R-Truth is now 10 years into his second stint in WWE and next year will mark the 20th anniversary from when he first joined the company as K-Kwik. Truth was just a couple of years into his pro wrestling career when he first was contacted by WWE and little did he know that meeting Vince McMahon would change his life forever.
Truth joined Lilian Garcia's Chasing Glory podcast where he talked about that initial meeting with McMahon and thinking that he was being set up during his first few months with WWE.
"It was a surreal moment because I was still very green as far as knowing the business, knowing about everything," Truth said about meeting McMahon. "And then meeting Vince McMahon where he's telling me that he saw my tape and asked whether I dance and I rap, in which I replied that I did, so he said that he wanted to offer me a contract. It still didn't dawn on me that I am going to get a real job. I have had one job in my life, my whole life and that was only because of work release to get out of jail so that I wouldn't see orange anymore. I have never had a job in my life. WWF is my second job in my whole life."
R-Truth spent 13 months in jail due to selling drugs in his early 20s. As he mentioned, his only previous job was part of a work-release program until he signed with WWE in 1999. He was assigned to one of their developmental territories at the time, but it didn't really hit him that he was a WWE Superstar until he started getting paid.
"At that time, it wasn't registering to me. It still wasn't registering to me until I saw those checks," said Truth. "Think about this, back then I was getting checks for probably about 3 to 4 months before they even sent me anywhere. I was at home getting checks and thinking that, okay, at any time they are going to call the cops on me and send me back to jail. I was thinking that it was all just a bit set up because they are sending me all of this money and I hadn't even done anything yet. I was scared.
"I remember calling Johnny Ace telling him that I wasn't sure if they knew that they were paying me because I was sitting at home, but he just laughed and said that you are fine, we are getting things squared away. I was like, 'you know that I am cashing these checks and you are sending me all of this money,' but he assured me that I was fine. But it was like, once I got into developmental it was such a different world. Going from being in the streets and doing everything that the typical thing that guys from the streets do that have no outlook, or have nothing to fall back on or no types of dreams or goals, it was a different life for me. I took a hold of it. I held on and I am still riding it."
Truth was released by WWE in 2002 and quickly landed with TNA when it was still associated with the NWA. He defeated Ken Shamrock for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to become the first and only African American to hold that title.
Truth reflected back on that historic occasion and what it means to him.
"This guy that came from a dream, having an inspiration and a goal, Jack Crockett [of NWA] believed in me. Something had told him to give back to me and that I was good for it, where I was at the point in my life where I was ready to accept and make good of something," said Truth.
"The first time I was told I was going to get that title, I didn't realize how important and how special and how amazing it would be. When I got it, and hearing the feedback from it, it was another surreal moment because I didn't see it coming but I knew it was coming. To be the first African-American to hold that title it's like, I had felt like I had reached the pinnacle of my career and God keeps giving me more. So, it's like I'm just trying to be as positive and a positive inspiration to everybody where if you respect and appreciate where I came from and where I am now it's because I believed and somebody else believed and I chased it."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.