WWE has a legendary “box of gimmicks” backstage in the company. Whether this is actual box or a metaphorical way to talk about Vince McMahon’s brain is a point of debate at this point. Jimmy Wang Yang will never forget the day when Vince McMahon pitched an idea to him that would change his career forever. It was the day that WWE hired him for the third time, but McMahon didn’t recall the second firing.
While speaking to Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore podcast, Yang walked listeners through his memory of the time Vince McMahon pitched him that cowboy character. Yang took the ball and ran with it to make the most out of the character that he could even if The Chairman didn’t remember releasing him.
“I got to Columbus [Ohio] and then they was like, ‘Oh, can you do a match?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah sure, whatever’ and they put me on [Sunday Night] Heat with Charlie Haas… and then after that, kinda had a good match with Charlie and then they said, ‘Hey Jimmy, can you come down to Cincinnati? It’s on Tuesday.’ I said, ‘Oh, okay. That’s my backyard so I’ll come down Tuesday’ and by the time I got there and walked in, Johnny [Laurinaitis] said, ‘Hey, come with me. We’re gonna put you under contract again…’ Johnny said, ‘Oh, Vince wants to sign you again.’ I said, ‘Alright, cool,’ because I wasn’t with Ring of Honor at that time. It was no contracts with Ring of Honor. I said, ‘Alright, whatever.’ But, I needed to go thank Vince for this.”
“This is like the third time this dude’s hired me. This is kinda crazy. I wasn’t expecting it, but this is the third time so I kinda like sneak in his office, a lil knock and he opens up, ‘Come in!’ I said, ‘Hey Vince, I wasn’t expecting it but thanks for hiring me again.’ He’s like, ‘Oh Jimmy, I didn’t hear you were fired. Just had so much on my plate. But hey, that’s great you’re back and this time, we’re gonna make a negative out of positive. Like last time [when] you were Akio, I didn’t let you talk because you were this Korean dude that has this Southern accent. I can’t let you talk. But this time, we’re gonna make you the Asian Redneck, Jimmy Wang Yang! That’s funny! Wang Yang, that rhymes!’ I was like, ‘Yeah cool Vince, whatever. As long as that check comes Monday, I’ll do whatever you want.’ He’s like, ‘Okay, get out of my office.’”
It turns out that Jimmy Wang Yang not only got a third shot with WWE, but he also got a gimmick that fans remember to this day. It is also very interesting to note that Vince McMahon apparently didn’t even realize that they had released Yang due to his loaded plate of responsibilities.
Thanks to Post Wrestling for the quote