I recently spoke with former TNA star Rob Terry. During the interview, Terry discussed his wrestling career, growing up a wrestling fan, the business today, his supplement line at LegendSupps.com and more. You can check out the full interview below, or listen to it in the video above.
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I know you grew up a wrestling fan, when did you get started?
"I was really young. My parents, we didn't have the sport packages, so my buddies were also into wrestling, we'd get the pay-per-views and stay up until 3 in the morning and pile at one of my friends houses. It was a big following for a lot of my friends in the United Kingdom."
Were you more of a WWF fan or a WCW fan?
"A lot of people ask me that, but I didn't really watch WCW. I guess me and my friends were into WWF and that was that. I knew what WCW was, but I guess I never really tapped into that. It was just that mainstream WWE, and that was the product I was watching, so when I got into the business it was major catch-up time and I had to watch all of the WCW era, which was cool, and really sad I missed out on that growing up."
Were you able to watch it during the Monday Night Wars?
"That's really where I got introduced to it. That was kind of a cool time. I started to get into it there, I guess."
Who were some of your favorite wrestlers growing up?
"I'm a big guy, even the biggest guy in school, so I'd look up to the bigger guys. Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, Legion of Doom, all of the bigger guys appealed to me and had an influence growing up."
When did you decide wrestling was something you wanted to try your hand at?
"I used to play a lot of sports when I was a kid, extremely physical. When I was a teen I was bigger than most men, so it was something I saw bigger than life personalities in and said it was something I wanted to do. I had no idea how I was going to get into it, but I was going to find a way. One day I had the notion to move to America and get into it, I just had no idea how. The way everything turned out, it worked out perfectly. I tried really hard to get into the industry as well, I went to a few wrestling schools, but they weren't very good at all looking back. I was on the natural bodybuilding circuit and I did really well there. It got to a point where it was just luck. WWE had scouts there and said 'you're a big guy, you have a great look, how do you feel about getting into professional wrestling?' and I said I tried to do this on my own, so let's to this. It was timing basically."
So you didn't have much experience before you signed your developmental deal.
"No I didn't. I'm from Wales, and I remembered someone told me if I was interested in professional wrestling and a school there was this place, and I went there, and they didn't have a wrestling ring, they had mats on the floor and I didn't know any better at the time. I was just like 'this is wrestling school.' It was nothing compared to the wrestling training I was introduced to when I came to America. I didn't know how to get into the industry, and no one said how to do it. I wasn't on the independent scene in the UK, which I wish I was. The way that everything worked out, I came to America and got trained by the WWE."
You went right to FCW right?
"Straight to FCW with hardly any experience. In some aspects it was one of the greatest things that could happen, but to be so limited in experience there, it told me a lot. It was a lot of hard work to keep up with the guys who had been on the independent scene wrestling 6-8 years."
Do you think there's extra pressure when you have a great physique?
"There is and there isn't. Some people will look at you and think 'we're going to make this guy a star,' and then other people... in this industry there have been a lot of big guys and some big guys come into the industry and have this mindset that they're going to do everything and it doesn't really work out. So some people are like 'here's another one again.'"
You were tied to Dolph Ziggler when you first started.
"I was! He was really good. A good guy to be with and learned a lot just being his bodyguard. He was a good guy to be with."
Chris Jericho wrote in his book that he wanted to be your coach, or he wanted you to be his protege or muscle.
"That would have been pretty cool. I was actually at the gym once and someone said 'did you realize you were in Chris Jericho's book?' that was a big honor for me."
So you didn't hear anything about that at the time?
"No I didn't until I looked it up after that. Somebody brought it to my attention and I thought it was pretty cool. I've met Chris a couple of times and he's been nothing but a really nice guy. It's a big honor to hear that."
What led to you leaving FCW?
"To this day I really don't know. I got released essentially. I had no prior training going in. It's a tough industry and I wish I had more independent time wrestling. It's one of those things you'll never know. Maybe I wasn't ready, but they never tell you why."
Shortly after, you signed with TNA. How did that come about?
"I got released from the FCW program. I was good friends with Maven, who knew Bubba and D-Von. He said I should go to Bubba and D-Von's school and carry on up there, and I might have a good shot at getting into TNA. So I went up there. FCW training was extremely hard, but Team 3D Academy took a look at me and saw I was a big guy, they wanted to see if I really wanted it bad enough. They put me through so many training drills I thought I was going to die. It's the hardest training I've done to date. There must have been respect there at some point because they said when I was ready they'd introduce me to TNA and see what they think. Next thing I know, I was appearing with British Invasion and away we go."
"It was amazing. It was great to work with Doug and Nick. They're extremely talented individuals and I got to learn a lot from them as well. Then Hulk Hogan comes into the company. I thought it was a really cool thing. As a fan growing up, it was a really big deal, so it was great for me to be a part of the organization when Hulk Hogan was there as well."
