George “Tyrus” Murdoch was smooth and relaxed. During a 40-minute conversation, the now-former National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) champion reflected on a career that began more than 15 years ago and ended in a “Tyrus Must Retire” Bull Rope Match loss to Ethan Carter III—EC3—at the NWA’s 75th anniversary show in St. Louis on August 27.

“I’m good,” he told from his New York City office when asked how he was feeling two days after the brutal battle. “We beat the hell out of each other. Everything is in slow motion.”

Adding the “retirement” stipulation was all Tyrus’ idea. At 50, it was time to hang up the boots. He talked to his kids, all who wanted “Daddy to be home more often,” attend their sports games and go fishing, so that confirmed his beliefs. “It was all my idea.”

When Tyrus’s first book–Just Tyrus: A Memoir–was released, he said he wanted to wrestle for a year and a half or more. Just over a year later, success that was spawned largely because of the book, as well as his television gig as a commentator on Gutfeld!, the former Funkasaurus sped up that time frame. For many of those 289 days as the NWA’s Heavyweight Champion, Tyrus wore “Sweet Charlotte” on his shoulder during the almost-daily talk show broadcasts. And before that, he displayed the NWA TV Championship on his shoulder.

Tyrus defeated then-champion Trevor Murdoch and Matt Cardona in a Triple Threat Match on November 12, 2022, a match he called “a thrill.” He successfully defended the gold four times, and wrestled in several tag team matches during his reign.

Just Tyrus was a New York Times bestseller, which led to a book tour and stand-up comedy tour. With the NWA announcing that it will start traveling, its standard-bearer knew he couldn’t keep up the in-ring demand. “When a promotion is on tour, the champ has to defend the title.

“The NWA is exploding,” he continued. “So, EC3 will be defending all over. I feel he has been overlooked a lot. Me and him, just seemed right.”

The 6’8” “Great American Smash” has also been fielding movie and (other) television offers (once the AFTRA strike is concluded, that is). His second book (his FOX news agent said Tyrus had three tomes in him), Nuff Said, is due in November. “And my duties here at FOX are growing.”

While he maintains that “my favorite thing is to wrestle,” he also realized that he was starting a “forward-lean-walk” that he compared to his wrestling heroes, “Big” John Studd and Andre the Giant. “A lot stay too long. They don’t know anything else and become a shell of themselves.”

He calls professional wrestlers “the greatest entertainers in the world.”

The decision to step away from action did surprise NWA owner Billy Corgan, said Tyrus. “But he said, you are family. You always have a place in the NWA.”

A reflective and emotional Tyrus talked about his friendship with Windham Rotunda, who passed away suddenly last week at the age of 36. In 2010, the two spent time together in Florida Championship Wrestling as tag team partners, and in 2013 as tag team opponents. The loss of Windham, who wrestled as Bray Wyatt, stings Tyrus and enforces his efforts to simply reach out to friends in the wrestling business on a more consistent basis. “It takes seven seconds to check in with a text,” he said.

With “Open Doors” matches in AEW (he guested on Chris Jericho’s podcast where they talked about Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster), New Japan and other promotions, Tyrus did receive some overtures about wrestling elsewhere. “But the NWA worked around my schedule,” he said. “They don’t do that for everyone. There was no reason to go anywhere else.”

Robert "Ego" Anthony and Tyrus Behind the Scenes at NWA 75. Credit: Tommy "Milagro" Martinez

Robert “Ego” Anthony and Tyrus behind the scenes at NWA 75. Photo by Tommy “Milagro” Martinez

Before the Bull Rope Match was set to take place, EC3 “refused to look at me,” he said of his challenger. Carter didn’t want his long-time friend to retire. Former champion Murdoch also couldn’t believe it, nor could “Rick from Global Gear” who made Tyrus’ first singlet in Deep South Wrestling, as well as the singlet he wore into the ring for his last contest.

Several times throughout the conversation, Snoop Dogg’s former security agent got emotional.

“When I laced up my last boot, I said, I’m done.” His family helped walk him to the ring, and old friend Rodney Mack was among those in the locker room who came out after the match’s conclusion for an in-ring celebration.

“I was always told I would be a great agent,” Tyrus says. He talks glowingly about all of the NWA’s current talent, including Odinson, Thom Latimer, Murdoch and EC3. “There are so many guys to take it to the next level.”

Tyrus holds the Ten Pounds of Gold aloft. Credit: Tommy "Milagro" Martinez

Tyrus holds the Ten Pounds of Gold aloft. Photo by Tommy “Milagro” Martinez

He calls his inner circle of close wrestling friends “The Rejects and Misfits. We got fired from other places.”

Tyrus’ respect for EC3 continued through the NWA’s 75th anniversary, where chair shots from the challenger “felt good.” But Tyrus did perform the “Hogan kick out at one” when EC3 made a cover late in the match. But ultimately, “I made sure I tapped.”

He appreciates all the wrestlers’ hard work. “I’m the only guy who didn’t need that check,” he said. “But I cashed it out of principal.” Because of his own hard work and opportunities, Tyrus says that his car and house are paid off.

“The further I get away from it, I will want to thank more people,” he continued. He ticks off the names of Nigel McGuiness, Cardona, Murdoch, Brian Meyers, T.J. Wilson, Harry Smith and Mike Knox, who he called “the most underrated guy in the business.”

Tyrus get adulation from the NWA roster. Credit: Tommy "Milagro" Martinez

Tyrus get adulation from the NWA roster. Photo by Tommy “Milagro” Martinez

“We just popped ourselves. I stayed in the NWA because it was about the locker room. Wrestling almost became secondary.” He reiterates that he hopes to spend time with some of his mentors, like Kevin Nash, outside of the industry. “It’s a brotherhood. Be civilians, not just locker room friends.”

He said when he pinned Trevor Murdoch, the titleholder whispered to “pay if forward” to the new champion. Tyrus did the same for EC3 last Sunday.

Paying it forward won’t end anytime soon for Tyrus.

TOP PHOTO: Then-NWA World champion Tyrus behind the scenes at NWA 75. Photo by Tommy “Milagro” Martinez