|Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman joined Renne Paquette, formerly known as Renee Young under WWE, on her podcast Oral Sessions to discuss his personal WWE training experience at the WWE Performance Center. Shawne described it as “brutal” and recalls him almost leaving midway through his training.
Merriman recalls one of the drills he had to do where he says, “I want everyone to know that their workout is brutal,” Merriman said. “I think they wanted to see if they could take me through the wringer. But it was a straight hour nonstop. I try to tell people that those ropes, there’s metal under those ropes. When I got done with this workout, my arm was bruised up.”
Merriman also recalled a promo class with the infamous Dusty Rhodes where he admits he almost left mid class if it wasn’t for a conversation with him and Rhodes. He said, “After we were done, every week at NXT, they’re down there and you do that weekly promo cut, with Dusty. I got done with my workout, I went and everybody’s there for about two hours doing their promos. This was when everybody who’s on the main stage now was down there. I’m sitting in the back and two hours go by. I tap my publicist and say ‘hey, let’s get ready to get out of here.’ Right as I’m about to get up and leave, Dusty said ’56, I bet you didn’t know I was going to do this, but bring your ass on down!’ “So no practice, no nothing. I haven’t gone over anything. I’ve got 20 seconds to figure out what the hell I’m going to say when I get up there. First off, it’s Dusty Rhodes. I’m not telling him no. Dusty tells you to get your ass up there, you do it. I was sweating bullets. I got up there and I just did what I knew best, without having anything really put together or practicing.“And I started ripping on certain people who I saw already doing their promos because I was watching the whole time. So I just start ripping on certain people. When I got done, JBL pulled me to the side and said ‘listen, that’s one of the best promos I’ve ever seen out of anybody who’s never had any practice ever.’ That’s what he told me. So everything was good. I told my publicist ‘go back to the hotel, I’m staying here.’ Me and Dusty, we sat in a little office and we talked football for three hours. It was one of the best conversations I had.”
Although Shawn ultimately did not sign with WWE, it is awesome to hear some behind the scenes stories from the WWE Performance Center, and The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes!