Tomko looks to hone his skills during "lull" in WWE career
Soon after the official announcement on WWE's new mobile alert system that WWE and Tyson Tomko had come to terms on his release, WWE.com spoke with Tomko via cell phone to get the whole story and ask where he goes from here:
WWE.com: Is it true that you requested your release from WWE to go work in Japan?
Tyson Tomko: That's correct.
WWE.com: What prompted that decision?
Tomko: It was a mutual agreement between me and WWE. I talked to WWE officials and there's not anything going on with me right now. So, rather than sit around, I'm taking matters into my own hands. I'm going to go over to Japan. I've always admired the style there — the brutality. I'm a big fan of Bruiser Brody. And I just want to go over there and experience that. And while there's a lull in my career here at WWE, I decided to take the opportunity to go over to Japan and hone my skills.
WWE.com: Do you feel you were underutilized or improperly used in WWE?
Tomko: I think it's easy to say that "I was underutilized," but I think what would be more politically correct to say is that you underutilized yourself. I think I can and will be a bigger asset to this company.
WWE.com: What kind of opportunity would you need in WWE to show that you can be a bigger asset?
Tomko: I don't think it was anything I was doing. The bottom line is that people sit by sometimes — and I've seen it happen to a handful of guys — where they just sit around and don't do anything about their career. But I know I can be a top-caliber athlete for this company. I just think that rather than sit around and wait for the opportunity, I'm going to take it. Instead of waiting around for a handout, I'm going to go make my opportunity. Then, I'm going to come back and there's going to be no question as to my ability at that point.
WWE.com: Do you have any plans finalized for wrestling with a particular promotion in Japan?
Tomko: There's nothing completely finalized. I have been in talks as recently as this morning, and there had been e-mail communication. So, I can't go on record as of this point, but I'm definitely — with 100 percent certainty — going to be appearing in Japan within the next couple of months.
WWE.com: Looking back, how do you feel about your time in WWE?
Tomko: Very positive. I think I've gone out on a good note and everything I've done here had been a testament to my abilities. I think that if I went any further without doing what I'm doing, then it could have jeopardized my stature, if you will. So, I'm going to take a step backward and go five steps forward.
WWE.com: So, you feel you're leaving WWE on good terms where you might return in the future?
Tomko: Absolutely. I shook hands with Vince McMahon yesterday afternoon as I was leaving, and I believe the exact saying was: "The door is wide open."
WWE.com: So it doesn't sound like there are any hard feelings.
Tomko: None whatsoever. The company as a whole was fantastic to me. I'm not bitter in any way. This is just something that I wanted to do, and I'm just fortunate that there was a lull in what I was doing where I was able to go to Japan while not taking away from what WWE was doing with me. I came from being a bodyguard for a rock band, so I never got the opportunity to go work in areas like Japan or the independents or anything like that. And I want to experience that. So, while there was an opportunity, I decided to do this thing. I'll come back, and when I come back I'll be bigger than ever.
WWE.com: What were your favorite moments during your time in WWE?
Tomko: I have a few favorites. I had an opportunity to wrestle with Chris Benoit a few times. I also wrestled with Hulk Hogan in a six-man tag-team match with Christian and Chris Jericho as my partners and John Cena, HBK and Hulk Hogan as my opponents. That's a match that I was really fortunate to be a part of. Also, I got the opportunity to face Ric Flair. Those are all points in my career where I would have never thought those opportunities would present themselves, and they did. I'm very fortunate and grateful for that.
WWE.com: There are going to be a lot of WWE Superstars who will read this on WWE.com today. Do you have any message for anyone you didn't get a chance to speak to one-on-one before your departure?
Tomko: I just want to say to everybody I had an opportunity to work with in WWE, if I didn't personally thank them, I'd like to thank them now. In times to come, we will definitely have a future meeting — and hopefully I'll be on the good end of it. Because when and if I do come back to this company, any Superstar in my way, I'm going to take him out.