Former Impact Wrestling star and new NXT star Chad Lail (Gunner) recently spoke with WWE.com; you can read a few excerpts below:
Gunner comments on his WWE Performance Center experience so far:
Honestly, WWE is where I wanted to be since day one. I had my tryout two years ago and finally got a chance to get down here and learn from all the coaches. We’ve got so much knowledge right here in this building, between Head Coach [Matt] Bloom, Coach Norman [Smiley], Coach [Robbie] Brookside, and all the people here. With me being a little bit older than some of the people here and having been in sports-entertainment for 15 years now, it’s a great opportunity to really learn the WWE way and be where I want to be. I’ve been a part of a lot of teams, playing sports in high school and obviously being in the Marine Corps, but there’s nothing I’ve ever been a part of like at the Performance Center.
Gunner comments on his Marine Corps background:
I was in the United States Marine Corps from 2002 to 2006. It was probably the best decision I ever made in my life. I was a motor transport operator by job title, but a lot of the times what I would do overseas was called the “ring mount.” That’s the guy on the top of the truck operating any type of weapon that may be on top of the truck. I have a family history of being in the military. My dad was in the Army, uncles are Army and Navy, and there were only two other Marines in my family. I told myself that if I was going to go into the military, in my eyes, the Marines had the toughest training. It was definitely the toughest thing I ever went through in my life.
Gunner on how his military background relates to WWE:
Sports-entertainment is not a walk in the park like some people think — it’s very physical. Getting through 13 weeks of boot camp taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to and that I can push through some pain. My dad always told me to chase my dreams and always give 110 percent. And in the Marine Corps, if you wanted to be a good Marine, that’s what you did. Then, transitioning into sports-entertainment and being with the WWE, there’s days when you’re like, “Aww man, I really don’t wanna step into the ring today,” but I do, because my goal is to work my way up from the Performance Center onto the bigger rosters. That’s what my time in the Marine Corps taught me, to give my all and be the best I can be.
Gunner reveals his long term goals in WWE:
I guess the child in me says WrestleMania. That’s my ultimate goal. During that two-year wait when I wasn’t with WWE, I had opportunities where people would come up and ask me, “WrestleMania’s in Orlando, do you wanna go?” I’m stubborn. I’d say, “Nah, man.” I always said I’d never go to WrestleMania unless I was part of WrestleMania, and I’ve stuck to that.