Shannon Moore On Growing Up With Matt & Jeff Hardy, Getting Hired At WCW

Former WWE and WCW Shannon Moore has recalled the time he spent with Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy during his younger years when the trio trained together in their hometown of Cameron, North Carolina.

During an appearance on "Developmentally Speaking," Moore discussed his friendship with The Hardy Boyz, which he says began in middle school. "Me and Jeff, we were inseparable," Moore said. "We become really good friends, just best friends at an early age because we went to the same middle school. They had a trampoline and their dad had a video camera, and Jeff invited me over. At that point it was TWF (Trampoline Wrestling Federation), we had the trampoline and we turned it into like a little arena. So, I was with those guys [in the early wrestling days] -– me, Matt and Jeff, and Marty Garner."

At the beginning of their training, Moore and The Hardys were simply emulating the wrestling they saw on television. As they progressed further, though, they received some added assistance from their neighbor Tracey Caddell, the father of current WWE Superstar Cameron Grimes. In addition to training with Caddell, Moore noted that Caddell also provided an actual wrestling ring for them, which was in his backyard. 

Following the move to Caddell's "halfpipe skateboard ramp" shaped ring, Moore recalled practicing some lucha spots on a young Cameron Grimes, who was still a toddler at the time.

Getting Hired At WCW

In the years after his wrestling debut in 1995, Shannon Moore had aspirations to join WWE, where The Hardys were routinely doing extra work. Moore sent a tape of his work to Tom Prichard, who was working as a trainer for WWE at the time. While Prichard praised Moore's in-ring performances, he felt that Moore wasn't "big enough" to make the cut in WWE. 

With an initial rejection from WWE, Moore pivoted his focus to the company's rival — WCW. After conferring with Matt Hardy and Lodi (Bradley Cain), Moore finally built up the courage to contact WCW's Chris Canyon.

"I called Canyon, I'm like, 'Hey, dude, I'm interested in coming to the Power Plant [wrestling school]. You probably don't know who I am, but I'm Shannon, I'm friends with Matt and Jeff. They said that you're really cool. Lodi's my boy, he takes care of me.' He's like, 'I know who you are. I've watched a lot of your stuff on Music City Wrestling.' I'm like, 'What? Okay, that's pretty cool.' He's like, 'No, you're great. You're a great cruiserweight, but the Power Plant is full right now. There's just not a spot for you.' I'm like, 'Well, can you keep me in mind and get back to me if something opens up?' And he's like, 'Yeah, I got your number, just keep in touch.'"

While Moore's original call with Canyon didn't go quite as he expected, Canyon later called back with some good news. After WCW President Eric Bischoff granted approval for the company to recruit 21 cruiserweights, Canyon offered Moore a $75,000 contract to join them.

Wrestling In Front Of Eric Bischoff

Upon signing with WCW, Shannon Moore sat at home for about three months until Chris Canyon called to inform him that Bischoff requested him to fly down to Atlanta, Georgia for a live wrestling match. 

When Canyon asked who he wanted to wrestle, Moore expressed interest in facing Rey Mysterio or Billy Kidman, to which Canyon replied, "That's not going to happen." Eventually, Moore landed on the idea of wrestling Shane Helms, whom he had previously worked with at Music City Wrestling. 

"We wrestled in front of [Bischoff] live, and at the time, Shane was a little older than me. And I think what they were looking for was cruiserweights that legitimately look like they were 21 years old or younger because they were going to do — it was going to be a version of 'Tough Enough.' I think Bischoff had that idea way before WWE did it," Moore recalled. "They were going to do like a 'Road Rules.' I don't know if you remember that show, but they were going to do like a mixture of 'Road Rules' and put 21 cruiserweights that were like 21 years old and younger, I think 18 to 21, in a house and film us living together and training to eventually be on 'Nitro.' That's the idea that was presented by Canyon to me."

Following the match between Moore and Helms, WCW officially brought Helms on board as well.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Developmentally Speaking" with a H/T to Rllegends for the transcription.

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