Interviews

20 Questions With . . . Levi Cooper, FKA Tucker

20 Questions with Levi Cooper

Readers of Issue 10 of Inside The Ropes Magazine may have spotted a new feature with WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston where we asked the former WWE Champion 20 questions and got some unique and bizarre answers to the questions that won’t be asked in any other wrestling interview! The feature has, of course continued to Issue 11 where MJF gave us his answers and Issue 12 which will feature Rhea Ripley!

Well, the feature has been so popular that we decided it shouldn’t simply be confined to our monthly magazine – so Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy pitched our 20 Questions to Levi Cooper, formerly known as Heavy Machinery star Tucker!

If you’d prefer to read about Levi’s career, that interview is available here, but if you want to know the former SmackDown star’s favourite band, cheat meal, or what items he would want if he were stranded on a desert island, read on!

What’s your favourite cheat meal?

Ice cream! Ben and Jerry’s specifically. Tonight Show Dough is my favourite!

What’s your favourite video game?

The one I play the most is probably Fortnite, but I would say FIFA is my favorite.

What would you be watching if you had a day of Netflix and chill?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Which movie have you seen the most?

Recently, Moana!

It’s my daughter’s favourite. I can’t say that I don’t love it either, though. I do. I think it might be the most complete Disney movie, in my opinion.

And it has The Rock in it!

I love how they let him be The Rock too! They’re like, “Oh, you’re going to be a demigod, but you’re also kind of going to be The Rock!”

Which actor should play you in a movie about your life?

I’ll go Jake Gyllenhaal.

What’s your favourite musician or band?

Tom Petty.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley.

Pineapple on pizza – yes or no?

I’ll do it. I’m not a huge fan. My wife loves it, though – so, you know, every now and then I’ll acquiesce to her needs.

What three items would you take if you were stuck on a desert island?

I’d take my Switch, And I’m going to take a football with me – an American football – and a fishing pole.

What’s your secret talent?

My secret talent . . . Well, I don’t know if it’s that secret either, but I’m quite the chef.

I’d say baking, actually, because I think most people just see me barbecue but I can bake pretty well. You know, I can make a pie crust from scratch. I can get down on the baking. Probably my most common is quick breads, you know, like a zucchini bread or a pumpkin bread, or a banana bread.

Those, I got on deck. I could whip it up my sleep basically.

What’s your most annoying habit?

Boy . . . I mean, my wife would probably say that I’m very sarcastic and that, like, I don’t I take things seriously when they need to be taken seriously. But otherwise, like, I’m kind of cracking jokes and and just being generally not serious about things.

Oh, actually, I lied. Abbreviating words too often. That’s a super millennial thing to do, right?

If you weren’t a wrestler, what would you be?

I have an accounting degree, so that’s very practical, but that’s what I went to school for and that’s if I didn’t get recruited by the man himself, Gerald Brisco, then I think I would be explaining numbers to people right now.

I love how that’s NOT your secret talent. Bakery goes above accountancy in terms of secret talents!

What wrestling match (not involving you) do you rewatch the most?

I mean, probably the one that I’ve watched the most got to be Rock and Hogan from ‘Mania. It’s two people at the top of their game understanding that they already have the people. It was like, “Hey, we’re both giant stars. We don’t need to do anything really. Like, just take your time.” It’s such a master class in taking your time and and how anticipation is one of the most powerful tools that you have as a performer in professional wrestling. That’s like the art of it is understanding how to get people’s anticipation and hold that anticipation until you give them what they want at the right moment. And how long can you hold that anticipation? How long can you build it up? Everyone knows what’s coming in a Rock vs. Hogan match, but it’s like when’s it going to come and how is it going to come? And they just it’s such a brilliant job of those things, in my opinion.

Yeah, it’s a masterclass in knowing that sometimes doing nothing can be more effective than doing something – if you’re The Rock or Hulk Hogan of course!

Yeah, yeah, exactly. That’s exactly the truth. Eric Young told me before to imagine a wrestling match as a bus line going from start to end. By the time you get to the end of the line, you want all the people to be on the bus. In order for them to get on the bus, you have to stop so that they can get on the bus at certain times. If you just keep driving the whole time, then there’s no chance for them to digest what’s happening.

What’s your pre-match ritual?

Yeah, I mean, obviously, you’re doing a stretching, a little bit of warming up, and then I will try to take maybe a minute or so to just do a little bit of meditating, just some kind of loop meditating, something very basic that I want to focus on, whatever that is, you know, and just close your eyes, breathe and, each time you take an inhale, kind of accept whatever it is that you’re thinking about or whatever it is that you want to manifest – and then just, as you breathe out, letting go of all the other things and just kind of taking whatever it is.

I mean, for me, it was usually just calm. Like, “OK, I don’t need to be super jittery” – that’s all there, just focus on manifesting calmness. That was that was something for me that helped me. That was my kind of ritual.

Who’s the biggest locker room prankster you have ever met and why?

Oh, man. Boy, the biggest one . . . Honestly, I think Matt Bloom is the biggest locker room prankster! At least about the PC.

What’s the weirdest fan request you’ve ever had?

Weirdest . . . I mean, when I was living in Florida, I had a couple of people like send stuff straight up to my house asking for different things, autographs, kind of whatever.

That weirded me out a little bit, just that somehow people found out my address and were like sending things directly to me. I’m trying to think here. Well, this wasn’t me, but when me and Otis were doing our thing, a lady requested a kiss on the lips from him one time I think when we were in the Midwest somewhere, just when we were out signing autographs.

One guy requested that we chug his beer, we just wrestled and we were leaving, and we were like giving high fives to the fans on the way out. And this guy was like, “Chug the beer!” I’m like, “I’m good. You’ve only got a little bit of warm beverage left in there anyway.”

He just wanted you to get rid of the cup!

Yeah, exactly.

What’s the best present you’ve ever received?

And that’s a good one. My wife actually for our anniversary, she just got me this really amazing wooden canvas picture that we both have that I love a lot.

I guess maybe this that, I don’t know if people are seeing this… (you can by watching the video version) ..but in the background, I have a frame that has my Arizona State singlet in a plaque that kind of has my accomplishments from there – Pac-12 finalist, All-American, how many victories I had and stuff, and that was something that pretty special to me.

Who was your wrestling idol growing up?

Growing up, I loved ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, of course, I was born in 1990, so I’m an Attitude Era kid. Once I started becoming a fan, my favourite person is Terry Gordy.

Who is your all-time dream opponent and why?

I mean, I think sharing the ring with The Rock would be the most amazing thing that I could possibly consider, you know.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I love romantic comedies! I love them. They’re so basic but, to me, it’s like it’s the same basic story as a wrestling match. It’s that same kind of thing. Like, you’ve got your shine, you’ve got your heat and you’ve got your comeback. You’ve always got the babyface comeback!

Have you got a favourite one?

I think No Strings Attached is my favourite!

Who would be the guests, from anyone throughout history, at your dream dinner party and why?

Tiger Woods! Let’s see here, I’ll say Winston Churchill. And Genghis Khan.

Thank you to Levi Cooper for taking the time out to speak to us! You can follow Levi on Twitter and Instagram, and also check out Levi Cooper’s Twitch Channel.

For more editions of 20 Questions, you can subscribe to Inside The Ropes Magazine or check out the Interviews section of ITRWrestling.com – including with Alexander Wolfe or Wesley Blake.