Mark Sterling Became A Wrestler To Get A Production Job, But WWE Turned Him Down Because He Wrestled
Photo Credit: Smart Mark Sterling
‘Smart’ Mark Sterling once dreamt of using his film production skills for WWE, but the company turned him down because he was an active wrestler, a journey he largely followed in the hopes of signing with the company in the first place.
During an appearance on the Straight Shooting podcast, Sterling described his extensive background in both film and audio production. Driven by his dream to produce video packages for the company, Sterling decided to become a wrestler because he thought it would make him a more desirable candidate in WWE’s eyes. But as it turns out, the company rejected him for this very reason.
“I did go to a lot of school, I have a bachelor’s [degree] and a MFA, the MFA was a three-year program in documentary production, actually, so film,” said Sterling. “I’ve been doing film and audio production for years. And to be honest, I went to college and said to myself like, how do I work for WWE? So I was like I really love the packages they do, if I could produce packages, that would be like the dream job. And then I became a wrestler because I was like, well, if there was a guy who’s good at doing packages who didn’t wrestle, and there was a guy who knew wrestling and knew how to wrestle, and produce packages, they could hire the wrestler.
“Little did I realize, years later, I wanna say this is like 2018, I was like in the final stages of getting a production job with WWE, very far, I had many interviews and they eventually said no because I was a professional wrestler, because I was wrestling. And when they asked the question, Would you stop’, my answer was, ‘If I needed to.’ So I did not get it. I was very upset about it at the time but now that entire department was wiped out [during] the firings, and I am living a dream on TV every week so, [it was a] blessing in disguise.
Ironically, Sterling first interviewed for the position when he was brought in for some extra work as a wrestler. In his eyes, the company knew he was a wrestler, so it should not have been a problem in his pursuit of a production job, but someone higher up on the chain didn’t approve of this aspect of Sterling’s profile. Still, he went on to note that while WWE turned him down, he has used his film production skills to compliment his wrestling career because it has helped him make connections.
“It’s so weird because my first interview was when I was at extra work,” said Sterling. “I was at extra work working as a wrestler, in a suit, and I had an in-person interview, like somebody was like, ‘Hey you should talk to him, he’s the producer or whatever.’ So I sat down for a while with the head honcho. So in my mind I’m like, well it’s clearly not a problem because they know that I’m a wrestler.
“Eventually it got to somebody where it did matter. Weird thing. Very weird thing. But also the film stuff has helped me with everything because I would get booked, not because I’m an awesome athlete or amazing professional wrestler but because I could produce really entertaining promotional videos, for myself, for my match, for the promotion. So I utilized my film experience and audio experience to leverage bookings, which got me to meet more people and advance my wrestling career as well.”
Sterling went on to sign with All Elite Wrestling, where he manages Jade Cargill.
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