The next big thing?
In recent weeks, WWE has held several tryouts in the United States and England, looking for potential Superstars. Last week, 24-year-old Ronnie Arniell received the call of a lifetime, telling him that his performance had earned him a WWE developmental contract. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound native of St. Catharines, Ontario joins Chris Rombola as the second hopeful from the Buffalo, NY tryout to be signed. WWE.com caught up with Arniell to get his thoughts on the tryout, his contract, and more.
WWE.com: Why did you decide to try out with WWE?
Arniell: I sent in a tape way back when, early in 2005, so when the tryout came around I figured I'd give it another shot. I've always loved wrestling, and I've wanted to be a WWE Superstar since I was a little kid.
WWE.com: What influenced you to get into the wrestling business?
Arniell: Like I said, I've been a big fan since I was 5 years old. Like most kids, I used to jump around in the living room on all the couch cushions and such. I used to pretend I was "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. I was always entertained, and I always thought that they were phenomenal athletes. It's been a dream of mine since then.
WWE.com: Can you give us an example of what you went through at the tryouts?
Arniell: Oh man, they really grilled us. We started out by doing about 700 Hindu squats, and we ran the stairs at the HSBC Arena. That was before we even got to do any in ring work. It was probably the most grueling thing I've ever been through, and I couldn't walk right for about three days after that.
WWE.com: How did you think you did at first? What do you think caught the eyes of the WWE officials watching?
Arniell: Well, I felt great. I left everything I had out there. After the tryout, I talked to as many people as I could to try and get as much feedback as possible, and everyone had good things to say. I felt really positive when I left, and I'm glad I got the opportunity to show what I can do.
WWE.com: What was your reaction when you found out that WWE was interested in you?
Arniell: It was hard to believe. I had a million things running through my mind; I had so many questions, but on the other hand I just wanted to scream for joy. It's a phenomenal feeling. It's hard to explain all the emotions I was going through, but it was probably greatest moment of my life.
WWE.com: What current WWE Superstars do you look up to?
Arniell: I'd have to say Kurt Angle, Triple H and Undertaker. Those three have been around for a long time, and they're always at the top of their game. They have it when they're in the ring, and you can't help but watch them when they're in there.
WWE.com: What makes you think you can be a WWE Superstar?
Arniell: Passion. I've been wrestling for four years now, and I love it more every day. As far as being a WWE Superstar goes, we'll see what happens, but being given the opportunity is huge. There's nothing like living your dream. Regardless of what happens, years from now I can look back and say I did it. After everything I went through, I got it. I don't know yet where I'll be starting, but I'm going to give it my all.