Lucha Underground star Willie Mack was the special guest on Sean Waltman's X-Pac 12360 this week. The two old friends recall first meeting when Willie was just fourteen, and go on to speak candidly about The Mack's 2014 WWE release, with Sean revealing that his public response caught the attention of company execs. Willie also discussed growing up in foster care, and how watching pro wrestling inspired him to stay on the right path. You can watch the full episode in the video above or download the podcast version on iTunes.
Sean recalls meeting Willie when he was a high school student:
"You kind of had the 'I'm a badass' [attitude]. You were projecting that, and I'm thinking to myself, man I hope nothing happens here and this kid doesn't get too lippy with me, because I'd have a hell of a time trying to do something with this guy. I don't need some fourteen year old kid kicking my ass, making it on TMZ...[Then] when I saw Willie at WSX it had been a few years and I wasn't surprised at all. I just had a big smile on my face and I said, I knew I'd see you eventually."
Willie was surprised Sean remembered him at WSX:
"It was awesome because you know, this fool a superstar and everything, been on TV, been around the countries everywhere else, and he remembered me from a few years back and it's awesome."
Sean reveals his public response to Willie's WWE release caught the company's attention:
"Back when all this happened I was pretty upset, man. I'm not going to lie, dude. I shed a tear when I found that out... It really upset me. So I kind of said some things on Twitter, and [William] Regal came to me and just said, hey, come on, man. We really wanted that guy. You're making us sound like we're this or that. So I know they really dig you, Willie. I know they think you're great and hopefully one day, well not hopefully, it will happen if you choose for it to happen."
Willie on his WWE release:
"Another thing about the release I hated, people thought it was because they said, oh he smoked weed. I haven't smoked weed in about six years. What you talking about?! I'm the cleanest, healthiest, fat dude that you've ever seen."
Willie describes his unconventional childhood:
"I was born like an 80s baby, which is basically our mom did drugs and they had you in the womb and it passed on to me. A few months later I got caught in a fire because my mama was high on some stuff and she was trying to cook something and burned up the house. My hand caught fire and a part of my leg. My bigger sister, who was way older, kicked in the door and got us out. I ended up in foster care with a person named Ira Richardson. She took care of me. She was a family friend, and she raised me as her own. Then like all I had was really wrestling to look up to."
Willie knew what he wanted to do, at age fourteen after a visit to wrestling school:
"I'm going to wait until I'm eighteen and graduate from high school and I get my diploma, and I'm going to be right back here in four years. Sure enough, I graduated on a Wednesday, training was on a Thursday. It was June 20, 2005 when I graduated. Then the next day I showed up--bought me some wrestling shoes, some knee pads and something to work out in, and started training."