Posted August 26, 2016 by LJ Zenarosa in Entertainment

TJ PERKINS: Donning The Three Stars In A Classy Way

“Style. Style. Style. It’s all about style, and for me personally… I make what I do look easy.”

That’s how TJ Perkins described his uniqueness from the qualifiers for the Cruiserweight Classic, WWE’s new tournament wherein series of qualifying matches happened for all Cruiserweights around the world. TJ got the opportunity that he has been waiting for — a knock that he has been craving all those years being in the wrestling industry.

Before his match for quarter finals, FlipGeeks got a chance to do a sit-down to the FilAm Flash. Despite the busy schedule because of touring and tons of matches waiting in his line, TJ eagerly answered the questions that we’ve been wanting to ask him.


tjperkins2FG: How did you fall in love with wrestling?

TJ : Well my earliest memories are of watching wrestling with my dad when I was 2 or 3. Saturday Nights Main event, that era. I just always loved it.

FG: How did you decide on your wrestling style? Do you have any inspiration on the process?

TJ: I really don’t know how to define my style to be honest. I am just a product of my experiences, as we all are, but I happened to have experienced almost everything. I’ve been a student in every culture for pro wrestling so it is reflected in my style. Also, much of it is derived from my heroes like Sayama and Eddie Guerrero and Shawn Michaels.

FG: How well did you remember your very first match? What is/are the most important thing (s)that you learned from it that you still apply up to now?

 TJ: It was a fill in spot in a tag team match on a Lucha Libre card at the Fox theater in Pomona, Ca. in late 1998. I believe, I was 13 or 14 at the time and I went with some older wrestlers from the training gym to these shows where they’d get matches sometimes. I was given a chance to fill a spot so i did. I had to wear a mask from the merchandise stand to hide my age. I don’t remember much about the match and at the time most places didn’t really film their shows. I have a picture of it somewhere and that’s about all I have to commemorate the evening. I’m not really sentimental about it, it was just nice to finally get a chance to apply some of what id learned. If nothing else it reaffirmed my understanding that I will have so many of those matches in my life and that each one is a small learning experience. so i took it for what it was, just one of many small steps id take.


FG: How did wrestling change your life as an individual?

TJ: I was very absorbed in wrestling prior to starting when I was 13. I was always an all sport athlete growing up and my dad expected me to go to college for a sports scholarship of some kind. I was always defined by being an athlete but I wasn’t physically built to open scouts eyes on paper or in a meeting. Pro-wrestling became my escape from a lack of social life and became the perfect outlet for myself as an athlete while giving me the freedom to be exactly who I was physically, mentally, socially, etc.

tjperkins3My heritage hasn’t directly affected  my style but it has affected my approach to presenting my wrestling.  It affects me between the moves  because Filipino`s tend to be very  charismatic and expressive and happy,  that shines through my performances.”

FG: Now that you are in a much bigger league, how is TJ Perkins different from the rest of qualifiers in CWC?

TJ: Style. Style. Style. its all about style, and for me personally…I make what i do look easy.

FG: What is Cruiserweight Classic for you?

TJ: To me its a turning point in pro wrestling history. It’s like the first Super J Cup, it’s quite exclusive in scope and it will be a landmark for future generations.

FG: What is TJ Perkins’ dream match? Do you have any particular wrestler that you want to wrestle in the ring?

TJ: I wish i could wrestle Eddy Guerrero, or a prime Sayama.

FG: We’ve heard that you also like basketball and a fan of Lakers. Now that Kobe’s retired, who should be the Lakers’ focal point this coming season?

TJ: D`Angelo Russell.

FG: What do you think of the Lakers’ chance to make this coming season’s Playoffs?

TJ: Better than people think. The Lakers weren’t really a 17 win team last year, they played down to 17 wins to keep the draft pick. They were more like a 25-30 win team. Now 30 wins isn’t very good, but, adding Luke Walton gets you some extra wins, Brandon Ingram gets you a few wins, Russell/Clarkson/Randle/Nance Jr. maturing and having experience gets you a few more wins, adding Deng/Mozgov/Calderon/ Zubac might get a couple extra wins….those wins add up. If that even adds just 10 extra wins or so, and the team doesn’t tank on purpose, then a 25-30 win Laker team could easily be a 40 win team. Last year the western conference 6-8 seeded playoff teams were all right at about 40 wins so that would put Lakers near the 6-8 playoff spots if they add just a few more wins to their true potential. Its very doable.

FG: We also noticed that you are also a sneakerhead (I am also a sneakerhead. I feel you.). How often do you collect sneakers and where do you usually get them?

TJ: Its irregular. Sometimes, I get several pairs a month, sometimes I wont get any for a few months. It really depends on the drop schedule and what style season it is. Jordan might be on a 14`s kick for awhile or 12`s or 9`s….but I didn’t like any of those models so I skip all the drops. Tend to just get them in person at drop sites. There are some places in Vegas and LA that still do first come first serve non ticketed drops. I also use the SNKRS Nike app whenever I can as well.

FG: What were your first pair of sneakers? Where are they now?

TJ: Oh, I have no clue. When I was younger, I would get some moderately nice stuff, Flight 89`s or like Pippens, Pennys, Iversons, Crazy 8`s, Grant Hills…but mostly my parents couldn’t afford to get me good stuff. So now that I’m older, I have no clue where my old stuff went but it has made me want to get what I couldn’t have when i was little. I think it started with a pair of Kobe 6`s, When I got the Grinchs I think…and I realized I’m older and can get this stuff so the floodgates opened and i started grabbing Jordan Retros, and Kobe`s and other Nike drops.

FG: We’ve also noticed that you have a PSN account! What genre do you play? Your favorite games?

TJ: Used to be sports games mostly but i have been addicted to Battlefront and Overwatch for months now.

FG: If you recall, what was the first game you played? Which console?

TJ: Im sure it was Duck Hunt on NES.

FG: The world is crazy about POKEMON GO, have you tried yourself? Your favorite Pokemon?

TJ:  I literally know nothing about Pokemon. I’ve just never been into it or learned about it so i don’t play Go at all.

FG: If you are going to be a superhero or a comic book character, who do you want to be and why?

TJ: Deadpool. Its just so in line with my day to day personality and outlook on the world that its uncanny.


FG: Here in FlipGeeks, we believe that there is a geek in everyone. Can we ask how geeky TJ Perkins is? What is the geekiest thing that you’ve done?

TJ: Good Question. Recently, I began furnishing my kitchen entirely with Star Wars Kitchen items…that’s definitely up there.



FG: There is a growing community of wrestling fans in the Philippines, both old and new ones. If there is anything that you would like to tell them, what will it be?

TJ: God Bless all of you. I embrace my heritage not only for my family but for all of you. I have always looked to my heroes for inspiration and our culture hasn’t had many heroes. Outside of Manny, not many have a presence to inspire Filipino`s and Fil-Am people. I am really expressing myself for all of us so hopefully others will be inspired to do the same in their own lives and achieve their goals and be proud to be Filipino. When I arrived at WWE for the Cruiserweight Classic, I was given a choice for representation, USA or Philippines. At one point, I was offered both at the same time and I told them no…. I want to represent the Philippines. Just put one flag up there and make it the Sun and Stars. People know I am from the USA and grew up in Los Angeles. I wanted to represent my family and their heritage and be an inspiration for Filipinos. So God Bless you and maraming salamat!!



You can always check TJ’s journey in Cruiserweight Classic thru his Twitter or at WWE Network.

LJ Zenarosa

Nurse by day but a geek 24/7. Cat Lady who loves wrestling. And can eat lots of sweets -- like a LOT.