TJ Wilson, also known as Tyson Kidd, has been in the WWE family since he was a child. Being a member of the Hart Family inner circle, TJ has been around wrestling for his entire life. Because of this, he had his first WWE match in 1996 at the age of 16.
Speaking to Spencer Love, TJ opened up about how this match came together and how Earl Hebner threatening to call the match off earlier than the finish.
“So Teddy’s younger brother, Matthew, we were wrestling probably the end of June. We were wrestling in the ring up at Stu’s. We would record the little matches that we had. At that time, we had started to experiment with like starting to learn how to do like a Frankensteiner off the top rope and stuff like that which [was] very, very against the Hart family rules and very against Stu’s rules.”
He continued, “[Harry Smith was] 10! He turns 11 in August, but he’s 10 at this moment. We were wrestling a few days before, then all sudden, Matt just felt really sick. He said his groin hurt. And then, he had like something crazy, like [a] 104-degree temperature or something. He goes to the hospital. We went and visited him that night, and he was kind of delirious a little bit. He was just saying, like, odd things. That’d be the last time that I would ever hear him speak, that I’d ever hear him speak. He went into a coma that night or the next morning. He’s there for like two weeks or something. He went there on Canada Day, and then he’s there for 15 days, or 14. I’m trying to think. He just like – at one point, his leg turned the color of your shirt, like completely black. And the, like his arm, and then his other arm, and his leg, and then he was on life support. It just was one of those – it was terrible. This was the first time I ever really faced death, but really the first time – and it was someone younger than me. So I think it really put mortality into like, a very real [feeling.]”
Tyson then spoke about the match itself at Saddledome in Canada, and later being asked about the match by JBL.
“Yeah! Next thing I know, like, oh, Vince is at the ring and we roll out. So I don’t know, like, somehow, then one thing led to another. We hung out with Carl DeMarco that night. And then, next thing you know, he wanted – he was a part of like wanting us to – Carl DeMarco and Davey Boy were big proponents of us doing this match at the Saddledome. And then, it doesn’t feel real, man. Every day right after school we’d go up to Stu’s and we’d like, again, kind of rehearse this match. In our minds, it was WWF, so we had to go all out. So we were doing everything possible. At this point, we’d already come across Rey Mysterio. We came across Rey Mysterio, Bash at the Beach ’96. Ever since then, like, our style changed a lot. We started getting in trouble a lot more from Stu, so thanks, Rey! But, we thought like – we don’t know, like, wrestling rules at this time. We’re kids, man! I’d just turned 16. Harry had just turned 11. Teddy is 16, and our other friend is, like, 15. And he doesn’t even – our friends cool, he was a very good athlete, and he just kind of stepped in to help us so we can do a tag match. He didn’t – like wrestling wasn’t really his thing, but he helped us for these couple matches.”
“Anyway. Dude, next thing you know, we’re at the Saddledome the morning of, and the ring’s set up and we roll in and we do this match that we’d practiced. It’s probably like 12 minutes long, maybe 15 or something. It’s like wild. I’m doing a dive through the ropes. I’m getting backdropped over the top rope. And, I can almost take, like, a 450-style bump. Like, it was so ridiculous. I think somebody saw us doing that earlier in the day and was like, ‘what are these kids doing?’ And they realize we’re on the show. And then, next thing you know, Jack Lanza is telling us that we only have five minutes, no two guys on the floor at the same time, and now like – but, man, fast forward 24 years, if I was the producer of a live event right now. And let’s say Roman’s nephews roll up and they have a tag match, and I see them in the day doing superplexes and stuff… Yeah. JBL asked me about it one time. He’s like ‘hey, Tyson. Were you in that match with Harry when you guys were kids?’ And I said yeah, that was me. He’s like ‘man, you guys went out there and did everything, and it made no sense, but you did every move!’ I said ‘yeah, yep, exactly. We were 16. I was 16. He was 11. Yes, we did everything we could think of, and we had way more planned. We had to go to the finish, or Earl Hebner said he’s gonna ring the bell and we’re gonna look stupid.”
As he alluded to in the interview, TJ is now a producer and WWE after a career-ending injury. Currently, he produces a lot of women’s matches including this year’s women’s Royal Rumble.
You can check out the full interview below: