Tyler Reks Talks Quitting WWE During A Push, WWE's Reaction, If He Would Go Back, TNA, More

I recently spoke with former WWE star Gabe Tuft, f.k.a. Tyler Reks. In the third and final part of the interview below, Reks talked about quitting WWE in the midst of a push and the company's reaction, the schedule, transitioning from wrestling to starting his company, if he would return to WWE, if TNA would be an option and more.

Click here for the first part of the interview, where Tuft talked about breaking into the business, if he was ready for the main roster when he debuted, his first WrestleMania experience, his issues with John Cena, how Cena reacted, his Body Spartan fitness book and more.

Part two of the interview is here, where Tuft discussed getting pushed down the ladder after the John Cena incident, wrestlers losing their pushes, the lack of long-term angles, if the creative team asks for their input, Triple H coming up with the Magic Mike gimmick and more.

You can check out Tuft's fitness website, Body Spartan, by clicking here. Tuft's digital marketing business, Local Marketing 2.0 is at LocalM2.com.

Wrestling INC: Before you left the company, WWE came up with the stripper gimmick, you said that was Triple H's idea. You're finally getting a push and you decide you want to quit. How long had you been thinking about it?

Gabe Tuft: Yeah it was Hunter's idea. About a year before I quit, my kid was born and I started to stress about being on the road 5 days a week. I live on the west coast, about an hour and a half from San Francisco International Airport. To travel I had to catch a red-eye Thursday night. Catch a bus, fly from west coast to east coast, get a hotel for a couple of hours to catch up on sleep. I was home 36 hours a week and I was stressing thinking what would happen when my kid was born.

My brother-in-law came to me and said "I know you can only wrestle for so long, do you want to start a side business with me?" He'd been in digital marketing forever for dealerships like Ford and Chrysler. We were moving into local businesses like attorneys and businesses. I was on the road with like two or three clients. I spent so much time traveling I would take a laptop and make phone calls and coordinate and do digital marketing and got the ball rolling. As this Magic Mike gimmick was gaining hold I'd see my daughter cry and I noticed I was missing her growing up. No matter how much of a push I was getting, it wasn't worth it. I knew there might be money coming in the future it wasn't worth missing moments. Seeing my daughter grow up was more important than making money and being on the road and all the fame that follows. I couldn't do it, so I quit. I already had the ball rolling, I was on the phone two or three later I was on the phone with clients and a month later I had a full portfolio. I quit wrestling and became a geek.

Wrestling INC: What was WWE's reaction when you quit?

Tuft: The reaction was disbelief. I told Jane (Geddes) we had to talk at Raw and she told me to stop by the office. JTG was the only person I told I was quitting that day, we're pretty good buddies. We sat down and I told her that I was done wrestling and I quit. She looked at me and said, "tell me why, do you need more money?" And I thought to myself, if I knew that all I had to do to make more money was threaten to quit, I would have done it years ago (laughs).

I told her no amount of money they will pay me will keep me from quitting and being away from my family. I said the amount of money you think I'm worth isn't what I think it's worth. So she told me to tell her what I thought I was worth and I said "Well it has six 0's on it," and she looked at me and said "Ooh, you're right." That was it. We had a good talk and I explained to her what was going on and she was understanding. She went and talked to Hunter and they gave me my 90-days to release me from my contract, and he just said "No man, I get it." He called me after the exit interview with Jane and said, "hey man, I appreciate you, I thought you were a good worker and I understand why you left. I have a family, but my family is with me. This is a hard business to be in, and the door is always open if you want to come back."

Wrestling INC: Do you think if WWE changed the schedule and made it mandatory that guys got two months off a year or something, like a month between pay-per views twice a year, that it would make people last longer? It seems like more top guys are willing to leaver.

Tuft: That would probably help, but nobody has ever mentioned that. It would probably give the crowd a little break too. I still wouldn't have stayed. For the sake of other guys I think they'd stick around a little longer.

Wrestling INC: During your time there what were some of your favorite matches and angles?

Tuft: A lot of my favorite matches happened on house shows and tours and were with the vets like Matt Hardy, Chavo [Guerrero], Christian, MVP, even [Jack] Swagger. I wouldn't call [Chris] Masters a vet but he was over and we had good chemistry. We'd always be on the same loop against other people and then every week on Superstars it was me and him.

I was told I was working Christian and I was pissing myself that night. I was a heel and I'd never been a heel before so I walked up to him and asked him what he wanted to do. He told me to come back in a little bit and think about it. It's getting close to the doors opening at this house show and I go to him like "hey, any ideas yet buddy?" and he's like "let me think about it, come back." We're third or fourth on the card and the first match is going on and I'm like pissing myself. I go back to him and he told me to come back in five minutes, while the first match is going on. I come back and he has it all figured out. I'm scared to death and I don't wanna screw up because it's Christian. As soon as he went out there the crowd just lit up. He's so over you just can't have a bad match unless you really try. All I had to do was do what he said and react to the things he did. By the time we locked up the crowd was on fire. He led me through a good series of matches. He had a bunch of advice. With MVP it was the same way. He taught me how to shut up and listen to the crowd. Chavo too.

