The butterflies are kicking in for WWE superstar Brodus Clay, who will be making his in-ring WrestleMania debut this year.
The fun-loving resident of Planet Funk will team with Sweet T and the Funkadactyls (Naomi and Cameron) to face Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) and the Bella Twins during WrestleMania 29 which starts 7 p.m. EST Sunday, April 7 on pay-per-view from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Clay has emerged as one of the company’s most popular personalities, in spite of taking on a character that may have failed in the wrong hands. The California native was a little apprehensive when he was repackaged from the dominating monster that stood as the muscle for Alberto Del Rio to the funky Funkasaurus.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Clay said, remembering when he first appeared in the new persona on Jan. 9, 2012.
“I was scared to death. I didn’t know how it was going to go down. We did a really good job of tricking the Internet, which is hard these days. We showed the direction we were going but didn’t want to tip it off. The night we came out, which is funny, before I debuted there was a disco ball that said Brodus Clay on the door. It said, ‘Brodus Clay next,’ and my brother called me asking why there was a disco ball on this door with my name on it. I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I told him I couldn’t tell him. Then I came out, and it was like boom.
“The whole arena was like, what? You could have dropped a pin. I blocked it out and did my thing. At one point there was a guy who was dressed up like evil Brodus. He had his hair done and everything. He yelled at the top of his lungs in a really sad voice, ‘You suck Brodus.’ I yelled back, ‘My bad,’ and the place laughed. The catchphrase was born right there, and people lightened up. They had some fun with it. I remember Triple H saying, ‘The Internet might be a little rough on you.’ It actually wasn’t too bad, and it just kind of went from there. With the addition of Sweet T [Tensai], it’s been an injection of freshness and starting all over again. People are excited, and the kids are having a good time. I’m really enjoying it.”
For the fun-loving superstar, what you see on WWE TV each week is an extension of his personality behind the scenes.
“It kind of came about because that’s more how I am backstage,” Clay said. “They would see me backstage in the locker room joking around and being witty. I like to tease, laugh a lot and tell funny stories. I don’t know where the minds got with the dancing, but somehow they go hand-in-hand. The dancing was the scariest thing because I would say I was an open dancer. I would drive in the car and sing, but I wouldn’t drive in the car and dance. Rarely, would I ever dance, but it was in there. Part of the showmanship of WWE, they will ask you to do things you don’t think you can do, but they know you can do.
“This was one of those situations where Triple H and others saying, ‘I know this is you. You just have to bring it out.’ You have to make it your own and take what they give you and put it together. I was always onboard in being more colorful, especially with the entrance to the ring. I always loved Apollo Creed and Muhammad Ali and some of the other guys who would come out with really cool flash. Everyone likes the flash and all that stuff, so it’s really cool to do that.”