After originally speaking with Brian Myers early this year at House of Hardcore 8 at the legendary 2300 Arena, we sat down once again (this time at Chase Con Expo in Saratoga Springs, NY) to discuss all of the great things he’s been up to since. Topics covered include Global Force Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Zack Ryder, Hornswoggle, FCW, Create A Pro Wrestling Academy and more!
What did you take out of the recent major event for Global Force Wrestling on October 23rd in Las Vegas?
I love it. It’s cool to be part of something that’s from the ground up. I’m a part of its origins and that’s history now, no matter what comes of the company. I’m honored to be a part of that and I hope for the best. I want to create more awareness and buzz, hopefully it’s a bandwagon that wrestling fans will hop onto.
Seeing as though the event was in Vegas, were you able to get in any gambling?
Not really a gambler, it’s just not my thing. With WWE, you go to certain places so many times that it’s not even special anymore being in Vegas. WWE, I was there at least twice a year. Seven years on the road, so it’s not special for me to be in Vegas. It got to the point towards the end of my WWE run that I would purposely make sure that I was with Kofi because he doesn’t have any vices at all. He doesn’t gamble, he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do anything. I would purposely ride with him so I could just hide in my room and pretend like I wasn’t in Vegas and hate myself and not be an idiot. (laughs)
Was there someone in the ring for the GFW event that you didn’t know much about before, but they immediately captured your attention?
The guy I wrestled, Kongo Kong. I really was not familiar with him and after wrestling him, I was just blown away. He’s just a really good big man. From what he looks like and what he can do, so deceiving. I was really impressed and I really enjoyed our match, a really fun three-way.
How does it feel to be a babyface in GFW? A significant chunk of your career has consisted of you being a heel.
Every weekend, I wrestle all over and I literally sometimes don’t know if I’m gonna be a heel or babyface until I show up to the building. Different situation, different company. I have to perform my duties the best I can for whatever I may be. I’ve been doing both for a year and a half now, sometimes it’s different every other day. I have actually really come to enjoy being a babyface. I think I’ll always love being a heel better cause I think it’s more natural for me to be an arrogant shithead.
How do you go about tweaking your character when you’re working as a babyface?
Just the fire I have. I try to get rid of all the unlikable qualities of me, but it isn’t all that easy sometimes. With the independent companies I come to a lot where I’m consistently a babyface, it’s been workin’ and it’s been a lot of fun.
On the night prior to GFW, you were on a show with John Hennigan and RVD. Did you get a chance to catch up with them?
Yeah. I love seeing John, he’s an awesome guy. I actually told him I was thrilled that Lucha got renewed and that I was happy for him. That was cool. RVD’s the man. He’s cool, he’s chill, he’s laid back. I’ve gotten to wrestle him before.
Going way back, John gave you and Zack exposure and promo time on The Dirt Sheet. How was that for you?
That was cool, but I think that was more of a thing that really helped Zack out. People got to hear the “Woo! Woo! Woo!” thing that he was trying to get over. It’s hard to get something over that’s verbal like that when all we do is lose to Great Khali in ten seconds. It was a stepping stone for him and a pivotal part now, when looking back in retrospect. Some people got familiar with it that way.
What ended up happening with The Sweet Life of Zack and Curt? It seemed to pave the way for Z! True Long Island Story, but never took off on its own.
We pitched that and thought it was great. Everyone that saw it thought it was great too. We put it on YouTube and this was like 2008, maybe a passé thing to do. A writer called Zack, reamed him out and said to take it down immediately. That was the end of that.
How did you feel about Zack Ryder’s Last ReZort from YouTube last year?
(laughs) We bust his balls about it. The original series is so funny and uplifting, then that one’s emo and a half-assed attempt. I don’t think he put any real effort into it. I don’t know what he was trying to prove. He gave up on it so quick. He gets a lot of shit from us for it because it was pretty stupid.
What was your reaction when Zack caught off his long hair for his ECW debut and the birth of Long Island Iced Z?
That’s another thing we bust his balls about. Go back and look at those pictures, Zack Ryder had some of the ugliest, nasty, ratty long hair that any long haired wrestler’s ever had. He’ll admit it. Pretty much any picture just looks awful. I think he was thrilled to reinvent himself and also get rid of that because it looked pretty awful. Edge and I, we pull it off to a tee. But the first time I saw Edge with his haircut, I was devastated. “Oh no! We’ve lost one of our long haired brethren.”
How do you feel about him breaking out more and more into acting?
It’s cool, man. He accomplished everything he could in wrestling, so these are new goals now. He’s knocking them down and he seems to be really enjoying it.
