In His Own VERNAcular: Mike Verna is Confident With His Future [Exclusive]

It's October 11th, 2014, a regular Saturday for most people, but for Brooklyn native Mike Verna, it's the culmination of a life changing week.

In the weeks leading up to Monday October 6th, Verna's dream to stardom took a very unexpected and rewarding step towards his future. Sitting home and relaxing became secondary to answering the big phone call he received weeks prior to the biggest show in town.

"I got the call at 3:05 PM on a Thursday about 3 weeks ago," said Verna. "As soon they called, I saw it was the 203 number from Stamford, Connecticut and I jumped out of my house and picked up the phone."

 World Wrestling Entertainment called Verna to bring him in as an extra for television programming on their east coast swing. This opportunity for Verna was not only a huge personal achievement, but a reward for his hard work.

 The Ludus Wrestling School, which Verna's been training at for a year is run by Joel Maximo, an independent wrestler who's established many connections during his time in the business. So, when agents from WWE such as The Road Dogg, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury came calling for some talent, Maximo was quick to vouch for one of his top talents.

"Road Dogg actually reached out to Joel and asked him who he has and Joel sent in some of my pictures and matches," said Verna. "They loved me."

Verna arrived to the Barclays Center on Monday afternoon, excited about his chance to be a part of the WWE family.

"When I got there, it's amazing to see how they run a show there and how the locker room is," said Verna. "Everyone is brothers over and not only looking out for just their self interest, but make sure the product is good, the product looks good and the product gets over. From catering to the show itself, it was a great taste."'

Verna was used as a "Rosebud" on the show, one of the many party people who dance with newcomer Adam Rose to the ring. Verna played the role for both the Monday Night RAW in Brooklyn and Friday Night SmackDown in Philadelphia, Even though Verna did not actually wrestle, he understands that his improvement as a wrestler is what got him there.

Sitting by the ringside area, reflecting on his journey to his RAW cameo, Verna realizes that on the 3rd year Anniversary show of the Ludus Wrestling School, his own anniversary marks a special moment in his journey as October 11th, 2014 marks the one year anniversary of his own start at the Ludus Wrestling School.

"From what I started to to where I am at now, it's amazing that it all happened in the matter of a year," said Verna.

The former James Madison High school graduate from Bergen Beach, Brooklyn has been an athlete his entire life, playing baseball on a competitive level for a huge part of his life. It was the decision to quit baseball and chase his other passion, the world of professional wrestling that has him in a position to make it big.

 But to make it big, Verna understands that the money isn't always pouring at the independent level so it's crucial to make a living outside the business. Working for GNC, Verna currently serves as a franchise supervisor for the company, overseeing a multitude of stores from their chain of stores. Doing this type of job helps Verna keep a level head and stay focused while trying to make it in a business that is known just as much for it's performance and perks as it's negativity and ruthlessness
"You can either make this business your worst enemy or your best friend" said Verna.
Receiving these tidbits of advice from respected veterans of the business who've entered the typhoon of temptation and came out the other side to tell the story are a real motivation for Verna. With living and breathing examples such as Scott Hall and Jake "The Snake" Roberts who succumb to the temptations of the business is a huge wake-up call to young talent that are right in the middle of that life.

One veteran at WWE who took a liking to Verna is a 30 year veteran of the business William Regal. Of all the big names that Verna got the opportunity to interact with, from the COO Triple H to the chairman,Vince McMahon himself, Regal was really impressed with Verna's look and youth.

"One thing William Regal said was that you need to make sure you image is crystal clear," said Verna. "Everyone that you hear that talks bad about the business are the ones who forced themselves out of it."

Aside from the insightful advice, Regal was impressed with Verna's 6'1, 230 pound frame and was even more excited to find out that Verna is only 23 years of age. With the Performance Center in Florida being a hot destination for young talent, Verna is very confident with his opportunity in making it in the company that he's been a fan of since the days of "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

The Performance Center, located in Orlando, Florida opened last year to much fanfare and delight to aspiring professional wrestlers worldwide. With a facility designed to mold, shape, improve, train and develop young talent, Verna see's a lot of potential in developing himself in that center.

"Because the Performance Center exists, it gives me the opportunity to be in WWE a lot sooner than other people," said Verna. "There are a lot of talented wrestlers on the indies right now that are 35, 30 who might not get that chance because of their age."

With bell time for the Ludus: 3rd Anniversary Show approaching, Verna is doing his best to not think past his opponent on the evening, the current champion Joe Ettel, who he will have a rematch with for what he refers to as "his" title. The title that Verna first won back in June at the FSW: Legends Never Die show in front of a crowd of 500 people in his Bergen Beach neighborhood.
As big as that moment was, the one big thought going through his mind is the potential moment that might be arriving soon in the same house he first felt a sense of accomplishment.

Referring to his tryout and what Verna heard surrounding his performance, Verna said, "I might be getting a call real soon."

Listen to the entire interview here:

Mark Suleymanov

Sports Journalist.