Former WWE Superstar Heidenreich recently did an interview with Hannibal TV to talk about his time in the business and his interactions with John Cena during his days in developmental. Here are the highlights:
How he got started in the business:
"I actually saw a program on, it wasn't the learning channel because they did a documentary on me, but it was another channel that did a documentary and I think Cena was in it. It was of UPW in California and that sparked by interest. An attorney buddy of mine, an Italian guy who had the money to fly us out there, he had the money to fly us out there and meet UPW for the weekend, I went out there and met them. We really liked the guys out there and I ended up moving out there. I planned for a couple of months, saved up $1,500 bucks, loaded up my car and moved to California to go to the school. That's how it all ended up happening. It had always been there in the back of my mind, being in martial arts and football, and Goldberg is a friend - by then he was God. WCW and WWF that was the hottest time in the 90's. So seeing him really watered the seeds that were in my head, thinking about it. I went to California, I loaded up my Rodeo with $1,500 bucks and my dad didn't want me to go. He was like 'Don't wrestle. You need to go coach football or get into something you know.' I was like 'No, Ima do it.' I had a girlfriend that loaned by some money also, she supported me, and I ended up moving out there and stayed with one of the guys from UPW who was an announcer, actor guy.
"I had an apartment come open, I call it Gilligan's Island, it was an old hotel with the pool in the middle in the upstairs-downstairs, and believe it or not, it was $600 a month for an efficiency. Basically a hotel room. One of the guys that lived there was an older guy who ended up passing away, so I had that come open and I moved in there, put down money on that. I said no electricity for a while, no furniture so I slept on the floor. The first day I got to L.A. I got a bouncing job so I had income, I saved up a little money to buy rental furniture, electricity, and pay for school. But that's how all that started working, I went to school, and Bruce Prichard came down, Dr. Time would come down, JR, Paul Bearer. UPW was developmental at the time. Cena was there."
What he thought of Cena when he first saw him:
"He was "The Prototype." When I went to visit that weekend, I walked into the school and he was in the ring, and I'm like 'This dude looks like The Terminator in the ring.' Cause back then he was bigger than he is now. Believe it or not. Cause he was a college football player and bodybuilder working at Golds Gym, and wrestling. But John's a genetic freak. Some guys are gifted with size, but that guy has a freaky amount of muscle. That's just, some people God touches them and says 'You're going to be a cancer doctor, you're going to be a wrestler, you're going to be a Heidenreich, you know. He was one of the first guys I saw and you could just tell, that guy had everything. I was out there with him probably a year. I got signed pretty quick cause I was a big guy, and I worked hard, they told me to drop weight cause I was 310 from football. I got down to 247 or 250, I got ripped. I was going to the gym and the bodybuilders were trying to help me. They told me how to eat - once you change your diet and do it, you can get lean. It's just a matter of doing it. I dropped the weight, they signed me through the developmental and that helped out a ton, it was $500 a week. Which meant I only had to bounce a couple of days instead of having to bounce every day. They did that for guys that may be potentially guys that may make them some money. It was an investment."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Hannibal TV with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Hannibal TV