Tyrus shares emotional Dusty Rhodes story, talks Sasha/Naomi WWE Walk Out, new book, more

Jun 9, 2022 - by James Walsh

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Tyrus
Date: 06/09/2022
Your Host: James Walsh

The NWA TV Champion, former WWE Superstar , FOX News personality, and New York Times Best Selling Author Tyrus is our guest this week on the Wrestling Epicenter and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I’m more than proud of how it came out.

Check out a meaningful conversation with a fantastic individual! It is worth your time!

NWA Alwayz Ready is June 11th on FITE TV. Tyrus defends his title against Mims and has his sights set on the big belt, Sweet Charlotte, the NWA World Heavyweight Title presently set to be defended by Matt Cardona against former champion Nick Aldis.

To find out viewing options for NWA Powerrr, NWA Alwayz Ready, and beyond, check out the NWA’s official site!

Just Tyrus is available in hardcover and digital formats on Amazon.com right now. Click here to buy it!

To listen to this interview, visit www.WrestlingEpicenter.com. If you would like, please use any or all of the quotes in the transcript below on your sites as long as you link back to our site!

TYRUS:

On Just Tyrus becoming a New York Times and Amazon Best Seller:
“To say “shocked” would be an understatement. When we released it, I was thinking that maybe I could break into the top 500 – I want to keep writing but just like anything else, you just don’t know if you’re going to be successful at it. So, my goal was just to break into the Top 500 and that would’ve been saying something. But, I was completely shocked when it sold out in less than 2 hours and became a New York Times Best Seller. But, probably the one that is most important is the Amazon Best Seller because that really gives you a better gauge as to who is buying the book. The New York Times can be, I don’t want to say a little more political. Like, it is a curation which means it is based on how big your publisher is. So, that goes more on how many are being sent to stores and not on how many are actually being bought. So, you could be a New York Times Best Seller and no one even knows your book. But, to have both and to be in the USA (Today) and Wall Street Journal as well, it is humbling!”

On a shift in how people view him since the release:
“It is a little like walking around naked all afternoon. Before, I would walk around and people would say “Tyrus!” or “Tyrese!” or “Brodus!” or what have you and want to talk about wrestling or FOX News. But, now, they talk to me about me and my life. That is the side effect of when you put yourself out there. People are going to have some questions for you.”

On if it was difficult to bare his soul as he did in Just Tyrus:
“It was. Originally, it was like 356 pages. We cut a lot out. They thought I might have been being a little bit too real about some things. So, I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll save it for a second book if it ever happens.” It may have saved it. But, I think the problem is we have so many first world problems today that sometimes people forget what the struggle is. We’re very successful. If the worst part of our day is that something didn’t happen that we wanted on our favorite TV shows, we didn’t really have bad days. I think it was a reminder to myself.”

On lessons he learned in writing this book:
“I think everyone should write a book. If they have a publisher or not, it doesn’t matter. At least write an op-ed about yourself. It really will help put things in perspective. I believe it is about not accepting “no” as an answer. If I had accepted “no” every time someone didn’t believe in me or didn’t like me, I’d probably still be in Massachusetts right now. My first attempt to get into WWE, I was laughed at! Carl DeMarco laughed at me… His secretary laughed at me! He looked me up and down and laughed and said, “What? I don’t get it!” You can’t get any colder than that! (laughs) Other things as well… Football, I got cut a few times – Attitude problem, I was an angry kid. Interviews, auditions. You could have a golden ticket and just blame everyone else but from that, you’ll never grow. An important part of the book is me talking about my issues with my step-father. That was such an important part of me building strength. I know that sounds weird but I was surprised that was something in the book a lot of people could relate to in their situations, similar but different. There is a comradery there when someone doesn’t sugar coat it. But, an important part of this book is that it isn’t a whiny “poor me” book. There is far too much of that around.”

On how much of Dusty Rhodes’ influence was in his Brodus Clay “Funkasaurus” persona:
“(laughs) In every nook and cranny! Everything except the track suit but I was like, “Listen, if I’m going out there, I’m going like Run DMC!” (laughs) Vince McMahon picked the color red and I hated the color read. He picked the color read because that is an encourager not to gain weight! (laughs) If you’re in bright red, you’re going to skip the cake at catering!”

