Tyler Breeze

Tyler Breeze Chopped The S*** Out of My Chest, His New WWE Job, Almost Getting Fired, Fashion Police

Tyler Breeze (@mmmgorgeous) is a professional wrestler with WWE. He is also a professional wrestling trainer and owns “Flatback Wrestling School” in Apopka, FL with AEW star Shawn Spears. He sits down with Chris Van Vliet in Hollywood, CA to talk about his current job with WWE working as a producer for UpUpDownDown, his wrestling school with Shawn Spears, the advice they tell new students, the importance of doing a good promo, how he almost got fired before coming up with the Tyler Breeze character, what Dusty Rhodes saw in that character, forming Fashion Police with Fandango, becoming a new father and much more!

Quote I’m thinking about:
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein


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On living the best of both worlds:

“I mean, don’t expose me here. We got a good thing going, we’ve got a good thing going. I got my hands in a lot of different stuff, irons in the fire, diversifying.”

On the WWE job:

“I work for Up Up, Down, Down. So Up, Up, Down, Down, obviously, as you know, WWE’s YouTube channel, strictly for gaming, myself and [Xavier] Woods are on there. We just kind of get into all sorts of stuff. There’s not really like, you can say gaming, but like we just did Up Up Down Down Summer Games, for example. And it was basically just a bunch of people having fun and you know, running around like their kids again. And that’s work. That’s work.”

On playing video games as a job:

“My mom, it’s funny, because like, when Twitch started to like, when we started to do like Twitch stuff and, and YouTube stuff, and whatever, couple years ago, trying to explain of like, how it is and how it works. My mom a couple of times was like, so you’re playing the game? And they’re watching? And I said, Yes. She said why don’t they play the game? I don’t know, maybe they don’t want to maybe they just want to see me do it. And then you’re trying to explain that like, Okay, well, they know me and they know Woods, and they know, whoever they’re watching, from, you know, what we get to see and you know, for five minutes, 10 minutes on a Monday or a Friday or whatever, so they know, that person. But they don’t really know the person who’s sitting here now with a hat and do whatever, you know, I mean, they don’t know this one. So that’s the side that they want to see. And actually, I believe even Triple H said, at one time in an NXT meeting, we were kind of talking about, like having a presence online and social media and being smart and all that stuff. But he goes, You don’t understand that, like the people want to see anything that you want to do. So like, they want to see you brushing your teeth, you know, I mean, because they never get to see that. But if all of a sudden you’re there and you’re talking to them about everything they want to see like every part of your life because you’re the one that they like to tune in for. And you don’t really think about it like that until, you know, you do start thinking about it. And you go oh, I guess that makes sense. Like, I know, for me, like the people, you know, if I like Brad Pitt as an actor, okay, I see him in a movie and I see some other stuff. But like, I’m also interested in what he’s like, what does he do for a workout? What does he do in between time? What does he do when he’s you know, hanging out? Does he watch movies? Does he play video games? I don’t know. But I’d be interested in knowing.”

On celebrities being more accessible: 

“So that was the other part where I explained it to my mom. I said, like, you’ve got to understand if you know if Matt is shy in real life, and maybe you know, I don’t get out, and I don’t have a lot of friends, or maybe you know, high school was, you know, a bad time for me. Or maybe I’m just a little bit awkward. In a chat room or in a chat on, you know, a Twitch stream or anything like that you almost get a fresh start to where like, and again, I don’t have to be Matt, I can be gamerguy23. And now, maybe Matt, again, is a little bit awkward. And maybe you know, I don’t have a lot of friends. Or maybe I had a bad experience or something. But gamerguy23. He’s cool. And now he’s got more friends in here, because we show up all the time. And we watch this go down. So now in here, you get to like, almost escape a little bit and become somebody else. And now you’re making friends, where again, you may have never actually met each other. But you guys talking. And it’s kind of that it’s almost like, Blind Date. You would learn about someone, but you don’t get to see them. And you don’t get to make those like those natural first impression assumptions, or whatever it is, right. So instead, like, I know, in, like in our Twitch stream, people have become really good friends. And then all of a sudden, they start hanging out, you know, in real time, like on their own or meeting up because they’re all in different cities. And now you’ve just become, you know, a part of something that again, in your everyday average life, unless you’re going, Hey, Chris, you know, come and hang out with me and play games, you’re not going to get that but all of a sudden, you can all meet up here and do that. And again, it’s almost like a fresh start or a little bit of like you get to live like two lives at the same time. And you’re your favourite celebrity or whoever happens to be there too.” 