When Hogan and Bischoff were brought in, what kind of changes did you notice backstage?
"You'll get a lot of different views depending on who you speak to. For me, I'm just focused on what's going on. For me, it was a really positive thing for the company, and I got to be a part of that. It was a positive experience for me. That might change depending on who you speak to."
Did you get advice from Hulk Hogan backstage or get to speak to him?
"Yeah I did. He was a cool guy to me. He was sizing me up backstage and stuff. He lives in Clearwater as well so I bump into him from time to time. One of the things I'm extremely grateful for is being from the United Kingdom, so it's hard for me to stay over here. I applied for residency, and Hulk Hogan, I don't believe I'd have that status if not for him and a lot of the guys backstage who helped me with that as well. The people who sanctioned the residency probably don't know who a lot of wrestlers are, but I think everyone in the world knows who Hulk Hogan is. I have a lot of thanks for him for vouching for me."
How was it working with Sting?
"Again, one of the nicest guys in the world. Always really positive. He would come to me and a lot of the other guys and just coach us. Anything we wanted, he'd be there. He was really supportive and a great person to have on the roster. I wish him nothing but success, and congratulations to him (on the Hall of Fame induction)."
You spent a lot of time in TNA, about 5 and a half years. What were some of your favorite moments in TNA?
"I had a lot of them. I feel like it was a great roster the entire time I was there, super talented guys. I had a lot of cool matches and got to work with talented people, but favorite was probably winning the Global Championship in Wales where I'm from in Cardiff. It was a crazy night for me and I didn't really know...it was a great weekend, all my friends and family there at the show, it was the best. Really hard to top that."
How was Dixie Carter as a boss?
"I've got nothing bad to say about anyone (laughs). She was amazing the whole time, super supportive. When i came to TNA she introduced herself, and was really nice. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her and TNA."
One of the knocks in TNA is that they come into things that seem like a cool idea, and I think the Menagerie was one of those that seems like a really cool gimmick, it was different. What were the plans when it was formed. Were there any long term plans?
"I have no idea (laughs). With TNA certain things were introduced and maybe they don't get the time to resonate or whatnot, with that one I really don't know. I was doing tours in Japan, which was another experience with TNA because I got that through them. I came back and they said they had this idea. Next thing I know I was The Freak in Menagerie. They started to run with it, but we didn't have the airtime or story to go with it. You have to do the best you can with what you've got."
2014 was a bad year for TNA, as it was the year Spike dropped them. What was the reaction like backstage? I know they were denying it for a while. Was there a lot of concern backstage?
"Yeah, I think there was. I can only comment on the morale of the locker room, but I think a lot of people were questioning what was going to happen. The reality is there's always going to have a television platform. People were concerned, but I think they knew (TNA) was going to go somewhere no matter what. That's what happened, and I hope they'll always continue to go on. People were worried, but they were just hoping for the best."
What led to your departure from TNA?
"It was one of things where my contract was up and I believe that was around the time that the televisions were going to be moved. I decided to go my way, and that was that. We ended on really good terms. If I do return in the future, we'll see what happens with that."
Have you been keeping up with the product?
"Yeah, a little bit. A lot of my really good friends are there, so I try and tune in and see how everything's going. I try to keep my eye on it but not as much as I used to."
Were you surprised that Destination America decided to part ways with them so soon?
"I don't really know too much about that. Possibly. If it did, it'd only be a matter of time before they ended up on another platform. Over in the United Kingdom, they get a lot of play time over there. You turn on TV and they're on all the time. They have a lot of time in stations around the world."
It seemed like WWE were going out of there way to not sign guys from TNA for a while. It seems that's changed. Were you surprised to see AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries there.
"They're really talented individuals, so it doesn't surprise me at all to see them there. They're great people, so good for them. I hope they're all really successful."
Is that something you've thought about doing? Another WWE tryout?
"I would like to. For me now, it's a bit of a timing issue. I'm wrapped up until late August with a few projects I have. I would definitely consider it. The wrestling industry is really unpredictable. It's something I'd definitely be open to."
You mentioned your other projects, I know you have Legend Supps. Tell us about that.
"Yeah, my friend Scott Felstead, who's actually the President of Legend Supps, we got together and made a branched chain amino acid (BCAA). It's kind of a performance drink you use while your training, or even while your not training to make sure you maintain all that hard work you put in at the gym. It enables you to train to a higher standard and keep those gains you make in the gym. It's a great supplement to add to the supplements you're already using. You can check out LegendSupps.com. In December and January we actually sold out in the UK, which was cool for me to hear, but we're all stocked up now."
You haven't been wrestling much since TNA because of these projects, right?
"I've done a few appearances here and there, and a few more towards summer time, but until August, my schedule doesn't really open up. I'm excited to get back on the wrestling scene, but it won't happen until August."
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