TJ Wilson on why his neck injury won’t allow him to wrestle, getting support from Steve Austin, his duties as a WWE producer


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest TJ Wilson
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Podcast available via

On never wrestling again: “I mean, I know they say never say never. But I’ve said never for the last eight years. No, the truth is I can do probably in some things I can do like 99 percent of the move. I just can’t do the actual bump, or you know, and I’m sure maybe I could take a couple, but at what cost? I don’t know, I haven’t taken one. So there is no point to me.”

On his neck injury being different: “I get those messages a lot and I get that mindset. I understand where that comes from. I believe Steve Austin has the second highest, at least in terms of WWE wrestlers, in terms of how high their fusion is. His was, I think a C three and C four. Most of the normal one is like C five and six, or six and seven, mine C one and C two, the very top two vertebrae in your body minor fused. That’s the difference. That’s why even when it happened when I posted the picture of the scar, the staples in the back. One of the benefits of joining the broken neck club is, as I refer to it, Steve Austin becomes a friend of yours and he reaches out to you and your text and phone call all the time. But I posted that picture and within like 20 minutes, Austin was either calling me or texting me. And he’s like, Kid why did they go through the back? Why not through the front? And I explained to Steve it’s the equivalent of where they went is the equipment in my mouth. That’s when my fusion is adjacent to my mouth.”

On the day-to-day process as a producer: “Yeah, well, first of all, I’ll have the production meeting in the day, that’s the first thing I do. Then get out of the production meeting, then yeah, then get with the talent, then start kind of strategizing and figuring out, you know, a lot of things factor into these matches how much time we have? Is it two segments? Is it three segments? Is it one? Where are we on the show? Is there another? Since I work with the women almost exclusively, is there another woman’s match on the show? Okay, what are they doing? Then we’re going to do very different. So if there are two on that show, or three, keep them all very different from each other. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of a lot of different aspects that go into it. I mean, you know, it sounds so crazy, but a four-minute match and a seven-minute match are very different.

“In terms of putting it together, it’s very different. Just in terms of like, there’s just a lot more, I’ve had this conversation a bunch with Bayley but like, so a four-minute match, or a seven or eight-minute match. Again, let’s just say even set, let’s say ten, a ten-minute match, you know, if you mess up a couple of things in the beginning or maybe your ideas when you’re putting it together, maybe they weren’t exactly hitting in the beginning, you have a few more minutes to like, get out of that and be you know, in the whole match by the end can be totally different. In a four-minute match every, you know, you might plan let’s just say six things, let’s say five things, each thing is worth 20 percent of that match. Sure.

“So each thing now has so much more importance in the shorter matches, it’s crazy, they’re a lot trickier to put together than the longer ones, a 20-minute match is obviously you know, you have to feel that 20 minutes and if the story is right, that actually shouldn’t be that hard, honestly, but a five-minute match is a little trickier to put together than a 20-minute match if you can believe that. Again cardio and all that is a whole different ballgame. But a five-minute match is tricky because you know whoever is losing they want to make sure that they look good before the losing, you have, you know three or four minutes to do that you know it’s the time crunch is very different.”

On what he does during the matches: “I’m in Gorilla and have the headset on. I always joke that you haven’t really worked in WWE to put that headset on at least one time it’s crazy you put that headset on and you’re talking to a lot of people at one time. Every camera guy can hear me when I press the ring channel whatever. Every cameraman can hear me. The truck can hear me, the referee because the referee, I can talk to the ref, Hunter, Triple H, Bruce Prichard. I mean, whoever’s got the headset on, Billy Kidman who is timing the show you put you put that headset on you’re talking to at least like 15 people, but like maybe five or six are talking back to you and you’re trying to watch the match and you’re trying to communicate to the truck of like what, you know, you don’t want to miss shot so what’s happening next.

“And a lot of times the town will come to the back and they’ll ask me what I thought of the match and I can give them a general view of the match. But I always tell them I have to go and watch it after by myself because there’s too much stuff going on. I’m checking the time, I’m talking to the truck, I’m talking to the ref, Hey make sure Hey tell them the plan the, plan B I mean that happened a few weeks [ago]. A match few weeks was very proud of the Becky and Zoey Falls Count Anywhere match and there were a lot of audibles going on on the fly that if you were just watching it and I didn’t know you wouldn’t catch them but when at home watching it back I caught that when I cut that one down okay.”


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