On having multiple projects:

“So I think it’s also, I don’t know if we can just say like wrestlers, I think it’s athletes in general, or someone who, you know, very quickly comes into money or fame or whatever. It’s kind of an easy trap to fall for that, like, that’s gonna last forever. And unless someone clues you in that, like, it doesn’t last forever, then it’s very easy to kind of get tricked in that way. And luckily, you know, he was just on the show, Lance Storm was the one who clued me in on everything, even getting in where it’s like, hey, just so you know, like, you’re not taking the safe route here, you’re gambling. You’re gambling that you might do this for a living, you might get an opportunity, you might get hired, you might have a one-year run, you might have a five-year run, like everything is just kind of luck. And, you know, obviously, you put in work to make your luck a little bit better. But the average person I think he told me was like five years, you have a five-year career of actually making like good money. Even if you make astronomical money, five years is not a long time, it goes very quickly. So even getting into it, you have to have that mindset of like, what am I going to do after this? What am I going to do when the money stops, when all of a sudden your monthly income goes to $0? That’s terrifying, right? Again, especially when you get to a certain spot you go, I don’t want to get a normal job, like I don’t want to go back to doing what I did before. So you need to create opportunities for yourself. Because when you get that call, nobody’s really knocking and going, Hey, we need you to do this as this, you have to have things in place. So luckily, again, I was with WWE for like 11 years. So I long kind of you know, made it past my five-year average. But I was ready to go, you know, way before those 11 years, I was putting little things in place and everything else was a bonus at that point going, alright, here’s this, okay, here’s this, okay, now my monthly income isn’t zero, it’s, you know, $5 $10, whatever you add to that little, you know, investment, it just kind of goes up and up and up. And again, that’s kind of one of those things where, especially now, man, if you look like at social media, like if you look at Instagram, or Tiktok, or all that stuff, and it’s kind of funny, because you see the like, the trends, right? So I remember, I can’t remember what it was, but like, chains, and like, all those things were really cool way back. And then they kind of went away. And now they’re back, like everybody I see has like these big, you know, blinged out chains and whatever you like, if you’re gonna blow your money on that stuff, just so you know, like, you can’t pay your mortgage with that, if you have no job. So you know what I mean. You fall into the designer, you know, lifestyle and everything else. So you just have to kind of take a step back and also go, Alright, I have a whole, you know, life to live after this. So what am I going to do? And then you know, kind of put pieces in place.”

On being ever mindful that a WWE release was coming before Tyler Breeze:

“I felt like they were numbered, like every week. It was a crazy time. And again, it’s just it’s just how it is. It was 2010. And it’s a way different time. This was pre-NXT, FCW was still kind of like you’re a part of WWE but WWE is here and FCW is like over there. It’s like around the corner and like you don’t really see it. But you’re there and again even just looking at the hiring cycles that they do, so when I came in, it was right at the end of like, where they wanted everybody to be really big and really jacked. So me obviously, I’ve never been a gigantic guy. So I got hired and it came in and I went, oh my god, like, there’s no way I’m gonna last here because these guys are huge. And like, how am I supposed to compete with this? But you’re hired for a reason. And all of a sudden, you see those people and they’re kind of going and they drop off here, or they go up or they do whatever they’re doing. And now all of a sudden, they started to hire a lot of people who knew how to wrestle and they wanted to wrestle. And that was when all of a sudden you see Cesaro come in. And, you know, Bryan Danielson has come in, Moxley, and Seth and all those guys, that kind of, you know, got away from that, that look or more into the work kind of hiring site. Again, same thing, like you’ll see that that lasts for a while, and then all of a sudden, they go, man, we should probably get some big guys in here. And all of a sudden they’re back in you know, I mean, and I saw that cycle go a bunch of times. So when that happened, again, you just kind of have to be realistic with yourself and not live in the delusion of like, I’m here. I’m safe. Like you’re never safe, you’re never safe. And the second that you think you are, you’re out. So you have to be proactive to where I made sure that I was building connections. And again, a lot of this was just imprinted on me by Lance [Storm]. He was the one who out kind of said, Hey, man, like when you’re there. This is when the work starts. This is when you need advocates in those meetings that you’re never going to be in. You need people to speak up for you if they go I don’t know. I don’t really see it with this guy. You need someone to go I do. Or hey, just give him a chance or Hey, he actually had this. Otherwise, that’s the new perception of you. Like someone says it and if nobody shoots it down, that’s you.”

