Michael Tarver was recently interviewed by Wrestling Heels Radio. Here are some highlights.
When he realized he wanted to become a wrestler: “I remember as a kid growing up watching. One of my favorite moments was a match between Eddie Gueuerro and I think it was Kurt Angle. I think it was SmackDown. Match was finished, and he lost the match but got a standing ovation when he stood up. I was amazed. And knew I was extremely interested in that moment. It spoke to me.”
Signing with WWE developmental (FCW): “When I signed the contract I was homeless. I literally was homeless. I had just come out of a very rough situation personally. I was working three jobs around the clock and training, body-building and wrestling. Traveling two days a week. I wasn’t sleeping. I had to choose between saving money and getting an apartment or paying child support to take care of my children. I chose the latter of the two. I would drive to Philly (an eight hour drive from OH) just to get a shot to work with PWX.
“So when I got that contract, I cried. It was surreal. I never thought anything like that could happen to me in my life. I was literally sleeping in my truck or on a friend’s couch. The contract became effective two days before my birthday in 2008. I moved from OH to Tampa FL that month and it happened to be the week of Wrestlemania 28. When I got that I found myself on with. the Big Show. I literally went from being homeless to being on WrestleMania. I didn’t expect it. I was feeling something big was coming because things were starting to go right but I never would have thought in a million years it would be WWE. I was very, very thankful for it. And every year I was on WWE I made it my goal to work arder than everyone else and not let it ever be said anyone worked harder than me. I’d stay after practice sometimes. Sometimes turn the lights off. I worked hard to keep this opportunity to take care of my children that I would never ever thought I’d get.”
His reaction when he was going to be put into the Nexus angle: “Well, we didn’t know. We had no idea about the Nexus until the night it debuted. And there it is. The idea came from a SmackDown episode. WWE is entertainment, but Wade Barrett is a legitimate, natural-born leader. He was approached with something that ended up becoming the Nexus. He approached us and he handled ambiance and told us to go out and destroy everything. And if we did not destroy everything we would get fired and lose our jobs. Told us not to tell anyone. No one was supposed to know. We got back there that night in Miami. And we destroyed everything. It was a very special weekend. The night before that was my daughter’s birthday. It was a very special experience. I am very thankful for that experience.”
What caused the Nexus angle to fizzle out: “There’s always something going on backstage, but what’s important is the product. The product is the most important hing. Well, really the fans are the most important things. But regardless of what’s going on backstage it’s about what you do in that ring in front of the cameras. We did everything we could. The Nexus was a wonderful story line and great opportunity. There were a lot of things about my issues with John Cena. I have nothing against John Cena. I’m his biggest fan. I still watch him every week. It’s all about what you do in the ring. At the end of the day, you need to be able to do your job, no matter what’s going on. I believe a lot of things could have been done differently. But it’s not about what I believe. It’s still something that was very different. We were different because we were ‘rookies’. What we were doing had not been done. The way we did it had not been done. The honor of being compared to the ranks of those people is something I’ll always be grateful for. It is what it is. I’m proud of those guys. They’re great guys. Those guys are extremely talented and I’m happy to see that. The Nexus was something very special. There was a match on Smack Down and all you heard was ‘We want Nexus.’ It’s very special.”
His thoughts on the current product: “I’m always watching, I’m always studying. I always want to get better. I want to show the world that I’m as talented as I know that I am. I whole-heartedly believe that I can go toe to toe with John Cena and CM Punk and get the microphone and go toe to toe with them. And I know from experience that I can hold my own with anyone in the world. But me knowing I can is different from the rest of the world knowing that I can. So I always keep that chip on my shoulder and I train extremely hard and it keeps me hungry. So I keep that humility about me. If it’s 50 people or 500 I pretend it’s five or ten thousand people. I found that at the end of the
day I know how to perform.”
His potential dream matches: “Kurt Angle is a dream match. I’d love to be in the ring with Kurt Angle. I’ve been in the ring with Randy Orton, but I’d love to have a face-to-face, one on one with Randy Orton. I’ve been in the ring with him but would love to go one-on-one, go strike to strike. Bobby Roode… we could do somethingspecial. James Storm. A lot of guys. Legendary and current.”
If he would join TNA: “I don’t know about that, but. (Chuckles). I visited TNA a year or two ago. It was cool. It was fun and exciting. Don’t know you’ll see me, but I will always be a fan. I used to watch TNA years ago. Bat girl used to come out. Been watching it from back then. Definitely a huge fan and they definitely have my support.”