Maven opened up about his preparation for his moment at the 2002 Royal Rumble and if there was any backlash from veterans about the position he was in.
Former 3-time WWF Hardcore Champion Maven got his start in professional wrestling through the 'Tough Enough' series that he went on to be a co-winner of. A year into his run in WWE and Maven engaged in a brief feud with The Undertaker after Maven eliminated "The Phenom" from the Royal Rumble match in 2002. Immediately after Maven eliminated Undertaker from the match, Undertaker got back in the ring and beat Maven down around the arena and was eventually tossed over the top rope by Undertaker.
Maven joined Sam Roberts for Roberts' live 'notsam Wrestling' show at Carolines in New York City in March and was joined by fellow guest panelists Hornswoggle, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Maven took fans on a virtual trip through the lead to his moment at the 2002 Royal Rumble pay-per-view and shared that The Undertaker was completely fine with giving that moment to him in order to make a new star. Maven recalled that he was supposed to bleed during the segment and told the story of how he and The Undertaker had a drink or two to thin out his blood.
“So the match called that night for me to get color and in the business, if you want to get good color, you take Aspirin. Well, I’m allergic to Aspirin. So, Taker’s backstage, [he] tells me an hour and a half before we go out -- he’s like, ‘Take a couple baby Aspirins to thin your blood out’ and I’m like, ‘I’m allergic’. He said, ‘Oh, let’s drink some Jack'. I’m out there, he’s not feeling a thing because he’s Taker and I’m two sheets to the wind. I’m shocked as f*ck that I actually hit the dropkick, but I’m glad I did.” Maven recalled.
With being in his early 20s and a year into his WWE career and feuding with The Undertaker, there was jealousy from fellow stars in the locker room directed at Maven. Maven said he knew Perry Saturn was not fond of him and recalled that the late Andrew "Test" Martin openly admitted to Maven that he was jealous of Maven's positioning in the company before the two eventually became best friends.
“You know what? I’m sure a lot of people did, and God rest his soul, I love this guy. He turned out to be one of my best friends before he passed, Test. Andrew, Test, me and him became good buddies later on. After I got released, I did some stuff with TNA back when they started then I worked for the Home Shopping Network and they’re down in Florida and when I moved down there, Test was like, ‘Mave, you’re moving down? Stay with me in Channelside’ and I was like, ‘Alright’ and he turned out to be one of my best friends before he passed but he told me, he was like, ‘Yo I fu*king hated you bro’, and if you know Andrew, that was his personality, but I’m sure a lot of guys did." Maven said. "I know [Perry] Saturn, I know he did, but it’s just natural you know. The way I came in was different and all I was trying to do with the position that I came in with, was just earn guys’ respect, and I earned Bob Holly’s respect which that right there, was enough for me, and once I knew I earned his respect and he saw that I respected the business, that I loved the business and that I was going to do right by the business, then I knew everyone else was either gonna come on and -- whether you’re a fan of me or not, that’s fine or whatever, but understand that I love what it is that I’m out there doing, and… you know.”
Maven has not wrestled since 2016 and is currently working as an Account Executive for the Brooklyn Nets. Maven stated during his appearance at Carolines that he owes a lot of his career to The Undertaker and while on the topic of "The Phenom", The Undertaker was recently pulled from All Elite Wrestling's Starrcast II and to read the latest on that, check out Fightful's published article about the topic.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the 'notsam Wrestling' Podcast with an H/T to Fightful for the transcriptions.