Lillian Garcia is joined on today’s show by Mojo Rawley.
Rawley informs that his family is a diverse, tight-knit group. He’s half Arabic, but his parents decided not to teach him and his siblings a lot of the Arabic language when they were kids because they didn’t want their children to develop a strong accent which could potentially make them targets for bullying at school. Rawley thanks WWE for providing language classes to their performers, because he’s been able to take Arabic classes over the last couple of years in order to learn more of the language.
Rawley informs that he played college football but realized early on that he needed a backup plan. He took business classes because he really enjoyed the world of business, and he informs that he actually interned in the financial world in the 7th grade. He turned down a scholarship at one school in order to pursue a greater challenge at the University of Maryland, but that turned out to be a real tough situation
He was paying his own way and trying to make a very good football team as a real underdog. The coaches/management don’t like it when guys walk onto their teams like that and beat out guys who were drafted and given scholarships by the school, so that made his road even more difficult.
He wasn’t drafted to the NFL but was brought into training camp by the Green Bay Packers and got an NFL contract. He played real well in the preseason but was still released before the start of the regular season. He received a call from the Arizona Cardinals and joined their team the following season where he played well. Just as he was about to get going in his NFL career he tore his quad and that basically ended his NFL career.
Rawley notes that he’s been guilty of over-working at some points in his career, and he feels like that may have played a part in his torn quad. Even nowadays he needs to check himself when he’s on the road with WWE. Sometimes he feels the urge to go to the gym at 12 AM without any sleep, but he knows now that career longevity is more important than breaking weightlifting records.
Rawley informs that being a WWE Superstar is the first thing he ever wanted to do as a kid. He would watch WWE every week with his father and his brother, and he only chose to pursue Football because he couldn’t take University classes to become a WWE Superstar. After seeing an opportunity to tryout for WWE, he jumped at it and the rest is history.
Rawley got a developmental contract and began working at the Performance Center. He had no idea what he was getting into, noting that some trainees looked down at him for some of the opportunities he was being given. He understood their frustrations, but he didn’t appreciate it because he was working very hard and being very respectful. He gave up 6 figures/year on Wall Street to go to the Performance Center and make $39,000/year. He had $150,000 in college debt at the time and was losing $1,000/month when he first got there.
He knows it wasn’t a smart financial move to start training to be a WWE Superstar, but he’s way happier now than he ever would have been on Wall Street. He doesn’t think he’s accomplished half of what he thought he would in WWE, and he knows he still has a long way to go to accomplish the things he wanted to. He thinks it’s harder to accomplish things on your own in WWE than it was in football, but he only blames himself for his shortcomings in WWE thus far.
Rawley says he’s in “no man’s land” right now, and he’s not sure why. He wishes he knew what the problem was so he could try to fix it. He thinks there’s been too much “stop and go” for him in WWE, and he points to the moment when he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania a couple of years ago. He thinks that was a special moment, and unfortunately it was never really capitalized upon.
He guarantees that he’s going to do everything he can to get back on television and to accomplish his goals in WWE, and he notes that the WWE Universe hasn’t seen 5% of what he can do yet. He thinks he’s particularly good on the mic but he hasn’t been able to show that during his WWE career yet, so he hopes those opportunities arise in the near future.
He notes that his career has been stop and go for too long now, and things need to start happening. He’s taken a backseat at times in his life, but he’s determined to start making his own opportunities in WWE moving forward.
He informs that the Hype Bros was a unique situation. When the idea was presented to him and Zack Ryder, neither of them wanted to do it. They were polar opposites in the sense that they took completely different paths to get to that point in their career, and although he appreciated and learned from Ryder, they were both happy the day that tag team died.
Rawley points out that he and Ryder will likely be great friends at some point down the road, but when they were in that tag team they looked at each other as a person who was holding back their own singles career. When they faced off on the Clash of Champions Kickoff Show they were very physical with each other and Rawley says he felt every shot that Ryder threw at him. He knew it was going to be that way because there was a lot of emotion involved.
That sums up today’s episode of Chasing Glory. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!