TJ Wilson has transitioned nearly seamlessly since being forced to retire from in-ring action over five years ago. Since stepping into his backstage role, the former Tyson Kidd has exhibited the same flair for producing matches for other people as he did his own throughout his in-ring career. It’s earned him praise from fans and talent alike, as a few months ago, Wilson was touted as one of AEW star Dax Harwood’s favourite producers to work with through his tenure with WWE.
Wilson recently discussed the acknowledgement in our recent interview on Love Wrestling.
“Well, what’s so funny [is] I did an interview with somebody and it was a few days after he tweeted that,” Wilson commented. “What’s really funny, [and] I mentioned it there – besides maybe being the producer on a couple of live events, I don’t think I ever actually had like his matches specifically.”
“But, but, I’m always available to bounce ideas around,” he continued. “Once I get out of a meeting and I grab some food, I’m usually ringside. And yeah, I have my match or matches for that day, but it doesn’t – that doesn’t mean that I’m not able to talk to anybody else throughout the day, and I can only talk to the people I’m working with that day. That’s not the case. That’s not the case for any of us. That’s not the case to me.”
While WWE’s locker room has changed drastically since Wilson last stepped inside the ring, his experience on both sides of the business has allowed him to gain unique insight into the mechanics of putting a match together. It’s given him the belief of collaboration, not dictation over the course of his backstage career, which he says is his favourite part of his job.
“And I think being, you know, now it’s been five years, but when I first came back as a producer, it had been two years, two and a half years removed from being a wrestler, and I’d wrestled – now the locker room is changing a little bit and there’s guys that I haven’t wrestled, but at one point, I’d wrestled almost everybody in that locker room when I came back as a producer, so I kind of had a relationship with them. And I still do, obviously.”
“I think with a guy like – I just am always going to call him Dawson, but a guy like Dawson saying that about me, I think that just made me and him kind of sitting in the locker room kind of just bouncing ideas off each other or like me seeing a match of his and enjoying it and maybe just sort of throwing out my two cents, whether he asked me for it or not. But, I also don’t believe in dictator style. Like I don’t tell you ‘this is exactly what you’re going to do, and you’re going to go do it.’ When I was a talent, most producers were like that with me when I did have freedom and they didn’t – it wasn’t a dictatorship. So I’m gonna pay it forward, because that was the way I work best [was] when I was in situations where it was very ‘these are the orders.’ Sometimes I understand that these are specifically the orders. I get that. But, when I feel like it’s kind of not necessary – I try to work in the same vein as ‘hey, here’s some ideas I have. What are your ideas? Let’s try to let’s collaborate.’ I think honestly collaborating is my favorite part of the day.”
It’s not just the collaboration that Wilson loves, but the opportunity to do so with the ever-rotating cast of WWE’s Superstars. It’s something that the former Tyson Kidd gets the opportunity to do often with his consistently working with WWE’s women’s division.
“It’s very cool. It’s cool,” he says of getting the chance to work with so much new talent recently. “And like I said, when you see it click for somebody, it’s a very cool – like, I’ve trained people before, and you see it and you know, and now I’m seeing it on – I saw a little bit as a talent, helping people and working with people, and now as a producer, I see it often, to be honest. I see it often, and it’s a cool thing. We have unbelievable talent on all brands across everything, guys and girls.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.