The ascension of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels as main event players in ’90s WWE was viewed as a sea change in an industry that was largely the land of giants — at least in the U.S. As such, the likes of Sean Waltman, 2 Cold Scorpio, and Justin Credible (as Aldo Montoya), were suddenly given opportunities to be on television, not to mention the license to perform high-flying moves they would have previously been ill-afforded. Waltman recently admitted that he never expected the call from WWE in 1993, at a time when he was relatively unknown in his home country.
“I was surprised when they gave me the call in the first place,” Waltman told Dr. Beau Hightower. Upon receiving the tryout invite call from Sgt. Slaughter, Waltman spaced out the words “World Wrestling Federation” as he thought making the WWF was not in the realm of possibility, especially after being rejected by WCW the previous year. That said, Waltman had wowed audiences in Japan as part of NJPW’s Top of the Super Juniors earlier that year, meaning he suddenly had the attention of WWE. “New Japan was finally going to bring me in,” he recalled. “As soon as New Japan hires me, WWE calls me; I had a couple of different choices there — all of a sudden.”
After going by the name The Lightning Kid in his tryout match, Waltman would use the monikers The Kamikaze Kid, The Cannonball Kid, and The Kid, before settling for 1-2-3 Kid — the name that brought him notoriety in the business. Earlier in the interview, Waltman referred to his upset win over Razor Ramon — in just his third WWE match — as “the biggest moment of my career.”