On a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho sat down with Matt Lee and Jeff Parker of 2.0, f.k.a. Ever-Rise. Lee and Parker had done many appearances as extras with WWE before signing with WWE, and Parker revealed which current WWE star helped them out.

“We just got to the point where we had to ask Kevin [Owens], ‘What can we do? I know you can’t just get us a job,'” Parker recalled. “That’s one thing, ‘Oh, I can just get you a job.’ It doesn’t work that way. He just said, ‘Hey, look, I can get you extra work,’ and so anytime you guys were in the northeast, anywhere we could drive, we were going. We were going for two years, three years.

“We probably did 40 shots maybe,” Lee added.

Their appearances as extras did lead to a tryout. Parker reveals what they were told after the tryout as well as potential opportunities that could have went their way.

“We get our first tryout in September 2016,” Parker stated.

“William Regal, we had extra’d with him a bunch of times, and he took a liking to us, knew we were friends with Kevin, and he put the word in. We had a tryout at the Performance Center.

“The tryout goes really, really well. This was at the time they had just done the first Cruiserweight Classic,” Parker noted. “Canyon Ceman pulls aside. He goes, ‘Look, we love you guys a lot, but there’s only so many under six foot tall white guys I can have on the roster right now.’ How can you argue with that? I’m under six foot, and I’m white, but he goes, ‘We’re gonna be doing season two of the Cruiserweight Classic, so we’ll use you guys for that.’ Awesome. Great, amazing. Go home and wait for an email. Never comes. One comes up. ‘We might use you for the Dusty Classic.’ Sweet! We’re a tag team. There’s a tag team tournament. Heck yeah! It’s perfect. Never hear anything back.”

2.0 then talk about their work as enhancement talent on RAW in their hometown of Montreal. They reveal their reactions when they were handed their promo that night.

“At this point, we’re like, well, man, I guess we just got to keep extraing, and that’s what we did,” Lee stated. “WWE comes to Montreal, and we’re going to extra and we ended up having a match with the Authors of Pain on Monday Night RAW.

“This evolves to Road Dogg coming up to us as we’re just sitting in our ‘locker room’, I say loosely, which is basically a cubby hole under the stands, and he goes, ‘You guys can speak French, right?’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ He comes back maybe 15 minutes later. He goes, ‘Okay, so you guys are gonna have a promo. Charly Caruso’s going to interview you.’ For us, promos are really what sets us apart. That’s how we made our mark, got a name was by doing these ridiculous promos.

“They set it up to where we’re supposed to be standing at ringside. Charly, she was going to ask us some questions. We have some verbiage. AOP reaches over, grabs us by the skull, the old Big Show spot, pulls you in, whoops you ass, 1-2-3, you’re done. Awesome, fantastic, easy enough. One point, a writer comes up to us. He gives us a piece of paper. We read it over. There’s a line in there that says, ‘We come from a long line of French Canadians, and if anybody knows anything about French Canadians, we’re fighters.’ It’s like, who are we to say anything? There was a line of French, but that was in English

“We ask Road Dogg, ‘Do we have to say it this way?’ He goes, ‘You don’t,’ because there’s French in the beginning,” Lee added. In the French part, we go, ‘Do we have to say exactly what’s here?’ And he goes, ‘No, Vince isn’t gonna know what you say anyway, just don’t embarrass the company.’

“That was clear, just say what you want but don’t say anything stupid,” Parker noted. “Matt comes up with the line of.

“[Lee says the line in French], like, we’re gonna bring the cup home, the Stanley Cup,” Lee completed. “Tonight is our night. We’re gonna bring the Stanley Cup home.”

Parker discusses how their ringside promo ended up being a promo in Gorilla in front of Vince McMahon. Parker then reveals McMahon’s reaction to the promo.

“Then they go, ‘Okay, so we’re going to move the promo from ringside to Gorilla, and we’re going to do it live and then you’re going to have an entrance.’ As an extra getting squashed, what more could you want,” Parker pointed out. “That the Holy Trinity. That’s perfect, great, but the nerves that come with that. It starts to get time for it, and now we start moving to Gorilla. The thing is, in Gorilla, we’re standing, 10 feet away, there’s Vince sitting at his table, and now I got to do a live promo in our hometown, in front of Vince, in front of the world.

“We do the thing. Charly asked us a question. I can’t remember what the question was, and I just go, ‘You know Charly, that was an excellent question, and then we answer it. Matt drops the French line, huge pop, music cue. Go out, get squashed, business is done. We come through Gorilla, and we were standing around. AOP goes and talk to Vince. We’re like, we got to go talk to Vince, at least say thank you. I’m not thinking this is gonna get us a job, but hey look, we’ve come this far.

“You got to say thank you to the man who gives you the opportunity. It goes a commercial break. He’s talking with AOP. Commercial break is about to end. He starts walking back to his seat, and I’m just like, oh, I can’t let him sit down. I gotta go. I’m like, ‘Sir, just before you sit down, I just want to say thank you.’ We’re expecting him to turn around. ‘Yeah, good job’ and brush us off, which is fine enough, but he turns around. He looks. He goes, ‘Great sh*t out there!’ Shakes the hand. ‘Great enthusiasm!'”

Parker continues as he recalls Mark Carrano calling him in. He reveals what Carrano said to him in private without Lee in the room.

“Mark Carrano pulls me aside and goes, ‘Hey, guys, you did a great job. We’ll give you a huge bonus. Jeff, there’s a problem on your paperwork, just coming to the office. I’m going to fix that up,'” Parker revealed. “Get into the office, and he goes, ‘Okay, so there’s nothing wrong with your paperwork. This is the first time this has happened since I’ve been here in 10 years. Vince wants me to get your information. I’m gonna get your information, and we’re gonna get you out to Florida.’ Just me so that happens and I’m like, oh, sh*t. I go back into the locker room. Obviously, Matt knows something happened. I give him the 411, but immediately after I tell him, we go, now we got to figure out how we both get there.

“We got to make this work,” Lee said. “I guess a couple days go by, and I just emailed Canyon Cemen and told him what’s what, and he goes, ‘Oh, we’ll get you in,’ because they were going to bring Jeff down for a tryout. And I told him the situation. He’s like, ‘Oh, you come in too. Absolutely, you come too.'”

Jericho asked 2.0 if they knew why Parker was singled out and not Lee. Parker noted they had a friend on the writing staff, and the writer revealed to them what McMahon said in a post-show meeting.

“We had a friend who was a writer at the time, and he said they had the post-show meeting or whatever, maybe it was the day after,” Parker said. “Vince said, ‘You know that kid, he was just so hateable. I like him!'”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.’