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Brodus Clay on coronavirus impacting wrestling, training for comeback, Dusty Rhodes’ influence on him

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Fox News contributor and former WWE superstar Tyrus and his wife Ingrid Rinck were recently guests with Ken Resnick, Brady Hicks, and Bruce Wirt on VOC Nation’s Wrestling with History program. Tyrus talked about the coronavirus pandemic, the government response, keeping a healthy lifestyle, having wrestling shows without fans, and much more. Here are some highlights:

On the current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic: “I’m lucky I’m married to a planner, so when this stuff first started coming out she already started planning. When I first heard the reports, and again I’m a contributor for Fox, I was (first) not really paying a whole lot of attention to it. I was (thinking) you really can’t believe what comes out of China, how do we know they didn’t do this to themselves because China has done some really mean things to their population historically…honesty I didn’t take it very seriously and a lot of us Americans didn’t (either), but she was planning the whole time…I was about four days ahead of the media in terms of making a decision where I decided that because I have small children, I wasn’t willing to go back to New York until we figured out what was going on because airplanes seem to be the breeding ground for coronavirus. You never know who you’re sitting next to, what connections they have, where they’re coming from…”

On living in the era of social distancing: “It’s a frustrating thing because everyone has stuff going on. I was training to decide where I was going to go wrestle again and was focused on that, I have a movie that I’m filming at the same time and everything just goes on halt because you have to focus on home first. We’re doing the whole social distancing and pretty much quarantined ourselves from the rest of the world.”

On President Trump’s handling of the crisis: “Any President in this situation – – you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. (I think) closing the borders was a good call, and other than making his comments, President Trump has done a good job of letting experts do their thing. I don’t see him pushing doctors to make decisions. He has wishful thinking – – he’s hoping that by Easter we have this thing turned around, but experts are saying this will be a longer haul than that, and you don’t see him arguing with them. I think he’s done a good job in terms of letting the experts and the doctors do their thing and just being open and flexible. I think that’s all you can do in this position; you can’t really have a political position. Obviously, he’s concerned about the economy, but he also doesn’t want thousands of deaths on his watch as President. He’s in a tough situation; he’s worried about tomorrow at the same time he has to focus on today. I don’t envy that.”

Ingrid Rinck on their diabetic son and his immune system needs: “Type 1 diabetes is only about five percent of the population, and that’s what our child has. Once you have diabetes (you have to treat it). You do have to watch what you eat. Type 1 can never be cured at this point. You do have to really be careful to not get sick, whether it’s the common cold or any type of flu, because once you do get sick…it can be a million times worse for a diabetic.”

Ingrid Rinck on her company Sensible Meals (sensiblemeals.com): We focus on weight loss. Any time you have a healthy body mass index, your body is going to be functioning better anyway. During cold and flu season, we do add things into our meals (to help immunity). Obviously broccoli is a great thing, we add ginger, we add pineapples to our meals…these are all foods that fight illness.”

On who came up with the Brodus Clay gimmick: “Dusty Rhodes, God rest his soul…Calvin Brodus is Snoop Dogg’s bodyguard. He let me out of my contract to go back to WWE, so that was out of respect to him. Originally it was Brodus Prior, and Dusty didn’t like Prior…so I said ‘what about Clay?’ Dusty said, ‘that sounds southern, you should wear overalls’…we were just laughing about it, and he said ‘Brodus Clay, Brodus Clay,’ over and over again until he said, ‘you know what, I like it.’ Unfortunately, even though we gave birth to that (name), WWE owns the rights to it. When we decided to part ways, I thought it was important to reinvent myself. I didn’t want to be Brodomus Clay…a lot of times back in the day guys would leave a territory and just change a letter on their name; I didn’t want to do that. (I wanted to see if I could) get to a high level without necessarily piggybacking off of the WWE’s success…I need to build myself to show that I’m just as marketable and valuable without the WWE stamp on it and I think I’ve done a good job of that.”

On Dusty Rhodes helping him grow into the character: “In the WWE you do what you’re told, and either you deliver or you don’t… My work as a heel had gotten me the job. As Arn Anderson would say, ‘how many shirts would I have to change being in the ring with you.’ My goal was to work like Arn, it wasn’t to work like a big guy. It wasn’t to be this stoic guy who took one bump a night, my goal was to work and be a nasty heel….that’s why I had so much success in FCW and NXT. When I got a chance to get on the mic, I killed it. I was being groomed to be an enforcer type like Arn Anderson and I was excited about that. When the decision was changed for me to be a babyface, because I had such a great core of mentors I said ‘give me a week and let me go sit down with Dusty and figure this out.’ The first thing he said – the Dream is always going to be the Dream – ‘ because you’re my protégé, you’re being punished for my sins; you, (Cody), and Dustin are being punished for my sins…for being such a big star.’ So we sat down and figured it out; he knew I didn’t like to dance at all…he made it uncomfortable – he made me dance with him in an arena for about an hour…we figured it out.”

On the support he had in the locker room: “I was lucky…Road Dogg was huge, he really helped. Cena was supportive, Bill Demott…Everyone was supportive. In that era we all had each other’s backs and were supportive. A lot of people knew I was out of my comfort zone doing the dancing and stuff, but it was necessary. Dusty Rhodes did it, JYD did it…this character wasn’t going to be heavyweight champion, but he was going to open the show every night and get the crowd riled up. That’s a great honor I think; if you can’t close (the show) you should open it.”

On today’s product: “I think the business changes, and we have to accept the fact that the business changes. It’s gotten to the point where it’s more about the show than the wrestlers and that worries me a little bit. I think the wrestlers have become replaceable…with the pressure of the Internet and trying to get ratings, we show too much of the magic now. That’s just my opinion. I won’t do it, no matter where I was…at some point, we all become dinosaurs – – I’m not there yet, but I’ll continue to work my style.”

On his future: “I’m still a wrestler. I don’t consider myself anything else. Even though I’m doing very well with those other things, I’m still thinking ‘well, do I want to go ride with Matt Hardy and put hands on Cody? Do I want to go back to WWE? Do I want to go to NWA just so I can cut a promo on that set?…I’m definitely not done…one last ride, I have maybe a year left and then retire, leave my boots in the ring and let somebody else do it.”

Wrestling with History comes to you live every Wednesday night at 930pm ET on the VOC Nation Radio Network. Former WWE and AWA broadcaster Ken Resnick and VOC Nation Founder Bruce Wirt take listener calls, emails, and tweets, and talk to pro wrestling’s most interesting personalities.

Subscribe for free on Stitcher, Spotify, and Itunes: VOC Nation Radio Network

Follow us on twitter: @vocnation






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