TSC Interviews: WWE Tough Enough trainer Bill DeMott
I thought that character was badass.
I was on Tough Enough 4 at the time and killing people!
But then that whole thing was dropped. Was that your decision?
Nope. It wasn't my decision. It was one of those famous wrestling terms: "Hey, we're gonna go a different way with that." As a matter of fact, I was getting the best of Rikishi in a lot of those matches. At first I found it a bit disrespectful because the original plan was to lead to a big PPV match since I had gotten the best of him. Then they told me "We're going a different way, Bill."
But that's wrestling. You take wrestling for what it is, man. If you ever take it personally, it eats you up alive.
After being an active wrestler, WWE had you work in their developmental territory. What was your official position?
I was the trainer at Deep South Wrestling. I was also a talent scout. I did everything. I went to OVW and did my thing there. The whole time I was doing Velocity I was doing Tough Enough and OVW. Then, Deep South came along and WWE moved me there in Georgia to work with the talent. For the better part of eight years with WWE, I did just about everything under the sun for them.
Did you enjoy working with all the young talent?
I loved it. I love training guys and figuring out what they do best. It's fun to help them figure out what they want to do and then figure out how they can get there. I think the best way for someone to give advice is to back it up. I'd like to think over 22 years that I backed it up. The proof is in the pudding with Deep South. We got 30 wrestlers promoted to WWE.
That's a lot of guys for a company that was only open for a year and a half. That's a hell of a turnover.
One guy that you trained on Tough Enough and in DSW was The Miz. What are your thoughts on how he's progressed as a WWE superstar?
Mike Mizanin...I met him at a few charity events when he was doing his MTV thing. I didn't think anything of it. He told me he loved wrestling. I saw him on his TV show [The Real World] drunk and wrestling. But when he came to the Million Dollar Tough Enough I sat him down and told him "You're gonna have to prove yourself to no one else but me." Al Snow told him the same thing.
And freakin' Mike Mizanin has gone the way he should have and is a freakin' legitimate star. Same as John Morrison, who came through Tough Enough. Same as Matt Cappotelli before he got hurt. Maven was great. And Josh Mathews went on to become a commentator and he's still doing that today--and he's still in the business he came into.
Anytime I can give a shoutout to The Miz, I do it. I'm really proud of all those guys. If I helped them in any way, I'm grateful for that because seeing them develop makes you appreciate the things you do.
When you were released by WWE in 2007, was that their decision or a mutual one?