By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Tucker on the reasons why he and Otis lost their last names when they moved to the main roster: “From what I understand, the reason behind that was purely and simply, which is funny, it doesn’t make any sense, but in WWE logic, it makes perfect sense, that whenever Vince heard us being announced when we had a TV match, and the announcer had to say, ‘Tucker Knight, Otis Dozovik, Heavy Machinery’, that was too long, so he shit canned the last names. It was just Tucker and Otis, Heavy Machinery. From what I understand, and we weren’t consulted at all. I found out about that name change via social media. I got a text from the social media guy saying, ‘We’re going to change your handles because you guys’ names have changed.’ I’m like, ‘What? What do you mean our names have changed?’ He was like, ‘Oh, you guys haven’t heard? Vince wanted to get rid of your guys’ last names.’ We weren’t the first ones, and we weren’t the last ones to have that happen. That’s happened several times before and after. That’s the reason from what I understand. The reason why people lose part of their names is because it saves seconds on television.”
Tucker explaining why he wasn’t on the card at WrestleMania 36: “Otis and Mandy was supposed to be a mixed tag match from what I understand, or a six on six with Dolph [Ziggler] and [Robert] Roode, myself and Otis, or potentially a tag match, or a six-person intergender match. These were all being thrown around before the pandemic happened. The pandemic happened, and then through no fault of his own, Bobby Roode, who lives in Canada, is stuck in Canada for some months at that time. That means I’m not a part of WrestleMania because you can’t have more babyfaces than heels. That doesn’t make any sense, so that match becomes just Otis and Dolph, and I’m not part of it at all.’”
Tucker said he got in better shape and has lost a lot of weight: “I’m probably 240 right now. The biggest I’ve been with Heavy Machinery, I was 325. I was probably 315 when we moved up from NXT to Raw and Smackdown. Part of that fit the fat guy gimmick, part of what Heavy Machinery was. I’ve always been a big guy. I wrestled at heavyweight in college. The weight class there was 285. I don’t have the best metabolism. My family genetically, we just don’t.”
Tucker was asked how he got his name in NXT: “I came up with the name. At the time, and I don’t know if it’s still this way, but you essentially provide them with a list of names. That list is run through legal to see what names they can actually own. I remember putting a list of like 15 together and getting back maybe like four names, and three of the surnames were Knight out of those four. Ultimately, I chose it because I liked the initials the best. I was thinking I might be able to use TKO or something along those lines. That was the initial reason that I chose that. I had the understanding that I could potentially change that name as well moving forward if it didn’t work out.
“There was actually a time when Otis and I were in NXT, and we were just Otis and Tucker when we made our debut in the Dusty Classic. Everybody loved the name Heavy Machinery except Triple H. From what I understand, he was not a fan of that name. He thought it was too gimmicky, I guess. I guess thinking like fat men in construction hats, but we explained that we are Heavy Machinery. It’s not a gimmick. I wanted to be called Tank and he wanted to be called Dozer, Tank and Dozer, Heavy Machinery. That was our initial pitch, but we were told that ‘We can’t get those names. We’re not going to be able to register those names, so we can’t do it.’ To me, that would have been awesome. Tank and Dozer, Heavy Machinery, you get it. This dude’s a tank, that dude’s a dozer. They smash everyone. This is what they do. They run through people. To me, it makes sense. It’s not hard to figure out. We couldn’t get those.”
Other topics include his run in NXT, his friendship with Otis, what he plans to do next, Vince McMahon, Triple H, turning heel, his amateur wrestling background, and more.
You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, Taskmaster Talks with Kevin Sullivan, Pro Wrestling 101 with Justin Credible and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell.