Ezekiel Jackson (a/k/a Rycklon Stephens) being the final ECW Champion, winning the Intercontinental Title, what he learned from William Regal, being released by WWE

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Ezekiel Jackson (a/k/a Rycklon Stephens)
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

On being the last ECW champion: “People always say, ‘what aspect do you use’? I’m like, if you’re a pessimist, I was a short reigning champion. If you’re an optimist, I never lost the title. So it’s going on twelve years and still undefeated as ECW champ. I guess I can claim one time world champion. And for me, as a freaking kid out of the poorest of neighborhoods in the poorest of countries of the world coming in and living in America in three of the most dangerous neighborhoods ever, to make it to the WWE, to say I have a title or two titles from them, I’ve nothing to complain about.”

Winning the Intercontinental Title: “In the past. The IC Championship had meant next. Once you drop that, it’s like we saw with Shawn [Michaels], Bret [Hart], all these cats is like next level. So I’m like, cool, I’m ready to go. Then we got this feud going with Cody [Rhodes]. I’m like, cool. We may probably make it to SummerSlam. I get my SummerSlam match with Cody and whatever which way, I’m ready for whatever. To lose the title the Smackdown before SummerSlam was really weird. I was like, God, though, I really couldn’t even get a SummerSlam match. I showed up and I didn’t even know I was losing the title that night. I just found out from Cody. ‘So you’re dropping the title.’ Ok. But again, they were building Cody. I thought, okay, cool. Maybe I’m going on this level. I’m ready to move on. It just fell off. I just was backstage. I was doing a [WWE] Superstars, and they had me doing NXT dancing with the Great Khali. We did a bunch of dark matches and stuff like that. And they got to that point where after the pec injury had healed somewhat, but the rotator cuff was doing all the work. So I ended up popping that rotator cuff after I realized that I suggested something for Royal Rumble. And then I see Mania season coming up and Mania. I was like, okay, cool, we can do this. Then that switched. I just was like, I was in so much pain.”

What he learned from William Regal: “Make it look real. And that was it. And I got that from him. I got that from Steve Kern. And every time I got into the ring, my approach to wrestling or performing is I don’t want anybody in the audience to think they could take one of my moves ever. And that was when I approached it. So I threw everything with as much mad intent as I possibly could, but safely. And that’s one of the things I studied. Like, I really worked on how to hit and make sure people, we understand where we are. We understand it’s entertainment. But I want you to leave, like, ‘I don’t trust that guy. He’s really trying to rip my head off.’ You know what I mean? Yeah. As a fan, I have, and that’s the approach that I got from Regal.”

On being released by WWE: “You don’t know what’s happening. If somebody came to me and said, ‘Hey, Zeke, this is what we expect from you. And you’re not meeting this right now,’ I could turn it on, but if I don’t know what’s happening, I show up in like, I come back through the curtain like, you get one of these, cool. I’m doing my job. But then I come to find out you’re not doing the level that…. I’m not as intense as they wanted. I’m not as angry as they wanted. Some of the promos I was given that was written for me when I was IC Champ, I was like, dude, I don’t use that word. I’m like, I might be from Brooklyn, but I don’t have a Brooklyn [accent]. Two years ago, I think I finally read an email from Michael Hayes, and he put a lot of stuff in perspective for me. And I was like, okay, maybe I should have read this much earlier than now. And from this vantage point, there were things that they were probably expecting that I wasn’t delivering on. And I could sit back now and probably watch some of those matches because I was probably bummed, because I was expecting, again, IC Champ, let’s keep going this way. And then, no, you know what I mean? So I’m sure the mental screw job completely threw me off.”

Other topics include William Regal, Kozlov, his entire ECW run, his WWE run, Vince McMahon, what he is up to today, and more.


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