Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Trevor Murdoch
Date: 01/29/2023
Your Host: James Walsh

Trevor Murdoch is a former 2 times NWA World Heavyweight Champion. This man enjoyed success in the WWE during the "Ruthless Aggression" period capturing the World Tag Team Titles with former friend of the show, the late Lance Cade. Joining us for the first time in 15 years, Trevor discusses the NWA's upcoming "Nuff Said" PPV and live episode of NWA Powerrr as it is now back on YouTube.

You can catch NWA Powerrr on YouTube on Tuesday, January 31st. Subscribe to their channel and be there to see it all happen live and in living color, if you will! You can also find out more about Nuff Said and the live Powerrr episode on the NWA's official site!

On how he gotinvolved with the NWA:
"I was on the back-end of my career. Harley (Race) was on the downward slope and eventually passed away. To me, it felt like all the stars were telling me, "Ok, this is full circle. Maybe it is time to hang it up. I've done really well for a fat guy from Missouri! 3 time WWE tag team champion at the time.." Well, at Harley's funeral, the NWA had sent some representatives. The NWA Champion, at that time, Nick Aldis and Dave Lagana. I knew both of those guys and they were asking me, "What are your plans for your future in wrestling?" I told them I thought I was done but they invited me to come down and see this new show they were doing, NWA Powerrr! I initially refused. But, those guys kept calling me and asking me to come down. Eventually, I agreed. It is funny. They got me down there by telling me, "YOu don't even have to wrestle. Just come down and agent some matches. Be a producer! We want your experience!" So, I said, "OK, great!" (laughs) So, I get down there and the first person I see is Dave Lagana. We exchange pleasantries and he said, "So, do you have your gear?" I go, "Yeah...." "Great! You've got a match with Ricky Starks!" (laughs) So, I said, "All right, I'll do one." So, I went out and wrestled Ricky. We had a great match... He beat me! I came back through the curtain and Billy Corgan says, "YOu've got a lot more left in the tank than you give yourself credit for." From that, one match became two and then three, then it became see you next week, see you next season. And, eventually, they put me over as a heel."

On the NWA's style mixing the classic look and approach with new school moves:
"Right, and that is what we're trying to accomplish with the NWA. We're trying to take what is familiar and also integrate it with the newer style of wrestling and I think the NWA is doing a really good job of it. But, the classic style, a lot of us guys, we like it because that is the kind of stuff that we all grew up on! For me, it was World Class Championship Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling. There is something comfortable about those kind of studio surroundings. Not to mention me, being a Harley Race guy, I kind of like walking in his footsteps. So, it is exciting me to do some of the thigns that he did - Not as well as he did, but to do the things that he did and for me to try to revive that NWA style."

On the magic of Harley Race and his legacy:
"For me, Harley was the most believable guy in wrestling... What I mean by that is he was a believable tough guy. That isn't to say that other guys weren't tough too, but he made you believe it. And, he also made other guys look good by kicking his butt. To me, that is the magic of this business. To take people's opinions and what they believe and somehow change it, that is part of the magic that is pro wrestling."

On the WLW shows being ahead of their time:
"I was a part of some of the first shows of that company and I was there for the better part of 7 years. Harley had a standard. He expected us to go out there, work our ass off, and wrestle. No one touches the mic, that is a no no. There was very little production. He wanted us to go out there and wrestle. That is what we did! The first 5 years of that company, we went out there and ran 70 shows a year! Shit, that is hard to do now let alone back then before ROH!"

On the emotions of first winning the NWA World Title:
"Talk about a roller coaster of emotions! Nick Aldis and I did 6 months worth of work on TV and it all was coming to a head at the Chase - The same place where Sam Munchnick ran shows and guys like Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair... They literally were in that room. If you've never been there, you walk into that room and there are these beautiful chandeliers in this nice big ballroom... You wouldn't think pro wrestling would be there. But, it fits! (laughs) It fits really well! But, there was some doubt... It was in my home town. What if I don't win? What's next? And, seeing my family there on the other side of that rail including my 17 year old boy that we spoke about earlier. There were over 900 people there and who knows how many watching on pay per view. Every wrestler dreams of what that perfect moment would be. A lot of guys don't get anywhere close to that. They don't get that fulfillment, that moment. And there, for a long time, I thought my chance for that had passed as well. But, to step in there and win that NWA World Title and represent not only the future champions but the champions of the past, I felt honored. I felt ready! I felt like I deserved it and I could do it... And, I did it!"

