On the Valentine's Day week edition of After The Bell, Corey Graves brought on Otis, who will be going on a date with Mandy Rose on Friday's episode of Smackdown. Otis and Rose are involved in a romantic storyline that saw Otis save Rose in the women's Royal Rumble match. Graves asked Otis about their relationship that led Otis to talk about their inside joke on NXT where Otis would pretend to be Rose's boyfriend on social media.
"Honestly, when I used to see pretty girls, I was super duper shy and not say a word to them. I'd be a little nervous and not talk normally without stuttering. So nowadays you get a little more confidence as you get older. It's Mandy. She's awesome. She grew up with brothers. The fans ask me, 'how's she behind the curtain?' I say she's awesome. She jokes around you know," Otis said. "I started doing the Chris Farley stuff to her at the Performance Center. Like she'd start walking, and I'd go, 'how you doing my beautiful peach.' And I'd call Sonya my plum. Then coach Sara Amato goes, 'we need everyone to have a fruit nickname.' I go that's hard to do because we'd call her a banana or a strawberry something in between there. It got out of hand because I was pretty good at nicknames.
"Then just one day, I was sitting down, and she was posting all of her beautiful pictures online. I said, 'what if I post a picture of her modeling pics and say you look great babe.' Pretty soon that one post had more comments than actual likes because there were so many people that were just confused as to what was going on. A week later on Google, when you typed in Otis, it said, 'Otis and Mandy, are they really married,' something like that on the search bar. I'm like oh man this is kind of getting a little attention here so I just kept on like pretend creeping here on a post saying, 'hey, you look great in this.' I would pretend she was my girlfriend, and It was obvious, at the time, she' not. It was just kind of a thing I was goofing around with. Finally got it going on in the WWE world. She's awesome to work with too man. It's basically working for free."
Graves told Otis that while on TV he mocks Otis' character, he is still laughing on the inside. That led Otis to talk about the reaction his mother would have towards Graves mocking her son.
"Well my mom loves you brother," Otis said. "She's like, 'who's the hell is the guy talking that sh*t? You want mamma to get on his a**? You want me to get on his a** for ya?' I'm like 'mom, it's just Corey. He's doing his job alright. He's half right basically.' [She goes], 'no, he's not. You're my boy. You're my son.'"
Graves also asked Otis about his in-ring character and where his inspiration comes from. Otis talked about his mother being a big inspiration to his character. He also talked about his great grandmother being a pro wrestler in carnivals and talking to William Regal about it.
"I would say I copy a lot of my mother's mannerisms," Otis said. He admitted that he got his tongue mannerism from her.
"I'm not gonna say that I that from a certain way, but she'd do this thing with her mouth that made a certain sound. She's the only person in the world that does this and her brother I guess, but my mom was a very entertaining lady," Otis said. "The only other pro wrestler in the family is my great grandmother. She was a wrestler in the carnivals. This was back in the day you know what I mean. 'Who can slam this 300-pound woman in the ring?' There was a plant in the crowd that couldn't slam her, and she'd throw them off. That was her night job was to tour around different towns and carnivals.
"He [Regal] does know. We had a promo class, and he was there one day at the Performance Center. We talked about it too. He said, 'anybody else that was working?' I said no it's just a thing where if you have seven kids back then, you got to feed them. That was her night job. That was what she did because she was 5'5" about 280. She was a big Greek woman, and she raised my mom basically. But my mom would have been a heck of an entertaining comedian. I always tell her that. Basically a lot of my stuff I do on TV is very much inspired by her."
Otis had talked about Tommy Boy and Chris Farley as being an inspiration to his character as well. He talked about how it wasn't something that was done on purpose initially but is now something that he leans towards for his character.
"The Chris Farley thing is pretty much by accident like I do see a lot of equal comparisons, but it wasn't on purpose. I kind of just went, 'I do sound like Chris. I do this or whatever,' but nowadays I do study Chris a lot like if there's ever a Chris Farley movie coming out, I'll be the one to play. I don't think there's someone that plays Chris Farley better than me."
Graves also had girlfriend Carmella, where they talked about her wine business and her aspirations to show people what she can do in the ring. You can listen to the full podcast by clicking here. If you use any quotes in this article, please credit WWE's After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.