TJ Perkins On ‘Getting WCW Back’ With AEW, Relationship With The Young Bucks

Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP (aka TJ Perkins) recently spoke with Kevin Kellam for Wrestlezone and talked about All Elite Wrestling entering the wrestling business as a major player. Perkins has worked for three of the biggest promotions around in WWE, Ring Of Honor and IMPACT Wrestling, and said it’s funny to see ‘WCW’ coming back around again. He added that he’s excited to see the Bucks and Cody succeeding on their own, noting how long he’s known the tag team.

“It’s funny that you make that reference because a lot of my friends in the industry, that’s sort of a half joke—it’s a joke, but it’s serious—that they gave us WCW back. But they did it in reverse because [AEW] is like the [then] WWF because they have momentum with coming in with younger and exciting stars that people are curious about and people want to see. WWE is like the one with the deeper pockets and has the older stars, and that’s where they are in the dynamic, but they gave us that ‘era’ back almost overnight. I think that’s incredible, especially with the guys behind the scenes there. Nick and Matt [Jackson, The Young Bucks] I’ve known a long time, we all come from Southern California, and I’ve known them from when they were just starting.

They’ve done Photoshops with references to their small gym backyard promotion they had in California when they started, and I was one of their guys when they first started. It was just like any other indie show but it was run by these two guys, and they’ve always saw the sky is the limit for themselves. They had to tune out a lot of backlash from people—I’m sure they still do, probably more now than ever—but it’s just a very pleasant thing to see that they came from that to where they are now. It’s incredible because I’ve gotten to see that growth from day one to now and I’m so happy for them.

With Cody, he was on his way out of WWE and I was on my way into it, so we’ve crossed paths a little bit on a couple of indie shows. It’s really cool to see that he’s expanding into a role that’s in his blood, to be able to be part of the administration and work on that end because of his Dad. I think it’s really cool to see him expand in that way and settle into what is kind of like his birthright, to put his stamp on the industry in that way. For that whole group, it’s just an incredible experience and I’m incredibly proud of them. It’s exciting for wrestling fans, for wrestlers, for everyone—it’s just how can it not be when they’re adding a big chunk that’s been missing for so long. They just added a whole corner to this ‘treasure map’ and now it’s a huge deal.”

Related: TJP On How Wrestling Relates To A TV Series Cast, Clarifies His IMPACT Wrestling Status

Perkins is also branching into the world of apparel with his new Detonation Kick clothing line. He said the brand not only connects with the name of his finishing move, but it also allows fans to keep up with him on tour, adding now he has the freedom to create his own street wear.

“[The Detonation Kick] was sort of like an homage to the ‘Go To Sleep’ and I had wanted to start my own brand for awhile. Coming from Los Angeles, everyone’s seen street wear like ‘The Hundreds’, Santa Cruz skate company, stuff like that, so there’s a certain style that I always really liked. I didn’t really have the freedom to do my own stuff with WWE, or with any place really; that’s just how it works when you’re tied down in that way. I had been tied down for so long with different groups that it was something I wanted to do for a while, and now I have the freedom to do it.

My brand line opened on DetonationKick.com and my tour dates are also up there, so I’m pretty packed for the year. There’s a good chance I’ll be in your area—whoever is listening, you might be able to find your city or area on there—and also through Looptify on Instagram where I’ll also be able to have a second shop, like an extension of Detonation Kick, but it’ll be more high fashion, stuff like that. That might not be for everyone, but if you’re fashion-oriented and that’s a passion of mine, you’ll be able to find certain things on there that you won’t find through the [main website line].”

Read More: TJ Perkins On Taking Pride In His Filipino Roots, Freedom On The Indies, Embracing Lucha Libre Culture