Wrestling INC: How difficult was the transition to running your own company after wrestling?

Tuft: For me it wasn't difficult. I'm one of those people who does what ever is necessary to feed their family. I had owned two businesses before wrestling. I worked as an associate civil engineer, left there and started my own land development company and my wife started her personal training center which I ran part-time as well. We kind of split that. Running my own business was nothing I was stranger to. Leaving wrestling was a smooth transition, I was just moving into a business I wasn't familiar with. I have a good team that backs me up.

Wrestling INC: You also launched a website with JTG and a couple of other wrestlers, is that right?

Tuft: Yeah, Ezekiel Jackson (Big Ryck), JTG, Ethan Carter III, Adam Cage, Jenna Palmer, and my lovely with Priscilla. We founded it all together. We needed a launching pad for the book [Body Spartan]. I knew that if we got a bunch of people together it would work. Everybody writes articles for the site. We've kind of shifted the focus from selling the book or nutrition programs to these weight loss challenges. What we do is have people purchase programs from us-- they come with all the supplements, the programs-- then they get access to anybody who is a Body Spartan coach. We'll post whats going on in the workout and anyone in that challenge group can post questions or contact us directly through text or Facebook. We're seeing like a 90% success rate. People set their goals and they meet it. Some of these programs are overall wellness. We have a great 21-day detox cleanse for people who are a little overweight and aren't sure how to start and are nervous about going to a gym. My wife Priscilla did the cleanse and lost like five pounds even though she was really lean to begin with. You have more energy, it reboots your metabolism. If you go to BodySpartan.com you can check on it, or you can contact us on Facebook and we'll direct you to the right program.

Wrestling INC: It sounds like you're staying busy with all these programs, but you still wrestle too, right?

Tuft: (Laughs) I do and I don't. I stepped back in the ring for the first time in September. [Curt] Hawkins called me and asked if I wanted to do a match. I was like "Ah, I don't know. I don't really bump anymore." He told me it was for Pro Wrestling Syndicate in New Jersey and that they drew well and it's a lot of fun. No TV, no agents, no pressure, and I'd make a little fight money. So I agreed, we did an appearance and beat up Kevin Mathews. After that we had the actual match on Halloween, and it was great. I trained for about two months at Gold Rush, which is affiliated with APW. They let me use the ring and had a couple guys there. The first time I was blown up in like three minutes (laughs). It was really cool to be back in the ring.

Wrestling INC: Did you get the itch to go back?

Tuft: Not to WWE. But I did open myself up with Hawkins for booking. I was set for Fighting Spirit Pro and had to pull out at the last minute. My doctor asked me to rest a bicep tendon flexor. I'm pretty much good to go in the next couple of weeks. I'm open to it, tag team matches are fun and get the crowd fired up and me and Hawkins have some killer chemistry.

Wrestling INC: Would something like TNA be an option, where it's a full time gig with an easier schedule?

Tuft: I had thought about that, but I hadn't contacted Dixie. It's something on the back burner. If she called and asked if I wanted to give it a shot and get paid and be a part of the roster, I'd say absolutely. Also Lucha Underground just started too, and that's a bunch of good guys that are all buddies of mine. I thought about poking my head down there and seeing what was up.

Wrestling INC: Do you keep up with the product? It seems like you're pretty busy.

Tuft: I haven't watched unless it's occasionally highlights when I hear something big happens. I'll watch Fandango's match because Johnny Curtis and I tagged together in FCW and he's like a brother to me so I have to watch that. I'm just so busy. I get a couple of hours a week to watch TV and that product doesn't fit.

Wrestling INC: Thanks a lot Gabe, do you have anything else going on you want to let the fans know about?

Tuft: The digital marketing business, which is Local Marketing 2.0. We're at LocalM2.com. We do websites, SEO, social media and reputation management. Always guys, Body Spartan. If you want to be a part of our program drop us a line, or contact us on Facebook. We're here to help.

Click here for the first part of the interview, where Tuft talked about breaking into the business, if he was ready for the main roster when he debuted, his first WrestleMania experience, his issues with John Cena, how Cena reacted, his Body Spartan fitness book and more.

Part two of the interview is here, where Tuft discussed getting pushed down the ladder after the John Cena incident, wrestlers losing their pushes, the lack of long-term angles, if the creative team asks for their input, Triple H coming up with the Magic Mike gimmick and more.

You can check out Tuft's fitness website, Body Spartan, by clicking here. Tuft's digital marketing business, Local Marketing 2.0 is at LocalM2.com.

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