Former WWE Tag Team Champion and current WWE Producer Tyson Kidd recently spoke with Spencer Love for the Conversations With Love podcast. You can find the full interview on the Win Column Sports Network, Podbean or iTunes. Love also sent us quotes from the interview.
Kidd discussed the role of a producer in pro wrestling and what he does behind-the-scenes for WWE.
“So, the role of a producer is to kind of look at the show, kind of give our takes on what we see, and that’ll be prior to the production meeting,” Kidd said. “Then, we kind of get assigned our matches and our segments, and then we – I like to go and collaborate with talent, and we put together what we see on TV every Monday and Friday. It’s a team effort with everybody. With the talent, with the producers, with the writers, everybody. So, it’s a cool atmosphere that I enjoy backstage.”
Kidd was asked if his backstage role has changed with the coronavirus pandemic, and he confirmed that it has changed a lot of things, but not really his role with WWE.
“It’s definitely changed a lot of things,” Kidd said. “Wrestling, at its core, is all about fan and audience participation and fan interaction live in that Arena. Live in that bingo hall, live in that gymnasium, whatever it is, man, I’ve wrestled in all of them. It’s definitely an interesting thing to not have that audience out there, but in this moment, we’re not able to. So, the options are that we either just don’t have shows, or we do and there’s not a fan base present live in the stadium, the crowd. But, it’s definitely different, it’s definitely different.
“In terms of changing my role, not really, because I think our talent, and I’m not just saying this, the talent that I work with is so good that I don’t have to – I just have to kind of remind them like, “Hey guys, obviously we don’t have a crowd here, so there’s a tendency to maybe to do things a little quicker, but you gotta just be the pros that you are.’ Our talent are just such pros across the board that it hasn’t been an issue in terms of that for me.”
Kidd was also asked about his feelings on the dreaded “F word” in pro wrestling. Kidd said he understands why people say wrestling is fake, but there’s some ignorance to it, and the business isn’t for everybody.
“I mean – so, predetermined is not some secret,” Kidd said. “It’s not letting the cat out of the bag, it’s long out. I’m not obviously – I’ve never in a match purposely tried to injure somebody, hurt somebody. I want – my job and my goal is to – there’s many. I want to entertain the audience. I want the people to get their money’s worth. And, I also want to come back, and my opponent (to) come back to guerrilla in the exact same shape we left in. We’re just going to be more blown up, we’re just gonna be tired, and that’s it. In terms of that word, I get it. I get why people use it. I – there’s some ignorance to it, and I get it. Wrestling is not for everybody. So, someone who says that, obviously wrestling is not their thing, that’s fine.
“I’m a giant UFC fan. Huge. I watch UFC all the time. People get very funny – it’s almost like, which is big right now because of this Last Dance documentary, it’s like Jordan versus LeBron. Just because – if you think one guy’s better than the other, you’re not actually – that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re insulting the other. If I’m a fan of UFC, I can also love wrestling the way I’ve loved wrestling my whole life. You don’t have to pick one or the other, and I think people get defensive and that’s when they start throwing those kind of words around, which is, y’know, it is what it is. I’ve had people say it to me, not meaning it in an insulting way. They just say it like ‘Oh, but that stuff’s, like, fake, right?’”
He continued, “But like, it depends, like, yeah – again, I’ve never really tried to piledrive somebody, but at the same time, I have rods and screws in my neck, and they’re really there! A lot of times, it’s just kind of ignorance, and not always hate. Sometimes, it is trying to be hateful, so that person that’s saying it out of hate, they just – they don’t matter, to be honest. No matter what you say, you’re not gonna change their minds, so it doesn’t matter.”
Kidd was forced to retire after suffering a career-ending neck injury in 2015. He was asked if he’s been inspired to get medically tested after seeing the recent return of WWE Hall of Famer Edge. Kidd said his injury is different from Edge and Daniel Bryan, and he believes he’s probably in horrible ring shape, despite being in good physical shape.
