Erick Rowan spent eight years on the Independent scene before joining WWE in 2011, signing a developmental contract with then FCW. Rowan had been treading water on the Independent scene, working as an extra for WWE when he could, but rarely leaving his home area due to his family and non-wrestling job.
When Rowan decided to take a chance on himself and join FCW, he had to take a pay cut to do so.
"I was raising my kid and had a full-time security job with the government and was wrestling every week, but I wasn't traveling to different places so I wasn't getting exposure on different Independent levels. If you stay in one spot, you kind of die in that spot. You don't get any better or have different opponents to improve your craft. I was wrestling just for fun and had kinda given up. I did the extra work but they only came around once a year. It was back when FCW was around and they had a recruiting page where you send in a bio and a match. I sent a tape, was flown to Florida for a tryout while Dr. Tom [Prichard] was the trainer, did the tryout, and a week later they offered me a contract. I took a giant pay cut and said, 'let's give it a shot,'" said Rowan on the Lewis Nicholls Show.
Nicholls was shocked by Rowan saying he took a pay cut and Rowan went on to reveal, "Some guys were making as little at $500 a week. Because I had a family, I was making $750 a week."
Rowan spent two years in FCW/NXT before being moved to the main roster alongside Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt as part of the Wyatt Family. After a main roster run that lasted from 2013 to 2020, Rowan was released by WWE on April 15 as part of the company-wide cutbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Elsewhere during the podcast, Rowan discussed the ill-fated "spider in a cage" angle. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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