Professional wrestler JTG (real name: Jayson Paul) is a former WWE superstar and one-half of the popular tag team, Cryme Tyme.
JTG, which is short for Just That Gangsta, began working for WWE in 2006 but was released from the contract in 2007. After a year on the independent wrestling circuit, he returned to WWE in 2008 and wrestled until he was let go in 2014 during a downsizing of underused wrestlers.
While working the independent wrestling circuit for the last year and a half, the 31-year-old Brooklyn, New York native released an eBook titled, “DAMN! Why Did I Write This Book?” (PayHip).
AlwaysAList.com caught up with the wrestling star recently to talk about his debut tome, his thoughts on wrestling and whether he would return to the WWE as one-half of Cryme Tyme — especially since the tag team division is exploding right now.
Let’s start with your eBook, “DAMN! Why Did I Write This Book?” What made you want to write that?
“After telling these stories for years to friends and talking about them to my colleagues, I kept getting the same reaction from everyone: ‘Jay, you need to share these with the world! These stories are hilarious, please write a book.’ After politely shutting down the idea numerous times, I finally decided to just go for it and the rest is history.”
This book has candid stories and offers fans an inside glimpse behind the curtain of professional wrestling. Was there any fallout or shocking response from anyone featured in it?
“I heard word of mouth that there were some upset superstars regarding my book. The funny thing, I didn’t put names in the book. There were some stories in which it was hard to decipher who it was, so unless you were in the story and you felt guilty, no one else knew it was you.”
The Rock has really been the only one, but do you think WWE would ever put the WWE Championship belt on any other Black wrestler? And if so, who on the roster do you think is worthy to carry it?
“Honestly, I have no idea! If so, probably no time in the near future. But I definitely think guys like Mark Henry deserved to be champ, Big E could be a great champion and of course Kofi Kingston given the right storyline. Any of those guys could definitely represent if given the opportunity.”
You mentioned Kofi Kington, The New Day with him, Xavier Woods & Big E have really become top superstars in WWE. Is that encouraging as a Black wrestler, because I know there’s always this talk about the inequality that Black men battle in professional wrestling?
“I love The New Day! While they are very entertaining, that alone doesn’t do it for me. What will be encouraging is seeing a Black wrestler who is identified as black, be a top guy, be the face of the company and do it without dancing or singing.”
Would you consider wrestling for Ring of Honor, TNA, Lucha Underground or New Japan Pro Wrestling?
“I’m always open to opportunities to wrestle. All of those companies have very different products and are doing well, but I’m really intrigued by Lucha Underground. The way the shoot their show is fresh, plus they tape 20 minutes from my home in Los Angeles.”
WWE’s Royal Rumble is approaching and it’s the time of year that old favorites return. Could we see a Cryme Tyme return at the Rumble with you and Shad?
“Royal Rumble is one of my favorite pay-per-views for that same reason. Surprise entries from old favorites. For one, Cryme Tyme is not an old favorite, we’re just favorites! And if we do show up, it’ll be a surprise!”
If you could have a dream solo match with any wrestling star at Wrestlemania, who would you chose and why?
“If I had to choose a WWE superstar to wrestle at Wrestlemania it would have to be John Cena. John Cena is the face of wrestling right now title or no title. I know if I was ever given the opportunity to wrestle Cena I must have accomplished something in my career bigger than me and would be the thing that got me to that to grand stage.”
JTG’s eBook, “DAMN! Why Did I Write This Book?” is available now via PayHip. Catch him and his tag team partner Shad Gaspard working indie wrestling shows both in the U.S. and internationally.