Source: Journey Of A Frontman
Advice for wrestlers that get released:
"That's a tough one. They can always come work for Body Spartan! (laughs) The door is wide open for any of my brothers in the wrestling community to come take part and be apart of the team. But on a separate note, as far as starting a business, I was lucky enough that I have a degree in civil engineering and I've always been an internet geek, that I was able to start something from scratch. I started an internet marketing company with my brother in law. I would just say for the guys out there, wrestling is not the end all. There is life after wrestling. You just have to stay motivated. It's like in the book where I talk about finding motivation for being in the gym, the same goes for life outside wrestling. Gotta be motivated to go make money. Be innovative. Be entrepreneurial. Don't get caught up in the rat race cause if you're wrestling, you don't wanna be in the rat race anyway. You're meant for something different with all the ways to make money out there. I encourage guys that if that happens, call me, tweet me, I'd be happy to chat with you. I do start ups all the time and we help brand new companies with their branding and with their digital marketing. Any of those guys, man, I'm happy to have a free consult, sit down to do a phone conference, and hopefully get 'em on the right path."
Working NXT Redemption:
"It was the best thing that ever happened to us. Before, when on Smackdown and RAW, things were happening so quick, we would just sit there and hope for a match. If we got one, it was really short and there's no time for promos. We couldn't develop our characters. And all of a sudden, while on the C show, Vince just didn't care about that. It was obvious because the writers were like, "Well, they don't care so do whatever you want." Tom was one of the main writers and he just came up with these great ideas, he came from a soap opera background, so he loved storylines. He was into writing not just a story for this week, but a story for five or six weeks, which as you saw, was something that happened. And we got tons of mic time, long matches, and I loved it. Hawkins loved it. It helped us develop our characters. And we had this miniature cult following and they loved it. Some people on social media were just saying that NXT Redemption was better than RAW and Smackdown. I don't know if that's true, but I had a great time. I enjoyed the fact that the fans loved it and they appreciated it and they liked the storylines and matches. We're not Jerichos, we're not Ortons, we're not Cenas, we don't have that many years under our belt, but we had a good time. And we think it was pretty entertaining."
Why the original NXT: Redemption format fell through:
"I think it was just a lack of anybody in a position to make decisions that cared. I just think it was kind of fallen off the radar, they had too much going on. The competition, it just started going on forever. The writers didn't really think past this week, they never really thought into the future, it's just what's going on that week. "Okay, we've got Cena to wrestle, we've got Orton to wrestle, these guys wrestle. We'll spend two minutes writing NXT." That kind of thing. So it just kind of became it's own different show, the whole competition just suddenly disappeared! (laughs) Nobody had any idea what was going on."
The Fall Of Zack Ryder:
"It sucked. The guy has such a massive following and I don't know what to say about it, but it's a bummer deal. Personally, I think they should have just kept him riding the wave, but I felt like he got buried. I don't know whose call that was, but at the end of the day, he got buried. Guy's still alive and kickin'. He refuses to go down! He just keeps swingin' and just coming back, so more power to him. He's a great guy, good buddy of mine. And he's just so innovative. His fans and followers love him. He'll bounce back. He's an asset for sure."
"Striker's a great guy. He would always pull me aside and give me advice. Him and I are buddies, again, great guy. Another guy with a lot of knowledge, a great amount of knowledge for creating a story that's interesting, not just going out there and wrestling, but telling a story. It's just kind of a lost art. That's what those vets have to offer. And Striker would watch every match and watch every promo Hawkins and I did. He'd sometimes pull me aside or grab me and grab Hawkins and say, "Real quick, just wanted to tell you this, this, this. Maybe try this or may I suggest you talk to the writer and try something like this? You got nothing to lose." And ninety nine percent of the time, he was right. He just had a ton of good ideas that came to fruition for us."
"Regal is just a book of knowledge. And it was little things like ways to engage the crowd, how to pick one single person out of the crowd that was an agitator and to make eye contact, getting that person riled up so the people in the crowd would get riled up, just ways to work the crowd. How to work differently and creatively, how to build a story creatively, how to take our time. There's a lot of stuff that the vets can offer, a lot of knowledge that you just can't get in FCW and you can't get unless you work with the guys in the ring, whether they're there to compete or watch your matches and give you advice. It was not something that he just dished out. He was quiet at first and then he understood that we cared and we wanted to learn, so he gave us a little more and a little more and before you know it, he was helping us out quite a bit."
Thoughts on CM Punk and him walking out:
"That's a tough one, man. Punk's a hard guy to read. We got along, we weren't enemies by any means, just friendly. I didn't know him, I wouldn't call him a friend, just an acquaintance. There's some guys you click with and some guys you don't. Punk and I didn't click where we were like, "Hey, let's go hang out.", but he was always friendly to me. Sometimes he would offer advice, real good advice too. And of course I'd take it. But he's just a quiet guy and he's hard to read. I really couldn't answer that effectively for ya.
"I've heard a lot of different things. I heard he was burned out, I heard he was upset that Dave came back and him main eventing at Wrestlemania, I heard it was about pay for certain pay per views. That was something that I never had a chance to be upset about and I can see if you're a top guy like Punk where you are on every show and every media event, you're the draw and pulling the weight. I can see where he'd be upset and burned out. The travel schedule was so hard. A guy like me on the low/midcard, if I can even say that, our matches were short. We didn't get to do anything what I would call super fun, we never got to use chairs or whatnot, they save that for the main eventers, but it also takes a toll on the body. The amount of match time Punk had, the amount of bumps he takes, top rope stuff every night with that elbow drop, it's gonna take a toll on your body. I can completely understand. Whatever his reasoning is, more power to him."
On the transition from Johnny Curtis in NXT to Fandango:
"I loved his NXT gimmick. That creepy character that Curtis had during NXT Redemption where he was kind of like a little creepy, a little pervy, that was like him just being silly. He would do that kind of stuff all the time while joking around. We used to call him Creepy Curtis. I loved the gimmick and I thought it was great. I think they changed it because I think Hunter and Vince wanted a character, something over the top that people could latch onto. The Creepy Curtis character was good, but obviously it doesn't stick in your mind the way the Fandango character does. You see him in those pants, the whole character put together and I remember him. I know exactly who he is and what he does. But I think parts of that character from NXT carried over to the Fandango character too. You can kind of see that in him."