Whoever we interview, we do it big. Our series of exclusive interviews continued last weekend when we spoke with former WWE superstar Orlando Jordan from his home in Florida. Jordan is an openly bisexual African-American wrestler, making him a true rarity in the sports-entertainment business. Read on as OJ candidly discusses his WWE run, false rumors, carrying the Warrior, and plans for his future.
The former United States champion refused to emphasize his sexuality when he spoke with us about his career. "I never really came out and said that I was bi. I'm me. I'm happy being who I am." Similarly, Jordan didn't want to stress his race when discussing role models. "[Being a] role model isn't something you choose. When you're in the public eye people find qualities in you."
Jordan was a natural athlete from day one. He competed in gymnastics since age six before becoming a member of the United States Forest Service. After moving to Florida he competed in amateur boxing and wrestling, becoming both a National and All-American champion. However, OJ revealed that the diverse background didn't make it hard to pick a ring style once he went pro. "I think it's who I was. I don't think it was something I chose over the years of training. It just kind of fit for me. I'm a pretty good-sized guy even though every time I meet a fan they always say 'Wow you're bigger than I thought.' I'm 6'4 and about 255 but for doing acrobatic stuff with that it's something that I needed to do. A lot of amateurs don't really make a good transition [to the professional circuit]. Kurt Angle, Brock [Lesnar], Shelton [Benjamin], Charlie Hass and myself have made good. I wanted to get away from that. I wanted to be a pro."
One of Jordan's most memorable feuds during his time with World Wrestling Entertainment was against the late Chris Benoit. When describing his experiences working with the now infamous performer, Jordan said their in-ring chemistry was "like peanut butter and jelly. Benoit was a great person to work with. Once I got the news it hurt my heart to find out what took place. Chris was a good friend to me. I enjoyed working with him. We were able to go out there and connected off the bat from the first time [we wrestled each other]. He's a hard worker and so am I."
Jordan, a member of the Cabinet stable, praised his former leader JBL. "Bradshaw was my partner and mentor." Jordan credited JBL as a locker room leader on the level of the Undertaker. What about the notorious pranks JBL is known for pulling in the locker room? "I was probably right there with him, and if not, instigating. There's tons of them I can tell [but] I can't think of any off the top of my head that won't get me in trouble."
OJ's three-year WWE stint came to an end in 2006. He pulled no punches when shedding light on the reason for his release or the speculation that went along with it. "By now they have all kinds of stuff out and people say a lot of things. Bottom line is that they I think didn't know what to do with me. That's the creative side's fault. Also of course rumors saying stuff about me because I'm bi getting released. I really don't like touching on stuff like that because it feuls bullshit. I think that people read the internet and quickly judge not knowing the truths. I've alwas wanted people to judge me for who I am. What's the difference between gay and bi? I'm bisexual; not gay. If you're going to call me something and stereotype me, do it right. None of the things you read that people put out I can say aren't true."
The former "Chief Of Staff" made headlines earlier this year when he wrestled the Ultimate Warrior in the Warrior's comeback match after a decade's absence from the ring. The Warrior has publicy stated in the past that he is against homosexuality, making one wonder if the two performers would have difficulty working together. "Despite what people might think I had no problem working with him," Jordan told us. "It takes two to wrestle. I think it was a case of not biting the hand feeding you. He was real compliant with me. I didn't have to deal business-wise. He had to trust me and rely on me to get through the match. I think his reputation preceeds him."
OJ's future looks equally bright. He's pursuing modeling and acting opportunities through his own company Wildcat Entertainment while working regularly with European wrestling group New Wrestling Evolution. He's also one of many wrestlers featured in Bloodstained Memoirs, a positive wrestling documentary expected out in 2009. Mostly though "I'm on a break for the holidays."
Orlando closed the conversation by informing us he was willing to grant us a second interview in the future. We're going to hold him to it, so send us your questions now! We encourage our readers to show your support for Orlando by becoming his MySpace friend. You can reach him at myspace.com/wwesuperstaroj.