Maven Recalls Nearly Walking Out On ‘Tough Enough’, Feeling Nervous Before His In-Ring Debut
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In a recent appearance on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Maven admitted that he nearly walked out on the series when he first saw some of the people he’d potentially be working with. He questioned himself when he saw some of the “enormous” wrestlers WWE already had on its roster. Maven revealed that he almost decided to go home on the spot, but he wanted to get his money’s worth for the plane ticket he bought to fly to the competition.
“They invited me to New York, so, I went and it was at Times Square when WWF New York used to be out there in Times Square,” said Maven. “I get there, and if you wanna get into steroids later, I’m one of the wrestlers that admitted I took them, I took a lot. I loved the reaction that it gave me, probably not good for my health, but I did it, and I’m not gonna hide that. I get there, haven’t taken anything and I see all these gigantic, enormous, jacked dudes and I’m 205. I’m like what am I doing here?
“I almost left when I walked in. The only reason I didn’t was because I paid for a plane ticket to get there and I wanted to see it through. I was this close to leaving, and it was this two-day process, and by the end of the second day, I was on the show. And at no point did I think I was ever going to have to quit my teaching job [back home], but I had a plane ride back to Oregon to figure out how I was going to get it done.”
Following the conclusion of “Tough Enough”, Maven started wrestling on WWE SmackDown. Looking back on his in-ring debut, Maven recalled how he was absolutely terrified in the minutes leading up to his first match, which came against Tazz on the October 4, 2001 episode of SmackDown.
“I remember right before my first match with Tazz, I’m standing in Gorilla position, I got Vince McMahon, I got Pat Patterson, I got Gerry Brisco and Tazz telling me ‘kid, you got this, you’re gonna be fine,'” said Maven. “And I got 30-whatever thousand people out in the arena. If I would’ve been given other options and death was one of them, I probably would’ve taken it.”
From there, Maven’s run with WWE was quite memorable, as he eliminated The Undertaker from the 2002 WWE Royal Rumble. He also feuded with Evolution, but he was ultimately released in 2005.
The full interview is available here: