Kevin Fertig, better known to professional wrestling fans by his ring names Mordecai and Kevin Thorn, was recently interviewed by Wrestlezone’s Bill Pritchard to talk about his time in the professional wrestling business, as well as what he’s been up to outside the ring.
Fertig was asked for his take on NXT and how a developmental brand of that magnitude would’ve helped Superstars such as himself during his time in the business. While Fertig did spend some time in OVW, WWE’s former developmental brand, he admits it’s nothing compared to the bigtime operation being run by Triple H and company.
“Yeah, 100 percent. Those guys now are getting—they perform in front of bigger and bigger crowds. It’s like, to me it’s mini-WWE to those guys. All the experience, all the cameras and all that stuff – we got some of that in OVW, but it just wasn’t to that extreme,” Fertig said. “WWE is putting them out there, when you were in OVW, they wouldn’t let anybody know anything about anybody. And then when you came up they sure as heck wouldn’t say ‘from OVW.’
“So, these guys are already established and getting even more established. The fans have more opportunities to watch them, if you’re a fan in Louisville, yeah, you knew exactly who somebody was, because you got to watch it on TV. Or, you’re tape trading or whatever. And for the most part, nobody, back then – network stuff wasn’t that widely known. You really started from square one, a little bit, but a lot of these guys are coming straight out of NXT, to WWE, and most of these kids already know who they are, which is huge.”
NXT isn’t like any other developmental show professional wrestling has ever seen. It’s considered somewhat of a third brand, with many stars preferring to hang back and not be called up to the so-called main rosters of Monday Night RAW or SmackDown Live. In fact, some RAW and SmackDown stars have even gone back to NXT. Now, the yellow brand has landed a broadcast deal on the USA Network, going head-to-head with All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) premiere program, Dynamite. Fertig calls the broadcast move for NXT a really big benefit.
“Huge. And then two, you got kind of a Monday Night War, with AEW and NXT now, because you’re getting – you’re flipping back-and-forth to have that opportunity to watch both. So it’s definitely—the brand is a lot bigger, you’re getting a huge stamp on your chest coming out of that.”
Fertig knew he couldn’t wrestle forever, and has found a successful venture outside of the professional wrestling business in real estate. He truly enjoys his new career path and even wishes he started it six or seven years earlier so he might’ve been able to balance both. Fertig says he needed to not only find a career outside of WWE but didn’t want to worry about making money with a family and a mortgage, so he turned to the real estate world and used his background as a wrestler to bring some positive attention to being a “real estate badass.”
“My wife and I own an insurance company too, here in Indianapolis, and it just kind of made sense to, you know, ‘Hey, what else can we do to bring business to our insurance.’ And real estate—I’ve always enjoyed real estate shows. So I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to go and get my license and try to use this.’ I got my license and—a lot of marketing techniques that I learned in WWE and stuff like that, but I got a Championship belt that I have, it says “The Champ Is Home” on it. It’s got a house and stuff. I use that moniker of, ‘Hey, I’m going to make you the champ of your home.’
“It’s really taking off, man. I do a lot of funny videos. Promo videos, in a way. I just have a lot of fun with it. I have a lot of fun with clients and stuff like that. It’s been really rewarding. Financially and just helping people out has been awesome. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy doing and something I wish I would’ve started six or seven years ago. I probably still could’ve wrestled and did this also, but it’s definitely a good time.”
Check out the full interview below, including Fertig talking about his run as Kevin Thorn in ECW, finding success after wrestling in real estate and much more: