Former WWE star Tyler Breeze joined Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette to talk about his eleven year run with WWE before his release earlier this year. It was a release Breeze had been preparing for ever since he first signed with WWE in 2010, telling Paquette there was a period of time where they tried to fire him every six months in the early days of his WWE tenure.
“I got there in 2010 in FCW, so NXT didn’t exist,” Breeze said. “In four years, I think they tried to fire me three, four times maybe? Usually it was every six months to a year I was about to get fired, and then some miracle would happen and I wouldn’t. Obviously when you’re almost on the chopping block every six months, you start to prepare for that type of thing. I was essentially prepared every six months to get the call, and it never happened for eleven years. So I had just been preparing. I was like ‘when they do, because this is going to happen. Someday I’m not going to have something that saves me.’ And luckily, like I said, eleven years is ridiculous. It’s double what the average lifespan is there. So I was fully prepared and branching else and doing what the hell else I could do.”
Arguably Breeze’s most known match in NXT was his battle with New Japan star Jushin Thunder Liger at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn. While Breeze is happy to have had the match because he wrestled Liger he hinted that the match was supposed to lead to something more between WWE and New Japan.
“It was interesting,” Breeze said. “So some people see it as a detriment. I actually view it as a blessing in disguise. I’ve obviously never been the guy, and I even thought about this the other day. In my eleven years with WWE, I don’t know if I ever actually received an official push. A lot of people hold the Liger match in high regard as a really good match. Me personally, it was special because it’s him. But in terms of matches, if you have five matches to watch that will make you a fan of mine, I don’t know if it would be on the list. Because technically, it’s not one of the ones I’m proud of. I don’t hold it in the same category as the fatal four way or the one I had with Sami (Zayn) or whatever. But it’s very special for what it is. But even then it wasn’t what I’d call a push, it was more an olive branch to New Japan for what we were going to do at the time, and where we were going. I was very much the first Forbidden Door to everything, until we messed it up.
“It’s one of those things where, again, look over my career and see if you can identify a ‘push’ push. Because there’s not one there. I remember I had this conversation with Dolph (Ziggler) where he just kind of said ‘look man. It’s very obvious who are there guys and who’s not there guys. And even when you’re not their guy, you figure out how to have a match with their guy, and you steal the ball from them, you steal the ball, and they still won’t give it to you. That’s just how it is. But the key is you’ll always work with those guys, and you’ll always be around because you can make them look really good.’ I said ‘yes. That’s really what my career has been.’ But when you’re also on the chopping block every six months, you see the real sides of people. You don’t get everybody worshipping you and talking really good and being on your bandwagon. You get all the ones that know you’re on the way out, so they show you the real sides of them. Like I said, it’s good and bad. And then once things start going your way and you have a bandwagon, it’s very interesting to watch those same people and how they treat you. I personally love it because you find out who really matters, who really doesn’t, who’s really your friend, who really isn’t. That’s how you decide who’s in your circle.”
Breeze also talked about working with the late Dusty Rhodes, framing it around the discussion of him finding out who he could and couldn’t depend on in the early days of his NXT run. While he stated he and Dusty didn’t interact early, he credited Dusty for encouraging him to explore the Tyler Breeze character and ultimately getting other WWE front office people on his side.
“I was on both sides with everybody, Dusty included,” Breeze said. “For the first little bit, I didn’t have a whole lot of interaction with Dusty, because I wasn’t one of his guys. I remember a Seth or a Jon for that matter, they came into FCW and them and Dusty, they were side by side immediately and Dusty loved them. They could cut promos, they were on the shows, and away they went. They were never really on the other side of trying to get booked and trying to get a character and trying to do whatever. And nothing like that really happened for me. I would do stuff and it was like ‘okay, great job’ and I’d move on. And then the last straw was when I had to come up with Tyler Breeze. I remember I sent, I think there was four characters. There was four characters that me and (Xavier) Woods made as vignettes. I emailed them to every email I have. I think I sent them to Johnny Ace, Ty Bailey was underneath him, Dusty was there, Doc was there, Joey Mercury was there; all these people were there. Every email I could get my hands on, I sent them to every single one.
“The only person who got back to me was Dusty. He went ‘hey. We might have something with this Tyler Breeze one. Let’s talk.’ I went in, I talked to him and he kind of went ‘I think this is something.’ He watched me flounder and not be able to find something. I said ‘what should I do with it?’ He said ‘try it. When we do promo days, try it out, see what happens.’ I just started kind of having fun and doing it, and I’d watch him and he would laugh his head off. He went ‘there’s something here. This is a really good, funny character.’ That’s when the ball started to roll, and that’s when the other people, because now Dusty had said ‘hey there’s something here’, now all of a sudden this guys back, and this guys here saying ‘hey, you’re doing so good.’ And I’m like ‘okay. Alright.'”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription