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MLW’s Alex Hammerstone almost quit wrestling after his last WWE tryout: “it was an eye opening experience”

Alex Hammerstone spoke with Chris Van Vliet this week to talk about MLW, almost signing with WWE, bodybuilding, steroids and a lot more. Scroll down to watch the full interview.

Alexander Hammerstone talked about his 3 WWE tryouts: “I was probably 5 matches in my career and Hawaiin Ryan took my headshot and a promo package for me and sent it to his connection at WWE and said you need to sign this kid. I had a tryout in my first year. I went there and it was an eye opening experience. I knew I wasn’t ready. It was a reality check.

That first one was a wash because I didn’t think I was ready for it. I didn’t ask for it. I had one a couple years after that when I was actually wrestling. I don’t think I was great by any means, but I got it. I knew what I was doing. I knew all the basics and all the drills. I did the tryout and it was a no. That was me knocking on their door telling them I was ready but they said I was not quite there yet and to keep honing my craft. After a couple more years, they hit me up and said they want to bring me in for a tryout. This last one was bizarre because not only did they invite me to this one, but I was treated very differently than the rest of the people around me as far as my perception. I was treated, like, ‘hey, good to see you Hammer.’ It was like basically this a formality and we are going to hire you. That’s what it felt like. I did all the drills. They pulled me aside and wanted to film something for the WWE website with me. They literally put up a package and you can still find it on Youtube and the WWE site. They put a package of me and my experience at the tryout. It was very much like this is one of the guys we signed. After the workout, they told the others there ‘You see what we expect and if you want a job here, you need to look like that guy and work like that guy’ as they pointed to me. It was like that the whole time. Even up until the very last thing that happened, they were talking to everybody and they said ‘You will hear from us in about six weeks. Thanks for your hard work.’

Everyone started walking away and one of the bossmen said ‘Hammer, get over here. Can you pass your drug test in two weeks?’ I said I can pass it tomorrow. Within less than a week a series of emails go back and forth between me and the company. I started talking to somebody in the company who I didn’t know and they didn’t know me. It was frustrating because he said, ‘We are concerned because you are coming from a bodybuilding background and that we know that’s a drug sport.’ I said I’ve been wrestling for almost 10 years and have had a thousand wrestling matches and I’ve done one bodybuilding competition. Am I a bodybuilder or am I a wrestler who did this one time on the side? We got through all that nonsense. They said we want to bring you in and start the hiring process. This is the end of November of 2017. The conversation was basically for me to be ready to move to Florida by May or June (2018).

I sent in my paperwork and they did my background check. The next step was my medical test and it’s not happening and it’s not happening and I started pestering them what’s going on. This is around April, keeping in mind I’m getting ready to move in May. They said, ‘Sorry to inform you, but we are way too full right now. We’ve hired way too many people this year and we can’t bring you in.’ It didn’t say give us three months. It just said we can’t bring you in. It was a rough time. That experience almost made me quit wrestling. I was very close. I was on autopilot for all of 2018. I wanted to quit but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t reach back out to them. I was doing my thing and was planning my exit from pro wrestling and thinking what would be my next move. I ended up switching my character around and MLW offered me a contract and that window is what saved my career where I not only got it back on track, but it rejuvenated my love for pro wrestling.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to for the transcription


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