.
"Even before, when I had signed my contract, I called Claudio and told him, so he tells me, he's like, 'oh, talk to this guy' and he puts Windham [Rotunda], Bray Wyatt, on the phone and he's just talking, like, 'oh yeah, I got this spot, blah, blah, blah' and I hang up the phone and I go, 'what the hell? What is he talking about?' So Joey's like, 'trust me. This is the perfect spot for you.'"
Jericho indicated that Wyatt was picking his brain and showed him the vignettes and Jericho immediately sent them to Vince McMahon. Harper said that the vignettes were shot with no budget and that snippets from those original vignettes are still used today.
"It was literally me and Dusty and a guy named Jeff, the lighting guy down in NXT who is awesome."
On the subject of getting called up to the main roster, Harper stated that Wyatt has some idea of what was going on before Triple H told them.
"At one of the NXT tapings, Hunter just said, 'hey, I want to talk to you three [Wyatt, Rowan, and Harper]' and Windham had kind of stooged it off saying, 'hey, I've heard some things. I don't want to put it out there, but I think we're coming up as a whole.'" Harper added, "so we're in the back parking lot of Full Sail [University] and he said, 'today, we want to bring you up as a group.'"
Harper said that the lantern in entrance was Triple H's idea, as Wyatt was to lead the group through the darkness.
"Hunter gave us that entrance with the lantern. Yeah, he kind of thought of all that. Yeah, because it was all part of our deal. I don't know if it was in the vignettes or not, maybe hanging from something, but that was part of the deal."
As for Harper's early interactions with McMahon, Harper said his first real interaction with McMahon came at the end of a Wyatt Family versus Usos tag team match at a pay-per-view event.
"My first real one was, we started doing the Uso feud like maybe a year into our thing. And I don't know if it was the two out of three falls match or the one before at the Money In The Bank [pay-per-view], where we killed it." Harper continued, "and we came to the back and he stood up and he hugged each one of us and he goes, 'you go to that locker room and you tell these motherf--kers to follow that!'"
In addition to these topics, Harper discussed getting yelled at by McMahon for not speaking with a southern accent, his ladder match versus Dolph Ziggler, and the potential of Braun Strowman. To check out the entire podcast, click here.
Source: Talk Is Jericho