Former WWE Superstar and three-time Hardcore Champion Maven recently linked up with the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast to discuss his time in WWE.

His most famous moment in the company came when he eliminated The Undertaker from the 2002 Royal Rumble. The elimination is considered one of the most shocking moments in Royal Rumble history. The Virginia-born wrestler heaped a ton of praise on The Deadman for giving him his career.

“He gave me my career. Hands down,” Maven said. “Would I have had the run, would I have had the career I had without him? Absolutely not. You know, just – the guy knew how to do business. The guy knew, if you walk into that locker room in 2002 or 2001, there’s two people, two people that immediately intimidate you. That’s Vince McMahon and The Undertaker. And, you know, other guys, yeah,they’re intimidating and they’re big, they’re, you know, you got The Rock, the coolest guy on television. But Undertaker is just like – and he’s walking around and it’s almost like, literally, like a God walking there. And then Vince is Vince.

“I always tell people, they’re like, ‘what’s Vince McMahon like?’ And I’m like, ‘he’s a businessman. He signs the front of the checks, I sign the back.’ But, Taker, the fact that he was able to, you know — because he didn’t have to do what he did. That fact that he had the foresight to, you know, put me over by letting me eliminate him, you know, that just gave me a career no matter what happens to me. I could have very well been lost in HWA or in, you know, OVW in the developmental for years. With him, I wasn’t. You know, I immediately had clout. I immediately had, you know, a little bit of, ‘this guy is meant to be here.’ And he did that all on his own with doing what he did for me.”

After Maven had eliminated The Phenom, the 2022 Hall of Fame inductee returned to the ring to eliminate the young superstar and proceeded to give him a beating at ringside. The inaugural co-winner of Tough Enough revealed how terrified he was during that moment.

“What you see, I don’t know if you remember, but they – I eliminated him, then he, you know, sells stuff, turns and looked at me,” Maven explained. “And the camera panned back on my face in the ring after I did my jumping celebration. Do you remember what I’m talking about? And then you see, and then you see fear on my face. Most people, most people are like, ‘that’s, that’s some great acting there.’ Uh uh. I wasn’t acting. I was legitimately terrified at that moment. Like legitimately, like for a work, not even a work. I was shoot terrified because I didn’t know if I kicked him too hard.

“I just remember when we were going over during the day, with his back to me, he told me, he’s like, ‘when you give me the dropkick,’ he’s like, ‘I can’t sell it if I don’t feel it. Like, lay it in.’ So I didn’t know if I kicked him too hard. It just goes to show how great he was because the look he was giving me, for real scared me. And then we get backstage and after I went through the popcorn machine and everything, you know he’s just, ‘great job, kid’. And just, I was on cloud nine.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling with an h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.

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