Former WWE Performance Center coach Scott Garland (Scotty 2 Hotty) has recalled Vince McMahon shooting down a pitch to hold a tryout for theatre performers.
Speaking with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Garland confirmed that McMahon visited the WWE PC in mid 2021, stating that he brought the idea of a tryout specifically for live actors to the WWE Chairman.
Noting that McMahon insisted that WWE performers aren’t actors, Garland said:
“So, he came to the Performance Center one time the whole time I was there. Maybe six months ago. I was always the guy in the talent meetings, or any meeting in life, I would sit in the back row not wanting to be seen. He came there, he gave a speech and I was like, ‘You know what? I’m gonna sit in the front row and I’m gonna be the first one to ask a question because I feel like I have a legitimate question.’ [Because we’re] always going out doing these tryouts for all these athletes—NFL, Major League Baseball, everything but bowlers and golfers, pretty much, they’re hiring.
“So I said to him, and I had this idea for a while where Broadway is shut down. All these live shows around the world shut down, right? All these performers are out of work, so I said to Vince—I asked the second question—I said, ‘We’re always doing these tryouts for the athletes. Is there any thoughts to doing a tryout specifically designed for these live theatre performers?’ Because I can remember going to see Lion King on Broadway and there were all these dudes swinging around up on the stage, they’re shredded.
“They look like athletes, they were probably athletes at some point in their life, got hurt and then fell into theatre or maybe they just looked like an athlete. That’s what we do; we’re performers who react to off crowds. So you would take these people who look like athletes, but they understand the importance of the theatrical part. Because sometimes that’s a hard thing to teach, say, a football player who’s been taught, ‘Hey, just win, win, win, win, win, get that ball in that end zone.
“You don’t worry about the crowd.’ Whereas somebody who’s done a show every day, two shows on the weekends, they might understand,” Garland stated. “So I said, ‘Is there any thought to doing an open tryout for these people?’ His answer was, ‘We are not actors. We react.’ I was like, ‘Okay. I guess that’s dead in the water,’ even though we have acting class and promo class and bringing in acting coaches…we’re not actors.”
Garland requested his release from WWE in November. Several more WWE PC names were let go in January, including William Regal and Samoa Joe.
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