So one of the viral videos over the past month in the wrestling community was of Hornswoggle falling down the stairs at your wedding. What was going on there?
It’s funny. Dylan’s a great guy, he was in my wedding party of. It was great to spend some time with him again because it’s been a while. He did that to bust balls, falling down the steps. He did it just to pop all of us. Every attendant at the wedding believed it to a tee and they were mortified. It was great.
And how about having Howard Finkel announcing the entrances for the wedding party?
That was awesome. He did the as a favor, we’re friends. I thought it would be a treat for what I call my civilian friends, having their names said in the voice of Howard Finkel. That’s a once in a lifetime type of thing.
How have you connected with Maven as of late?
That all just happened by chance. He’s like the coolest dude and a great guy. I’ve been trying to help them out. I don’t think he realizes that people remember him and care about what he did. I have to push him sometimes. (laughs) Come on, man! Get out there, come to this thing with me. Do this, do that. Have this match. But I’ve been really enjoying it because we’ve become friends and he’s a great, great guy.
Is he taking wrestling gigs other than what you’re getting him into?
If I talk him into it, he’ll do it. He doesn’t think high enough of himself that it’s possible. Dude, you had a significant run. You can get out there and do these things. You have fans that want to see you and meet you. If anything, you owe it to them.
With the storyline of TNA vs. GFW this past summer, you found yourself competing in the middle of the Impact Wrestling ring for the first time. What do you notice about the backstage atmosphere compared to the WWE?
It’s a lot more laid back. I think the locker room is awesome, there’s so many great guys. I’ve really, really enjoyed it. It’s just fun and everyone’s just bustin’ balls and stuff. It’s the kind of atmosphere that I really like. (laughs) It’s something that I can sink my teeth into. I really don’t have a bad thing to say about it. I’ve enjoyed my time and it’s another company that I just wish the best for. I hope they get through whatever’s going on, come out the other side and they can get their product seen by more people.
Kurt Angle left the WWE less than a year before you debuted on the main roster. Since you didn’t share the locker room with him then, did you get a chance to say hello to him?
Yeah, that was really cool. He’s one of my favorites. I met him when I was an extra talent in 2005, that was the only time I met him. So that was cool to finally share a locker room with him and be like, “Kurt, it’s an honor to meet you.” I could tell that resonated with him and he really appreciated me saying. It was cool. I wish to share a locker room with him more often.
How do you feel about EC3 getting to reach his full potential? As we all know, he was only able to get so far as Derrick Bateman in the WWE.
It’s awesome. Every wrestling fan that’s seen it has to appreciate it. He’s doing such a great job and I’m really proud of him. I knew he always had that, he had it in FCW. He’s finally getting this platform to show the world.
I saw a photo on your Instagram a few months ago where you’re sporting a nasty black eye. How’d that happen?
This isn’t ballet. Wrestling’s dangerous as fuck. (laughs) It was just an accident, it happens. I was just glad to get that out of my system before my wedding. Plenty of time for it to heal. My wife would’ve killed me!
Since you spent some time in FCW, I wanted to get your thoughts on a recent statement made on WWE 24. There was video footage of the sold out TakeOver event in Brooklyn compared to hardly anyone showing up for FCW tapings.
I thought that was an unfair statement because there’s obviously a lot more promotion and hype behind NXT. The guys I came up with in FCW were just as talented. And they’re on the roster now, so you can’t say I’m wrong. But no one knew about FCW. To my understanding, developmental was always supposed to be like that. For instance, Bray Wyatt wrestled down there as Duke Rotundo. He was a hillbilly with blonde hair and talked all the time. The idea of developmental was “do your thing, get your experience because we don’t know if what you are there is necessarily what you’ll be on the road”. He’s a perfect example. Then he gets called up as Bray and it’s a completely different thing. They don’t want you to get exposure cause they’re not sure as to what you are really gonna be. Now the philosophy’s completely changed. But I think it’s for the better cause you’re not wasting your time trying to be this comedy character and you bring him up as this dark guy. It makes a lot more sense. But it’s unfair to look back on it like they did because no one cared about it and no one gave us any promotional tools. You still had talented guys that could’ve done everything.
During your time on NXT Redemption, you got to be there for the rejuvenation of Tyson Kidd that carried on over to Full Sail. How do you feel about him?
