Otis is known for being a part of the Heavy Machinery tag team with Tucker on WWE Smackdown, but over the last month or so, the big man has had a lot of success as a singles wrestler. Otis beat Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania and got Mandy Rose as his on-screen girlfriend. Since then, Otis beat Ziggler again to qualify for Money in the Bank and he was in the main event of Smackdown for the last two weeks.
This past Sunday at Money in the Bank, Otis won the Men’s Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match even though he didn’t even climb the ladder to get the briefcase. AJ Styles was battling King Corbin on the ladder, Styles had the briefcase and then Elias showed up to hit Corbin in the back with a guitar. That led to Styles fumbling the briefcase out of his hands and into the hands of Otis, who was standing in the ring. It was a fluke win for Otis that means he can get a title shot against the Universal or WWE Champion or perhaps another title. In an interview prior to Money in the Bank, Otis said he may cash in on the Smackdown Tag Team Titles with partner Tucker, but we don’t know if that’s going to happen.
Here are some highlights from a new Otis interview with Sports Illustrated talking about his Money in the Bank win and his future. Otis was excited to be the winner as you would expect.
“I found out and was like, ‘What?’ When the briefcase got into my hands, that’s when it felt real. I remember watching the first ‘Money in the Bank’ match at WrestleMania (21 in 2005), and it blows my mind that I woke up right next to it this morning.”
Otis is 28 years old and his real name is Nikila Bogojevic with an athletic background as an amateur wrestler. In his mind, he’s not just a comedy wrestler.
“I’ve heard I’m just a big man comedy wrestler. I’ll admit it, I’m always the loud one in the room. But when it’s time for business, it’s time for business. Can I be in the main event? Let’s do it. If I sink, then that’s on me. I love wrestling, and I’m going to show people that I can do it.”
When talking about his big WrestleMania moment, Otis credits a lot of it to the people he has worked with, especially Mandy Rose.
“We’re building off that momentum. Working with Mandy is amazing. She’s humble and generous. She’s great backstage, too. Once she gets going and starts laughing, I start laughing. That’s when Dolph starts laughing, and then Sonya starts popping. It’s been so much fun, and I’ve been blessed to work with Tucky and now Mandy. With them, it just flows on camera.”
One of the memorable spots in the Money in the Bank match was when Otis threw some food in Paul Heyman’s face. According to Otis, Paul was happy to be a part of it.
“Paul was all for it. I was looking around that table and said, ‘What should I toss at you?’ There was that big, massive plate with the pastas and sandwiches, and I said, ‘Sorry, sir, about your suit.’ And you can’t not throw it hard when you throw something like that, so I brought it. I first met Paul at a promo class at NXT, and there is something about the way he motivates. I remember when he first talked to Heavy Machinery. I was so pumped up I wanted to run through a wall. He’s that motivating.”
— WWE (@WWE) May 11, 2020
Otis is also grateful for the support of the WWE fans, who have helped make him a bigger star.
“Walking into airports and feeling the love from WWE fans, it’s amazing. I couldn’t believe how people were responding at our shows, and I had no idea I would be so beloved. When we wrestled in Paris, they were chanting ‘O-teese!’ I had to ask Tucky what they were saying, and he said, ‘They’re saying your name!’ This has all been crazy. I’m having a great time, enjoying life, working out, and eating good to keep my power belly. I’m super grateful, and can’t thank the universe enough.”
As far as when he might cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase, Otis claimed, “I’m not one to wait. I think it’s going to be sooner than later.”
Otis did not specify if he would go for a singles title or tag team titles in this interview, so we’ll have to see what he chooses whenever it happens. In the Sports Illustrated interview, Otis also talked about what it was like to work with some of the guys in the Money in the Bank match like Aleister Black, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and others.
TJR Thoughts: I think Otis is pretty good as a performer at this stage in his career and I think he’ll get better. I just feel like he’s booked as a comedy wrestler too often because it feels like he’s a walking Chris Farely impersonation rather than his own type of character. I also think he needs a better finishing move than a Caterpillar elbow drop since he’s a bigger guy with a lot of power that could be doing a lot more in the ring. Clearly, WWE management is high on him and the fact that he’s Mr. Money in the Bank is proof of that.