Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
On episode 120 of Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, professional broadcaster and pro wrestling enthusiast Sam Roberts caught up with WWE Superstar Curt Hawkins. During the conversation, Hawkins talked about his return to WWE, being fired by WWE in 2014, and his short-lived stripper gimmick with former WWE Superstar Tyler Reks.
"For sure, the busiest I've ever been in the business, like, comparable to the Edge run that I had, but I'd say even more busy because of the schedule. And I know sometimes it may not seem like it because I'm not on every episode of SmackDown, but I'm always there. Almost always at least do the dark match or Main Event when that was still a SmackDown obligation. And then, I'm on the road Saturday, Sunday, Monday at live events wrestling, so I'm constantly doing something even though a lot of fans are like, 'where are you? Wah!' because they only watch SmackDown, but if you're hitting the live events, you're seeing me. I'm doing my thing, so I'm very, very busy."
Amusingly, Hawkins recalled that JTG used to hide backstage to avoid working.
"We used to bust balls, like, JTG would literally hide in the locker room and just not want to… for him to be there and get his $500.00 for the day to do nothing and eat catering, and hide in the locker room is perfectly fine to him. I understand it and I don't." Hawkins continued, "people get checked out, I think. And I refuse to ever be checked out. It's like, you could give me the worst situation, but as long as it's a match or something or anything on television, I'd do anything. If you tell me I'm on the show, I'm going to go out there and do whatever you tell me to the best of my abilities. I would never not want to participate."
On getting fired by WWE, Hawkins claimed he refused to be bitter about it.
"WWE fired me. I was there for eight years; I was on television; everyone knows who Curt Hawkins is; like, I'm able to provide for my wife and soon-to-be kid because of this, and like, go out on the indies, bust my butt, and make a name for myself in a-whole-nother way and that's like a privilege. And I feel like bitterness against the WWE was pointless." Hawkins said, "I wear my heart on my sleeve, so I can't say that I deal with it well or not because it's so grueling. The highs are high and the lows are freaking low, but it's only because you care so much."
Moreover, Hawkins said getting released was a blessing in disguise and getting paid to sit at home instead of working was depressing.
"It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was a blessing in disguise. That and I was being paid to sit home and not participate and that really hurt my feelings. I was, like, borderline depressed about it." Hawkins admitted, "I didn't go to WrestleMania 30 and I was on the roster. They were like, 'oh no, you're not needed.' I'm like, 'wooo, that's bad.' And that was like the dying days and I was like, 'that hurts.' That hurts your feelings."
Also during the interview, Hawkins talked about the failed stripper gimmick with Tyler Reks. Interestingly, the former Major Brother admitted that WWE sent him to stripping classes to lend some legitimacy to Hawkins' dance moves.
"Reks and I worked so hard for a year straight, put over everybody on the roster three times over. Finally, out of nowhere, Hunter just pulls us aside and puts that stripper gimmick on us, which Vince, to my knowledge, was head-over-heels about, like, loved it, I was taking private booty shaking dance classes on my off days - I was sent to it and WWE paid for it. That's how serious it was."
Hawkins stated that Reks told him he was quitting WWE as he was holding a box of their stripper gear. Hawkins indicated that he asked Triple H to be paired with Johnny Curtis, also known as Fandango. The former WWE Tag Team Champion professed that the conversation ultimately resulted in the Fandango character.
"On SmackDown we were going to do the stripper thing in firefighter stripper costumes. And the seamstress lady, had told me, like, 'hey, you've got to go get those to get them fitted and we have to do all the tearaway stuff for it.' I said, 'okay.' She was like, ' they're on the prop trucks.' I was like, 'hey Reks, we have to go get those costumes off the prop truck.' So we walk halfway across this giant arena to the prop truck. I grabbed this box of stripper firefighter costumes. He's like, 'hey man, I should probably tell you something.' So I say, he broke up with me while I was holding this box of firefighter stripper costumes. He goes, 'I came in this morning and I quit.'"
Hawkins continued, "my wheels are spinning a million thoughts. I immediately went and found Hunter. I said, 'hey,' Johnny Curtis wasn't doing anything at the time, I was like, 'just put me with Johnny Curtis. We'll keep on going. We only did it once anyway. It doesn't matter. We can keep on rolling.' He was like, 'ah, I'll think about it.' To this day, I can almost tell you surely that planted the seeds for Fandango because he started dancing in NXT and, like, that was there. And the very next weekend, I blew my knee out and I was never booked again consistently."
Click here to listen to the interview. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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