Fans of World Wrestling Entertainment anxiously awaited the answer to this question: Who would win when 13-time former World Champion Triple H challenges former WWE and UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesner at last Sunday’s 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam pay-per-view?
Popular WWE Superstar Brodus Clay has an answer for a related-yet-hypothetical question: If he were added to this high-profile match, which of those two behemoths would he most fear hitting him? “Probably Triple H,” says the agile 6’7”, 375 lb. competitor, billed from Planet Funk. “He knows exactly where to hit you.”
Nicknamed “The Funkasarus,” Clay, accompanied by his two ring valets Naomi and Cameron, dances his way to the ring each week, jamming to his beloved entrance theme “Somebody Call My Momma.” Much to the delight of the WWE Universe (the company’s loyal worldwide fan base) the party doesn’t stop once a match begins. When he’s not getting down with his girls, he’s squashing opponents with his wide array of high-flying, high-impact moves. Clay shakes and gyrates from bell to bell, again giving up funk post match.
Soul Train: I recently heard someone refer to you as “the Heavy D of the WWE.”
Brodus Clay: Awww…rest his soul, rest his soul!
Soul Train: Well, can I call you Heavy C?
Brodus Clay: No…let’s go with BC, I’ll leave the “Heavy D” to him. I think he’s the one and only. There’ll never be another one!
Soul Train: I agree. Okay BC, let’s say I actually called your momma, asking her if you could have made it as a Soul Train dancer. What is her response likely to be?
Brodus Clay: Ask her about me, a Soul Train dancer? She’d say her baby could be good at anything he puts his mind to! My mother’s very positive, so she would be like, “Whatever he puts his little mind to, he could do it…but he would need a lot of help.” And we did the Soul Train Line a lot in my house.
Soul Train: Legendary Soul Train dancer Louie Ski Carr was famous for many things–being 6’5”, charismatic, very agile, and how he would jump from one Soul Train stage riser to the next.
Brodus Clay: I remember seeing him do that before!
Soul Train: It was pretty impressive! With Ski’s size, personality and athleticism, do you think he could have become a WWE Superstar?
Brodus Clay: Honestly, it depends on your pain threshold. And jumping from box to box is pretty cool. So it depends on what he could endure. It’s not what you’re doing, but what’s getting done to you, if you can handle it. But yeah, I think he could’ve been a Superstar. Why not?
Soul Train: Since you mentioned “pain threshold,” which of these two things would you rather endure – going through high-intensity dance training or repeating your training to become a professional wrestler?
Brodus Clay: Well…I’ve seen Dancing with the Stars; some of the stuff they go through looks pretty tough. But nobody’s beating you up. So I would rather go through that; our training is pretty tough! Dancing is a cardiovascular nightmare, I can imagine, but nobody’s going to beat you up…except maybe the instructor if you can’t get the moves right. But if I had to pick one to survive, it would probably be the dancing.
Soul Train: BC, once you completed pro wrestling training were you at all surprised by the degree you could propel your body?
Brodus Clay: Umm…yes and no. I played football; I pulled a lot, I left my feet a lot to make blocks. I really didn’t notice. I’ve always been mostly the same cat, so I just assumed that’s what everybody else did once they finished training. You don’t really think you’re doing anything extra special when it’s something you’re doing every day.
Soul Train: People tend to be awestruck when they see a larger person who moves fluently with agility and grace, like they are by your in-ring actions, like with Heavy D and his dancing. But why?
Brodus Clay: I think it’s because of the stereotype and persona of traditionally when you see big, giant guys they’re just someone who stands around stoic, they’re not normal in terms of what’s considered a regular person. Then when you see the fact they’re down to earth, like the same things you like and can have a good time, I think it’s something tickly-funny about it. It’s a good feeling! It eases the tension in the room. People see a big guy dancing and think, “Hey, maybe I can dance with this guy too, or even say hello to him” because he’s not standing there with his fist balled up and a mean look on his face. It’s socially pleasing.
Soul Train: Why is an agile big guy such a hot commodity in your profession? And explain why it’s also so dangerous.
Brodus Clay: Quite honestly there’s not a lot of us out there. It’s dangerous because, like a truck when it hits a wall, the wall is destroyed but the truck is, too. Bigger bones, bigger nerve endings, higher degree for injury. People tend to forget that sometimes. Just because a guy is big, or a monster or a giant, or whatever you want to call it, we’re more susceptible to injury.
Soul Train: I’ve also heard you described as having a lot of heart. I’m guessing you wouldn’t want that broken. But have you ever envisioned you and your mom having the mother/son dance at your wedding?
Brodus Clay: No, because my mother is mad protective. Every girl I’ve dated she’s been mean to. I don’t think that mother/son dance at my wedding would be very pleasant. It would probably be her complaining about the catering or something. She’s very protective. But you know how mommas can be, though: No girl is ever good enough.
Soul Train: As a WWE Superstar you share the spotlight with two women–your ring valets and fellow dancers Naomi and Cameron. And you always appear very respectful of them. Is that a trait learned from your mother?
Brodus Clay: My mother didn’t play being disrespectful to women. I was around grandmas and aunts. You learned pretty quick to be respectful! Me, Naomi and Cameron are like family; we’re like brother and sisters. I watch their back, they watch mine. We travel together, we laugh and joke around together, they help me dance and I help them help me dance. They’re very talented women.
Soul Train: Do you fear the most for their success or their safety?
Brodus Clay: Their safety; their success is on them. They do a tremendous job, and I think they’d be doing a tremendous job with or without me. They’re two special people.
Soul Train: Brodus, if I asked your mom if she ever imagined she’d see you as a professional wrestler on TV dancing with two girls, what is she most likely to say?
Brodus Clay: She would say “no” because she wanted me to be a biologist. (laughs) She wanted me to be her little scientist. She’ll talk about that a lot! That was her plan.
For more on Brodus Clay visit WWE.com.
–Mr. Joe Walker
Mr. Joe Walker, a senior contributor for SoulTrain.com, is an acclaimed entertainment and news journalist published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. Former Editor In Chief of both XPOZ Magazine and The Underwire Interactive Magazine, his work has graced the pages and covers of Hear/Say Now Magazine, Notion Magazine, Kalamazoo Gazette Newspaper, MLive.com, and AllHipHop.com. He loves to create, loves that you read. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker. Also visit TheGrooveSpt.com and ByMrJoeWalker.blogspot.com.