On his training leading into his WWE debut:
“I was training with Arn Anderson and as he would say, “How many shirts do you have to change?” We were working on becoming a working machine. Being a “good big man” was not a compliment. I wanted to be a working machine. I wanted to work like him! If you look at my work on Superstars and my stuff with Edge and Christian, that was what I was working for. I could always talk but I figured let the work do the talking first and then surprise everyone when I got on the mic. I did that in NXT when I cut that promo on them when I didn’t win it and I said I didn’t need to win it and I said something like “I don’t need a roster spot, I just need a parking lot” or something like that. So, when Triple H came to me – Triple H and Stephanie (McMahon) were extremely supportive of me… I am a funny guy. I make jokes in the locker room on just about anything. So, in his mind (Vince McMahon’s) if you’re funny, you’re a babyface. And, if you’re really funny, you have to dance! And, if anyone knows anything about Mr. McMahon, that fool loves to dance! (laughs) If he asks you to do it, you’re going to do it! But, I panicked when Triple H came to me and told me. We had already started doing the vignettes – The House of Pain gimmick was in full swing. He said, “The boss has had a change of heart.” I freaked out and asked if I could go down to Dusty in FCW for a few days to try and figure it out. He said, “Do what you’ve got to do.” He (Triple H) said, “This is the direction we’re going. It isn’t what we want. But, it is what we have.””

On Dusty Rhodes helping him find the “Funkasaurus” persona:
“So, I went down there (to FCW) and he (Dusty) was waiting on me. He had the arena cleared out and I was bitching and moaning. I was like, “This is not right! I want Cena! I was training for Cena! I want to get my hands on Cena!” He said, “This is where you’re at!” One of the things I always loved about Dusty is he always took the heat off you. He grabbed me by my face and said, “You are mine! And you have to pay for my sins!” (laughs) “When they put me in the polka dots, do you think I wanted to be in polka dots? I was a 3 time World Champion!” I said, “Yes you were… You also were the booker.” He said, “Shut up!” (laughs) “But, I did it. Because I had to feed my family… And I made it work. Are you saying you can’t do the same thing?” I said, “But I don’t like to dance.” He said, “Well, then you’d better start dancing.” He had the sound guy put on “Moves Like Jagger” and he had me dance with him for probably an hour and a half! And, it was as awkward as it could be! I was trying not to cooperate. But, I was literally doing America’s Dream with him all around the arena. And then, he stopped dancing and I kept dancing! He was like, “See, you got it! You know what to do! When you start smelling that popcorn and hearing those people, you’ll know exactly what to do. You know my history. You are me. I’ve not taught you about wrestling! I’ve taught you about life!” )Tyrus starts getting emotional) “Damn it. I miss him.”

On his emotional story about his last day in WWE:
“My last day in WWE, I also spent with Dusty. He was playing Neil Diamond in the ring and I was rolling around. I think he knew (that I was being released) but he would never tell me. But, he kept telling me that I needed to paint my canvas and that I was bigger than this place. And, that, when I paint my canvas, everyone will know. And, I definitely think I’ve painted my canvas. To tie it all back into wrestling, I went out every night as the “Funkasaurus” but I was really a little kid that was “The American Dream” that night. And, when I was wrestling (Damien) Sandow, I was really wrestling Tully Blanchard. When I was in there with Heath Slater, I was in there with Ric Flair. That is how I looked at it! I didn’t imitate him… No one else could be the American Dream. But, like I’ve said, I don’t think anyone else could be Brodus Clay. I don’t think anyone could do what I did how I did it.”

On becoming the NWA TV Champion:
“When the opportunity came to go to the NWA, with all respect to The Pope, when I saw that NWA TV title was out there, I was all over it because that is a title the American Dream had. Even though traditionally, you would have 6 or 7 defenses (of the TV title) and then you’d turn it in for a title shot, I made it so you don’t turn this in!”

