Brodus Clay was interviewed by CBS Radio DC. Here are some of the highlights.
On what it was like waiting for WWE to finally give him that push and why they went the Funkasaurus direction: “I had no fingernails for like two months because I was just biting them off every Monday. Literally, I didn’t know (when I would debut). There were signs of the Funkasaurus, but it was always me messing around.
“People always want that angry guy, but it just wasn’t me. It’s hard being mad when you have a job. [Laughs.] It’s hard to be mad, it’s a lot of energy. I just wasn’t feeling it. The GM was pushing me to be this psychopath that he wanted. But, anybody can go out there and be mad — ain’t much creativity to it.
We did those promos and I ended up laughing. It was like, ‘What am I mad about again?’ It was like, until I get you the way I want you, we’re going to keep putting things off. But, eventually, he slipped and let me do it myself.
On who’s idea it was for Brodus to be the Funkasaurus and how big of a risk it is to use the gimmick: “I was terrified because, for one, I’m not a good dancer. As a wall-crawler for my entire club career, I’d find a wall and lean against it to bob my head. That was always my move. I’ve always been witty, I’ll crack jokes and stuff [but] I didn’t see the connect between that and dancing.
“Ultimately, when Triple H said they wanted to see that side of me, I literally looked at him like, ‘Who did I offend and where do I go to apologize?’ Because people who know me and have been around me a long time, they’d go, ‘Oh, yeah. That’s Brodus.’ People who don’t know me, they don’t necessarily want to see that.
“So, I was like, I don’t want to embarrass myself. I’m ripping clothes off and stuff. I could easily look like an out-of-work stripper. So, I was really concerned with a lot of things as it got put together. The bottom like was: if you commit to something, you believe it and you have fun with it, people are going to respect that. Even though I didn’t expect it to take off like this.
“Every time I go out and hit the curtain, I have my back towards [the fans] because I’m getting ready to turn around and have them realize that this dude can’t dance. Every time I turn around, I’m always surprised that they have signs and people are cheering. Everyone wants to call they mama. Which is good because, apparently, people are calling their mamas more. Which is always a good thing. So, I thought it was a big risk.”
On his big performance at this year’s WrestleMania and how John Cena played a part in it: “The powers that be — we’ll call them — they love to just throw things at me and see how I react. Now, when I saw the WrestleMania guide, I saw a big picture of myself and the Funkadactles and I was like, ‘Huh. OK. Well, maybe I’ll get a match. Hopefully, I’ll get a match, maybe the dark or the battle royal.’ That’s kind of where my mind was at. No way in my mind was I even considering that we were going to be dancing before the main event.
“Then, I heard I had a rehearsal. WrestleMania’s the accumulation of a lot of things. All the shareholders come in for all the meetings with the suits and everything. We had to do a dance for them which is a tough crowd of sponsors and stuff like that who are in power point meetings all day. We’re going to break out and dance for them. I was like, ‘Yo, that’s going to be awesome.’
“That was probably the most nerve-racking thing. Then, we had another rehearsal scheduled and everyone was kind of hush-hush. I saw the bosses were there and I said, ‘OK. So, maybe we got something else.’ Then, I saw a lady that I had met when I used to bodyguard for Snoop. She was his dance coordinator and he used to go to her for dancers for his act. So, I started putting one and one together and [realized] they’re going to try and have this lady teach me to dance.
“So, I thought I had to dance by myself in front of all these people and I was like, ‘This is where it ends. On the grandest stage of them all.’ Then, I saw all these attractive women and I started putting it all together. The powers that be said they we’re going to try to do something that’s never been done before. The way it started, they had all these cool dance moves. It was off the hook. I mean, splits, flips — was is it, is it Crado, Crado I think — they had all that.
“I’m sitting there and I’m going, ‘My people, the Universe, they know the Pterodactyl’ I’m showing them my moves and the dancers are looking at me like, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding me.’ But, that’s what I got, that’s my bag. ‘I’ve got to get that in because anything else, they won’t care. I’ve been working on this shimmy and every once in a while, I’ll do this P.S. Hayes hand thing.’
“A lot of them hadn’t really seen it. So, once I showed it to them, they laughed and said, ‘OK. Cool, let’s just have fun with them. … The second rehearsal, things got cool. Then, the day of WrestleMania, they hadn’t found out where they were going to put me yet. Then it was like, ‘Oh. Looks like we don’t have enough time.’ Then, we found out that we were going to be on between Jericho Vs. Punk and Cena Vs. Rock. I was like, whoa!
“We were in what we call the gorilla — it’s right before you get ready to go out. I think it was the band or prep — something went way wrong. So, they were going to cut [the dance]. It was cut and we got told in gorilla. At this point, I’m committed to it and excited, ready to go. I look at the Funkadactles and I’m like, ‘Guys, I think we just got cut.’
“Cena, he was getting his mind ready and he’s in the corner getting ready to come out because he comes out shortly after. He’s stretching and — this is one of the coolest things ever — he said, ‘If Brodus doesn’t go out, I’m not going out.’ And just walked away. [Laughs.] They were just like, ‘Well, send him out.’
“It was a really cool moment. Everyone talks about Cena but they don’t know that that’s the type of person that he is. So, it was really cool. So, honestly, the reason that I actually went down was because of Cena. He had a lot to do with it.”