One-on-One with WWE Superstar R-Truth

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Jeramie McPeek,
Posted: March 22, 2010

The banners have been hung from the light posts and the high-rise buildings in Downtown Phoenix. The stage, the pyro and the ring are being installed this week in Glendale.

With just days until WrestleMania 26 at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, followed by WWE RAW at US Airways Center on Monday, spoke with WWE superstar R-Truth about the spectacle that is coming to Arizona for the first time. I guess our first question should be the one you always ask when you hit the ring… what’s up?

R-Truth: What’s up?! I’ll tell you what’s up… WrestleMania. I’m psyched up, man. It’s my first big one, my first WrestleMania. So I’m getting more and more excited every day, going to the gym, training, just watching the clock tick down the time and the days until it gets here. You’ve been in wrestling for a while now, but never been a part of Mania, which is like the NBA Finals of the WWE. How special is it for you to be a part of this? What’s it mean to you?

R-Truth: It’s the cream of the crop, man. It means you’ve made it. But once you’ve made it there, you’ve got to continue to set higher goals for yourself, and try to achieve more. So WrestleMania is just the tip of the iceberg I have to chip off. You’ve performed in front of large crowds before, but what do you think you’ll be feeling as you are introduced and step out in front of those 80,000-plus fans at the University of Phoenix Stadium?

R-Truth: Probably like a ball of electricity, man. I’m going to be energized and ready. I’m going to be psyched. I could go do WrestleMania right now, that’s how amped I am. What are some of your favorite WrestleMania moments through the years?

R-Truth: Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage (WrestleMania 2) was one of my favorite matches. That was one of the best. The drama, the intensity, the near falls, everything was there in the ring. That match had everything.

The Hulkster, of course. Hulk Hogan convinced me that WrestleMania was where my goals needed to be at. Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Shawn Michales… the list goes on and on of great guys who made WrestleMania what it is. Talk about coming to Arizona for WrestleMania and all the activities leading up to it.

R-Truth: Arizona is going to be poppin’ like a bag of firecrackers. WrestleMania is an all-week thing. We’ve got all kinds of events going on. There’s WWE Axxess (at the Phoenix Convention Center), where people get to meet the wrestling superstars, take their pictures with them… you get to walk through the Undertaker’s cemetary… there’s so much going on. It’s like a carnival.

It’s almost unexpressable. People come in and hug you, they bring their kids. They come in from all over the world, from Germany, from the UK, just to watch you perform. Saturday night is, of course, the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at the Dodge Theater. We’re looking forward to seeing the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase induction. What will that event be like for you, being around all the legends of the business?

R-Truth: Those are the guys who paved the way for guys like myself. So it’s important to pay respect to those guys and a ceremony I can’t wait to be a part of. Aside from your own match for the WWE Unified Tag-Team Championship, which match at WrestleMania are you most looking forward to watching?

R-Truth: Well, without patting myself on the back, I’m definitely looking forward to myself and John Morrison, the rock star, taking those tag titles, man. That’s my first match I’m looking forward to. But I’m definitely waiting to see the Bret Hart-Vince McMahon match. What are your expectations for that match? Bret actually wrestled against Shawn Michaels here at US Airways Center in the mid ‘90s, but it’s been more than 12 years since he’s had a match.

R-Truth: Man, I don’t know. You can’t call that. That’s like calling a tic-tac-toe match. You’ve got a lot of heat, a lot of unresolved issues there… Chris Jericho and Edge will be a hot match. And of course John Cena vs. Batista. There are a lot of great matches. Phoenix is going to become a part of WrestleMania history. WrestleMania is, of course, the main event of the weekend, but it doesn’t end there. The night after the big pay-per-view, the WWE returns to US Airways Center for RAW on Monday night.

R-Truth: That will be a fresh start. Almost like the beginning of the new wrestling year. Time to put up or shut up. Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask, are you an NBA fan?

R-Truth: I’m a fan of Kobe and LeBron. People always try to make me pick one or the other, but I think they’re both great. They both deliver. They’re both doing their thing. I wish they played on the same team. Can you imagine that? If you were going to form a team of WWE wrestlers, which four guys would you draft to join you in a starting five?

R-Truth: (Laughs) I would get John Morrison, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, because he can jump. And I don’t know if you remember Spud Web, but I would have to take Rey Mysterio, because he can get in and out of position, so no one could catch him. That’s a lot of small guys. We thought you would’ve taken an Undertaker or Big Show to man the middle. Show even told us he played college basketball, when we last caught up with him.

R-Truth: You know, you just made good sense to me. I might have to make a trade. But you know, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.