AEW stars Matt Lee and Jeff Parker of 2.0, formerly known as Ever-Rise in WWE, recently appeared on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast and recalled how they were used as enhancement talents for a RAW in Montreal a few years back, before actually signing with WWE.
The duo ended up losing to The Authors of Pain that night. They talked about receiving their promos for the show.
“At this point, we’re like, well, man, I guess we just got to keep extraing, and that’s what we did,” Lee said. “WWE comes to Montreal, and we’re going to extra and we ended up having a match with the Authors of Pain on Monday Night RAW. This evolves to Road Dogg coming up to us as we’re just sitting in our ‘locker room’, I say loosely, which is basically a cubby hole under the stands, and he goes, ‘You guys can speak French, right?’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ He comes back maybe 15 minutes later. He goes, ‘Okay, so you guys are gonna have a promo. Charly Caruso’s going to interview you.’ For us, promos are really what sets us apart. That’s how we made our mark, got a name was by doing these ridiculous promos.
“They set it up to where we’re supposed to be standing at ringside. Charly, she was going to ask us some questions. We have some verbiage. AOP reaches over, grabs us by the skull, the old Big Show spot, pulls you in, whoops you ass, 1-2-3, you’re done. Awesome, fantastic, easy enough. One point, a writer comes up to us. He gives us a piece of paper. We read it over. There’s a line in there that says, ‘We come from a long line of French Canadians, and if anybody knows anything about French Canadians, we’re fighters.’ It’s like, who are we to say anything? There was a line of French, but that was in English. We ask Road Dogg, ‘Do we have to say it this way?’ He goes, ‘You don’t,’ because there’s French in the beginning,’ In the French part, we go, ‘Do we have to say exactly what’s here?’ And he goes, ‘No, Vince isn’t gonna know what you say anyway, just don’t embarrass the company.’
“That was clear, just say what you want but don’t say anything stupid,” Parker noted. “Matt comes up with the line of.
“[Lee says the line in French], like, we’re gonna bring the cup home, the Stanley Cup,” Lee completed. “Tonight is our night. We’re gonna bring the Stanley Cup home.”
Parker revealed how the ringside promo ended up being a promo backstage in the Gorilla Position, in front of WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
“Then they go, ‘Okay, so we’re going to move the promo from ringside to Gorilla, and we’re going to do it live and then you’re going to have an entrance.’ As an extra getting squashed, what more could you want,” Parker said. “That the Holy Trinity. That’s perfect, great, but the nerves that come with that. It starts to get time for it, and now we start moving to Gorilla. The thing is, in Gorilla, we’re standing, 10 feet away, there’s Vince sitting at his table, and now I got to do a live promo in our hometown, in front of Vince, in front of the world. We do the thing. Charly asked us a question. I can’t remember what the question was, and I just go, ‘You know Charly, that was an excellent question, and then we answer it. Matt drops the French line, huge pop, music cue. Go out, get squashed, business is done. We come through Gorilla, and we were standing around. AOP goes and talk to Vince. We’re like, we got to go talk to Vince, at least say thank you. I’m not thinking this is gonna get us a job, but hey look, we’ve come this far.
“You got to say thank you to the man who gives you the opportunity. It goes a commercial break. He’s talking with AOP. Commercial break is about to end. He starts walking back to his seat, and I’m just like, oh, I can’t let him sit down. I gotta go. I’m like, ‘Sir, just before you sit down, I just want to say thank you.’ We’re expecting him to turn around. ‘Yeah, good job’ and brush us off, which is fine enough, but he turns around. He looks. He goes, ‘Great sh*t out there!’ Shakes the hand. ‘Great enthusiasm!’”
Parker then revealed how former Talent Relations head Mark Carrano said to him in private without Lee in the room, and how he got him there.
“Mark Carrano pulls me aside and goes, ‘Hey, guys, you did a great job. We’ll give you a huge bonus. Jeff, there’s a problem on your paperwork, just coming to the office. I’m going to fix that up,’” Parker revealed. “Get into the office, and he goes, ‘Okay, so there’s nothing wrong with your paperwork. This is the first time this has happened since I’ve been here in 10 years. Vince wants me to get your information. I’m gonna get your information, and we’re gonna get you out to Florida.’ Just me so that happens and I’m like, oh, sh*t. I go back into the locker room. Obviously, Matt knows something happened. I give him the 411, but immediately after I tell him, we go, now we got to figure out how we both get there.”
“We got to make this work,” Lee said. “I guess a couple days go by, and I just emailed Canyon Cemen and told him what’s what, and he goes, ‘Oh, we’ll get you in,’ because they were going to bring Jeff down for a tryout. And I told him the situation. He’s like, ‘Oh, you come in too. Absolutely, you come too.’”
Jericho asked if they knew why Parker was singled out, and not Lee. Parker said they had a friend on the WWE writing team, and the writer told them what Vince said in a post-show meeting.
“We had a friend who was a writer at the time, and he said they had the post-show meeting or whatever, maybe it was the day after,” Parker said. “Vince said, ‘You know that kid, he was just so hateable. I like him!’”
2.0 debuted with AEW earlier this month and are currently working Dynamite and Dark in the tag team division. They have officially signed with the company.
(H/T to WrestlingInc for the quotes)