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Tucker Reveals the Otis & Mandy Rose Angle Started as a Rib on Tino Sabbatelli

July 21, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
WWE Smackdown Otis and Mandy Rose

The Wrestling Inc. Daily spoke to former WWE Superstar Levi Cooper, aka Tucker of Heavy Machinery. During the interview, Tucker revealed how the team came about, along with how Otis sending flirting tweets to Mandy Rose online started as a rib on Rose’s former boyfriend, Tino Sabbatelli. Eventually, it grew into an onscreen angle with Mandy Rose and Otis. Below are some highlights:

On how the Heavy Machinery tag team came about: “Initially, it was Matt Bloom’s idea, and he kind of approached me. And we had a little bit of a discussion about it. ‘Hey, what do you think about the two of you guys getting together?’ And I think Otis had been there for maybe three months at the time, and he was doing well. He was working opening matches, and starting to get over doing his Otis stuff, and of course, he’s awesome. We wrestled one match as heels. It was our first match ever against TM61 in Ocala, FL. It was an outdoor venue. I think it was like 95 on an August day in FL. I remember having a hug at the beginning of the match and it being a very sweaty hug. We haven’t even started working, and we still got 15 minutes, 20 minutes here. That was our only match as heels.”

On the team becoming babyfaces: “It just kind of, well, this didn’t work that good this time. Let’s try you guys out as babyfaces. We had a couple matches as babyfaces, and they put us in the opener and it worked out pretty good. We would get the audience into the match and interact with them, and it just kind of stuck that we’re babyfaces. Especially with Otis’ energy, it’s pretty hard not to like that guy, especially when he’s coming out, and making noises and slapping himself, and I think foundational-y, we both understood each other because we had similar upbringings. I’m from a small town in Oregon. He’s from small blue collar town, Superior, WI, so we have that in common. We’re both pretty high-level amateur wrestling heavyweights, and so understanding that gave us a foundation of what’s understood, doesn’t need to be talked about necessarily. We know and we respect these things about each other a lot, and we’re not going to try to measure up against each other. We’re just going to get together and try to move this thing forward in the right direction.”

Tucker on how Otis sending flirting tweets with Mandy Rose were meant as a rib on Tino Sabbatelli: “He just did it on social media. He’s the man. It was just a joke to mess with Mandy’s boyfriend at the time, Tino Sabbatelli. I mean, not just to mess with him, but it’s like, ‘Hey, do you think if I do this thing on social media where I just ask Mandy to be my girlfriend all the time, that would be super cringy?’ And I’m like, ‘No, dude, that’d be pretty funny, I think.’ He just started doing it and talked to her, and she was like, ‘Oh, I like it. People are into it. Keep doing it. It’s funny,’ and so anytime she posts a pic, he just takes that picture and was like, ‘Oh, Doz’s future girlfriend’ and posts it right. It just started getting over and became a WrestleMania match. Take your shot, baby.”