Interview: Brodus Clay

Brodus Clay was one of eleven WWE Superstars that were recently released from the company. The 6 foot 8 inch, 350 pounder from Pasadena, California had two spells in WWE. He finally made it onto the main roster during his second run after coming through the NXT television series.

Clay would become The Funkasaurus along with the Funkadactyls before teaming up with Tensai forming the team of Tons of Funk.

We caught up with Brodus to talk about his WWE highlights, what Vince McMahon is like as a boss, his recent WWE release, his future plans and much more.

wwe-brodus-clay-070913-2

Before becoming a professional wrestler you were a bodyguard for Snoop Dogg, what was that like?

As a bodyguard I worked with a crew and we covered a lot of different clubs. Snoop had a manager Kevin Barkey who I used to work with and he told Snoop about me and they were at a club one night and I started working with them. I began moving up the ladder and I ended up with one of the top spots and travelled with Snoop everywhere, I also helped coach Snoop’s football team and we won a championship together, I was actually coach of the year that year.

Snoop was a great boss and I was very lucky to have him as a boss. I’ve worked as a bodyguard for all kinds of people, I worked with Rick Ross, I’ve done some pretty solid stuff working with the owner of Saddle Ranch and some top executives.

Snoop has made several appearances on WWE television, is he a big wrestling fan?

Oh yeah, Snoop is a die-hard wrestling fan and he always wanted to do more. I think one of the regrets I have is that we never actually got to work together because that would have been fun. We did the Hot Pockets campaign together which was pretty cool but it would have been nice to perhaps tag together and have a WrestleMania 1 like moment. Now I am going on to pastures new that is something I could look at later on down the road.

Is your ring name Brodus Clay a play on Snoop Dogg’s real name?

Yeah, Clavin Broadus is his real name and when I asked him if I could go back to WWE for the second time that is the deal we came up with, it just kind of took off from there.

How did you then make the transition from being a bodyguard to a wrestler?

Technically I never actually quit working for Snoop, he just let me go and wrestle. I’ve been a wrestling fan for as long as I can remember, since I could walk and talk, I’ve been watching wrestling. I had a couple of opportunities and called the old WCW Power Plant, like every other pro wrestling kid did at one time, and the other, I went up to Canada for a tryout at a wrestling school up there but it didn’t really work out.

It was actually when I was working at Saddle Ranch where I got my break. One night Tommy Dreamer showed up with Chris Masters and a couple of other talent, and being a big ECW fan I quickly sort out Tommy Dreamer, I gave him the red carpet treatment, I got him a big table overlooking the dance floor. A fight broke out at the venue and the guys fighting were really small but one of them decided to hit me which was really funny, I ended up picking both of them up by their belts and carrying them out like suitcases.

Tommy found this hysterical and told me I should do that on TV, I thought he was joking around but he told me he was a part of talent relations and involved in the hiring of talent for WWE. In return I told him I was talent relations for Saddle Ranch and that he had a job and he ended up working the rest of the night, throwing guys out and breaking up fights. He was just a really cool individual and he was exactly what I thought he would be like – he called me about three months later and arranged a try-out for me and that’s where I met Bill DeMott. Bill ran me into the ground but I never quit and he said he saw something in me and he put in a word for me and I ended up in WWE developmental in Atlanta.

Who were some of the wrestlers you enjoyed watching when you were younger?

Oh man, I remember trying to style my hair like Butch Reed, I loved Butch Reed. Ron Simmons, I was a big fan of, I was a huge fan of ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, I loved guys like, Haku, The Islanders, Piper, Cowboy Bob Orton, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, and Andre ‘The Giant’ when he was a heel. There are so many guys, I loved them all, I just really enjoyed watching wrestling.

What were your first experiences like in WWE developmental territories DSW and FCW between 2006-2008?

It was just eye opening, different styles, I remember coach DeMott and Dave Taylor in Deep South and then in FCW it was Steve Keirn, Dusty Rhodes and Dr. Tom Pritchard. It was different styles and different philosophies which was really good for me, I got a lot of ring time and I got to work a lot of different characters. I thought I was ready to go but the writers just didn’t have anything for me and it began to get really frustrating, and the next thing I know I was released.

My time at both of those developmental territories was really good and I learnt a lot, as far as I was concerned I led my dream, I got to wrestle at a couple of house shows.

You mentioned you were a big fan of Dusty Rhodes whilst growing up, what was it like having the opportunity to work with him and learn from him?

Working with ‘The American Dream’ was awesome because he wasn’t like a wrestling trainer, he was more like a director and producer. His whole thing was, who are you? what are you? he wanted you to entertain people and tell a story, he was very deep like that. He got more out of stories that he was telling than any arm drag, he told a story and he told it so well, and that is one of the things I’ve emulated from him. I’ve always been a really good story-teller, I didn’t go to him much but when I went to him it was always very helpful.

Ironically days before I got released I was very frustrated and I went up to the Performance Centre to roll around and just smell the ring and be in the ring a little bit and Dusty was just sat there listening to his music and relaxing. I just went and sat with him and I told him I was frustrated but they won’t take away my love of wrestling and he told me I just haven’t painted my canvas yet and I have to stay the course and do my thing. I don’t know if he is some sort of prophet but the next day when the release happened I was mentally prepared and he was right, if I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing where I was doing it then maybe I need to do it somewhere else.

What was it like when you returned to WWE in 2010?

When I returned in 2010 and went back to FCW it was a completely different place. During my original run we were training in a basement with no air conditioning and everybody relied on each other. When I came back there was a state of the art TV studio, three rings, and all kinds of trainers and writers, it was completely different, I didn’t recognise the place. Steve Keirn along with Norman Smiley and Dr. Tom did a really good job of turning that place around and making it into something special.

