1. First of all, please describe yourself to the readers??
As “Gabe” I’m a family man. Every ounce of my time is dedicated towards finding ways to spend more time with my family. Sometimes though, that means working long hours to better our future and allow for quality time together. Outside of family, my goal is to remain humble, approachable, and to help others achieve success in their lives.
As “Tyler Reks”, I’m a confident, monster heel who knows exactly what he’s capable of. I shoot for the best match of the night, every time I step on stage.
2. How did you get involved in Wrestling??
Rick Bassman was a good friend of mine, and still is. He is the owner of Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). Rick discovered many of the well known wrestling names today such as Sting, John Cena, and the Ultimate Warrior – to name a few. I was in the right place at the right time and Rick got me in front of Mike Bucci and Johnny Ace. I had zero wrestling experience but they thought I was marketable.
3. Who were you trained by and if you could describe your training experience and finally would you change anything from training??
Originally, when taking beginners classes at UPW, I was trained by Tommy Wilson and Tommy Williams. At FCW though, my main trainers were Tom Prichard, Billy Kidman, Norman Smiley, and Steve Keirn.
4. You joined up with FCW in 2008, having a run in ECW in 2009 under a surfer gimmick what are your thoughts on that gimmick looking back and before you teamed with Hawkins you went back down to FCW and started working house shows was this imperative so you didn’t go up too soon??
I thought the original gimmick had some good potential when I got up there. However, Johnny didn’t want me in board shorts since Miz had shorts at the time and he wouldn’t let me use the “hang loose” hand gesture since Cena was using it. He also wouldn’t let me use my current finisher, the Burning Hammer, and wanted me to use a springboard dropkick instead. All in all, I think the combination of stripping me of these elements coupled with the fact that I was a huge guy being beat up by much smaller heels, killed the gimmick. The crowd just didn’t know what to think and couldn’t get behind me.
The house shows were absolutely imperative to my career as a heel and to progressing beyond my current talent range. I had the opportunity to work with guys like Chavo Guerrero, MVP, Christian, Matt Hardy, Chris Masters, Eddie Colon, and Gold Dust. These guys are vets and you can’t obtain that kind of in-ring training anywhere else. Each time I worked with them I learned something new and added something to my arsenal.
5. From 2011-2012, you teamed with Curt Hawkins as the Heat Seekers competing mainly on NXT and Superstars, do you think it was unfair you never got the chance to prove yourself more regularly on the main brand and get title shots??
We actually did get two or three matches with Air Bourne and Truth/Kofi who were the current tag champs. To date, they were some of our best matches. I do think that if we were given the opportunity to hold the straps we’d have really done something amazing with that run. I’m fairly convinced that’s where we were headed with the whole Magic Mike gimmick that Hunter gave us. However, my choice to retire and be with my family cut that one short – and I have no regrets about it.
6. You retired from Wrestling in 2012, what did you get up to while you were retired??
Retiring from wrestling as a low card or mid card talent doesn’t leave you with anything in your pocket or much to show except nagging, ongoing injuries and bad short term memory from hitting your head all the time. That being said, I had to pay my bills so I founded a digital marketing company with my brother-in-law: www.LocalM2.com. We do everything digital including websites, SEO, social media management, and pay-per-click.
After that, I was inspired to write a fitness book which I released in March of this year called Body Spartan: Genesis. I teamed up with several wrestlers to create the site www.bodyspartan.com which now is one of my main focuses. We are running monthly weight loss support groups online and have seen AMAZING results. People can chose from any one of the programs we offer and be coached directly by my wife Priscilla (who is a master sports nutritionist) and/or myself via private Facebook groups of anywhere from 5-10 people. The participants have direct support from both of us to answer any questions via email, text, phone, or Facebook. We guide them through the first 30 days of their program and ultimately, to reaching their goals. I’ve watched people’s lives change and it’s incredible. It’s truly where my passion is.
7. You are officially back in the ring again teaming with Curt Hawkins, is it good to be back and did you miss wrestling??
Absolutely. As I tell everyone else who asks, I don’t miss the travel schedule I had with WWE, I don’t miss the politics, I don’t miss all the other BS that comes with that job. I did however, miss the actual wrestling, and it feels great.
Hawkins and I just launched a new site at www.reksandhawkins.com and are now taking bookings as a team.
8. Will you continue to wrestle now your back and would you ever come over to the UK with or without Hawkins to wrestle if given the chance??
Yes. If given the chance, I would definitely come to the UK to wrestle again.
9. Where can the readers find you on Social Media and where can promoters book you??
www.reksandhawkins.com is the easiest way to book us. Just fill out the booking contact form.
For social, you can find me on Twitter at @gabetuft or on Facebook at /gabe.tuft.50
19. Have you got any future projects or dates you wish to plug??
Ha! Funny you should ask. Keep an eye out for an incredible new social network that we’ve been working on for the past two years. It’s like nothing the world has seen before.
Other than that, The Heatseekers are back and ready for bookings so jump on it before our schedule fills up.
Thanks for the interview and much love to all of the fans that have always supported us.
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