WWE News: Released Superstar Says He Didn’t Like His Ring Name, Wishes Company Let Him Show His ‘Serious Side’
On Wednesday, April 15, No Way Jose was one of more than 20 wrestlers who were let go by WWE in a wave of mass releases that has widely been linked to the negative economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This came after he spent two years in the Monday Night Raw lower-card scene, working a comedy gimmick and occasionally appearing as an enhancement talent after initially getting decent exposure on the red brand. In a recent interview, Jose — aka Levis Valenzuela in real life — opened up about his time in WWE, focusing mainly on how he felt about his ring name and his character.
In an interview with WrestleTalk published on Thursday, Jose looked back on the time he signed with WWE in 2015 after an independent career that saw him working primarily as an arrogant heel character. Talking about his ring name, the 31-year-old revealed that he originally thought it would merely be his catchphrase, but quickly disliked it after realizing that it could limit his potential as someone who was then getting started in NXT.
“Nobody goes in there and says they want to be a No Way Jose,” he admitted, adding that he wanted to have a ring name similar to that of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
“We went into Full Sail and I’m walking in and you shake everyone’s hand and Triple H is right there talking to Eva Marie or someone, I’m like ‘hey, sir, how you doing?’ And he’s like ‘No Way, what’s going on?’ In my head I’m like ‘sh*t, is that a thing?’ And he goes ‘got it approved today, what do you think?'”
As Jose recalled, he had no choice but to tell Triple H that he loved the name and that he was ready to use it in the ring.
Although Jose told WrestleTalk that he enjoyed certain aspects of his character, including the fan interactions that came with his conga line entrance, he lamented the fact that he wasn’t given a chance to show a more “serious side” and take part in more meaningful storylines. He did, however, talk about some of the many ideas he had for his gimmick, including a storyline team-up with Elias and a segment featuring an unnamed NFL star at WrestleMania.
Going back to the conga line that became a signature part of his gimmick, Jose concluded his interview with WrestleTalk by saying that this may have been the one specific factor that prevented him from reaching his potential in WWE.
While Jose is just one of many WWE superstars who started and ended their stint with the promotion playing a comedic role, such gimmicks have often been seen as a form of punishment for certain wrestlers. Recently, The Inquisitr reported that a series of leaked photos purportedly showed the outlandish attire The Revival were expected to wear if WWE pushed forward with its alleged plans to repackage the recently-released team as a comedy act.