Prowrestlingsheet.com interviewed former NFL star Shawne Merriman, who was famously known for being a OLB on the Chargers, on his brief stint in WWE. Below are some of the highlights.
Merriman on how his time in WWE started: “I did a, I think it was One Night Stand or something like that, but a PPV event they had in San Diego when I was playing and we had a great turnout, people loved it. And so we kinda kept in contact from that point on and they would just ask me, ‘Ok, when are you retiring?’ We had a conversation, I think maybe 2 years after I retired, and I went down to the facilities down in Orlando and I worked out with them for a few days. Billy Gunn was my in-ring coach.”
Merriman on Dusty Rhodes putting him on the spot and getting a contract offer: “I was kinda sitting in the back playing on my phone and the next thing I know Dusty Rhodes says, ‘Hey, I bet you didn’t think I was gonna do this, but number 56 come on and bring your ass down here.’ I got put on the spot by Dusty Rhodes. You don’t tell Dusty Rhodes, ‘no.’ So I walk to the front … I’m like, what am I supposed to do? Like, do I just go ‘Lights Out’ on him? I went up there and I kinda jumped into character and they loved it. And at that point they offered a contract.”
Merriman on being a part of the WrestleMania 30 pre-show panel: “I don’t know if you guys remember … Hogan came out first, Austin came out and I’m sitting there like a 10-year-old kid hopping in my seat. I’ve got Shawn Michaels next to me. I’ve got Mick Foley on my right. I’m sitting there and I’m trying to keep my composure, because I want to run down into the damn ring and flip over the ropes. I got back to the screen and they said, ‘Listen, Shawne, you’re an adult now. You shouldn’t be acting like this. You shouldn’t be that excited.” And the next thing you know you heard, ‘IF YOU SMELL’ and I got up … and I yanked out my earpiece and I almost ran down the stairs. I love WWE and obviously I’ve been working with a lot of guys behind closed doors, so it was fun for me.”
On why things didn’t work out due to the rough travel schedule: “I think we’re still talking about me doing some stuff on the Network, but this is a different lifestyle you’re talking about. This is a completely different lifestyle that is not suitable for regular people. These guys put their body through so much, that I don’t know if I was prepared to do that just yet.”