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Tyler Reks On How John Cena Destroyed His And Alex Riley's Careers


Gabe Tuft, the talent known as Tyler Reks in the WWE back in 2012, went on Reddit to host an Ask Me Anything session, and gave us some pretty interesting insights on some of today's more recognizable names in wrestling.


John Cena was a prime target for Tuft's angst—not very surprising considering the alleged heat he had with Cena over his use of the Burning Hammer supposedly stealing the thunder from Cena's Attitude Adjustment.

From an old interview:



Well, we were at a house show and I was working Eddie Colon, who I knew pretty well. We were second or third on the card and I was going over using the Burning Hammer. When I put him up, he's supposed to be looking at the ceiling. It's like a moonsault for him and a sitout DDT for me. I don't know what we did, we were hurrying or something. He didn't land on his stomach, he landed on his back and it kind of looked like an F-U (Attitude Adjustment.) We were like, 'oh crap, John Cena is going to be pissed.' We got to the back and John Cena was looking at a monitor and was just like, 'Ah, Reks. You're going to have to find a new finisher.' He kind of smirked at me and I thought he was joking. I told him, 'Yeah man, sorry about that. It kind of got screwed up and we'll make it right tomorrow.' I thought he was suggesting we get it right, not to make it look like his. 
Personally I think the Burning Hammer—my version of it—looks way better than an FU. I had approval from Vince and Arn and everybody. In a pre-session Arn asked me what my finisher was, and I said a Burning Hammer. He was like "It's a WHAT?!" and Dustin/Goldust goes, "Here man I'll help you with it." Arn asked if he was sure, and we had this whole thing where agents were watching and John Cena was at the announce table and they had me give it to a bunch of different guys. Arn asked if Goldust was okay, and he said yes and it was easy to take. Arn said I was cleared to use it, and nobody said anything. 
I used it at Bragging Rights 2010 and John was literally across the ring from me when I hit Santino Marella with it and never said anything to me then. I'd been using it for 8 months on Superstars and everything before all this. I come backstage happy after a good match with Eddie all excited and John grabs me in front of everyone and says, 'What do you think you're doing? I thought I told you to get a new finisher.' I said, 'Yeah, I thought you were joking John. We hit it wrong last night. I'm really sorry.' He started yelling at me asking who gave me permission to use that. He belittled me, called me an idiot, and asked me if I enjoyed working here. I told him of course I do. He told me, 'Find another finisher or you're fired.' I was humiliated, I was a full-grown man, why can't we talk about this like human beings? 
I went outside to cool down, and I was ready to quit, to walk out. That didn't seem like a healthy workplace environment. I came back in and John Cena was sitting there by the curtain and I figured that I'd cooled off and he'd cooled off so I'll try to apologize one more time. I said, 'John, I'm super sorry about this. I really thought it was just a miscommunication.' He looks over at me and says, 'What was there to be miscommunicated? I asked you to stop using that finisher, are you stupid?' He wouldn't even allow me to apologize. Finally I was just like, yeah, I'll find another finisher. 
He and I never really talked after that. That's the whole story of John Cena making me feel like a six year old boy.

When asked in his new AMA if he thought Cena was still a backstage bully who throws his weight around to get what he wants, he had this to say:

Yes. Totally agree. It's unfortunate that that's the case, and kids need heroes, and for those of us who are grown ups know far from that. Kids need heroes and their's nothing wrong with that. He's paid well for all that he does, he's a work horse for sure, but he certainly throws weight backstage.


He also had a lot to say over Cena supposedly destroying Alex Riley's confidence and standing within the WWE.

There was some sort of unknown, unreasonable heat between Riley and Cena. To the point where everyone on the roster thought that Cena was treating him in a way that was totally uncalled for. 
Like, it's completely against the wrestler code to ever go through another wrestler's bag. One day, Riley walked into an empty locker room and Cena was just going through his bag. He found some pre-workout vitamins and bitched him out for taking supplements, asking if he 'thinks this is ok.' Like, he was looking for a reason to get him fired. 
We had the match when Linda was running for Congress for the Stand Up For WWE charity shows, and it was a tag match, I think it was a six man tag match if I remember right. And it was me, Hawkins, and Ziggler vs. Riley, and two other baby faces. Cena had made it clear that he wanted Riley to act a certain way and do certain things. And we structured the entire match to his wishes and it went flawlessly as far as we were concerned. 
The second we walked backstage he came up to me and said 'Hey where's numbnuts?' And he sees the look on my face and tells me to go get Riley. So all six of us came back and he bitched out Riley in front of the backstage roster—about how he always tells him to do one thing and he does another, and Cena was 'washing his hands of helping him.' Even Ziggler was like, 'What the hell, man?' 
The entire locker room was on Riley's side, a lot of condolences, and this is 'ridiculous, bro,' and it was every freakin' day. Cena thought Riley did something wrong every single day.
He did have some funny stories to share as well, particularly an extremely repulsive encounter with Hornswoggle when they were on the road together. 

I've got a long one about Hornswaggle, man he's going to hate me for this. We were splitting a hotel room and I went to the gym and he stayed behind like usual. 
When I came back my key card wasn't working, so I banged on the door and he wouldn't answer. Finally, he opens the door and and just sticks his head out. He looks both ways and then opens the door and is fully butt-naked—midget naked, not pretty. 
And then, I'm just grossed out by what I see, then he waddles back to the bathroom and leaves the door open and continues to do his business like it's no big deal. 
All he said was 'what,' that was it.
Former WWE talent Kaval—better known perhaps as Low Ki in the indie scene—wasn't very popular in Tuft's eyes, judging by some harsh words he had to say about him.

He was one person backstage and another person in the ring. We'd set up things backstage with producers and he'd change it without telling me. It's pretty evident in one of our matches that he hurt me on purpose and Arn Anderson was pissed. It wasn't long after before he got fired. 
It's a shame because I liked the guy, but he just did stuff in the ring to try to bury people, which just sucked.
To close, Tuft left us all with some insight on what the best thing about being in the wrestling business is, what's the worst, and if he carries any regrets.

The best thing is the match itself. The wrestling is fun. Being in the ring is really fun, and it's a rush and it's all eyes on you. It's not like a team sport where you're a running back, part of a thirty-man team... it's all eyes on you and it's your moment to shine, and it's really, really fun. 
The worst part is the politics. All the bullshit you have to deal with backstage, with who to talk to and who not to talk to, who's chair did you accidentally sit in—all that crap that goes along with it, instead of just going out there and having a good time. There's just so much crap that it's not worth it. 
As for the regrets—none, not a one. I believe that everything happens for a reason and if things hadn't happened the way they did in the WWE I wouldn't be who I am right now, and who I am right now is exactly who I want to be.

What do you think of what Gabe Tuft had to say about John Cena? Is he right to be throwing shade at Low Ki after all these years? And what kind of mental imagery did his Hornswoggle anecdote leave you with? Let us know your thoughts!  

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