Everybody has to start somewhere. Mr. Anderson spent six years working the indies in the Midwest, and whenever the opportunity arose, as a WWE jobber.
Anderson, who signed with WWE in 2005 and had a run as U.S. champ and was the Money in the Bank winner in 2007 before moving to tna in 2010, got into the business in 1999.
Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Anderson said in a recent interview with Journey with a Frontman that whenever WWE was within a 500-mile radius, “I would call and ask if I could go there and be an extra. If they needed somebody to get their butt whooped that night, I’d be that guy.”
There was no idea that he’d actually make it to the big time, pay-per-views, title runs. His plan was simple: “Just so I could make some connections, learn from the best in the business, and I did several of those.”
His traveling partners included CM Punk, Daivari, Austin Aries and ODB.
“We were all kind of a traveling crew and we would try and get booked on as many of those things as possible,” said Anderson, adding that there are “probably ten to twelve matches online of me wrestling as Ken Anderson on one of their secondary shows like Sunday Night Heat, Jakked, or Metal.”
“Every time that I would go, I would try to just learn as much as I possibly could. We’d be like sponges,” Anderson said.
It wasn’t always easy.
“A lot of times, we would get embarrassed,” Anderson said. “And a lot of times, we would screw up or we’d do things wrong or get yelled at or we’d get ridiculed. But at the end of the day, there was always somebody there that would come up and say, Hey, here’s what you could have done in that situation to make it better.”