JTG talks Cryme Tyme, WWE releases, singles run, more
JTG recently talked about various topics including his time in WWE, if Impact Wrestling has contacted him, Roman Reigns and much more.
Did you grow up as a pro wrestling fan? And if so, who were some of your inspirations?
“Yes, I grew up a wrestling fan. Both my parents were wrestling fans, both my parents used to go to Madison Square Garden every month, the WWF used to run there every month, and my parents were there religiously. I grew up on it. I wanted to be a professional wrestler since the age of two.”
How did you get your start in the business?
“I started off in the business through OVW in Louisville, Kentucky. That was the hot spot, that was the developmental territory. A lot of guys were being signed there. I saw a lot of great talent such as Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, Renee Dupree – a lot of talent came through there and I definitely wanted to be where the hot spot was at. I got myself there, I was there for four years before I got signed or even got looked at by the WWE.”
How did you meet Shad and who paired you guys together?
“Okay, so with Shad and I, everything was a coincidence. We both happened to be from Brooklyn and we just happened to be a great tag team. But I was originally tagged with Abraham Washington, I don’t know if you guys remember Abraham Washington, him and I did the gimmick together. We weren’t really stealing we just had the look, the look of #CrymeTime, but we were really just one dimensional. He had personal issues he needed to take care of, I was on my own solo, and Paul Heyman decided to put Shad and I together after he had a storyline with CM Punk finish up, and Paul Heyman put Shad and I together, and we were an instant hit there on television in Louisville, Kentucky.”
Who came up with the Cryme Time gimmick?
“It kind of came up organically. We were down in OVW, and Al Snow said ‘You guys are over, and you’re heels, but you guys are over and you can’t wrestle every week. We’re running out of opponents for you guys. You can do other things to get over other than winning a match and being champion, so why don’t you guys do some vignettes or do a promo – do something unique to get yourselves over.’ Shad and I decided to do some training videos or vignettes. We got the cameraman and went and shot different stuff in different areas and just had fun with it. We heard that Vince McMahon got with it and he was very entertained by the videos, and he signed me – cause I wasn’t signed at the time, Shad was signed. He signed me just off those videos.”
What are some of your best memories with Shad Gaspard?
“I have a lot of great memories with Shad, I don’t know if I could narrow it down to just one. But he helped me out a lot when I was coming out through OVW because it was very difficult. A lot of the talent were getting paid to be there. Me on the other hand, I took the Greyhound bus ticket to Louisville, I stayed at a motel and I had to get a job. I had various jobs there in Louisville, Kentucky. I had to go to training, I had to go to work out, so it was very overwhelming but the passion got me through it. Shad saw I was hungry and determined, he helped me get my first apartment, he gave me his ID because I wasn’t 21 yet, and he worked at the bar, so he gave me his Atlanta ID and I was able to get into the clubs. He helped me out a lot when I was going through the developmental territory. So we were sort of a duo before we got the tag team.”
Were he and Shad’s first WWE release because of the Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch incident or was there more to it?
“I think that was, I talked a lot about it in my book, it was pretty much the heat that we had with Cade and Murdoch, they played a big factor in it. Also, with John Cena, Shad got into an altercation with John Cena, that I talked about in my first book, and it was just a sequence of negative interactions. It was just a train wreck.”
How did you feel about your singles run in WWE?
“I don’t like to have regrets. There are some things I could’ve done different, some things I wish I hadn’t listened to and applied, some things I wish I did listen to and apply, you always look back in retrospect and say ‘I wish I did that.’ But everything was a learning experience and everything happened for a reason. But my singles run could’ve went a lot better (laughs). I had all the components. I had the charisma, I had the look, I had the talent, I had the unique style in the ring. I was told Vince McMahon was a big fan of me, he told me I was very charismatic, and that would get me far, but I also had to play the game, which I talked about in my second book.”
Do you prefer working as a singles competitor or as a tag team?
“I get asked that question a lot, when I look back at my career, I had fun working as a tag team. Doing the Cryme Time gimmick was a lot of fun on camera, plus there was less work because when you get tired you can tag out. Everybody wants that singles career, everybody wants that spotlight on them. I’ll say my tag team career.”
What led to your second release from WWE?
“I was home for nine months, but I was told that ‘creative has nothing for you at the moment.’ They give that speech to everyone.”
What has it been like to work the indie scene?
“I kind of like the independent – if I could stay and work every weekend, doing independent – I think I like it. I get to pick which town, I got some shows coming up, like I’m going to the Dominican Republic to wrestle. That’s great. I get to pick my own price. As long as I can stay busy doing what I love to do, I’m happy. The contracts make it kind of difficult because you can’t do much, plus I can also audition and do a lot of acting since I live out here in Los Angeles.”
Source: The Spotlight