He’s one of my best friends. I talk to him every day. Super sad about what happened to him. I’m hoping for the best. I’m hoping he comes out on the other side. Hopefully his in-ring career isn’t over, it’d be a shame. He lives and breathes wrestling. He’s been sitting home with a broken neck for six months, but he doesn’t miss a thing. He watches every single current wrestling thing. He’s watching the Network and old stuff. I sent him a care package of DVDs and stuff when he first got hurt just cause I knew he was gonna have so much downtime to do that. And that’s where we bond, we’re both sick in the head in love with wrestling. That’s how we became friends in the first place. And on top of that, he is just one of the best wrestlers in the world. Technically, from bell to bell, he’s just top-notch.
I have to ask because I’m curious, have you ever been in radio? You seem to have the voice for it.
No, but I chime in on my buddy’s podcast from time to time, Two And A Half Wrestlers. I’ll mess around on that, but not other than that. But there’s the time when that transition has to come where the in-ring stuff isn’t quite up to my standards anymore and I need to find some other way to make it in pro wrestling, I always saw myself as a commentator.
Have you done guest commentary?
I did it on Superstars a couple times when I was in WWE. In FCW, we would have days where Dreamer just assigned people to do commentary on the first four matches. I would do it there with him my year to help me out and feed me stuff.
Who is the next wrestler that you see transitioning to commentary in the way that Jerry Lawler and JBL have?
Corey Graves is already in that spot, man. He’s probably got a stranglehold. And it’s funny because I know he didn’t like doing it, but I thought A-Ry was fantastic. But it just wasn’t in his heart; you can’t force him to do that. I’ve grown to like JBL a lot. I thought the interviews that he did with Bischoff on the Network were phenomenal. He put a lot of effort into that and you could tell. It was a great job.
When you were starting out in the WWE, was there an initiation rib that was pulled on you?
Early on, we won the Deep South titles for the first time. This was typical wrestling, sort of bullshit, but now it’s funny when looking back on it. At the time though, I was devastated. So we win the tag titles and we get rushed back into the locker room. In Deep South, pretty much all the time, you had to go right into Jody Hamilton’s office and hear his critiques and stuff. I put my tag titles facedown on my gear bag, which I guess was slightly overflowing with stuff. It was on a little tilt. I put it down and went into Jody’s office, but I guess it eventually slid down and then hit the floor and made this loud noise. Everyone’s like, “What was that? Oh my God, it’s the tag title!” I have no respect for it, I left it on the floor, that’s what it turned into. I come back out of my critique and I’m missing the tag title. I didn’t get it back that night. That was a Thursday and then proceeded into the entire weekend of getting the Shawn Michaels shot of a naked dude with just the belt covering his private parts and not seeing his face. The boys just had it and kept fucking with me the whole weekend, but I eventually got it back. At the time, I was like “What the fuck?” and pissed off, but now I can laugh about it and think it’s funny. I would probably do the same thing. Stuff like that happens. I tell my students this all the time, “If you don’t put a rib over, they’ll stop. The more you put it over, the more guys are gonna just hammer you.” If you’re trying to get a reaction and you give it to them, it’ll just keep coming and coming and coming.
What is one thing that you place emphasis on at Create A Pro Wrestling Academy when talking to your students?
Just overall, and I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I have the most up to date knowledge of WWE style than anyone that’s training guys period. On the flipside and with all that stuff aside, nitpicky stuff and how wrestling works, I just tell them, “Wrestling’s difficult. Very, very difficult. Extremely difficult. It’s unique all to itself.” The main thing that I try to tell everyone is that there’s no instant gratification. I’m not gonna say this is how you sell and then you’re good at selling. It does not work like that. Not gonna say this is how you do a hip toss and it’s gonna be perfect. There’s no instant gratification in any aspect of it. You just gotta show up everyday and give it your best to get better. That’s the only way. It takes time. If you have that understanding of that, you’ll be good to go. You’ll be good to at least get your feet wet and start getting into this.
How many walkouts have you had?
Tons. I can read guys as soon as they walk in. They’re gonna pay me for this month, maybe do this class and I’ll never see them again. That’s fine because those kind of people keep the school afloat. They come in and they have no respect for the sport. I don’t know how in this day and age, they haven’t seen a documentary for a book. There’s so much information out there and they still just think it’s fake so anyone can do it. It’s just mind-blowing. There’s a ridiculous amount of athletic ability that goes into this. Like I said, I hate it and I love it because they’re the ones that keep the school afloat.
Before we wrap up, what are some dates that you have up ahead?
I’ve got Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore coming up. I’m the current Five Borough Wrestling Champion, I love doing those shows. Been wrestling for Afa Jr., or Manu, in Pennsylvania. It’s never-ending, but I’m very fortunate. I go to these shows, I bust my ass and I try to have the best match of the night. The business is in the repeat business where they want me back. I do my thing and it’s awesome.
Definitely is awesome. I’d love to thank you for your time.