Tyrus Says His WWE Gimmick Was A Punishment, FOX News Job, Winning The NWA Television Championship
Tyrus (@tyrussmash) is a professional wrestler, cable news personality and bestselling author. He is known for his time in WWE as Brodus Clay and he is the current NWA Television Champion. He joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about his new book called "Just Tyrus: A Memoir", being a co-host on The Greg Gutfeld Show on FOX News Channel, why he says his WWE character The Funkasaurus was a punishment from Vince McMahon, how John Cena gave him his special moment at WrestleMania 28, what winning the NWA Television Championship means to him and much more!
For more information about Chris and INSIGHT go to: https://podcast.chrisvanvliet.com
“So first of all, Triple H and Stephanie were just phenomenal. I was with Alberto Del Rio and I really turned some heads. We had a good WrestleMania and they were like this guy is legit. Arn Anderson was getting me ready in the ring as well and making me into this killer heel, with the ultimate goal to be Cena. You want to go there as a heel, against Cena, Taker, Big Show, that’s what you want. So it was a combination of 2 things. One, I make a lot of jokes, obviously. I tease and make jokes in the locker room, I think it was Yoshi Tatsu, who had an all white leather outfit. Boots, pants, shirts, jacket and man bag, all white. He payed like some ungodly amount of money for that. I started teasing him about it, something like how many cows died for you to realize that this is a bad choice? I think he paid 10 grand for this, so I’m like what are you doing? Mark Henry recorded the jokes and he was laughing about it, apparently he decided to show it to the boss, who thought it was funny. The next meeting, Triple H is getting ready to debut his monster, and the boss is like ‘Are you sure? He makes a lot of jokes. Pretty funny guy.’ They are like ‘This is how he is.’ They approached me with being a babyface, to which I responded F no. Maybe at some point, but not now. Then Triple H came back to me, we are running vignettes and stuff, just came off the staples in my head healed and finished the movie No One Lives, I was ready to go. Triple H says ‘[sighs] The old man thinks you are funny.’ I’m like OK man, what does that mean? Triple H then says ‘He thinks you are a babyface.’ I’m like what? I’m the house of pain, how do we get them to cheer for that? Triple H said ‘We don’t. So we change things up.’ You are looking around like someone is trying to jump out like got you! Triple H said ‘One more thing, he wants you to dance too. He loves to dance.’ I don’t dance, even when I was a bouncer in the club. He loves it but I do not! It’s not my thing.”
“I went back to FCW, went to Dusty and was like ‘They are doing this to me.’ He took it from me and said ‘Look, you are mine, you are my history, you have to pay for my sins. When I wore the polka dots I had a family and a mortgage to pay. I went out there, wore the polka dots and I was a 3 time Heavyweight Champion! Are you saying you are better than me?’ When he did that, it made me feel like an idiot.’ Dusty asked what I like so I said I like Run DMC because they don’t really dance, got the tracksuit. Dusty kicked everyone out the arena and put on the song Moves Like Jagger. He said ‘Dance with me!’ And after a few minutes, you can’t resist The American Dream! Before I know it, we are laughing and having fun. Then he said well who can we get to help you. It just so happens that Naomi was in the position where she was the best athlete in FCW, but they didn’t have a spot for her. This was a step back for her, because she will be a Hall of Famer, but she was like ‘I got you.’ I love The Godfather, but it couldn’t be the ho train, it had to be cheerleader or team situation. We were able to get that together, and with choreography she made me look cool. The thing is, if I don’t want to dance, who cares when you got Naomi and Ariane dancing and doing flips and stuff. No one is tripping, I’m winning!”
“The Undertaker hated it. He’s like ‘Look at you, you are the one guy that looks the part, why are you doing this?’ He was always tough love with me. He goes ‘You should fall. Go out there and fall on the ramp, they will cut the gimmick and you can go back to what you need to be.’ I said ‘Would you do it?’ He said ‘No, I would do what I was told.’ So I didn’t fall, you do what you are told, and it will all work out.”
On John Cena
"We were supposed to have a match with Heath Slater, but time got cut. Cena did one of the most selfless things that a top guy doesn't have to do. Vince was shaking his head, the match before went over and they were heavy on time. Vince was shaking his head and was like I think we have to cut it. All of a sudden Cena is getting ready, looks at me and says 'I got to go the bathroom.' I'm like what? He said '6 minutes?' And he just left, now I had to go! I'm out and I got my WrestleMania moment becasue Cena had to go to the bathroom."