On how heavy the "10 Pounds of Gold" really weighed on him:
"Oh, huge! There was a lot of comparisons to previous champions including Nick Aldis and those were huge shoes to fill. There were a lot of doubters who said I should have never been champion. But, after I had a few matches, I did what I have always done. Obviously, I'm not to everyone's liking. I'm not everyone's favorite. I don't look like the average pro wrestler. There are no abs on me, I'm not jacked. I'm certainly not pretty! (laughs) Even my wrestling style isn't pretty. So, I do realize that I'm not everyone's cup of tea. But, to be honest with you, I could give a shit what those people thought. It was the people who supported me that I wanted to make proud.... And I did! I went out there and I worked my ass off! I feel like I bought a style to the NWA World Title that hasn't been seen in a real long time... I know it is nostalgic to say this but "Ruthless Aggression!" I go out there, I wrestle, and I beat the shit out of people. That is just how I am! If you want to wrestle in the NWA, eventually, you're going to come across me. That is how I am! That is obviously what the NWA likes and that is why they keep me on the pay roll. So, that is how I do my business! (laughs)"

On the somewhat surprising negative Internet reaction to Tyrus winning the World Title:
"First, let me say this. Am I happy that Tyrus is the World Champion and I'm not? Hell no, I'm not. But, do I respect Tyrus? Hell yes, I do! He carries that championship with honor. And, it is funny, all those people who were complaining, they do it from a far. They wouldn't legitimately talk their shit to this man face to face! Because they know what kind of monster this man is! I say that with the utmost of respect. Trust me, I have plenty of pictures of myself going nose to nose with that big mother f***er! Pardon my language but that is just what it is! (laughs) He's a mountain of a man and he's got a bad temper when he wants to or needs to. But, yeah, everyone wants to talk their shit and everyone is looking for a headline. You know, I was talking to a really good friend of mine about this and it kind of turned my stomach too. But, the perspective they said back to me was, "Yeah, there may have been 1,000 people complaining, running their mouths on the Internet. 1,000 people compared to the 2.5 million people that he (Tyrus via Gutfeld!) reaches on a nightly basis that love him? If you look at it like that, those people ain't shit. Those percentages ain't nothing! I mean, not that anyone is nothing but they are such a small percentage. But, most of the hate he gets is because he's so successful. People don't notice that but the people that are the most hated are the most successful people. Successful people don't hate on people. Unsuccessful people are the ones hating on successful people!"

On NWA Powerrr going live:
"It is! It is live TV! I've got 4 years of experience with live TV so that shit doesn't shake me up. (laughs) When you do live TV, there are no re-takes or do-overs. Well, a lot of times there are no re-takes or do-overs when we do taped shows either. It just is that you don't see it for a week or two later. But, live TV is always more exciting because anything can happen! And, for a lot of our younger roster, this is the first time they will be on live TV. So, it is a great experience for them. A lot of times, we don't get the respect that we have earned. So, we're going to go out there and show that the NWA is and is going to be one of the top pro wrestling companies in the world."

On moving the NWA back to YouTube:
"I think it is great. I have nothing to do with those types of decisions nor do I want to. But, I believe the goal is to always get more eyes on the product. That was one thing I learned when I was in the WWE is it is most important to get eyes on the product. I'm excited about it. And, it also gets us back to where we were at originally. We were an easily accessible product that was easily digestible to anyone. One thing I really love about the NWA is that our show is easily digestible. What I mean by that is you can watch our show and easily understand what is happening and why. Some of the other shows, you can watch one week, miss the second week, and then you turn on the show on that third week and you have all different characters doing all different things and you're like, "What the Hell did I miss?" "

On his plans for NWA's next PPV "Nuff Said":
"Right now I feel I need to remind people why Trevor Murdoch is a former 2 time NWA World Heavyweight Champion and why I should still be considered a top contender for the title. I can say that I have requested a match. I believe that match is going to happen but I'm not at liberty to discuss it just yet. I've always got Tyrus in my sights. But, I have a different match in mind... I want to take 2023 and take it in a different direction for me."

On the wrestling landscape in 2023:
"I feel like wrestling is in the best spot it has been in a lot of years. Honestly, I feel that is because we're back to competition again. For a lot of years there, it was just WWE standing on top of the mountain. Even New Japan was chugging along but they weren't really doing that well either. But, the one place that was standing tall was WWE. That is great for them to be there but when there is no competition, it is easy for things to stagnate. And, the entire pro wrestling industry got stagnant. When that happens, you start to run off fans. That is why you hear, "Yeah, I used to watch pro wrestling but..." Well, now, you have a lot happening and things aren't stagnant anymore. In WWE, you have the regime change where you have a different mind, Triple H, running things creatively - A wrestling mind who is willing to give the fans some excitement. But, it isn't all just Triple H. You've got AEW who are trying to stand out and move the needle. You've got New Japan who are doing things different and standing out. They've created Wrestle Kingdom! Wrestling is so hot right now because it is so competitive! And, we, the wrestlers, have options! But, fans also have options! So, I'm excited! I think wrestling is hotter than it has been in years right now"