On his goal to be NWA World Heavyweight Champion:
“Even though at this pay per view, Alwayz Ready, I will officially become the number one contender for the NWA World Heavyweight Title – Whatever that situation ends up being whether it is Matt Cardona with his one arm, Nick Aldis, my cousin Trevor Murdoch… However that smoke clears, I’m going for it. It is an awesome time to be back in the sport that I love so much. The best thing about working with Billy Corgan and the NWA is it works with my schedule. Right now I’m literally burning the midnight oil trying to make book signings for my fans, FOX News, and all that. You know what they say, when you’re hot, you’re hot. If you want to stay hot, you’ve got to do the work. No one is going to do it for you! There are no days off when you’re trying to do something special.”

On Billy Corgan’s vision for the NWA:
“Well, we share similar values. When I first saw an episode of NWA Powerrr, I was contemplating retirement and what my next move was… If I even still wanted it anymore. But, when I saw the first episode of the NWA, I was like, “OK, I’m interested in this. This is what I grew up on.” ”

On NWA Powerr feeling like a show Dusty would have been on 6:05 on the Superstation:
“(laughs) The only thing that I would argue is Dusty would almost never wrestle on the Superstation. He’d come out and talk a big game, maybe put his hands on someone – Usually the Horsemen or Big Bubba Rogers. But, Arn and Tully? They would be out there working!”

On the NWA being ready for national TV:
“Honestly, man, I think it is going to happen. If Billy does switch it to television, I hope he does find a Saturday morning or a Saturday Night time spot. Two things were consistent in my household on a Saturday, the vacuum cleaner and watching wrestling. My mom vacuuming, me sitting as close to the TV as I could so I could hear it and her screaming, “Get back, you’re going to blow your eyes out!” (laughs) Those memories are as fond as they could possibly be. You would watch WWF Superstars, you’d go outside and play, come back inf or lunch, head back outside and you’d get your behind back inside so you could watch 2 hours of Superstation at night. That was pretty much my weekend for most of my childhood! It was amazing!”

On wrestling in the yard as a kid:
“The “Kids, Don’t Try This at Home” commercials weren’t happening. So, there were always battles of the Four Horsemen or what have you going on in my neighborhood! (laughs) I was always a member of the Heenan Family and my brothers would be Hulk Hogan or whoever. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff was my favorite! And, Andre the Giant when he turned heel. I actually cried at WrestleMania III when Andre lost… Cried like a baby! I was so man! Oh! I was so mad! But, when he won it and surrendered it to Ted DiBiase, I was bragging in the school yard… “He still was champ, though! He still won it!””

On doing color on NWA TV:
“Here’s another cool thing the NWA has let me do. They’ve let me start doing my own Dusty Rhodes, Gorilla Monsoon thing – Calling matches!”

On his NWA Alwayz Ready Match against Mims:
“There are no easy wins right now in the NWA. I don’t know about his marketing, “Big Strong” Mins…. I don’t know. But hey, it is his journey! He’s one of the most improved guys in the NWA. We’ve faced each other before – He was inexperienced then. He’s not inexperienced anymore. He’s in the top 2 or 3 challengers for every title in the NWA. I’m not taking him for granted. But, he’s in the way of what I have to get done. And, I have noticed that since I’ve come along, his entire look has changed. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! You know what I’m saying? He used to be a trunks guy, now he’s a singlet guy cut in a similar style to mine. Nothing surprises me. I am the ultimate veteran. I’ve seen it all, I’ve done it all. Although I am touched that he has modeled himself after me, I’m not ready to pass the torch yet. Hopefully he brings his A game because I’m going to bring mine!”

On coming up with a name for his Heart Punch finish:
“I’m going to hit the Good Night Irene, the patented heart punch, and it is going to be all over… Hey, I just came up with that! You just helped me come up with the name of my finisher. I remember Gorilla Monsoon used to call Adrian Adonis’ sleeper hold the “Good Night Irene.” What an underrated wrestler Adrian Adonis was. That man does not get enough credit. As good as Hogan and Andre was and as good as Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage was at WrestleMania III, go back and watch Roddy Piper versus Adrian Adonis. It was just as good!”

