Thomas Pestock, or rather Happy Corbin, as he’s come to be known over the last year, has recently been granted some high praise from a legend in the business of professional wrestling. Veteran Billy Gunn had some very encouraging words for the WWE SmackDown star. He revealed these thoughts on Corbin on the most recent episode (as of this writing), of the Oh You Didn’t Know Podcast.
Corbin, who has gone through various name changes over the last few years, started his athletic career in the realm of professional football—specifically the National Football League at the height of his football career.
He was an offensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals and the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL. His football career ended in 2011 and the following year he would start on his journey in the realm of professional wrestling.
It was there that he would shine at the WWE Performance Center and gain the attention and appreciation of one Billy Gunn.
Billy Gunn needs absolutely no introduction to most of you, dear readers, as his career most definitely speaks for itself. His own pro wrestling career started in 1989 and since that time he has more than left his mark on the industry.
Extensive runs in WWE, TNA, a return to WWE and now his run in AEW alongside his sons Colton and Austin, show him to be very prolific indeed and in epic shape at the age of 58, and as you all may know, he is still wrestling of course.
It was during his more recent return to WWE that Gunn fell into a role as trainer and was training up-and-comers at that time; he also was trainer on Tough Enough and as stated above, he had some very flattering statements to make about Corbin. Here’s some of what he said:
“That was the one that sticks out…Everybody knows that I’m not a big NFL guy because they just come in entitled and they don’t want to learn, they don’t have a passion and, ‘I’m just getting paid money to do this, and okay, I don’t have to work.’ (Corbin) was a different animal. He wanted to learn this and he couldn’t get enough…
Every time after class, he would come…‘Hey, can you stay? Would you just do this?’ I have no problem, I’ll stay as long as (possible), but it’s not a thing that you’re just going to come to me because that’s the thing that everybody wants to see you do. I feel, sometimes, that’s a thing.”via Billy Gunn on the Oh You Didn’t Know Podcast /Wrestling Inc. (Transcription)
He also now coaches in AEW but stated that there are some differences with both coaching gigs overall.
“We have a bunch of coaches that are bar none, the best in the business…But nobody uses it. Me, Arn, Dean (Malenko), B.J. (Whitmer); most of the guys like they’ve been there. So hey, how did we get there?”– citation and link, same as above
Billy, who was known not to be the most patient teacher – but was a damn good one regardless – as can be seen in the above video, must have definitely been impressed with Corbin, or he would have kept his comments and his praise to himself. Billy worked on Tough Enough during the show’s Season 6. Students that were in that Tough Enough class were Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Chelsea Green and many others. Mandy Rose is of course the current NXT Women’s Champion.
Corbin for his part had the hunger and drive to make that good impression and now 10 years later is showcased often in many top storylines for the WWE product. In the end, Billy Gunn feels that Corbin was a good student and it seems that he wished that more AEW wrestlers would take more advantage of the legends they have backstage…a great point should the younger stars be willing to listen to the sages like Billy himself. In the end, they should, as the future they’re enjoying today wouldn’t be there without the work that these legends put in; perhaps in the end, they know a thing or two about what they’re doing, eh?