TJP on who pushed him to take part in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, staying valuable as a wrestler, and why Hulk Hogan autographed a TJP headshot photo

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest TJP
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Podcast available via
Video available at Chris Van Vliet’s YouTube Page

On William Regal calling TJP multiple times to take part in WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic: “He just kept asking me to do it [laughs]. I was doing motion capture for the WWE video game at the time. [Chris asks if LA Knight was also there] I don’t know if he was there that day, but I have done it a lot with him, I might have got him on the crew there. Low Ki got me on, and from that point whenever they asked I would try to get other guys on. They look for certain body types or movements, so I try to spread the wealth. So I was doing the motion capture and he [Regal] had left me a voicemail, then he called me back again and I answered it. I didn’t turn it down, I didn’t have a reason to not necessarily want to do it. But what I didn’t think was that I was going to sign and stay with the company. But when he asked me I was like this could be a generational thing, this could be like the new J Cup.

“I don’t care about legacies. I don’t care about my own legacy at all. If I retired today and my Wiki disappeared I wouldn’t care. I enjoy it and I love it, but with flagpole moments I don’t really care about that. But this is something in history that 20 years from now some kid will go ‘Man that Cruiserweight Classic.’ WWE were not doing these types of things at the time, it was still at the tail end of the FCW era. I thought that this company only likes big dudes and models, so that’s it. But things were changing, so I decided to do this one thing but I didn’t think that I would stay. But he [Regal] called me a couple of times and then he called me a couple more times, and then a few more times. It was then that he needed help to fill out the rest of the field. He said to me, ‘Do you know guys from different parts of the world? What are we missing?’ I don’t know who I got on board, a lot of guys may have already been on their radar, but I did recommend people like Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik. But I did it and it was after that second round match with [Johnny] Gargano that they put us all in a room and giving us offers one by one. I kept turning them down, I turned them down three times.”

On Hulk Hogan signing a TJP headshot: “I was an actor when I was a kid, I still have my headshot. My mom got Hulk Hogan to sign it, she would keep some of them [spare]. She is a flight attendant and she sometimes likes to brag about her son. She had Hulk Hogan on her flight and she went into first class and asked him to sign it. So I have a Hulk Hogan signed headshot, of my own headshot.”

On staying valuable as a wrestler: “I remember us talking about that. And fans, give them any bit of information and they will fight over anything. I was talking with some of the guys this past week at Starrcast, New Japan had a show there. When I see that, I didn’t look at it as a validation for me, I don’t look at a lot of the stuff and how I am connected to it. But what I got out of that experience, what people can do in and out of WWE, AEW or anywhere, just the importance of people to understands business 101 and the basic building blocks of capitalism, how to be a responsible adult. A lot of people, and you hear it mostly in a critical way, and I hate to say it this way as I don’t want it to take it as critical, but there is validity in the statement of people playing wrestler.

“People play a lot of things in life, people play doctor and play a lot of professions in life where they don’t maximize it to what it is meant to be. They are just happy to call themselves whatever that is, an architect, anything. No, you don’t just have to be an architect, you can be an architect that creates other things, and then you become an entrepreneur. I would tell guys now having experienced it making more money than before is that you have to find ways to create that business, you have to become a businessperson. It is kind of sad but a lot of wrestling companies don’t know what to do with their business, which is why you see a lot of companies rise and fall and die out of nowhere, because they don’t know what they are doing. I tell guys to keep themselves valuable and to be valuable to those around them is to find the little things that create money generation for everybody, it’s not just a personal thing. I saw it as me going back to school, it wasn’t ‘Look at how much money I am making.’ It was ‘Look at how much I have figured out about life.'”


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