WWE Superstar, Otis, admitted that growing up was not easy for him. Being the youngest of two siblings, he found himself in a dark place back in 2012, when he lost his sister to a drug overdose. Though they're all half-siblings, Otis noted how special they are to him and his journey.
"So, I'm the baby and the biggest of all three of us," Otis jokingly stated on Chasing Glory. "My sister passed away in 2012, and my brother is almost going to be 40 now. They're both my half [siblings]. They're from different moms and different dads. They're still blood, obviously."
While attending secondary school, Otis had a rough time fitting in amongst his peers. Otis opened up about his dyslexia diagnosis, and how that and his body image were the main factors that contributed towards him being bullied in middle/high school.
"Absolutely, oh yeah," Otis answered when asked if he was bullied growing up. " I remember in high school, for example, they would make the troubled kids go with the disabled kids -they would put them together. The only time that I would be in a decent class was like history. My teachers were understandable with my reading dyslexia. I remember as a kid, if you remember like reading [in front of the class], the teacher goes, 'Alright there Otis, it's your time to read.' I'm like stuttering, and the kids would laugh. I've always been made fun of for the way I looked and because of my reading [difficulties]."
After talking about the rough patches he's faced growing up, Otis was all smiles again when he talked about the first time he watched pro wrestling. Because of his passion for pro wrestling, his mom surprised him and took him to a wrestling school. But, this wasn't the exact wrestling school that he had envisioned it to be.
"I would say it was when I watched WCW Thunder...everyone remembers the first match they watched, but I remember seeing it [as a whole] and going oh my God, I want to do that," Otis exclaimed. "I was four. I remember thinking, 'Woah, what is this?' I turned to my dad and I said, 'Dad, you should wrestle.' He was like, 'I would kick all of their a--es.
"I remember my mom told me that she was going to get me into wrestling. Every Monday and Wednesday they had matches, and at the end of it all, you got a medal. I was like ok. I remember I got in there and I asked my mom, 'Mom, where's the ring?' She goes, 'Ring? This is real wrestling son. What the hell are you talking about where's the ring?' I got into amateur wrestling because of pro wrestling."
It has been quite a challenge for the pro wrestling industry, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, and not having a live audience to showcase their events towards. When WWE announced that they were going to continue on with WrestleMania 36 and make it a two-night event, some fans were wondering if this was going to live up to their past WrestleMania's. As Mandy Rose and Otis' fairy tale storyline came to a full and successful circle on Night Two, Otis wished that he could've heard the crowds reaction during their iconic kiss.
"Working with Mandy, Sonya [Deville] and Dolph [Ziggler], this just needs a crowd," Otis noted. "You watch any talk show, and every reaction is just getting paid for. We went through it, but it didn't feel like a WrestleMania. When I was working with Dolph, I heard him say that this was his first single WrestleMania match. So, that was pretty cool [hearing that]. He was like, 'We're going to go out there, and we're going to kill it.
"There were so many great things that happened on those two nights of WrestleMania. But I'm thinking, like the payoff of me and Mandy finally touching lips, there would have been crazy noises going on."
You can view Otis' full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory- Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.