While speaking to AEW manager Vickie Guerrero on the Excuse Me podcast, Impact Wrestling wrestler TJ Perkins has opened up about his three year run with Vince McMahon’s promotion.
During the podcast appearance, Perkins spoke about his intentions going into the Cruiserweight Classic, a tournament which he won. Perkins noted that he wasn’t actually intending to stay with WWE after the tournament had culminated.
The former Cruiserweight Champion said he had a desire to go to Mexico, Japan and even Lucha Underground after the Cruiserweight Classic, but William Regal convinced him to join WWE on a full-time contract:
“For me, WWE was almost an accidental pit stop. When I went there, I wasn’t aiming to go there. New Japan was obviously a goal. I was actually aiming to go back to Japan and Mexico when I left Impact the first time. This was 2015 or 2016. William Regal asked about me going to WWE for the Cruiserweight Tournament which I thought was maybe going to be like a modern day J-Cup they were going to do. I knew it would have some significance culturally. I didn’t know if I would stay or be their cup of tea. I’ve been there before and they said, look, we don’t need guys like you and I said fair enough. They had their one Evan Bourne. They had their one Tyson Kidd and they said ‘we don’t any more of you dudes.’ I’m like ok, fine but I’ll do this tournament.”
“Halfway through, they said ‘this is what we want to do going forward’ so I said ok. Regal talked me into staying. I wasn’t going to stay. I wanted to go to Lucha Underground. I wanted to go back to Mexico. I wanted to go to AAA and do some stuff there. I wanted to go back to New Japan. He said, ‘you should lay down some roots now that you are getting older.’ It was like three years through it and I felt like I wasn’t contributing in a way that I should be. The money was great and that’s fine. I can never say they didn’t take great care of me or anybody else but sometimes I felt like I was stealing money.”
During the same podcast appearance, TJ Perkins also spoke about his final interactions with Vince McMahon after meeting with him just before his WWE release. You can read more about that by clicking here.
Since leaving WWE at the beginning of last year, TJ Perkins has gone on to wrestle on the independent scene, as well as for major promotions such as Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling.