On a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho and Luther continued their discussion from their previous episode. Jericho noted in part one of their conversation that if Jericho could easily bring his friends into whatever company he worked for, then Luther would have been in WWE a long time ago. In part two, Jericho told a story about him trying to get Luther signed to WWE just one month after he signed.
“When I first signed with WWE, which was August of ’99– and I think back on it now like, what the f–k?” Jericho remarked. “I was like, ‘hey Vince, I got this other guy.’ I remember talking to him at the Target Center in Minneapolis, which was like a month after I signed. I said, ‘I got this other guy and you should take a look at him.’ And I remember saying, ‘well, is he a good person?’ I’m like, ‘he’s a great guy.’ He said, ‘that’s all we care about here, is good people.’ Thinking back, it was like, whatever, but you and I made a highlight tape.
“This is old-school VHS, and I remember it was to ‘The Call of Ktulu’ by Metallica, and it was a really cool video. I remember I took it to an editing place. I’m not an editor at all, and we put this together. Obviously we’re best buds, but what the f–k was I thinking? I’m not even over. I’m a nobody and all I’m caring about is trying to get my friend in, and they hated me at this point in time. You had no chance of getting in because I was so hated, but I was just thinking, ‘well, you bring in guys that deserve to get a chance.’ So I made this video and I gave it to whoever – Bruce Prichard.”
Luther explained his side of the story, saying that he had his own highlight video that was different than any other kind of highlight video. He said he met former WWE announcer Kevin Kelly during his WWE visit, and he praised the video that Luther sent in.
“Well, so what happened was I had sent a video in myself, too,” Luther recalled. “So you made that one like Japan-style, so I made one that was almost like a snuff porn film. It has me tied up, hanging with electrical tape all over everything, and then I have girls in leather. Then Lonnie was in it. So this girl’s walking around whipping, and Lonnie’s in a wife-beater with a tennis ball taped to his mouth, tied to a chair, just dumb stuff. It was really weird. So anyways, when I ended up going to Titan Towers, when I got flown in, I was there for like a week for the first first trip.
“When I’m there, we go upstairs, you go upstairs to the cafeteria. I go to the cafeteria and I don’t know anybody there at all, so I’m upstairs and I’m waiting line. And this guy comes up to me, and he’s like, ‘hey, are you Dr. Luther?’ And I was kind of a little marked out. I was like, ‘yeah,’ and it was Kevin Kelly. And he’s like, ‘I thought so. I just wanted to say we got your promo tape in here a while ago,’ and I don’t know this guy, so I know it’s not a rib because no one knows who I am.
“And he goes, ‘I gotta say, that was the best promo tape we’ve ever got. I’ve had nightmares about that for a couple months because it was so different.’ In between clips of this snuff porno stuff, I put in action videos of me doing stuff in the ring, and it was like completely different.
Luther said that he was flown in to have matches against other people that WWE considered signing with Bruce Prichard, leading the training sessions. Luther recalled being placed with a bad group of wrestlers to the point where Prichard had to step in and call the match for them.
“Yeah, so I got flowing out there, stayed for a week [and] had a bunch of matches,” Luther said. “Prichard was there, so I think there’s like eight guys, and I would say four of them were good and then four were — I don’t know why they were there.
“It was bad. Basically, when they were in there, we had to do matches. And I remember two matches the guys were in there were so bad, Prichard would stop them. And Prichard had to call their stuff for them as they were doing it, and I was like, ‘why are you here if you have to have that done?'”
Luther recalled Vince McMahon’s reaction to the promos he was asked to cut. He said McMahon liked his promos, but when Jericho asked what that led to, Luther admitted that it didn’t lead anywhere.
“This is one thing that I still remember,” Luther stated. “I’m kind of proud of because ‘I re-watched everyone’s promos. I got to change my mind. This Lenny’s promos were really, really good. They were so bad all day that I just lumped them all in together until I watched them. You stayed in character the whole time, and they were awesome.’ So I was like, ‘oh, that’s cool’.
Luther said that he had a few dark matches, and recalled a bad dark match with Just Joe (Joe R. Legend). Jericho criticized Joe, but Luther said Joe apologized for the match. Jericho revealed that he had spoken with Prichard and recalled Prichard saying that WWE was going to sign Luther, but the match soured WWE on Luther.
“My name was kicked around a couple times,” Luther noted. “Well, I had some dark matches a couple of times in Vancouver [with] Just Joe.
“He sandbagged you,” Jericho said. “I’ll say it – he sandbagged you.”
“Yeah, it wasn’t good. He actually– when they were in the back and started giving us trouble, he did take the blame. He said it was him.
“I never told you this, but from what I recall, Bruce Prichard said, ‘we love him. We’re going to sign him,'” Jericho added. “‘We just want to watch him in this match’, and when it was done, it was never spoken of again from what I recall. The match did not go, and they just forget blaming you because he was under contract. ‘It wasn’t you; it was him.’
“Actually Joe was cool because Joe actually said the truth,” Luther prefaced. “He said, ‘I screwed up’, or whatever.”
Luther reiterated that nothing came up after. He did say that he was always on WWE’s radar for potential ideas. One idea was for him to team up with Gangrel for The Brood. However, that did not happen, as Edge and Christian became The Brood with Gangrel as the leader.
“No, but I heard that I was still on their radar because I was told from a couple people a few different things,” Luther recalled. “I was told they were thinking of putting me in a tag team with a guy named Gangrel, because they said we both kind of looked alike, which I actually, to this day, still get people who think I’m Gangrel. So there was talk about me and him doing The Brood thing, and then I lost that job out to two of our friends instead.”
Luther also revealed other ideas that he was considered for, like being part of Don Callis’ group, The Oddities. He also said that after he did the Wrestling Retribution Project, he was considered for a tag team with a wrestler from Minnesota. However, once WWE saw that the wrestler from Minnesota was bad, then those plans were dropped.
“So then the second second thing that I was kind of kicked around about was Don’s group, The Oddities,” Luther revealed. “But then they put more guys that were already in their group that weren’t getting over into there, and so, I kind of lost out on that.
“And then I was told when I did the WRP thing that they were wanting to put me in with some guy there from Minnesota, but wanted to try him out. And I was told that my name is really high up on their stuff. So, I always was on the radar, and then this guy, I guess, s–t the bed so bad after a couple of times, they just scraped the whole thing. And then that was it.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.