Pro-wrestling star and former IMPACT X-Division champion TJP was a recent guest on the Wrestling Insiders Special Edition to discuss the heat he has with fans, which TJP believes stems from his performance in the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic tournament for WWE. It was there that TJP defeated NJPW ace Kota Ibushi, then Gran Metalik in the finals to become the first cruiserweight champion since the belt was revived. Highlights are below.
Says he believes fans hatred for him sparked after he beat Kota Ibushi in the Cruiserweight Classic:
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. 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.
How he believes it was because he was not their choice to win the tournament:
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 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].
How Triple H and William Regal told him they knew he could handle the heat:
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.
(H/T and transcribed by WrestleZone)