Zach Gowen made his way to SmackDown in mid-2003 and was immediately thrust into feuds with the company’s top heels. Gowen feuded with the likes of Brock Lesnar and Vince McMahon during his short-lived run on the blue brand.
Gowen recently spoke with Steve Fall of Ten Count and opened up about his signing. Gowen recalled going viral following a dark match in TNA and WWE signing him to a deal without even taking a look at him.
“What happened was I had a dark match with Truth Martini, the man who trained me and the man responsible for all this, good or bad. It was a dark match. It was a tryout match, but the buzz created from this match, I mean, I went viral before there was a viral. Word spread throughout the industry that there was a one-legged guy and he wasn’t half bad and he could put on a match. Word traveled fast and basically, WWE decided to sign me sight unseen.”
“They had no idea what I looked like. They had no idea what I was capable of or what I could do or what I couldn’t do. They just knew there was a lot of buzz created from this one match that I had in TNA, this tryout match, and that was the first domino that fell that led me to being signed by WWE.”
Zach Gowen quickly became a beloved babyface on WWE SmackDown
It didn’t take long for Zach Gowen to become a top babyface on SmackDown. He aligned with Mr. America aka Hulk Hogan and the duo feuded against Roddy Piper and Sean O’Haire. Gowen later feuded with Mr. McMahon himself, with the rivalry culminating at Vengeance where McMahon was victorious over the one-legged wrestler.
For those unaware, the contest that Gowen is talking about took place on the January 29, 2003 edition of TNA. He went by the moniker of Tenacious Z and defeated Truth Martini in a dark match. Gowen also defeated WWE Hall of Famer Rodd Dogg in singles competition during his TNA run.