Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP was a recent guest on ’80s Wrestling Radio. During the interview, TJP talked about the origins of his ‘gamer’ character in WWE, saying he was going for a certain vibe, but it wasn’t necessarily supposed to be a full gimmick:
“Initially, all I wanted was the aesthetic, it was never meant to be a character. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how different the departments were from where I came in to where they sent me to. They didn’t really know me, so they turned it into a character. It was really only meant to be a song and some lights. People could identify it if they grew up in the same era as me.
It’s very fitting for the show actually, I wanted to channel people that grew up on ’80s video games and pop culture. A lot of it was basically just trying to create Scott Pilgrim or Ready Player One. We’ve reached a time now where retro is vintage and it’s cool but it’s also alternative art. Some of us who grew up in that generation feel a little lost, but we’re out there. That was just my way of giving myself more of a signature, more than just the [entrance theme song] I had in the CWC. That wasn’t totally me.”
Additionally, TJP talked about playing the WWE video game series, adding that he was most excited to play as the legends he grew up with:
“It’s weird, I never played as myself. The only times I’ve played 2K, I’ve only play the Legend content. I’d never pick Shin or Dean Ambrose, only the people I grew up with. I pick Shawn a lot, Sting, my friends would be weirded out. They’d pick someone awesome like Brock and I’d pick Greg Valentine. There’s no way I can beat that character with Greg Valentine, the moves and the rating points just don’t add up.
But yeah, I never played as myself. It’s kind of surreal seeing my model on the main menu or seeing my name scroll by. Still, I was never really excited about myself, I’m just like I was when I was 10 years old. I scrolled right through to see Sting or Macho Man.”
The full episode can be heard below:
(Transcription credit to Alex Santa Maria for Wrestlezone.com)