Who can turn the world on with his smile? Well, it's RJ and he should know it.
RJ City is now beloved for his eclectic schtick and ability to work old-time comedy into modern entertainment, but once upon a time, WWE passed up the opportunity to bring him into the fold when a tryout went wrong.
Speaking on the latest episode of The New Day Podcast, RJ City explained how he attempted to take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile by wowing his audience with a rendition of the Mary Tyler Moore theme song. He also explains an awkward, albeit pun-filled moment with Perry Saturn at his tryout.
"For context, this was maybe eight or nine-ish years ago, my understanding is it was one of the first of the modern tryouts that we know today. But it happened before they were cameras and shirts, and I didn't get a shirt. I'm a little upset about it, It was me. Sasha Banks, Sami Zayn. Elias, coach Sara was there, a variety of different people, and then I was this weird person who, I don't know, maybe somebody saw an episode of 'Splatalot!' and they said, 'Hey, maybe we need a Viking,' who knows?'
"You are incredibly sweet and supportive and your role at this time was to film the promos on promo day you were up high and I thought it was hilarious. So I'm kind of laying low you know, you do your drills, you're nice. You don't want to sing Ethel Merman out of turn, Only when asked. So I'm laying low, everything's fine. Everyone promos, I wouldn't even call them promos very much. This is my life story, which is great. If you have a life story. I happen to have really no life story, just these stupid things that I do. So I said, 'Well, this is my moment. Let's have a nice time.'
RJ explaining what it was like to work with Xavier Woods behind the camera for his big tryout. With his friend behind the camera, RJ could feel that love was all around and there was no need to waste it, deciding he could have the town, so why didn't he [try to] take it.
'The first thing I did was cut a promo about how I tore my cuticle the week before and I almost canceled this whole tryout because I was in so much pain. That was the first thing I did and then they said, 'Can you do anything else maybe from your TV show? I said, 'Well, I do improv on the TV show so I could improvise.' So I'm improvising. I said, 'Cameraman, could you follow me down and I sat on the ring apron and you did a nice, I'm sure the footage is somewhere, you did a nice pan down. As I was talking, I looked over and there was a table, a long table, it was like an extreme American Idol. One of the people there was Perry Saturn. You know, Perry, I'm sure he did not enjoy Ethel Merman. I'm just hazarding a guess. A very serious man [who] has the tattoo pencil on or whatever. I just looked over at him. I said, 'Excuse me, Perry, can I see the back of your hands a moment. He went, showed me the back of his hands and I said, 'Ah, I just wanted to see the 'Rings of Saturn. 'The air became so heavy. Such weight in the room and a couple of people got it and enjoyed it and a couple I think were mainly confused. Then I turned to the head trainer at the time and I sang him the theme from Mary Tyler Moore and that was my big finale. That was my shot. Not quite sure what happened."
After that, RJ decided it was time he started living and time he started letting someone else do some giving. Therefore, he decided that the next time he was in contact with WWE, it would be because they contacted him.
"Then right after that, I went to do the second season I was 'Splatalot!', which is very bizarre. I was on set when they called me and they said, 'Listen, that was certainly something. But generally speaking, we have nothing for you to do that would keep you here in light of everything else that you're doing.' I was very confused at the time and hurt because you think you're going one way and everything's going well. I said, 'You know what? Fine.' I said to myself, 'I'm going to continue to do what I enjoy doing, and see where it leads me and the next time I contact these people, you know, I will make sure they contact me because I'm doing something so weird that they either like it, or it bothers them and they have to contact me. That was my general goal.'"
Eventually, WWE did contact him and now, RJ is a regular guest star on The Bump and yes, he still throws in as many references as he can, including a series of references to old actors during a fantasy draft.
He finally made it after all.
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