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Eli Drake Recalls Competing on The Rock’s Hero, Coming to the Show Broke, Taking $35,000 ‘Temptation’

November 25, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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– On the latest Steve Austin Show, Eli Drake recalled his time on The Rock’s TNT series The Hero and taking one of the $35,000 “temptation” payouts. Drake competed on the sole season of the 2013 reality competition series just before he signed a developmental deal with WWE.

The show saw nine contestants compete in physical and mental challenges, working together for a group pot of money. However, each week a certain number of people were offered temptations of payouts that wouldn’t be added to the total pot, but would be money they got to keep instead of money they just had a chance at if they survived eliminations. Drake was offered $35,000 in the second week for a challenge he wasn’t part of and took it, becoming the first person (and only one of two) to do so. He was ultimately the first person eliminated, leaving in week four.

Drake recalled how he felt bad for taking the money, but that he was literally broke when he came on the show and how the $35,000 was “life-changing” for him because it helped him get out of debt. He would go on to join WWE developmental but left in summer of 2014 over issues with then-head coach Bill DeMott.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full video, are below:

On being offered the temptation money: “So every week you have to choose six people out of the nine, and three people have to stay behind. And again, always public enemy #1 from the start until someone warms up to me. They basically kept me out of this one and I was just home alone. And I had heard on the challenge before this when people got offered $25,000 and I’m like, ‘S**t, that’s life-changing.'”

On coming to the show broke: “You don’t understand. I went to that show with no money. Literally spent every last dime getting ready for it. So I had no money in my bank account. I don’t even think I had a bank account. I remember my bag was actually overweight flying down to Panama, and you know, you have to pay that fee. And so the production was going to pay me back if I paid the fee. I didn’t have money to pay it in the first place. So I tucked my toe under the scale, and I had to hold the scale up, I think it was like 48 pounds or something. Now some airlines you can do that, and some airlines you can’t because some of them are kind of back a little bit further. I want to say, it was on United or American [Airlines]. But wherever it was at LAX, I was able to kind of toe it a little bit … all I knew was that I had zero money to pay for this. I didn’t have money to get a haircut, my hair looks f**king ridiculous on that show. It was awful.”

On taking the $35,000: “So when I heard $35,000, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to feel like a dickhead, but I need this, it’s life-changing.’ And it was life-changing. Paid off all my school debt, everything. But here was the problem. I did feel like s**t doing it, and the reason was, I already knew that I was getting signed to WWE. I had already had my tryout two weeks before we even started doing the show. They had already pretty much said that we were going to be moving forward, and I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t want the people that I go work with think that I’m a dickhead so I feel really bad taking this money, but I need it. And so from then on I was turning down the offers after that. But god damn, in retrospect I wish that I had taken every bit of that damn money. But at the same time, the money I did take was amazing, it got me out of debt. I started having a little bit of a savings and that was the beginning of my life going on a tremendous upswing.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.