“It’s funny, man, and I know it’s going to keep happening as different guys come back throughout the years,” Kidd said. “Like, when Bryan (Daniel Bryan) came back, I got a lot of tweets and a lot of messages, and now with Edge, and now I get a lot including both of them. I get it. The difference is I just have a very different injury. If you look at Edge, his neck surgery’s through the front of his neck because, as weird as this sounds – like, this sounds, I almost hate saying it, but like, where his fusions were, that’s almost the – this is the part I hate saying, because it just sounds so dumb, but it’s almost where the normal fusions in wrestling are, between your C5, your C6 and your C7. I have my C1 and C2 fused, which is as high up as it goes. That’s why mine’s in the back of my neck, they didn’t go through the front.
“But, my surgeon was amazing and he did save a lot of the muscle. And, I know – I get it. People will see, they know, especially I have Workhorse Fitness, (a) supplement company that I’ve created. So, I post a lot of workout videos, and you see pictures of me in shape, and I am in physical shape in terms of working out in a gym. (It’s) very different than ring shape. I’m sure I’m in horrible ring shape right now, but I do attack that damn assault bike daily, so maybe I would be alright. But, (it’s) very different between looking good wearing a pair of shorts in my garage and wrestling in a ring. It’s very, very different.”
Kidd also revealed that he has looked into a possible Royal Rumble appearance but it didn’t work out.
“I did, one time, over the past couple years look into maybe doing a little something in a Royal Rumble,” Kidd revealed. “Just kind of as that, so that could be my last chapter, so the last time you see me is, y’know, this little thing, and it didn’t work out. I did look into – I did get looked at, and things are good, but things are not at that level in terms of my neck, and y’know what? I’m at peace with everything. I haven’t wrestled in five years almost. June 1st, 2015 was my last match, and I’m at peace with it.
“I love what I do now, and being a part of working with the talent. Right now, at the moment, I’m working with a lot of the women and it’s very, very cool because they’re on a curve, and they’re almost playing catch-up. Like, I was explaining this the other day, and I’m sorry this is such a long answer.”
The interview was recorded before the recent WWE Money In the Bank pay-per-view. Kidd talked about his work with the WWE women’s division, and more about the “what-ifs” of a potential ring return, naming Superstars he’d like to face.
“I was explaining this the other day,” Kidd began. “So, Money in the Bank this Sunday is going to be the fourth women’s Money in the Bank, and that’s (because) they did two that first year. They did one, and then one two weeks later. So, this is going to be the fourth woman’s Money in the Bank match. How many have the guys had? Twenty? There (were) pay-per-views before where we’d do two in a night, two guys ones. So, how many women Hell in a Cell matches have there been? Charlotte and Sasha and Becky and Sasha? And how many men’s Hell in a Cell matches have there been? Know what I’m saying?
“There’s been, like, three women’s Royal Rumbles. There’s been thirty guys’ Royal Rumble’s! So, like, we’re playing catch-up, and I love – right now, I work with the women a lot, and I love it. I absolutely love it, because they’re so good. They’re so good, and they’re so hungry, and they – they remind me of a better version of me in like 2011. In 2011, I had a big chip on my shoulder, and I felt like I had a lot to prove every time I went out there. It led to good performances, but sometimes backstage, I could be – not to the talent, but just in general – I could be angry. I always will make jokes about 2011 Tyson, but he’s long gone. But, that chip on the shoulder, and that (mentality) performance-wise? All of the women right now have that, and it’s like, I love being a part of it. I get so much joy out of watching them, and being a part of that process, that like – I know there’s maybe at least one fan out there that will be sad, but I don’t have that need at this stage to get back in the ring, and I don’t think that I will. I had a 20-year-career.”
He continued, “Dude, there are a million what-ifs. Right after I got hurt – I say this to the both of them all the time – right after I got hurt, Gable and Jordan, they started coming up, and I was like ‘oh my god, we’ve got the same dynamic, like me and Cesaro, a bigger guy and then the littler guy.’ Like, man, I would love to wrestle Roman Reigns. I would love to wrestle Gable, or Shorty G, I would love to. I’ve wrestled Seth (Rollins) before, not on TV, but I’d love to wrestle Seth, or Dolph (Ziggler) again, anyone that I had wrestled before, I’d love to wrestle these guys. I’d love to wrestle these other guys for the first time ever, like a Gable. Believe me, I sit and think about it, but it’s just, unfortunately – I also am realistic, and I’m not – it doesn’t eat at me, and I’m okay with it.”