WWE Cruiserweight champion T.J. Perkins is on the rise, but he apparently has backstage heat for the weirdest possible reason: his fellow wrestlers are upset about him talking about having been homeless in the past.
Apparently, many independent wrestlers, some of whom have made it to WWE, have been in a similar situation. Some have even lost their homes, so having a guy use homelessness as his backstory in promos is a sore point for a lot of guys in the business, particularly since it isn't all that uncommon to be homeless when coming up in the industry.
"People are telling me that there's too many guys [saying], 'we were just like that too, what's so special about that'," Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio.Source: YouTube
In some ways, TJ's journey is what makes him so compelling, but it's not an unfair point to note how much his homelessness factors into the package he presents onscreen. That said, I think it's silly for anyone to be mad at him for it, but I can kind of see how some wrestlers feel like he's making a big deal out of something that happens to a lot of guys, not just him.
"I have my food stamps card from when I was homeless. I also have the key to the first place where I got evicted from," Perkins told USA Today's For The Win. "There were many places where I got evicted from, but I still had that first key. It was a simple reminder for years of the places I couldn't go back to. The further away it's gotten, the more motivating it became to me because I didn't have to go back there. I didn't really think about it until I was in the ring after the match. That was the first thing in my mind: I don't have to stay at that key."
I don't know why that wouldn't be seen as inspiring to many of his peers. Sure, a lot of people have led that life and have been homeless before making it. Some have even been homeless, only to never make it in the business at all. But the notion that this story isn't exclusive to Perkins shouldn't disqualify him from telling it. He's overcome a lot to be here, and I think his story speaks volumes of his determination. Granted, I'm a bit biased because I'm a big fan of the guy, dating back to when he was being squandered in TNA. But I still think this is a weird reason for his colleagues to be angry. Is he just not supposed to tell his background? I really don't know what people are expecting from him.
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