Tyrus was interviewed by Ring Rust Radio this week. You can download and listen to the full interview here, they sent us these highlights:
You've perfected the bodyguard role since you've done it both in TNA and WWE and even in real life, but what do you think needs to happen in order for you to eventually branch off on your own in TNA and have a run as a top singles star? How do you go about reaching that level?
"The one thing I have learned in trying to be successful in this business is timing. Sometimes you are a fly on the wall but really you have your own personal agenda. You have to play the game the way that they play it. It's always been my plan whether it's been to be a tag team partner and get the tag team gold or a singles championship, that's always been my mind set and that's what I train for and I'm willing to work my ass off to put myself in that position. Sometimes with politics being what it is, sometimes you have to sneak in underneath their noses then all of a sudden they can't do anything about it. When EC3 came to me and said he needed help I said I would get his back and help him get to the championship and I have done that. Now I am looking at things differently since I have accomplished that goal and helped my friend out."
One of the top wrestlers in the business today is Ethan Carter III, and your presence is a big reason his character has been successful. What do you think makes your partnership work and where does ECIII rank among people you have worked with?
"For one, we are complete opposites. I talk loud and he talks loud but he really isn't saying anything, like he is always talking. He is pampered obviously and I have come from a rougher upbringing. I don't have a lot of family support where he has been coddled from day one. Like if his Mom and Dad aren't in the audience then he has an aunt or uncle or cousin there. The guy's family list just goes on and on and it doesn't hurt that Dixie is his Aunt, that kind of helps a little bit. I'm sure his job interview went a lot smoother than mine did. At the same time though, we both do push each other. We both train hard, work that hard knocks style, we experience the ups and downs and just handle people in different ways. As far as people I have worked with I think he is one of the most creative guys I have worked with. A lot goes into being EC3 and Tyrus and you would be surprised how some of those conversations go. We understand where we are at and he has gone on record a lot of times saying I have taken a lot of bullets for him character wise. Overall, I would say we are the top of TNA. Even with the invasion going on it didn't even faze us nor have anything to do with us. PJ Black got a title shot and he handled it well. I don't want to say an easy defense cause PJ Black is one of the best in the world, he definitely showed up and that was one of his defining moments. He wrestled a guy from another place he didn't really expect to wrestle and went out there and beat him clean. Technically he should have both titles around his waist but I don't make those decisions. I have been in there with some really good guys with a lot of experience, but as far as creative I would say EC3 is definitely the most creative."
As a former WWE Superstar and now a top name in TNA, what was the experience like for you moving from one company to the other and what went into your decision to sign with Impact Wrestling?
"The biggest thing to me, and I had the opportunity to sign with other companies, it was the overall professionalism. A big thing to me was to be able to be in a situation where I could speak my mind freely especially when it came to my character. Get the actual right feedback and not have too many chefs in the kitchen and allow me to be me. They didn't plug me with a bunch of false promises and wild stories. Dixie said we would like to have you here and just do your thing and that was enough for me. I enjoy the family atmosphere and everyone in back is very close with one another. I fit in right away and the locker room is just outstanding here. You can hear a lot of things from the outside but it's generally a very positive place to work with everyone pulling for each other to do great work even if you disagree with each other. Perfect example is I can't stand Matt Hardy to save my life but he is one of my biggest supporters even if the night before I was bouncing him all over the ring. As wrestlers we may hate each other in the ring but we still want each other to do well and I think that's the difference in TNA. Maybe in other companies you wouldn't see guys so positive for each other even when they disagree or stand in the way of championships or dreams and things like that.
The Funkasaurus gimmick in WWE was obviously a big departure from anything you had done previously, and it was unexpected from the fan's perspective, but it always came across on TV like you really took the ball and ran with it. Looking back, what are your impressions of that time period in your career, and do you believe it ultimately helped you or hurt you in the long run?
"First of all, when you are a little kid and you say someday you want to be a football player and a wrestler and all this stuff. Then your Mom looks at you and just says yea whatever, all right. If you remember that's what your dream was, it didn't matter what they asked me to do or what they threw at me, I still was given the chance to go out in the ring and entertain and do what I do. The Funkasaurus character was great and it taught me about being humble, about the character, about not being concerned with what people think you should be. If you're good at what you do regardless of what is thrown in front of you, you will make it work. It was a challenge for me and lucky for me, the American Dream Dusty Rhodes worked with me and helped me make that work. Even to the point of working better than what people were expecting from the character. Sometimes when things get bigger than they thought they take it the wrong way. I enjoyed that time and even now that it's still being talked about goes to show it was a good character and I enjoyed it. Tyrus is what I enjoy doing and I think at some point there may be a marriage of the two but I don't miss the dancing character as much with the character."