After falling short of winning the NXT Breakout Tournament, Odyssey Jones received a Dark Match on Friday Night SmackDown the night John Cena was making his return to the blue brand to confront Roman Reigns. Jones wrestled Austin Theory on the show and received several dark matches on SmackDown during the month of July, including one with the returning Harry Smith in tag team action.
The 27-year-old revealed that he received advice from John Cena that night on the latest episode of WWE After the Bell with Corey Graves. Jones revealed how much he learned from just a quick interaction with Cena about the crowd, and what to look for, and how to react to the fans.
“I’m fortunate, a lot of my dark matches were with Austin Theory,” Jones said. “He’s a protégé, the kid is the truth. He’s awesome, and working with him was definitely good for me. I haven’t even been working [in wrestling] for three years yet, so for me to go to the back and the feedback is different. There’s not a lot of people on the [main] roster my size who are working my way, so the feedback is a bit different.
“To hear the mindset and psychology from people like John Cena, and Edge, and even Seth [Rollins]. The things they say is huge, even from psychology in the match. I remember being in the back in Gorilla with John Cena prior to his first promo back. I was actually in the dark match before, which is insane itself. I asked him what’s he thinking, and he instantly looked at the screen and jotted off so much stuff.
“Some of it went over my head, and maybe I’ll get to catch him one day. Some of it got in and one of the things that seeped in was hearing the crowd chant. Before the show, you heard the crowd chant, some Cena sucks, others say let’s go Cena, so you started hearing them chant. He instantly started rattling off [stuff]. I’m not going to give out all the tricks because not everyday do you get to talk to John Cena.
“He started rattling off, looked at the screen, instantly popped up and saw people that I didn’t see. I figured my eyes would be younger and fresher than his, but I don’t have the eyes that he has for what we’re doing. He instantly just went boom, boom, boom. ‘Look at these kids here, look at this guy there, he’s wearing my gear so I’m going to know…’ I’m like, oh my god, this is insane.”
Jones talked about the advice he’s received from other talent during his time on the main roster working dark matches and what he’s taken away from that advice. The former College Football player spoke about how he needs to slow down more in the ring and not worry so much about hitting the best and coolest spots all the time.
“It’s a lot of people, when you walk around, people are always giving you this and that here and there,” Jones said. “Certain things resonate more than others but I got tidbits from people just with more towards the movement. I started to realize, I started looking at things differently. Sometimes you just move and do too much. Sometimes you just need to slow down and feel the moment and let it happen.
“I’m starting to get into that mindset, and it’s not being lazy. If I go in the ring and if you let me warm up, I can rock and roll for like five minutes, but it’s just certain things we get caught up in doing a lot. We kind of go too hard at times, and I feel like we need to work more towards the moment. That’s what I’m starting to feel and hear more from people.”
On this past Monday Night RAW, Big E shocked the world by cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to win the WWE Championship from Bobby Lashley. Several wrestlers from both WWE and AEW commented on the 35-year-old winning his first major singles championship in WWE. Odyssey Jones joined the conversation by praising Big E and the New Day, and sharing how happy he was to see someone who has given him advice in the past achieve such success.
“I was excited,” Jones said. “I wanted New Day to get back together. I really wanted, somehow, to get them together, them coming to SmackDown or him going over, but I’m hyped for him. I got to meet the dude and talk to him. He’s been great. He’s one of the people I talk to about movement wise and what I’m working from from a big standpoint. I haven’t had an hour sit down with him but small little tidbits here and there. I’m excited for the champ. I’m excited to see what he does with it.
“To me, it’s a long time coming, but everyone’s the best booker in their own head, right? I’m excited to see him have the title. I’m excited to see what they do over there. Bobby can bounce back. I still enjoy watching it every week, and I’m just going to patiently wait and see what happens.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.