By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On his time in NXT: “The whole time there was great, but those first five years was just beyond special as NXT at that point, 2013 to 2018-ish completely changed the landscape of pro wrestling. And I think if it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t see what we have today with AEW, with Ring of Honor, with New Japan, with MLW, with all of these companies kind of putting out new products, NWA getting back in the mix, like all of these things and the growth and the interest was because NXT was pretty freaking special. My job responsibility was to be indispensable. That’s what I was really asked to do. So I, especially in those first two years, did everything. It didn’t matter. I ran cable in the building. I did technical stuff. I did cleaning stuff. I ordered supplies. I did editing. I did writing. I did just lugging equipment around. It didn’t matter what. I had my hands in it as I was asked to be indispensable. And I knew that was my job, to be that way.”
On running promo class: “So generally speaking, I ran promo classes and helped newer talent kind of get their footing in the building and develop their persona. Get comfortable as a sports entertainer. Get comfortable performing in front of people, get comfortable being uncomfortable and putting themselves in positions where maybe they’ll feel a little embarrassed, maybe they’ll feel a little shy and try to break down that barrier. Generally, I would say I was a motivating coach of performance. I tried to bring confidence out of the talent and help them really envision what they wanted for themselves and then try to push them into that vision so they can become it. One of the things that helps people become more successful in this realm, whether it’s at WWE, whether it’s at any other company, is the confidence to know who you are and what you want to be. If you show doubt, if you show insecurity when presenting your ideas, it’s probably going to end up that you’re not going to get what you want. But if you have authority and if you have confidence and you have conviction and you present it as it’s something you have to, to do, must do, and will do, rather than actually asking or saying, what do you think of this? You’re probably going to get the opportunity to make that happen for yourself.”
On being released: “I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I like being gainfully employed full time in a dream job situation. But since it happened, I’m just more so excited. I mean, there’s a breath of relief, of freedom. And it’s not freedom that, oh, I’ve been shackled and chained. No, it’s just the freedom of I had a high stress job that was high output, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. So to be able to just chill and take things at a slower pace and do things my way and just have some fun and smile, it’s been a nice, refreshing change. But at the same point, it also allows you to go, I’m a guy who likes to work a lot and work hard, so it’s time to get back to work.”
On his podcast with Road Dog: “Me and Hall of Famer, Road Dogg, Brian James, Jesse James, whichever one you want to call them. We launched a podcast last week and we’re excited that “Oh, you didn’t know: is now available on all podcast mediums. You can take a listen to some of the stories of Road Dogg’s career and just listen to us chatting a little bit. It was something I had experience with. I have a background in broadcast journalism and radio from College at the University of Colorado. So I was absolutely interested, but didn’t really know how to get my foot in the door and how to get started without just saying, ‘Hey, I’m recording my own thing’ and hopefully get some viewers.’ And I got a phone call from Road Dogg and he just asked me if I wanted a co host with him. And I was excited as can be. And I was like, that sounds like an amazing opportunity.”
Other topics include his breaking into the business, Triple H, his NXT run, his release, what he is up to today, his new podcast with the Road Dogg, his music career, Dusty Rhodes, the Independent scene, and more.