WWE is enamoured with celebrity. Just ask the otherwise pointless David Otunga whose big push as a part of Nexus and continued employment is mainly due to the fact that he's engaged to be married to talented singer and actress Jennifer Hudson. Often getting your foot in the door with WWE is much more dependent upon who your father is or who you are friends with than your actual talent. The latest case in point is independent wrestler Jody Kristofferson, the son of actor and country musician Kris Kristofferson, who has just been signed by WWE to a developmental contract, likely much quicker than if he was any old Joe Bloggs trying to claw his way up the ranks.
To be fair to the young hopeful, he didn't try to use his last name as an unfair advantage over other men with the same dream of working for WWE. As Dave Meltzer reported in the August 22nd, 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Kristofferson went out of his way not to drop his name to Triple H when the son-in-law of Vince McMahon complimented him for taking a nice bump in a tryout match with Brodus Clay over the summer:
Backstage at the 8/9 show in Sacramento, after Brodus Clay pinned Jody Kristofferson, HHH walked past Kristofferson and said, "Nice bump, kid." and Kristofferson said thanks and that was it. Another of the wrestlers backstage (hired to be one of Rhodes' bag on the head guys) approached HHH and said, "You worked with that kid's dad in a movie." HHH looked puzzled, and then was told that Jody was Kris Kristofferson's son. HHH then went up to Kristofferson and asked him why he didn't tell him who he was (Kristofferson is a real nice guy and I'm told never drops his father's name, which was consistent when I met him) and told him to come to SummerSlam.
According to Meltzer, the deal has been in place for some time but wanted to keep it quiet, which is unsurprising given that every potential WWE signing must pass a batch of rigorous medical tests before they can start work for the company, this process can take several months and it would be embarrassing if Kristofferson had failed the physicals and his job offer had to be consequently rescinded.
All Pro Wrestling, the indy promotion based in the San Fransisco Bay Area that Kristofferson previously worked for, took full advantage of his WWE signing, by making him their Universal Heavyweight Champion in his last date for them before going to FCW, then having him immediately vacate the title and break the good news. For those of you who watched Beyond The Mat and remember APW owner Roland Alexander, their website write up of the story had this highly amusing recollection:
Roland is fond of sharing a time when Jody was marching up the stairs with a bag of potato chips under each arm and being caught as Roland came out of his bedroom. With the owner of All Pro Wrestling and lead recruiter of the APW Boot Camp always watching you, there is no chance to fail at a diet, or miss a workout.
LOL, that's probably because Roland will steal any junk food his trainees have to eat for himself!