Tuft: It was cool. Walking out and just being a part of it knowing I'm still real green and fresh to the roster and here we are at Wrestlemania, it was a real cool thing. Then seeing the crowd-- it was mind blowing. I'd never seen a crowd that size. To be in front of that many people at once is such a surge of energy and an adrenaline rush. It was great, I loved being a part of it.
Wrestling INC: Do you remember much from the match itself?
Tuft: Not a thing, dude (laughs).
Wrestling INC: How was it being at the WrestleMania after party?
Tuft: That was a real interesting experience. My wife and I didn't know everyone yet. There were all these green guys who came up from FCW, and then everyone else. We're still bottom of the totem pole and trying to be polite and everything. It was a real nerve racking experience. We got all dressed up and went to the post party, and it wasn't as fun as it probably could have been for us because we were still new. We were on our best behavior, shaking everyone's hand, making sure we didn't say anything wrong. In the following years, it was a lot more fun.
Wrestling INC: I have to ask about your issues about John Cena, and him lashing out at you for using the Burning Hammer finisher. What happened there?
Tuft: Well, we were at a house show and I was working Eddie Colon, who I knew pretty well. We were second or third on the card and I was going over using the Burning Hammer. When I put him up, he's supposed to be looking at the ceiling. It's like a moonsault for him and a sitout DDT for me. I don't know what we did, we were hurrying or something. He didn't land on his stomach, he landed on his back and it kind of looked like an F-U (Attitude Adjustment.) We were like, "oh crap, John Cena is going to be pissed." We got to the back and John Cena was looking at a monitor and was just like, "ah, Reks. You're going to have to find a new finisher." He kind of smirked at me and I thought he was joking. I told him, "yeah man, sorry about that. It kind of got screwed up and we'll make it right tomorrow." I thought he was suggesting we get it right, not to make it look like his.
Personally I think the Burning Hammer-- my version of it-- looks way better than an F-U (laughs). I had approval from Vince and Arn and everybody. In a pre-session Arn asked me what my finisher was, and I said a Burning Hammer. He was like "It's a WHAT?!" and Dustin/Goldust goes, "here man I'll help you with it." Arn asked if he was sure, and we had this whole thing where agents were watching and John Cena was at the announce table and they had me give it to a bunch of different guys. Arn asked if Goldust was okay, and he said yes and it was easy to take. Arn said I was cleared to use it, and nobody said anything.
I used it at Bragging Rights 2010 and John was literally across the ring from me when I hit Santino Marella with it and never said anything to me then. I'd been using it for 8 months on Superstars and everything before all this. I come backstage happy after a good match with Eddie all excited and John grabs me in front of everyone and says, "what do you think you're doing? I thought I told you to get a new finisher." I said, "yeah, I thought you were joking John. We hit it wrong last night. I'm really sorry." He started yelling at me asking who gave me permission to use that. He belittled me, called me an idiot, and asked me if I enjoyed working here. I told him of course I do. He told me, "find another finisher or you're fired." I was humiliated, I was a full-grown man, why can't we talk about this like human beings?
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