In an appearance on The OTR Show, former WWE star Tucker discussed a potential gimmick for Heavy Machinery where the two would be backstage barbequing during the show. He revealed that the duo actually even shot a vignette one night before Smackdown to set up the gimmick, only for the video to never be used.
“So this night we shot a BBQ thing,” Tucker said. “We had been wrestling the dark match with the B-Team for a lot of TV’s in a row. At least five, maybe more than that. So we’re like ‘well hey dude, we’ve got this backstage thing.’ They were morphing this 24/7 title segment into us BBQing in the back. So I tell Scott Armstrong and he goes ‘okay, I’ll get the match changed.’ I check with him again, ‘yeah he’s it good.’ So we’re going, we shoot the whole deal. I don’t remember, I think we’re in the midwest, so seven o’clock start time. We get done shooting the BBQ thing at, I don’t even know, it doesn’t even matter. We’ll say 6, 6:15. We were out there for awhile. And then the biggest slap in the face was that segment got cut. So that never saw the light of day. It never made TV, and that was going to be our debut.”
The night only got stranger for Tucker and Otis from there. Despite getting out of the dark match to film the vignette, both were soon called to the gorilla position to be informed they were wrestling the B-Team anyway, with no time to change into their gear.
“We’re both sitting in catering together, in basketball shorts and t-shirts, thinking ‘whatever dude,”‘ Tucker recalled. “It’s 6:40 at this point, the show is supposed to start at seven. Dark match is supposed to start at 6:45 maybe. I got a text from one of the writers, he was in gorilla. He said ‘hey they’re looking for you guys in gorilla.’ I was just like ‘alright, whatever.’ I just ate, we had just ate. So we’re walking down the hallway, we walk into gorilla and the B-Team is in their gear. And they’re like ‘hey we need you guys. We’re doing the dark match.’ I look at Otis, I look at me, one of the referees are like ‘you need to go get your gear on.’ I’m like ‘it’s 6:40 dude. I can’t even get my gear on in twenty minutes. Smackdown starts at seven. It goes live, it’s live on television, it has to start at seven o’clock. We can’t get our gear on and wrestle a Dark match.’
“So while I’m having this conversation, all of a sudden B-Team’s music hits and they go out. So we’re standing in gorilla still, and I’m just looking around and they’re like ‘okay. Heavy Machinery, get ready. You guys are next.’ I’m like ‘we’re in our basketball stuff. What are you talking about? No.’ So I can’t remember exactly what happened, because we’re having a discussion like that for another thirty seconds or something. And of course, there’s like another department that’s in charge of music and they just have their cues and stuff. I don’t know what happened in our time frame, but our music hits. I look at Otis, he looks at me like ‘our we actually doing this?’ ‘I guess.’ I pull my cell phone out of my pocket, throw it on the floor of gorilla. He takes his can of dip out of his pocket, hands it to whoever’s standing there like that. And we go out, in basketball shorts and t-shirts, for the dark match. We go down, I think we take our shirts off or whatever, and we do it.”
Tucker revealed that the match was called entirely on the fly, as the two teams hadn’t had time to discuss the match prior to going out there. While he chuckles about it now, Tucker was furious at the time this was allowed to happen and believes it was fortunate no one ended up getting hurt.
“We have nothing. We had talked about nothing,” Tucker said. “We get to gorilla, they’re music is hitting. And I should say, they’re in their gear because of a 24/7 segment later on. They had put their gear on because they were going to do the running in the hallway deal, and someone just came and got them and said ‘hey, we need you guys in gorilla for the dark match deal.’ Luckily we had wrestled those guys a bunch of times so it was just like, I just started the match and basically had them cut me off. It was like ‘alright, what are we going to do? We’ll just tell the ref to tell Otis to run his normal comeback. You guys then tag in and I’ll roll in and do the deal. Boom.’
“So it was a really quick match. We just got in, got out, tried to do it as safely as possible. I was steaming mad afterwards dude, oh I was steaming mad. It’s just not a safe situation. Somebody had a career ending injury in that exact same situation. I’m not going to name names, I’m sure people watching, if you know you know. But there’s a scenario that happened not that long before me, to someone way more important in the wrestling business than I’ll ever be. If that incident didn’t stop that from happening, I don’t know if anything will ever stop that from happening. Good thing everyone was safe and looking back on it I can chuckle about it kind of. But at the time? Whatever, it is what it is.”
Later Tucker was asked if there were any plans for Heavy Machinery to cash in the briefcase Otis won at the 2020 Money in the Bank ladder match, a popular rumor at the time. That was news for Tucker.
“I don’t think so, no,” Tucker said. “I’d have no idea. Just based on my thought, to me I feel like Vince doesn’t feel like the tag division can really draw money. At least that seems to be the way that they’re booked. Even when they have a super emotional story, they might get twenty minutes at the most. They’re never getting forty minutes, they’re never going on last. And the Money in the Bank is like one of the biggest things in the company, it’s one of the biggest prop gimmicks that there is. It’s a ticket to a world title, there’s very few people that have unsuccessfully cash it. It’s like the thing they used to catapult someone, essentially. It would be nice to think they’d use it for us to win the tag team championships, but I don’t think it was the plan. And if it was, it never got there.”
Finally the topic turned to the breakup of Heavy Machinery, a decision Tucker feels helped lead to his release several months later in April. To this day he doesn’t understand why the team was broken up, feels WWE’s communication was terrible and puts some blame on himself for not standing up to them and telling them no.
“I have a somewhat sour taste in my mouth about it,” Tucker said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get the truth on what happened. That’s really my only regret of my wrestling career up to this point. I wish I would have said said no to hitting him in the head with the briefcase. I didn’t ask the right questions about what we might be doing going forward. The way that it happened, I wasn’t initially booked. I got called to come to the stadium fairly late, found out about what we were going to do fairly late that day. I feel that happened intentionally so that I wouldn’t kind of potentially put my foot down or ask the right questions. That’s on me. I ultimately said yes and did it, and what came about from it came about from it. I’m disappointed in the way that it happened. I think the communication could’ve been way better, that’s always the case with them.
“Ultimately they’re the one who make the decisions, they have the pencil, and you kind of have to live with it. I wish that at least they would’ve had him, like if you’re going to release me, just have him kick my ass in two minutes and then let me go. I’ll never understand why we didn’t have any match. It’ll never make sense to me. It’s the same thing with him and Mandy. It’s like ‘oh you guys are going to have like, the most invested or one of the most invested storylines of fan investment for the year.’ And you’re just going to put them on separate brands and everyone’s supposed to be okay with the fact that Otis is just like ‘eh, I guess Mandy just doesn’t exist anymore or whatever.’ No no. Like who’s going to forget about Mandy Rose? And now he’s a heel anyway, so you could’ve just had him turn on her. Whatever. Like I said, I definitely made mistakes around that. I should’ve said no and I didn’t, I went along with that, that’s 100% on me. And I’ve got to live with the consequences of that.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The OTR Show and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription