Since returning to NXT last year, Tyler Breeze has had a bit of a career resurgence. Prince Pretty competed at NXT Takeovers, became a Full Sail regular, and even won his first WWE title in the form of the NXT Tag Team Championships with partner Fandango.
Despite Breeze’s current yellow brand run bringing him quite the success, he is no stranger to NXT. Dating back to 2014, Breeze is one of NXT’s OGs. He competed at the very first NXT WWE Network special, NXT Arrival, and had a headlining match against Jushin “Thunder” Liger at NXT’s first touring Takeover. Tyler Breeze may be an NXT original, but the man behind the gimmick has been with WWE since the Florida Championship Wrestling Days.
Breeze was a recent guest on The New Day: Feel the Power podcast where he explained what prompted the transition into The Gorgeous One.
“When we started Tyler Breeze, it was when selfies were becoming big craze,” Breeze said. “Then we kind of capitalized on it. At the time, I wasn’t a big selfie dude, but now, all of a sudden, I’m doing this selfie character people are loving because that’s the time. So now, the same type of deal. You go on Instagram and how many posts do you see people doing random things? All of a sudden, black and white selfies.”
Prince Pretty is known to have quite a few seasonal residences. While locations in Milan and Monte Carlo may be exaggerated, Breeze actually has a passion for real estate. Outside of the ring, Breeze explained what got him into making property investments.
“My entire thing was that I’m going to be a wrestler and I’m going to do everything to make that happen,” Breeze said. “I went that way and it worked out. In high school, there wasn’t stuff that really interested me because wrestling was my main focus. All of a sudden it was if something happens, what would happen with my wrestling income? If it becomes zero, that is not good to me.
“Real estate was always talked about. So, I bought my first house and I went, ‘That was a lot easier than I thought it would be,’ because I didn’t know anything about it and it’s kind of scary buying this big purchase. When you do it that way, it’s not that bad. Well let’s try an investment because how do I do that? Because everyone thinks rentals are nightmares. I was like, ‘Lets just try.’ Worse case scenario, I can sell it and wash my hands with it and go, ‘But I tried.’
“So, I ended up buying one, and same thing, I went, ‘Okay, I got someone in here. They’re paying me for month. This is easy; I’m okay with this.’ So then, I just bought another one and another one, and went, ‘This is actually okay.’ I don’t mind managing myself and having the other stuff on the go, keeps me busy and has my mind learning.
“I kind of rinsed and repeated where it’s the same thing, where its like, ‘Now what else?’ Stock market. Lets try flipping houses. Just basically making a team, buying a house, and selling it. The same thing with Pokemon, and I do the same thing with cars. Whatever you can do, I like getting into it. I like having 12 irons in the fire.”
Real estate is just one of a few of Breeze’s personal projects. Aside from property investments, Breeze and AEW’s Shawn Spears run their own wrestling school, Flatbacks, in Apopka, Florida. Breeze says the motivation to open a wrestling school came when he first began training at the Performance Center.
“It’s been fantastic. This is kind of one of those things where almost, even back in the first NXT type days when I was still learning myself,” Breeze said. “People would kind of ask for help. To me, it was really fun when I was coaching people before I was even a coach. It would be fulfilling to watch somebody ask a question and actually apply it.
“Obviously, as you’re doing a full time schedule on the road, there’s no time to open up an actual school, so that was always something for me to open eventually when the time was there. All of a sudden, it kind of came a time where I was kind of falling out of wrestling a little bit. I just kind of lost it where I was like, ‘No, I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ I went and saw a beginner class of these kids who were just starting and had this spark to them. I thought, ‘Wrestling’s kind of cool.'”
Breeze emphasized that Flatbacks is a collaborative effort between himself and Spears, and that they are able to run the school because of their co-dependency.
“I thought this was the perfect time to do it between myself and Dilly [Shawn Spears], so we can manage the schedule. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to do it. If it wasn’t for me, I don’t think he would be able to do it. Luckily, I’m also very particular when it comes to wrestling. It’s weird. There’s not so much of a right or a wrong. You have your opinion and it works. There’s an opinion over here and it works.
“When it comes to my mentality, I’m very particular on how I like things, and to find somebody with that same kind of like, mindedness, it’s very hard. I don’t want to hire some random person to train people because I’m not there. When it comes to Dilly, he’s literally right there. If something happens, we both look at each other. He thinks like me and it fills in the blanks perfectly. Once we had everything, our building and first class, it was, ‘Lets figure this out.'”
While Breeze and Spears are still awaiting their first breakout student, Prince Pretty says a few of their pupils have made one-off appearances on WWE TV.
“We had a couple of people who went to RAW Underground,” Breeze said. “They were there. They didn’t really work, they were just watching.”
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The New Day: Feel the Power with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.