On his work with Greg Gutfeld and FOX News:
“If you have something to say and you’re truly talented, you should be able to cross over. Wrestlers are truly some of the most talented performers out there. I don’t think we get enough credit for that. As cerebral as you have to be – We go out and we see the world and we meet with every day, real people. I think we get to know the country almost better than anyone because we get to know everyone – We go everywhere. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly! I had good role models – Kane was there and he’d talk to everybody. John Laurenaitis would tell everyone how much to put away for taxes. Daniel Bryan ad I would often talk about politics – Usually about taxes because we wrestle in all 50 states which means we have to pay taxes in all states. So, I have been known to have the gift of gab. So, I spoke on that in a funny way – I’m a comedian. And, we kind of put the two together!”

On how he got hooked up with Greg Gutfeld:
“Gutfeld and I actually met on the Internet as creepy as that sounds. I was watching Red Eye – He had some wrestlers on in the past. And, somebody said something to try and troll him and I fired back on him. I think Heath Slater was playing country western music and singing along and I was looking at my Twitter on my phone trying to keep from jumping out of the car. So, this guy threw shade at Gutfeld and I fired back and he found it hilarious. And, he asked if I wanted to come on the show. Here’s the deal. It is about promos. If you’re good at them, people identify with your promos if you keep it real. Promos are about real life. You can’t make it up, you can’t read a script, you can’t be something that you’re not – When you have a mentor like “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, He shot on it. You knew when he was sitting out on his porch waiting for Dick Murdoch to pick him up – You knew what was going on in his world. Snoop was the same thing – Talk about what is going on in your world and you will never forget anything. If you can’t remember what you’re saying, you shouldn’t be saying it!”

On his political views expressed on FOX News:
“The wonderful thing about working for FOX is they have never, ever asked me to speak in any which way. I’m a republican. But, I’m a middle of the road guy. If I didn’t like something that President Trump did, I’d speak on it. If I like something that President Biden does, I’ll speak on that. But, to be honest, there hasn’t been much of that.”

On helping get Sasha Banks signed to WWE:
“I’ve always felt Sasha was talented and I wasn’t wrong. She was due for a tryout in Boston and she ended up off of it. I took the text to Mr. Regal and I told him she was great last time. I guess he put his job on the line for it? I didn’t know that at the time. He said, “You believe in her that much?” I said, “Yeah!” and she came and she knocked it out of the park and she got signed. Snoop texted me and said “Good looking out.” I said she did it on her own. I said, “It wasn’t me, it was her. All I did was open the door. She connected the dots.” They are both first ballot Hall of Famers. They are great wrestlers – Not for women but just as wrestlers.”

On Naomi and Sasha Banks’ recent walk out of WWE:
“I will say this – If you’re going to make a stand like that, you have to first understand what you could be walking away from. If you’re good with it, I’m good with it. But, it is the fans who suffer. They only got a little taste of them as Tag Team Champions. But, I’m biased when it comes to Naomi. I think she should have been 5 time Women’s Champion by now. She was the greatest pure athlete to come out of FCW and you can look at the long line of talent that came out of there. But, at the same time, WWE is business. You’ve got to follow the plan. And, if you don’t follow the plan, there are consequences. I know that better than anybody. Ultimately, it is your decision and if you can go to bed at night and be good with it, then it is between her and her family. Unfortunately, the fans don’t get to see the Tag Champs. Hopefully they can work things out. But, if they can’t, as long as they’ve prepared for life after the WWE, the world will move on.”

On wrestling fans watching him on FOX News:
“I had no idea the fans were going to go with me. Usually when you leave the machine, that’s your ass. (laughs) Even going to Impact, John Gaburick sat me down and said, “You know, Brodus is WWE’s. I think you need to re-invent yourself.” I said, “I agree with you.” I wanted to get back to what Arn Anderson and I started with me being a technically sound monster. That was the goal. And, I think that is what I’ve accomplished. To bring it home, that is why it is Just Tyrus. You are always going to have people who say “no” and have people who just don’t like you – You’ve had people, I’ve had people… But, your reaction is what defines you.”

One Response

  1. DB says:

    I’ve got a lot of respect for Tyrus. He has a keen understanding of reality that most pundits lack.

Leave a Reply