During a recent interview with Spencer Love, TJ Wilson commented on the biggest influence on his career, his best Stu Hart stories, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On the Tom McGee vs. Bret Hart match being released a couple of years ago: “Oh, man, how cool was that! So Harry – people know I have a very good memory. People who know me know that I have a very good memory. Harry also has a great memory, too. I don’t know why. I don’t know why the two of us have pretty great memory. But he remembers watching that at Bret’s house before, and so he kind of remembered – he remembered the finish. And then, when I saw the match, like when they showed it to me when I did that piece on social media whatever, WWE.com [or] wherever they posted it. I kind of remember watching at Bret’s house, like [a] kind of fuzzy, foggy memory. Man, it was very cool to watch your back and kind of see like the – what I thought was most cool was that like it lived up to the legend of like this pretty good match that if you later on – and I’m not trying to knock him – but if you watch other Tom McGee matches, they don’t look anything like that Tom McGee versus Bret match that we finally got to see. It holds up to the legend of like, Bret definitely did his part that night.”
On Hart being ‘underrated’: “I’ve watched so many – I mean, I’ve watched a lot of his matches in real time, and I’ve gone back and watch so many of Bret’s matches, especially the last – like I said, my travels much easier, so with this pandemic, I watched so many of his matches back. It just like, it’s unbelievable, man, his matches. I think he’s maybe even pretty underrated, which might be kind of a weird statement to make, but I think Brett might be fairly underrated … and like the little things. Even like – you know, his promos obviously got better, but even his promos like still in 92, like at least they feel real. They felt real. And, I mean, 97, I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden, Bret, like he is really untouchable. He looked phenomenal, his work was just as great as ever, and his promos were insane.”
On Bret being an influence on him: “A huge, huge influence. Because, you know, growing up, and just you know, the way it worked out, like at that time frame, Bret’s the guy. So when he’s – like, my best friend’s uncle is the world champion. It’s a cool thing. So, I watched obviously a lot of – I’m gonna probably [be] super biased, but I watch a lot of Davey [Boy Smith] and Owen [Hart] and [Brian] Pillman and other guys like Dynamite [Kid] and guys that like had maybe had starts in Calgary or a little bit of time in Calgary, like a Liger and all these guys later on. But at that time, obviously, I’m watching the family that are in WWF at that time, but I’m really watching – like, Bret’s the, at the time where I’m really – I started coming around in like, 1990. So like, ’92, Bret’s world champion. So, it just was, I guess, a natural progression that I would maybe kind of navigate towards what he was doing.
“There was a while in like, ’96 [that] Teddy and I were going to Bret’s house like every day after school to train in this ring. And sometimes he’d be in there, and sometimes he wouldn’t. This is like, right before he came back to wrestle Steve Austin. And he would be there and he would – he took a real interest in us. He took a real interest in us when he saw us wrestle at the Saddledome at that – I don’t know if he’s resigned yet at that time. It’s October 5th, 1996. I don’t know if he’s resigned yet at that time, or if he’s – he ends up coming back to RAW that month. And then that’s when he sets up the Steve Austin match. But, he comes to the show. I remember, like, he loved watching us wrestle. I think it just was maybe – now that I’m 40 and I have my nephews and I brought them to my ring a month ago, I get it. I saw them like wrestling around [and] you kind of get, like, that youth and that almost invigoration. I don’t know if that was a part of it or if Bret just – anyway, he’s always taken a liking, and he’s always been somebody that I’ve been able to talk about wrestling anytime. As great as the storyteller as he is in the ring, he might even be a better storyteller outside of the ring. So like to sit and listen to Bret’s stories are so fun.”
On his best Stu Hart stories: “Just man, like, there’s funny ones. Like, he’d come down to stretch us when we were training in the Dungeon once in a while. I remember him coming one time, [and] there was like a film crew. This one guy, who I’m friends with, so I can’t out him, but he – I remember him hiding behind the door. And then, kind of once Stu came in, he left! Like, almost like on an episode of The Simpsons where all of a sudden you hear the car peel off. I was like ‘dude, what are you doing, man!?’ It’s an honour to be stretched by Stu in the world of wrestling. Especially [since] we had a bunch of amateur wrestlers and stuff at that time, so we had guys that understood that type of thing. He’s like, ‘no, man. You know, he’s a little bit older. He might not know his own strength anymore.’ I said ‘dude, I’d rather’ – I mean, I didn’t know so when he was younger, but I think I’d rather be stretched by Stu when he’s older and I feel like he’s maybe more of a gentle man then then when he was younger. I feel like I could be wrong, but I got stretched by him a bunch. I’m still here. I’m still alive to talk about it. He didn’t forget his own strength or, you know, kind of lose control, though. Still here!”
“I’m trying to think, man. He had a pretty funny sense of humor. He would – you know, just a very unique person. My Japanese trainer had a funny story that one time after Stampede Wrestling on Friday night in Calgary, they’re at a pizza place, and I guess Stu at the time had a beeper. Helen was calling them and paging them and wanted him home. And so, the guys had ordered a pizza, so they were inviting Stu to sit down, but now he had went and called Helen and he had to come back home. And they’re like, ‘Stu, do you want some of this pizza? Do you want a couple of slices to bring back?’ And he’s like, he said, ‘yeah, no problem.’ He took it, and then rather than like, you know, get a takeout container or something, my trainer told me he was like offering – he just gave him napkins to kind of put [it in], he said Stu just like, put the [pizza] in his jacket, his suit jacket, put the two pieces of pizza in his pocket for Helen. Whether or not she ate that, I don’t know. Whether or not she knew that it got just put in his pocket. If she did know that, then she wouldn’t – then I can tell you she didn’t eat it!”