TJP had to wait a long time to get his tattoos.
Appearing on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Perkins was asked about the physical transformation he made after leaving WWE, going from someone with no tattoos to someone with two sleeves. According to TJP, the companies he was contracted with asked him not to make any drastic changes to his appearance, which he was fine with for the first little while. Towards the end of his run with WWE, TJP decided to get the tattoos that he had long wanted and actually received advice from Randy Orton to get as much done at once as he could handle. Here is what TJP said:
"A lot of people thought I got fired over tattoos because I started getting them right before I left. I guess it's a product of being under contract in places. I mean, I was homeless for a little bit. My career kind of went to crap and then I got into this show called Lucha Libre USA. They did like three or four seasons on MTV. So, you know, I was under contract there and then you take reference pictures and different things for action figures and they're like, you know, and for us, you know most of the time we're shirtless and wrestling's cheap man. We can't do the Marvel thing where we CGI or makeup over the stuff. So if you're Johnny Depp in a movie, they can put makeup on all of your cool tattoos and cover you up and it's fine, but for wrestling, they're like, just don't do anything.
So long story short, I'm there for like a year and they're like, you know, don't make any major changes. Okay, that's fine. I'm 23/24 years old. I'm young. I know what I want to do but that's fine. Then Ring of Honor for a couple of years. Same thing. We're gonna try to do action figures and stuff so don't make any major changes. Then TNA I was Suicide for a few years and then we took the sleeves off the costume and the same thing, they're like, don't make any major changes. Alright. Then WWE, same thing. After about a year or two, I went to talent relations, I said, Look guys, I'm a grown-ass man. I got to start living my life. It's not even about like look. I mean, these are all just, this is my life story written on my arms. I know that sounds super cliche and I'm sure everybody with tattoos probably says that same sort of thing. But yeah, I mean all this stuff is just stuff that I would have done gradually had I kind of had the chance. Just at a certain point, I was like, I'm not asking for permission anymore, this is what I'm gonna do.
Thankfully they approved it, but they came so fast because Randy Orton gave me that advice. He had gotten hurt, and he had three months off and he was like dude, I always knew what I wanted to do, so I did both my sleeves when I was hurt. He's like, it's the best thing because if you're always travelling, you got to wrestle every week, you don't want to always putting a bandage over something for years. He is like, get as much done as you can. You know, your immune system goes down when you get tattoos and stuff so some people kind of get sick and he's like, just get it done. So I just got it done real fast."
Since his release from WWE in 2019, TJP has gone on to work for IMPACT, New Japan, and MLW, among other promotions.
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