By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with “Joe Millionaire” Evan Marriott
Hosts: Chad and JP (transcription by John Poz)
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com
Meeting John Cena: I was working for a supplement company at the time and used to frequent Golds Gym. I was working out with bodybuilder Joe DeAngelis who was friends with Ed Connors. Ed used to have bodybuilders living at his house and around this time he had John Cena living with him. He would actually walk into gyms and recruit bodybuilders. So John Cena was actually at the gym making protein shakes.
Getting into pro wrestling: I was watching WCW, as I normally did back then and all of a sudden I see Sean O’Haire pop up on the TV screen. I played ball with Sean O’Haire back in Military School. I actually called up his mother to get in touch with him and she gave me his number to reconnect. I asked about how I could get into the business because I was a lifelong fan and he hooked me up with Rick Bassman and UPW. I started training in 2000, with the main trainer being Tom Howard and his assistant trainer was Samoa Joe.
Getting in the ring for some matches: Well, I had two official matches as a wrestler, one against Brian Kendrick who was Spanky and the other against a really underrated guy named Al Katrazz. I had a ton of practice matches, or as I called them scrimmages, but really only matches in my career. I really wanted to be a great tag team wrestler like Tully Blanchard or Barry Darsow but they wanted me as a singles guy. Also when WCW was bought out by the WWF, that was really the end for me.
His chance meeting with the Undertaker: It was at a WrestleMania 21 after party and we both kind of bumped into each other. One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met was the Undertaker. I don’t remember exactly why but we were just talking at the bar. He had just had a birthday or something cause I joked with him that he’s an old man now, and he laughed, then told me to take it easy. So he says Billy Xiong, and confirmed by to me you’re a big boy, what do you do and I told him about being on Joe Millionaire. He didn’t watch the show but he heard of it because it was on Fox. It was an uncomfortable situation that was kind of forced but he wasn’t uncomfortable at all and I was. He was willing to talk to me while we were bellied up to bar and I’ll never forget it. Undertaker’s a great guy, nothing but a gentleman and the epitome of a nice guy in wrestling. We probably only talked for 10 minutes or so but I’m honored we talked that long.
His relationship with Ric Flair: I first saw him at the set of ESPN’s Cold Pizza in the green room and he knew who I was, and I obviously knew he was being such a huge fan. So he gave me his number and told me he was going to be in LA. We ended up meeting up in Santa Monica, got picked up in a limo, went out to dinner and for a few cocktails. We actually ended up partying a few times, I always paced myself too because this is Ric Flair I’m drinking with. He wasn’t out of control, he was reserved, never got drunk, never took out the robe, or got naked, or whatever crazy story you’ve heard. We became pretty good friends at that time.
Other topics in the near three-hour interview include becoming Joe Millionaire, his wrestling fandom, not getting along with DDP, what Steve Austin told him, why Sean O’Haire didn’t become a bigger star in WWE, training at UPW under Rick Bassman, becoming a pro wrestler and more.
You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell.