TNA star and member of The Rising Eli Drake appeared on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show to talk over his career. Drake also recalls when the WWE had blacklisted him from the company, and recounts Paul Bearer leaving items for him when he passed away. You can see the highlights below:
Working with Paul Bearer:
"He was always very welcoming. Almost ecstatic to give advice or some sort of direction. I can remember many times I was at a crossroads of what I want to do or where I want to go, "Should I do this?" "Should I do this?" And, I trusted him because he's done so much in his career and been so many places that I would send him a message – email, Facebook, something – and he would give me the most thought-out answer, and express extreme gratitude on the end that I was even asking; he seemed so touched and happy at the fact that I was asking him these questions. So to get that kind of attention is incredible; especially from a guy who has done as much as he has."
"To take that one step further, when Percy (Pringle) passed away, he made a specific point to leave a message for me and a package of some things to give me. He just wanted to say that he loved me and that I was going to do big things, and don't give up. You know, the man knew he was going to pass away, and he was thinking of me in that time. That's incredible. Growing up with that guy on my TV and now the fact that, you know, he spent the last three years with me going to the ring, and he thinking of me at a time where it's gonna be his last moments on earth, and I pop into his mind. That's incredible."
WWE blacklisting him:
"I was on the black list there for a while. One of the guys who used to work in Talent Relations – I'll leave him nameless – he got fired around early 2012, apparently not very liked in the back anyway; I guess he was kind of a jerk to a lot of people, for whatever reason, would bury me in the office. So I was kind of just, nobody could touch me; nobody would touch me. So for a lot of years it was frustration and wondering what I'm working toward and why isn't these guys taking my calls. And I finally started getting some of the details of why this guy was burying me. There was talk of them picking me up in 2011, I was there for SummerSlam, and then and the follow-up Raw and SmackDown, and everything went incredibly well. But all of a sudden it was like radio silence on their end and I hadn't quite understood why until I spoke to this person, and he was like, "Well, we're gonna go in a different direction." I'm like, "OK?" and he's like, "You can check out Ring of Honor or TNA or whatever."
"So I think maybe five months after I had spoken to him on the phone, he'd gotten fired, which was a great day for me. I don't wanna see anyone lose their job, but if you've keeping me out of a job, here's to ya. So, I was more than happy to see him go. And so this new guy comes in, and the beauty of it is that with the footage I had from (Championship Wrestling from Hollywood), I would take some of this great-looking television footage that was on every week and put it together with a short little paragraph just introducing myself and a resume and some photos. Emailed it to this guy and he immediately responded to me and was interested but then found out that I was on this blacklist or whatever. So for the next few months I had to just wait and keep trying to establish this rapport. Eventually, these tryouts kept getting pushed off. First he offered me a tryout until he found out that I was on the blacklist. Then, a few months later I got offered a tryout but simultaneously, I also was offered a TNA tryout. So, my TNA tryout was on a Thursday and my WWE tryout was actually that following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I was ecstatic because I have the two biggest companies vying for me and it's perfect. Thursday I go into Impact and that goes well, then Sunday I get an email and I'm told that I can't come to the (WWE) tryout. They couldn't say why, but I'm pretty certain it was because there was a lawsuit going on between TNA and WWE at the time."