Terry Taylor and D'Lo Brown helping him out early in his career:
Terry had come down to Anarchy a few times and a couple of other independent shows within the Carolinas and Georgia and he met me and really got my foot in the door with TNA. However, when it came to the actual dark matches,Terry Taylor was gone.
D'Lo had also helped me out before the TNA days. I did have a lot of extra stuff for WWE back in '08 and early '09 before I signed with TNA and D'Lo helped me there, too. He's still a good friend. He's still a guy I keep in touch with... I think D'Lo's missed, not only just by me, but by a lot of the guys. We all got along with him and traveled with him. He did a lot of the live event house shows with us and I still keep in touch with him. He's doing a lot of stuff in Japan. So, he's staying busy, but he's definitely greatly missed on my side.
I was listening to a podcast with Jericho on it the other day and he talked about when he got to WCW and he was in the locker room with all these guys he grew up watching like Flair and Steamboat and Sting and everybody. It kind of made me realize how I felt when I first started there and was that fan or that mark-up moment of, "Oh, my God, I'm in the ring with Hulk Hogan," and I was being managed by Ric Flair for a little while.
It was really cool, but then you have to set it to the side and I was like, "Okay, well, this is my job now," and it was very surreal. However, at the same time, they were my peers and it was me trying to impress them and keep my job and let them know that I'm a workhorse and what I wanted to do was be the best. I was getting a lot of advice from Flair. We did a lot of live events together where, at the time, I was feuding with Garett.
So Flair was at my side. To be able to have a man like Ric Flair who is arguably one of the greatest ever who was always there to give me input was just really cool. It was really cool to be around.
It was really cool to be around Hulk and just talk to him about the good old days, I guess you could say, and he was giving me ideas on character and just working the crowd and whatnot – the insides of the business that a lot of people don't know about or don't learn in this day and time, I should say. A lot of people don't take the time to teach the young guys like myself and it was a good opportunity for me.
If TNA is phasing out bigger guys:
No, you have me, Magnus, and Bobby Roode. Bobby Roode is considered a heavyweight. He's a big guy. I don't know, honestly. Obviously, TNA's always been really big about the X Division and different styles and different aspects of wrestling and I think that wrestling is totally different now than it was when I was growing up in the '80s and '90s. Everybody was big. You never saw the smaller guys.
I don't really think it puts any pressure on. It kind of definitely puts you in an elite category. You named Magnus and I there and yet you don't see the big guys after Crimson and Matt Morgan and those guys left. I don't really think that it puts any pressure on. I think you just go out there.
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