If nothing else, the hapless heads on Braun Strowman’s many spikes at least gain themselves some exposure, and are guaranteed to get more attention from fans the moment they step into the ring. “The Mile High Trio” named themselves after Colorado’s high altitudes, but that moniker took on a whole new meaning when one of the group, Johnny Proof, was flung with alarming hang-time by Braun. Johnny Proof took the time to sit down with TPB and talk about that exhilarating experience.
Today’s Powerbomb: Johnny Proof, thank you for your time. You’re the latest enhancement talent to do the job. But you also got onto Monday Night Raw. How does that feel?
Johnny Proof: Man, it felt incredible. Still such a surreal moment. To walk out on that stage and to able to soak all of it in, from the bright lights to the huge crowd…it’s definitely a feeling I can get used to.
TPB: Was there some sort of process before you got selected for that spot, or were you already known to WWE?
JP: I had previously been an extra for WWE before, so I was somewhat known to a few of the talent relations guys. Other than that, the process was basically Arn Anderson selecting the guys he saw fit to compete against Strowman. He obviously wanted guys that Strowman would tower over so at six feet tall I was a good choice!
TPB: Folks like you are usually referred to as “local jobbers,” but often have a pretty strong name on the local scene. Does being used for a fleeting enhancement match undermine your confidence, or have you found that the exposure has helped?
JP: You know I did somewhat worry how it could affect my character, but honestly the show of support I’ve received since the appearance has been overwhelming. My family, friends and fans have all been awesome and were so excited for me that it’s definitely given me more confidence moving forward.
TPB: Are those matches heavily planned backstage with the agents, or were you, your pals and Braun given a time limit and told to call it in the ring?
JP: I think anytime they use enhancement talent they want to be as thorough as possible with how they want the match to go. We spent about 15 minutes with Braun and the agents going over things, but we also didn’t practice anything. It felt more natural to not have practiced any of the big spots and I think it came across in the match.
TPB: How much traction with the WWE did you gain from Monday’s showing? Are you confident that you’ll receive a tryout at some point in the future?
JP: I’m hoping that my foot is a little further in the door now. It definitely helped that we continued the story of Braun looking like an unstoppable monster. Everyone from the agents to the talent were very appreciative of the job we did so I’m hoping that will bode well for future opportunities with the company.
TPB: You sound like you’ve been building quite a body of wrestling work. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself, history, where you trained, who you’ve faced and what you’ve accomplished in the indies?
JP: When I first decided to get into pro wrestling I knew that I wanted to be trained by the best. I decided to take a trip to Eldon, Missouri, for a tryout at the Harley Race Academy. I had a great tryout and I knew that it was the best place for me to learn, so a few weeks later I packed up my car and moved out there. I was able to learn a lot very quickly because there were so many talented guys who worked for Harley’s promotion. As if it weren’t great enough that Harley was there critiquing us, Trevor Murdoch, who was a WWE Tag Team Champion at the time, would frequently stop in on his days off to oversee our training days and help out.
With their guidance, I was able to graduate from the Harley Race Academy in four months and started working shows for World League Wrestling. I loved my time there and I was able to work and train with some great talent like Curtis Axel, Ted DiBiase Jr., Tommaso Ciampa, Richie Steamboat, Simon Gotch, etc. Being around guys like that definitely pushed me to become better. As for accomplishments, this past year has seen my biggest achievements as I’ve held the 5280 Championship, and am currently the New Era Champion for my home promotion here in Colorado New Era Wrestling.
TPB: Have you and the other two worked as a tag team before, or were you thrown together for RAW?
JP: The Mile High Trio has a long and storied history, and by that I mean the one time we were on RAW. Honestly, I had not met the rest of the trio until that night, but once they put us together we clicked. Had we been given more time to prepare for the monster Strowman, hell, you never know what the trio could’ve done.
TPB: Usually, a squash match involves one guy getting thrown all over the ring. I don’t think we’ve ever seen three enhancement dudes in the ring against a mainstream talent before. How did the three of you work out how to make Braun look strong?
JP: We didn’t have to work out much to make him look strong because the dude is a legit beast. We definitely wanted to make sure we were selling our asses off, but when a guy that size is beating the hell out of you, it’s a pretty easy job. When he tossed me out of the ring that was all his strength in pure form. Never been in the ring with someone that powerful before.
TPB: “Jobbers” used to be faceless guys who were never heard of again. But the enhancement talents have been resurrected in the age of social media, and all of a sudden, jobbers are really popular with fans. How did the three of you strike a balance between being utterly flattened, and making an impression on the WWE universe?
JP: It’s all about taking your opportunities as they come and making the best of them. We knew the job we had to do but we also knew that if we did our job right we would get some recognition. We had all seen the previous weeks in where local talent (was) used but (was) getting great reactions from the crowd. It’s been great to see all the local guys that WWE has used and I applaud them for giving guys like us the chance to be on the big stage.
TPB: And finally — any advice for the guys out there who want to walk your way?
JP: I would tell anyone that it is possible to live out your dream no matter what it is. Believe in yourself and your abilities and never take no for an answer. In this business, most guys are told no a thousand times before they ever hear yes, but if you are persistent and professional you can make amazing things happen for yourself.