Brian Myers has spent the vast majority of his wrestling career under the WWE banner as Curt Hawkins. However, the 35 year old is about to embark on a new journey that will give him some artistic freedom that was missing while signed with WWE for 12 of the last 14 years. Due to budget cuts and roster reductions last month, Myers suddenly found himself out of a job. After that shock subsided, though, he was able to look at his situation as a great opportunity to show that he can go out and have great matches all over the world. The former WWE tag team champion sat down with ComicBook.com for his first interview with the media since his WWE release to discuss his current situation and the direction he sees his career going in the months and years ahead.
Before anything happens on the wrestling front, though, the world is going to have to get back on track from the COVID-19 pandemic. Myers currently finds himself at home in New York with some extended family time, and as he told us, that's been a blessing.
"Yeah, I think the obvious thing is that, active and busy professional wrestlers traveling the world and family time is precious. So I've certainly got my fill in this quarantine," Myers said. "I'm here every single day with my three-year-old daughter. My wife's pregnant with our second child, so spending time with the two and a half of them has been a real blessing out of this whole thing. Whereas, the normal WWE schedule that I was on, sometimes I'm gone four and a half days a week and I'm coming home and playing catch up and missing important things and cool moments and stuff. So, especially right now as the weather's getting nicer in New York, it's definitely pretty pleasant actually."
When asked to look back on his career with WWE and the highlight that stands out above all of the rest, Myers was quick to respond: his tag team championship victory alongside his Major Wrestling Figure Podcast co-host and long-time friend Zack Ryder (Matt Cardona).
"I don't think anything is comparable to the WrestleMania (35) last year. Hometown, friends and family, my wife and daughter in the front row, after losing 269 matches in a row, winning the tag team titles, with my best friend and the guy that I've known since we were 17-year-old kids, just dreaming of being pro wrestlers. So pretty storybook, especially when in the history of WWE in your hometown, you usually get slime dropped on you and pushed into the dumpster or something terrible happens to you, so we really lucked out and I'll cherish that forever, no matter what happens or where I go, wherever my career takes me," Myers said.
In the months and years ahead, Myers' career could take him all over the United States and world. We asked him about the prospect of wrestling for some of the other top wrestling companies in the world. It was easy to tell that the prospect is an exciting one for him. In particular, the idea of going out and having longer matches and showing what he can between the ropes is an appetizing thought for the "Prince of Queens."
"In 2010 and 2011 and then maybe even 2012, I wrestled Trent Beretta on Superstars every other week and we were on a mission to just tear it down and have these kick-ass matches," Myers said when asked to recall some of his best WWE ring work. "Same thing with Tyson Kidd. And really, sometimes in WWE you're just not put in those situations to shine. They're just not there. It's a six minute TV match and you want to do what's best for the scenario and not what's best for you, like try to steal the show kind of thing. And I think I got a lot of that out of my system the first time I was let go (in 2014), you know, two years on the indies and going out to these places and having 20 minute matches with no rules and being your own boss and stuff. I think that's where my bell-to-bell career really shined.
"That's also another reason why I'm kind of looking forward to getting another chance to do that. I was very happy in WWE and making a lot of money. And the one thing that if I had to say, wasn't so great, was that my career was pretty much saddled then on Main Event in these six-minute matches. Whereas now I feel like the gift out of getting fired here is a way to solidify my legacy in the ring and go out there and just have some kick-ass matches while I can, While father time lets me."
Myers was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of wrestling in Japan while on a WWE tour there last year (which was chronicled on the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast YouTube channel). With many former WWE stars having starred in Japan, would he consider working for New Japan Pro Wrestling if given the opportunity? With a young family, traveling around the world for weeks at a time has a different feel to it than it would have at an earlier point in his career.
"Yeah, actually Zack (Ryder) and I have a group chat with Gallows and Anderson and they were saying, man it would be awesome if all four of us were in the tag league in the fall or something, and that would be a huge bucket list type scenario for sure," he said. "That's something I would love to do. Japan was a huge, huge check mark on my list that I wanted to accomplish and I actually got to go last summer with WWE for the first time. So I feel a little less motivated to go there because I got it at least off my checklist and I've been and had a whole week tour there with WWE. It was very important to me at one time. But like you said, now with the family... Of course I would still do it and I'd love to do it, but it's not as high up there of a priority, to be away that long, that far away. It doesn't excite me anymore as a family man."
Another option that fans of Myers and Cardona have already been fantasy booking is for the team to have a run with All Elite Wrestling. AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes has already commented about the possibility. From talking to Myers, it's clear he is very familiar with the AEW product and would relish an opportunity to perform there.
"I mean obviously I'd love to (work for AEW). I haven't missed an episode. I've watched everything from day one. I have a ridiculous amount of friends involved in that company so I'm always rooting for them. I'm rooting for, what their impact on the business is as a whole. They've made it better for everybody. So I would never say never to anything. I've even enjoyed their no-fan presentation a lot better than WWE. I think they're doing the best with that scenario. There's so much opportunity once the world starts to turn back. I see the light at the end of this coronavirus tunnel here and I think things are going to normalize to the new normal. And prior to this, wrestling was on fire man, there was just so much opportunity everywhere," Myers said.
When asked about a possible opponent in AEW that he hasn't worked with before, Myers instantly went toward one name: Darby Allin.
"When I watch it, a person that I haven't worked with...and I've worked, like I said, Trent (Beretta) and the Bucks and a lot of these guys, obviously Cody Rhodes... but Darby Allin is the one that sticks out to me. I've never met him. I've only just seen him on television and I feel like we could mesh very well together. I admire what he's got going on," Myers said.
Check back with ComicBook in the days ahead for more of our interview with Brian Myers, including his pick for the rarest wrestling figure in his collection, which action figure line he thinks will be the next big retro collecting craze, and much more.0comments