On being saved by Cesaro:

“That was the one yes. So that saved me just because it was like that he’s gonna be gone the next round of cuts and then all of a sudden Hold on. There might be something here that saved me. The next one was a tester show for NXT. So they were seeing a Full Sail was going to work for it. And my buddy Tom Latimer was just supposed to he was a part of the original Ascension. And he was just supposed to kind of kill me and you know, they knew that I could bump and sell and do whatever. So it was supposed to be short and sweet. Here’s Ascension. They loved Ascension at the time Dusty, loved Ascension. And so he went okay, you know, it’s gonna be a singles match or whatever. And because he was my friend, Tom was like, You know what he was? Let’s put in like a little bit more. So I added in a couple things and Triple H was sitting next to Dusty and he literally looked at him went, who is this? Why haven’t I seen him at all? And all of a sudden I’m saved again. Um, I think, oh man within? Well, at least like this was when cuts were fairly regular like three, three months at the latest like six months. So like you never really, if you got off the chopping block, you were back on there like very quick unless you were progressing. And then the next time I was on there, and again, going into this, this was kind of the main one where we had evaluations and they would kind of sit you down and they tell you, you know how you’re doing and everything else. And I went into an evaluation, I got tore apart, and I just went, what happened here, like, I was just on cloud nine, like all of a sudden, I thought I was going to be like this thing. And I got tore apart and they tore me apart for about five minutes. And finally I went, you know what? The writing’s on the wall, I’m out of here. So if I’m going down, I’m going down swinging. And I started firing back and I was like, I was like, No, man, I’m pitching this. I’m trying this. I’m doing this. And you told me to do this. And I did this and blah blah. And as it’s happening, I just went, I’m so out of here. Like, there’s no way that this is going well. So I finish up, I walk out and Woods is standing right there. And he goes, how’d that go? And I said probably the worst evaluation of all time. I said, literally, I’m out of here. 100% I’m out of here. And he went, well, he goes, if you’re going down he goes, let’s at least like go down swinging and where he goes, let’s give them more ideas. If they you have no ideas. Let’s give them a bunch of ideas. Is it okay? So he finished up training he came came home. We filmed three of the vignettes which we filmed the Kale Cove one we filmed the Tyler Breeze one and we filmed Mike Dalton one. I sent them to every WWE email that I had every every single one that I had all the coaches everybody higher up that I’d never even met. I just sent it and I just went out hope for the best. And nobody got back to me except for dusty and dusty. You said, hey, there might be something with Tyler Breeze. Let’s talk about it when you come back. And I said, Okay. And, that was that was the beginning. And then I went and talked to him. And again, it wasn’t really like a this is why it’s good. Or this is why it’s bad. It was just like, okay, so what do you think of this? And I went well, like I’ve been trying to be a wrestler for so long. I said, Let’s go the complete opposite. Let’s go to where I don’t know how to wrestle. Tyler Breeze does not know how to wrestle. He’s a male model who thinks wrestling is easy. And he loves it. There are cameras and video, video cameras, and I can be shown to the world in a moving fashion instead of in pictures like a model. And he went, Yeah, I see that. That’s kind of cool. And I go, but, I said I don’t want to wrestle like I want to go out there and like I happen to be out of my element because I’m wrestling now. But I said I don’t want to be you know, drop kicking and doing all this stuff. And he goes, I get that, he goes, Okay, and so we kind of went that route until it was like, Okay, well, you need to do some stuff. So we found kind of the happy medium of like, little bit of wrestling, but mostly not wrestling. Even when I debuted, like, you’ll see I didn’t really do a lot, it was more of like, I punched I kicked I showed a vicious side because when you do it like you know a male model kind of thing. You can’t just be a male model and then not beat somebody up because then there’s nothing to it. So we made sure that it had a perfect balance. And then it started to kind of just people started to take interest in it. And someone had an idea. And then someone had an idea and someone had an idea. And then I started figuring it out. And I went, Oh, why didn’t I do with this the whole time like this is way better than what I was trying to do. And then it just kind of went where it went.”

