Ambrose gave a 4 minute speech on how Hawk took him under his wing as a teenager. Ambrose said those years aren't a period of time that he remembers fondly.
"I am very excited to be here tonight to present the Trainer Award to Cody Hawk," Ambrose said. "I'm very grateful for this opportunity. I think the best way for me to explain to you the gravity of Cody Hawk's legacy as a trainer, I think would be to tell you a little about my story, and that starts in Cincinnati, Ohio many, many years ago. My formative years and my early teenage years are not a period of time that I remember fondly. So, by the time I'm 16 years old, and I walk through the doors of Heartland Wrestling Association, and meet Cody Hawk for the first time, I'm a very directionless, very troubled young man with just about every problem and social anxiety you can imagine. I hated my teachers, I hated my coaches, I had stopped going to school. The only thing I liked was wrestling and I was obsessed, and I was hell bent on breaking into the industry, I just didn't know how I would start. I knew where I wanted to go, but I didn't know how to get there. Enter Cody Hawk.
"Now from day one with Cody Hawk, he was different than any other teacher or coach I'd ever had, anybody in a mentor type position. Cody treated me with respect and I think more importantly than that, Cody took me seriously. So, whether it was out of the goodness of his heart or he saw that desire and drive, or whatever other kind of cliche, for whatever reason he took me under his wing and I became the Cody Hawk science experiment for the next few years. And the important thing that I want to say, that I want to emphasize, if we're going to take one thing away from this, it was from day one with Cody, however much work I was willing to put in, however much effort I was willing to put forth, he would match it."
A gum-chewing Ambrose went on about how Hawk would show up early with him if he wanted to, or he would stay late after shows and re-watch matches if Ambrose wanted to. He also said Hawk would let him make payments on the $3,000 bill he had for wrestling school. Ambrose said he made only one payment and joked that he still owes Hawk around $2,700, but that he figured they could call it even for the award speech.
Ambrose then gave Hawk credit for helping him take off on a successful wrestling career, including his 8 years with WWE.
"After two or three years and thousands of hours of Cody putting his hard work into developing me as his science experiment, eventually that 16 year old kid who walked through the door is doing 60 minute broadways, eventually I'm wrestling all over the country, eventually all over the world, was fortunate to have 8 successful years with WWE. And I'm of the belief that everything I've accomplished in this business and everything I have in my life, I share with the people who helped me along the way, and Cody Hawk is at the very tip top of that list," Ambrose continued before presenting the award to Hawk.