“There’s a lot of cutting and a lot of trimming. Like you Chris, you don’t just decide one day to be a reporter. You went through other things you wanted to do and the doors closed. We all have stories, but the thing I tell in the book is that my story is not better than yours, but the color of my skin doesn’t make my story more compelling. We all have to get back to we all have issues, and if we all talk about them honestly, then we have a lot in common. I get a lot of that, especially with all the father stuff. Just on Amazon alone I am at over 3,000 reviews, and I take the time to read all of them. That’s the part where your message gets across and not being praised as a victim. If you are going through stuff now, it’s just all part of the process. The Funkasaurus was technically a punishment, but I turned it around. It could have gone a million different ways.”
“Probably just, you always think of that one memory you have as a child. I can think of like 4 specific memories that I can just go back. The most unpleasant memory was the day that we got rescued from my mother, who got away from my biological father, who was a monster to her. Then when he turned it on to me, that was when she had enough. You hate to say that he turned it on me, but if he didn’t then he would have kept the abuse to her. I don’t think that she would have ever got out of it, and it would have ended with her death. We get out of it, catch our breath and not being afraid of the noises in the night. Then my grandfather comes down and basically says that I’ve got to get my life together. I got to go to school, be a nurse, just go and do something, but they can’t stay here. Being pointed out that I can’t have black kids in my house, that it was a shame to the family, that to me was a changing point in my life. That was the first point where I felt like I didn’t belong and there was nothing I could do about it. But I was going to show him that he was wrong and I did belong. You’re not going to change someone’s mind who is set in their ways, but you can change your own mind.”
“Probably the day that I got fired from the WWE for a second time, that was a game changer for me. My last 3 months in the WWE, I was bitter and angry and was mad that my WrestleMania match got cut. The other guys, Cody and Dustin went on to be tag champs, Tensai was going on to be a trainer, Sandow is Sandow, and I just got left holding the bag. It was a tough pill to swallow and I refused to swallow it. I was there like ‘I could be an actor instead of being here.’ You say those things and you say them enough, it gets around enough so that when the next release comes they release you. I got the call when I was on my way to train at Hard Knocks South. It was Carano calling me. I knew it was either I am going back on the road or I was getting canned, and it was the latter. I remember sitting and going ‘OK big mouth, what have you got.’ Are you going to be that guy sitting backstage at a house show when Triple H walks by and say ‘Hey can I get a dark match?’ You see those guys when you are there, you either feel sorry for them or you are like that’s not going to me. I get it, closed mouths don’t get fed, but you have the least amount of leverage if you are going over to ask. More often than not, you are getting the pity and the worst.”
“The music wasn’t mine, it was originally Ernest “The Cat” Millar’s. But then I had heat with him and I’m like ‘You know we don’t pick.’ Then that song became where to this day people will still sing it to me.”
“I was terrified. A lot of my friends were, because I believe the hype, Fox News is supposed to be this super racist network that hated black people if you listened to anybody that was against them. If you didn’t listen to CNN or if you were not a democrat, there was something wrong with you. Also Hollywood wouldn’t hire you. I was apprehensive when Fox News first reached out and wanted me on. I was like well this is a setup, they want me on to try and embarrass me, they picked the wrong one. But my whole thing was to walk towards the fear because it is less scary. I was waiting for them to say ‘Wrestling is fake.’ I didn’t know what was going to happen. I think it was Ariana Grande licking doughnuts and putting them back, I mean taste tests have changed since I was a kid, but when you are her you can just lick stuff and put it back. I made some jokes and we went to a commercial, they said that my timing was great and if I lived in New York I could be a co-host. I said I wouldn’t move to New York, but I could do once a month. It was kind of fun, he asked for my opinion and I made a smart ass comment. It didn’t hurt, there was no lynch mob waiting for me. I came back a month later and did another one. The 4th appearance was where it all went wrong, I lost my suitcase and had to do the show in a t-shirt and shorts. Never good. I believe he wanted to talk about a police brutality accusation in New Orleans. It was being blown up as all cops are racist, the last thing I wanted to talk about. I’m like I want no part of this. But I was told if not me then who? I have been on both sides of it with the police. I really was conflicted, when a black man talks about police or politics, there is a box we are supposed to fall into. If we fall out of the box, we are not only disagreed with but our culture is taken from us, there is something wrong with us. So I was thinking about skipping the show, but a buddy of mine was like interview some cops. If you don’t like what they say then say what you think. So I interviewed cops from different backgrounds, got some stuff off my chest, went on TV and just said it. The response blew up and they wanted me on every week.”
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