It's only been a week since he left the company, but Brodus Clay is already making the most of being outside the bounds of WWE kayfabe, and providing some insight into how he went from being the stereotypical big bruiser that had "bodyguarded" for Alberto Del Rio to the dancing, smiling, Mama calling funkster we'll always remember him as.
In an interview with Wrestling365, Clay talks about how months of training to debut on WWE television as a "juggernaught" turned into the Funkasaurus:
Seeing me in the back, cracking jokes and just being myself or whatever, the boss [Vince] said, 'are you sure this is the right way we want to go,' and said, 'so what if we do this instead?' I was kind of surprised and kind of nervous and didn't even know if I could pull that off as the dancing stuff really isn't who I am at all, but cracking jokes with a smile, I do that all day and joke around with the boys all the time. I'm always running my mouth and stuff, talking trash, things like that, but I never really thought of myself as a dancer.
Where does someone who just saw his gimmick do a complete 180 turn? Dusty Rhodes, of course. Working with The American Dream in Developmental, he bumped into Naomi, who he had trained with in the past and had a background as a dancer for the NBA's Orlando Magic, and the rest is history.
His debut on Raw became a gimmick unto itself, as then authority figure John Laurinaitis continued pushing his first match back to "next week". When it finally happened, it caught everyone by surprise. That fact, and the joy that the character brought to a lot of fans, are things Brodus is proud of:
The cool thing about it was that nobody knew about it, everybody was expecting this one thing and with these days of the internet, no one knew. A lot of people were rolling their eyes saying that it's not going to work, but I was given a challenge and I thought I done pretty well with the challenge put in front of me, it was completely out of the box than what I had originally prepared myself for, but it worked out okay and now that I look back at it, I'm proud of it. I can always be ruthless and aggressive in the ring, but I don't think I'll ever have the opportunity to be 'The Funkasaurus' again. I'm thankful for that time, because for me, it was a chance to be a character and have fun and honestly, the reactions that I got from the kids just made me want to do more and more of it, because I enjoyed seeing the smiles and the dances and the videos they would send me on Twitter, that was really cool.
He also talks a little about his relationships with The Funkadactyls. Naomi he knew ("we were always cool and I'm really good friends with her husband [Jimmy Uso]"), but Cameron had only recently joined WWE when she was put in the trio, and that lead to a bit of a bumpy relationship - as viewers of Total Divas season one saw.
But as most viewers know, that reality show can be as much of a work as any pro wrestling program, "some of the things were blown out of proportions for TV ratings for the likes of Total Divas, the whole boyfriend thing, it was more like a joke to me. We never really had a big problem, if we had disagreements, we talked it out."
Expect to hear more from Clay as he continues his post-WWE career.