Alexander Hammerstone is one of the biggest stars in MLW, but him joining that promotion almost never happened. That's because he has a WWE tryout that went well and was seemingly proceeding to a contract signing before the WWE went in another direction.
Hammerstone talked about his experience with WWE in 2015 when he joined The Wrestling Inc. Daily.
"That was probably my second tryout as I had a WWE tryout in 2012, then 2015, then 2017. The last time I was with them, I was told I had a job. I was prepared to move and already got the phone call telling me I was hired," recalled Hammerstone. "But I went through that only to have it change and I was a victim of that. This business is like that and things change. I went through 4-5 months of thinking about moving to Florida only for them to go, 'Oh never mind. We've got too many guys in the PC right now.' That hurt and was big kick in the groin. The next couple of months after that were really hard."
Hammerstone then admitted that he was planning his exit from pro wrestling after being spurned by WWE. At that point he was being regularly booked and he was making his obligations but he was checked out and going through the motions.
"I was really hurting, really struggling and not enjoying it anymore. Then I got to the point where I gave it one final go and put my heart in 100 percent to see what happens. Then two months later I signed to MLW," said Hammerstone.
He then went into more detail about WWE telling him they already had too many guys in the Performance Center.
"It wasn't a situation where I had a contract and put ink to paper," stated Hammerstone. "The hiring process with them takes months. So, it was a verbal, then pass your background check, then fill out this paperwork, then do medical tests. We were moving through all of the progressions but when it came time for the next thing I get hit with, 'Sorry, but we have too many people. We're not gonna bring you in.'
"Honestly, I don't have any ill-will about the situation. At the time it sucked, but that's one of those things that happens to people."
Hammerstone said something like this just happens to people and he realized he had a handful of friends where similar things occurred. He also said that he could have gone there and started at the back of the line until they realized what they wanted to do with him.
"If your end goal is to work for that company, the way to do it is to come in on your own terms. You wanna be a guy like Killer Kross who is probably gonna be directly on TV, they're gonna ask how you wanna do your vignettes and he's gonna keep his name. That's what you wanna be," stated Hammerstone.
"You don't wanna be the guy who has his name scrapped and gets told how to dressed just because you're a capable athlete who might turn into something."
While the WWE door closed, for now, another open opened with MLW and Hammerstone talked about how he ended up there.
"Once I got with the company, I realized how many people there I had met over the years. There's a meeting where they say, 'Ok, who do we wanna look at' and my name might have been thrown out a dozen times. I'm not sure but I do know there's a lot of people there that would have gone to bat for me," said Hammerstone.
"Once I eventually talked to Court – he keeps an eye of what's going on – and he said I was a guy who he constantly would see stuff on Twitter about. My promos and highlights would catch his eye and then he took some time to watch my matches."
He also had some interactions with Konnan at the time who was starting to work backstage and he asked Hammerstone to send him some tapes. That led to Hammerstone then being invited to a show.
"I thought it would be one of those situations where I would be asked to do a dark match," admitted Hammerstone. "But it was, 'Nope, here's a contract. You wanna sign it?'"
Alexander Hammerstone can be seen every Saturday night, 9/8c, on BeIN Sports as part of MLW Fusion. For more information please visit MLW.com. His full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon: by clicking here. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: