Hold on to your valuables, it’s JTG. The street-tough Brooklyn brawler isn’t above stealing anybody’s belongings and selling it for “money, money—yeah, yeah.”
JTG debuted in WWE as a member of Cryme Tyme in October 2006. In their first-ever match, the popular tag team defeated the then-World Tag Team Champions, the Spirit Squad in a non-title match on Raw. Cryme Tyme’s success spilled over to pay-per-views, where they picked up victories at both the 2006 edition of Cyber Sunday and the 2007 New Year’s Revolution. All the while, they kept an eye out for any items they could swipe from their opponents.
In 2009, Cryme Tyme was drafted to SmackDown, where they enjoyed early success before ultimately breaking up after a disappointing loss caused Shad Gaspard to turn on JTG. The resilient JTG eventually gained retribution, however, when he defeated Shad in a Strap Match at Extreme Rules in 2010.
Jayson Paul, who was known as JTG in WWE, appeared on the PodNasty Wrestling Podcast to talk about his tell-all book, DAMN! WHY DID I WRITE THIS BOOK? (available for purchase here for $1.33).
During the interview, JTG talked about being an Alex Riley fan and shared some insight on Wrestler’s Court. JTG also talked about a dropped Muppets-inspired character that was approved by Vince McMahon until an unfortunate faux pas led to the gimmick being dropped entirely—the reason is revealed in his book.
JTG also talked about getting heat, his experience working with Bill DeMott and transitioning into acting since he appears in the upcoming movie Bad Night. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
JTG On Alex Riley
“When Alex Riley was active on the roster on Raw, I was a big Alex Riley fan and I thought he was going to be a big star. He probably still can be a big star but I thought the rug was pulled from underneath it,” JTG said.
“Not only does he have a great look, he’s also great on the mic. That guy could rock a mic and if given the opportunity on Raw I think in one night, if you give Alex Riley the mic, he’ll get the WWE Universe right under his belt rooting for him.”
JTG On Wrestler’s Court
“There was definitely some comedy [to Wrestler’s Court] it was entertaining to the locker room, you know, when you’re backstage for like 12 hours, the boys, they’ll find anything to get some type of entertainment. Stories, or would it be Wrestler’s Court. It was a joke and comedy to them, but to be on the stand it pretty very serious to me because the punishment would be very serious too, that would have been no laughing matter.”
JTG On Nixed Muppets-inspired Gimmick
“I thought I was a rich man. I’ll tell you how rich I thought I was. When Vince [McMahon] approved the gimmick, when he told me that he loved it, I took my wife out to Mr. Chow when I got home because I just saw money,” JTG said.
“It was my idea, the idea stemmed from this character I used to do in promo class. WWE Superstars, before Raw, some Superstars were called in early to the show—like maybe an hour early—and we would have hands-on classes with Vince McMahon and we did promo classes where it was kind of like improv and working on promos.”
“He would give us an exercise where he would say ‘say anything and you have to cut a promo on it.’”
“I can’t remember what word he gave me, but there was a few times where I started talking to myself and it was highly entertaining, and I created a new character with a double personality. His name was Self.”
“The idea was for the muppet to look exactly like me,” JTG said. “The premise behind the whole Self-Muppet idea was for it to be seen and heard by the WWE Universe, but not seen by anybody backstage. For example, if me and you were talking backstage, Self would be insulting you but you couldn’t hear him. Only me and the WWE Universe, he was kind of like my conscience.”