TJP says people might want to call him a heat magnet, but some of them don’t even know why they hate him in the first place.
TJP was a recent guest on Boston Wrestling’s ‘Wrestling Insiders Special Edition’ and was asked about the heat he has on social media related to his opinions regarding the pandemic and other topics. TJP joked that you could “pick a day” because it’s something new every day, but said people look for reasons to hate him and believes it all started when he beat Kota Ibushi in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic in 2016.
“Generally speaking, I think people just want to find something to not like me for. I think it’s just a lot of the people didn’t want me to beat [Kota] Ibushi in the Cruiserweight Classic. Man, that was rough,” he explained. “I mean, I’m sure at this point it’s like a snowball thing where some people don’t even know why they hate me. Maybe they came halfway into it halfway through the game and they’re like, ‘Oh, we hate this guy?’ ‘Yeah, we hate this guy.’ But man, the world turned pretty hard that day.”
“I remember I went from people really loving that I was in it, people really loving that I was killing it, but it was like, I’m not their guy, so don’t do too good… I went Tom Brady on the playoffs on ‘em and won everything. They’re like, ‘OK, now we hate you.’ I remember for the finals, I came in every night and it was great,” he noted, “and then the night of the semifinals and finals, I kinda saw where it was going and I came out and they were chanting the f-word at me—the non-tolerant one—I was [shocked].”
TJP explained that you could hear the chants at the start of the Ibushi match and said it was a dozen or so people taking part, and that coupled with the boos made things worse.
“In the ring when they gave me the title, Hunter and [William] Regal had kind of said ‘Congratulations, this is the reason we put you here.’ I remember thinking, ‘Why, because I almost lost all these people?’ But Regal had said ‘One of the reasons we had to go with you is you’re the only guy that could handle something like that,’ and he said ‘if these people had turned on anyone else, they might have crumbled.’ And that’s not to say that any of them were weak performers or anything like that, or weak-spirited,” he explained, “but they said, ‘We knew you had the mettle for this sort of thing.”
TJP also went on to say that he had to deal with PR issues like harassment and fake leaks, but came to realize that it was a regular thing the WWE PR department handled on weekly basis with a lot of talent.
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