On a recent episode of Into The Danger Zone with Chris Denker, Breezus, f.k.a. Tyler Breeze, was on to talk about his post-WWE life. Breeze currently runs a wrestling school with AEW star Shawn Spears, and he talked about the inspiration behind starting Flatbacks Wrestling School.
“Yes, we are the only two trainers there. That’s kind of the main selling point,” Breeze said. “Kind of like podcasts, anybody can pop up a podcast but not everybody is you and the same thing with us. Anybody can pop up a wrestling school. There’s tons of them out there, but the selling point is I was in WWE for 11 years, and I still talk to the people there on a daily basis. Spears is currently with AEW, and we have had students, they’re with us, and all of a sudden, they’re on AEW Dark, and all of a sudden, they’re on NXT.
“We are where you want to go if you’re trying to make this a career. Even better is that I’m the trainer and he’s the trainer. The way we do things is the way that we train you. We say it all the time, safety is our number one thing. The first time you try stuff, it’s gonna be with us, so we’re gonna make sure that you’re okay. If you are at all unsafe, we are fixing that immediately. We are not moving forward, which some places will not do. They just kind of go, there you go, whatever. It drives us nuts, but at the same time, it is what it is. You can’t get mad about it. All we can do is just, here’s our school, if you’d like to learn how to do it, come here. If you don’t want to, you want to go somewhere else for cheaper or closer, cool.”
Breeze spoke more on how conversations between himself and Spears turned into them running a wrestling school.
“I was trained by Lance Storm. He knows his stuff, not only wrestling wise, but he clued me in on a lot of things outside of wrestling, being smart with your money, and paying your taxes and getting into other things,” Breeze revealed. “And so I immediately, as soon as I started wrestling, yes, I had to get to a point, obviously, where this was my career, but as soon as I did that, like I started thinking, okay, obviously, this isn’t gonna last forever. I think even at the time, there was a lot more firings than happened now.
“As soon as I got there, within six months, there was probably two sets of firings, and I went, oh, my god, what is happening here? This is very fast, and so I think the average was five years. Five years was a great career if you’re in WWE, and so I was immediately thinking, okay, what can I do with my money? What can I do to not have to stay in wrestling because I also don’t want to be a 60-year-old man taking bumps at the local independent show. If you want to, fantastic, but I’m just letting you know, I do not want to. I started branching out and kind of trying to figure things out. I wasn’t a big school guy. It didn’t interest me. I wanted to be a wrestler.
“That was it, and once I actually got there, then I went, okay, I need to have a new interest. Wrestling is my interest and it’s my passion but why don’t people care more about their finances? So then I started thinking, okay, what can I do? And I started watching stuff on YouTube and just learning. Real estate is big, I have no clue how to do it. I think you need a million dollars to buy a house, and then I learned that you don’t need that and other people can do it. And I went, oh, okay, real estate’s an option.
“Stocks are an option, this is an option, that is an option, and then all of a sudden, when I kind of got to a place where wrestling was doing very well for me and I was about to get called up, I believe, I was like, okay, I need to get my green card, because obviously, I’m from Canada, so I can take care of that right off the bat. I can’t do anything unless I have that. Did that, started kind of branching out and just learning as much as possible.”
Breeze also opened up about a time where he was close to leaving WWE. Revealing something that he enjoyed while backstage in WWE.
“It used to be this way, when you got called up, you would sign a new main roster contract and mine was three years,” Breeze revealed. “And at the end of that three years, I didn’t want to have to sign another one. If I wanted to, I was gonna sign it. If, for whatever reason, I was not happy, I wasn’t enjoying myself, I was hurt, I was beat up, whatever, I didn’t want to have to sign it. And three years kind of came and went, and that contract came, and I went, I could sign this one, but I would be okay if I didn’t.
“And then I decided, I was like, things are going great. I will sign it again. So I signed it again, but I was almost right at that option to where I was like, ah, I could. I’m almost there. Luckily, I got years on top of that, which just kind of made it even easier. So having those little goals, I think, really helped and having a direction of, I don’t want to do this forever. I want to kind of branch out. I always liked training and kind of helping people. Even as I was in NXT, there was a big group there that we would all kind of help each other and learn. Bayley, Sasha [Banks], Charlotte [Flair], Becky [Lynch], all that group, we would literally go, alright, what can we do now? Okay, cool. Oh, man, I was watching this.
“We all kind of trained each other, and I really liked that part of it to where I’d be watching out of the curtain and watching them do their match. And I go, oh, yeah. Oh, that was exactly how we planned. That went perfect, and I noticed that I kind of got that same feeling when I had a good match from watching their match as well. The main thing was schedule, obviously.
“When you’re full time on the road, you can’t run a wrestling school by yourself, and I’m very particular in what I believe in and how I was trained and everything else I didn’t want to just go, I’m gonna go on the road. You take everybody’s money and you teach them whatever. I want to be hands on, and finally, it got to the point where I think Spears had just left WWE, and between his schedule and my schedule, I went, you know what, I bet we could do it because I can cover certain days, you can cover certain days and we can do it. We went, you know what, let’s just try it and we popped up the school and started our first class, loved it.”
Breeze has wrestled for over a decade. Denker pointed out that even in his small experience in pro wrestling training, he was in extreme pain. Breeze explains what he credits to his longevity.
“This is why you have to be trained properly,” Breeze stated. “I have probably been trained damn near about as perfect as you can be trained by Lance. He taught me how to bump. He taught me how to hit the ropes. He taught me how to protect myself. He taught me how to protect yourself against everybody and everything. If people try to hurt themselves, I can save them. If people try to hurt me, I can save myself. There’s certain tricks that you need to know, and I was taught very, very well by him.
“So the fact that I’ve wrestled 14 years almost damn near about as perfect as you can. Bump wise, everything else, I’ve had no surgeries. I do have a little little bit of stuff banged up here and there. I’ve had a couple concussions. I have one injury that sounds really bad, but it’s really not that bad. I have a vertebrae in my back that’s kind of broken in half. If I do certain things, it’ll slide forward and kind of press against all the nerves and my leg stops working. I just have to hang on a bench and pop it back in, and we’re good. It’s not that bad. It’s not that bad, and then I have a torn shoulder, but I think everybody has a torn shoulder.
“It’s been torn for years at this point, but in reality, I’ve never been cut open. I’ve never done surgeries. I’ve done pretty well for myself in 14 years to where if you look at some dudes, man, they got trouble walking around, and they’ve had shoulder surgeries, knee surgeries, back surgeries, neck surgeries. I’ve been very, very, very, very, very, extremely lucky, and I attribute that all to my trainer. That’s why we we train a certain way. You’ve got to take care of yourself because you only have one body, and once it gets beat up, what are you going to do? You’re not going to enjoy it. Even if you have a million dollars in the bank, you are not going to enjoy your life if you’re in pain.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Into The Danger Zone with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.