You were a part of the fourth season of NXT, what was that experience like and getting to work with Ted DiBiase and Alberto Del Rio?

I loved NXT because it gave me a chance to show that I was more than just a big guy. It enabled me to prove that I could work, that I could talk, that I could tell a story. Myself and Johnny Curtis (Fandango) had a pretty good feud. It was great working with Alberto Del Rio and Ted DiBiase, you can’t get much better than him, but there were so many good guys.

NXT was a great platform because there was no plan, you went out there and threw balls, I just loved it. Me losing NXT is the best thing that could of happened because I went out there and cut that promo and people still talk about it. As a monster, big guy and a heel, I did my job, making them feel for Johnny but making them hate me at the same time. I’m very proud of that body of work.

What was it like when you made it onto the main roster as The Funkasaurus with the Funkadactyls, Naomi and Cameron?

That was a lot of fun, it was definitely a challenge, I was scared to death initially of doing it because I had trained to be an aggressive monster heel but they threw a curve ball at me and I had to deliver. I went to see the Dusty Rhodes and we sat down and spoke about the character and we danced to Moves Like Jagger and we figured it out after that.

What have you made of Naomi and Cameron in Total Divas?

Naomi and Cameron are two of the most talented divas in WWE, so if they have a show about divas you can’t make it without those two girls.

You teamed up with Tensai as Tons of Funk, what was that experience like?

Tensai was an amazing competitor, and us tagging together was fun. He is just so smart and he has one of the best minds in the business in my opinion, so we had a lot of fun working together. He is just a tremendous big guy.

wwe-2013-tensai-brodus-clay-funk

You eventually got to become a heel during your singles run, was that something you enjoyed?

By the time we got to the point when Tensai and myself split up, I was really frustrated and I didn’t like the whole Xavier Woods thing, riding on our coat tails. Just the whole way we were being treated and not being featured, getting snubbed, I was angry and it was upsetting.

What was it like returning to NXT and wrestling Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship?

Adrian Neville was an aggressive opponent and I really enjoyed getting to work with him. Adrian was a great competitor and I enjoyed throwing him around but he stood up to me and I enjoyed that.

That new Performance Centre down there is amazing, the guys coming in there today, they have all of the tools to succeed, they have everything – perhaps even too much. I kind of like being in the down and dirty dungeon and scratching my way to the top but that is an awesome place.

Who were some of the up and coming guys in NXT that caught your eye?

Sami Zayn, he is just incredible, Cory Graves before his injury I thought he was amazing. The Divas division down there in NXT is probably the best in the world, there is a lot of talented people down there who will be worth looking out for but those are the two that really stood out from the crowd for me.

During a recent set of NXT tapings at Full Sail University, the crowd began chanting for the recently released guys names, how does that make you feel?

The NXT crowd, they kind of grew with us as we progressed through the ranks, that crowd is actually part of the show, it is like they are one of the characters in the show. I appreciate that, it’s pretty cool that they did that, it’s a nice sentiment, but I guess they were just doing it to heckle the guys in the ring, so don’t give the fans too much credit because they’re just a bunch of heels!

What were some of your personal highlights from your time in WWE?

Easy, wrestling Edge was one of them, my matches with Heath Slater are some of my all time favourites, tagging with Santino Marella. I’m just really grateful I got to work with many great guys like Jack Swagger, Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler was one of my favourite guys to work with – Dolph suplexed me, but it was just a great bunch of guys to work with.

wwe-brodus-clay-070913

How did you find out about your WWE release this time around?

They just called me, just like a girlfriend would to break up with you. They just call you and say sorry but it’s just not working out and you’ve got to move on.

What was Vince McMahon like as a boss?

He is the boss, he was a gentleman, he tells you exactly what he thinks, if he likes it, he tells you you’ve done a good job, if he doesn’t like something he lets you know about that as well. I got on really well with the agents there as well, Mike Rotunda, Dave Finlay, Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko, Jamie Noble, and Road Dogg, it was just really good getting to work with all of those guys as well, I always respected the chain of command.

Do you think we could see you back in a WWE ring one day or perhaps even TNA?

TNA and Japan are definitely things that are on my list, there are also many great indy organisations out there. Rumour has it Jeff Jarrett also has something going on with his new promotion Global Force Wrestling, so there are a few different options but I’m open to offers and my door is always open, I’m definitely not done and I’m going to keep on working hard.

With regards to returning back to WWE, I don’t control those things but I’m going to treat it like I did last time I was released by WWE and keep on working hard and moving forward, I will put it behind me and move onto other things. You can never say never in wrestling, but at the moment my mind is set on doing my own thing.

For more information on Brodus Clay you can follow him on Twitter @BrodusClay

Tags

  • Bob hope

    I hope Brodus Clay goes to Ring of Honor

Latest Articles

WWE Spoilers: Final card for WWE Battleground 2017

WWE Spoilers: Final card for WWE Battleground 2017

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: July 18, 2017

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: July 18, 2017

WWE RAW Results: July 17, 2017

WWE RAW Results: July 17, 2017

Review: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES completes the hat trick

Review: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES completes the hat trick

WWE Spoilers: #1 Contender’s Match announced for Battleground

WWE Spoilers: #1 Contender’s Match announced for Battleground

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: July 11, 2017

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: July 11, 2017

WWE RAW Results: July 10, 2017

WWE RAW Results: July 10, 2017

WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Results

WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Results

Your SO OF COURSE preview of WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017

Your SO OF COURSE preview of WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017

Review: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is the definitive take on the character

Review: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is the definitive take on the character