Maven recalls the moment he briefly became a big-time player in WWE.
At the 2002 Royal Rumble, nothing was more surprising than the moment where WWF Tough Enough winner, Maven, eliminated the Undertaker from the 30-Man Battle Royal and then promptly was bloodied by the American Badass. This moment would lead to Maven winning the Hardcore Championship from Undertaker and see him taste a brief moment of stardom.
Recalling the moment where he was told that he was going to eliminate Undertaker from the Royal Rumble, Maven tells Chris Van Vliet that, in retrospect, he's proud to have the signature spot from that Year's Royal Rumble match saying that it is more memorable than the closing moments of the match itself, and also says he's grateful to the Undertaker for giving him a career.
"I dare to say that it was the spot. If you ask anyone to mention anything from the 2002 Royal Rumble, what are they going to say? I honestly have no clue who won that match. So at the time, I was finally training and I was in HWA in Cincinnati. They flew me to Atlanta and they said 'You're probably going to have a spot in the Rumble.' I'm like OK maybe I will get to come out. But I had wrestled Taz a couple of times and I had also wrestled Booker T on SmackDown. I had a little bit more TV experience by this time. I get to the arena and I am walking to the ring. Shane [McMahon] and Taker come up and see me.
“They say 'Mave, we want to tell you what we've got going on tonight.' Already, Shane, why does he care? And why is Taker here? I thought it would be one of the agents coming up to me telling me 'Hey you are coming in 17th and going out 18th.' Then they tell me. They are like 'Taker is going to sh*t can everyone out. The Hardys, Lita, then you are going to come out. It's going to be you and him. You're going to hit him with that dropkick and eliminate him.' I'm like 'What?' Taker, no lie, turns, looks down at Shane, and says 'Are you f*cking kidding me?' I didn't know. I thought he was being told this information at the time too. I'm like Jesus I'm dead. Please just die right now. Then he just turns and winks at me. That just shows what a professional he was. He was willing to put me over and to do that favor. It wasn't just for me, it was for the wrestling business. I will spend the rest of my life answering questions about that for the rest of my life. He gave me a career."
Ultimately, Maven would never go on to win another championship but he did headline the 2004 Survivor Series event as part of Team Randy Orton alongside Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, and Randy Orton himself.
Thanks to Chris Van Vliet for sending the above quotes. You can check out the full interview here.