ATHLETE APPRECIATION: The Reinvention of Michael Tarver

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A few months back, Huracanrana and I were fortune enough to kick off our ‘What Pro Wrestling Means to Me’ section via a terrific piece by former WWE superstar Michael ‘Monster’ Tarver. In reading this piece, it because clear Tarver’s real life persona, Ty Evans, is a very complicated man.

Referencing this earlier piece, we first became truly acquainted with Evans at a Full Impact Pro show. Specifically, his terrific match with Rhett Giddins followed by perhaps the greatest mic promo I’ve ever heard. This heartfelt admission about trials and tribulations…and literally life and death…moved us. So much so, that we reached out for more info about this incredible athlete and person, and the aforementioned piece was born.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Evans – despite his fame – is  his brutal honesty. He’s a man unabashed in admitting personal failures, life’s lessons, and the emotional pain along the way. In doing so, Evans walked away from a full time wrestling career to share his experiences via his music: B2.0/2.0 Sound. In case you’ve wondered where this very popular pro wrestler disappeared to.

At first, I couldn’t understand this decision. A very intelligent, athletic, ambitious and dedicated father walking away from what he knew for almost 1.5 decades…?! But the thing is, I had it in reverse.

Ty Evans, it turns out, is a musician first and foremost. Church choir from the get go, and  willing to break into song at his hometown Tampa Airport in front of hundreds at baggage claim. No wonder he held an indy recording contract as far back as 2003.

Evans credits ‘I’m Alive’ by Dietrick Haddon as his inspiration to move beyond wrestling to something bigger. His songs – a clever fusion of rap/hip-hop/R&B – reek of the pain and passion he’s experienced. I found myself listening to tracks of his new iTunes album – ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ – almost with no choice. There’s a clear religious undertone to his songs, but – most importantly – a sincerity and soul bearing echoing facial expressions during his ring tenure. It rips at you in the best of ways. I’m not necessarily a fan of this music genre, but – knowing the backstory – it pulled me in. I had no choice.

We’ve written several sad tales on this site the lives of wrestlers post-ring. In Evans’ case, it’s one of the few truly good ones, where a peak athlete walks away for a greater path. He said his musical passion is derived from a willingness to help/inspire others to overcome their personal hardships.

If you’re so inclined, swing by iTunes/Spotify/Google Play/CDBaby to catch some of his tunes. If you’re inspired by them as we were, he’s ridiculously responsive via Twitter or Facebook at @Tyroneevansb20.

While you’re at it, double tap in convincing the guy to return to a ring. 🙂

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