On day one at Flatbacks Wrestling School:

“Day one of the school is, you know, you get to meet us, obviously, we double check with everybody make sure that you’re, you know, you know, what you’re signing up for, like, you’re healthy enough to be here, everybody’s good to go. And then we get into it. And we just kind of go here, here’s an introduction on you know what this takes, and for the most part, we’re getting into like cardio stuff. So not even in, we’re not in the ring. We’re not doing, you know, bumps and moves and stuff like that. We’re kind of just showing you like, hey, we know what wrestling is, and you have an idea of what it is from watching it. But you need to be in shape, I need to be able to rely on you. Because once we get into all the stuff that you want to do, if you’re tired, you’re going to hurt me. And I need to know that even when you’re dead tired, you’re going to protect me. And that’s usually where we get to where, okay, like, if you haven’t prepared, if you haven’t hit the gym, if you’re not in shape, if you’re not watching what you eat, you’re going to struggle a little bit. And again, it’s not to like discourage you or weed you out. It’s to let you know, hey, you should probably work out while you’re here. Because again, if you’re holding me up in the air, I need to know that I’m going to walk out of there.” 

On advice for aspiring wrestlers:

“Please prepare. This is so me and Spears have it’s once you start coaching people, you kind of end up in like these, like endless loops of the same thing. We’re going on four-plus years now. And we’re, it’s funny because we’re gonna let the secret out. And then we’re all of a sudden, we’re gonna break the streak. We probably won’t, because this is just how people are. So we tell them day one, again, when you come in, we give you the talk of what you’re getting into. And we go, just so you know, we will be doing promos. Please prepare a promo. That doesn’t mean sit in your, you know, apartment, car, whatever. And think about a promo. This means pull out your phone, because everybody has one, film yourself doing it. And then watch it back and do it again and write the promo out and actually prepare and try to do this. Again, we’re not doing it off the top of our heads. We’re not just feeling it, we’re not doing that. We are preparing it and then doing it to the best of your ability when it comes time. We can’t stress that enough. Every time that we get to promos, we go did you prepare that? And they go? No. We go Why? Well, you know, I thought about it a couple of times. Hmm, cool, man. Like it just doesn’t compute in my head of like, why am I begging you to prepare for what you told me you want to do so badly? It doesn’t add up to us.”

On pandemic gaming:

“Which Funny enough, we just stumbled on. We literally just stumbled on it. We were trying to do the same thing that everybody at home was doing. I think just trying to pass the time trying to have fun with our friends. And it turned into what it turned into. But same thing like you know, battle the brands with me and Woods was the same thing too. We just had the funniest story where he moved in, and he was moving in and I see him pulling out all his video games, everything else I’m looking through when I go Smackdown vs Raw 2006. I love that game. He was Yeah, me too. And I said, I’d usually just play the GM mode, he goes, me too. And all of a sudden, we just start playing it on our own. And then we go, let’s just film this and see if they want it on the channel. And all of a sudden, it’s the staple of the channel. And now all of a sudden, we’re you know, the spokespeople for the mode in 2K23. So it’s like, it’s you just start something. And I think people genuinely see that you’re enjoying yourself and not just sitting there like putting it on, this game is really cool. I mean, if they see that you’re into and you’re having fun, which, you know, Uno was exactly that it was, you know, all of us just going out. Let’s log on. Let’s have fun. We happen to be recording, but we’re just going to play until you know, most of the time we’d start at like 11 or midnight, and then we would just deliriously play into the night and, and recording, send it in and just forget it even happened. And then people would watch it. And all of a sudden, like these catchphrases would live on, you know, we get to the point where we had our own Uno deck like the official Uno deck came out like it got way bigger than we ever thought or intended that it would be. It was just for friends having fun.”

What is Tyler Breeze grateful for:

“My family and friends, my health and that I will be having a kid in 6 weeks.”

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