Bartley Weaver has already portrayed “Titan Man” for the Tennessee Titans, so becoming a contestant on the NBC series “The Titan Games” seemed like a logical transition.
Weaver, a Kentucky State Police trooper based out of Bowling Green, gets that opportunity as part of the competitors who begin their quest for the title of Titan Champion when Season 2 debuts Monday at 7 p.m. Weaver is part of the Central Region and will compete in a series of events designed by host and executive producer Dwayne Johnson’s personal workouts.
“I’ve been training my whole life,” Weaver said. “This is an opportunity I have been blessed with. I feel like this was made for me. Then again I get to see and hang out with my idol the Rock (Johnson). It was a win-win situation.”
Weaver said he filled out most of the application for Season 1 but opted not to submit a short video on why he should be on the show.
When it came time for Season 2 applications, he decided to finish it after getting encouragement from friends and family. The video that touched on everything that made him a worthy candidate for the show – his stint as Titan Man, his membership in the Major League Eating organization, his job as a police officer at KSP Post 3 and his love for body building.
“In the last year, I have had a lot of crazy cool stuff happen,” Weaver said. “I turned pro in professional eating. I also was the Titan Man for the Tennessee Titans so I was like, ‘Well I am a shoe-in now.’ ”
He said he was contacted about 30 minutes after submitting the video, went through the interview process and jumped at the chance to compete when he was asked to be on the show.
Weaver said he relied on his days of playing football during training to prepare for the show, but still ran into issues during training as he battled a torn meniscus right before the show’s combine. He then suffered a torn left hamstring and a right hamstring strain during the combine. Weaver said he only had three weeks to recover from the injuries before filming began.
“I guess we have all gotten a little bit older and are not used to sprinting as fast as we can,” Weaver said.
Once filming began, Weaver said it was pretty cool to get to meet Johnson, the famed professional wrester-turned-movie star.
“He is just like he is when you see him on TV or Instagram,” Weaver said. “He’s the most humble, down-to-earth person. You wouldn’t even know he was famous. He came and talked to me backstage. He really cared about me. It was awesome to be able to connect with him like that.”
The entire season was taped before the coronavirus outbreak. Weaver said it will be weird to watch it knowing how much the world has changed.
“It’s wild that all this happened right after we got done filming,” Weaver said. “I think it is awesome that they got it out now because we are kind of coming out of quarantine and things are starting to open. This is a good transition for us to show what it was like before (the coronavirus).
“We got lucky that we got everything in before then and I am glad they got everything edited and ready to go.”
And while Weaver can’t reveal how far he advanced on the show, he is eager to share his journey with friends and family beginning with Monday’s premiere.
“I am super excited,” Weaver said. “This is by far the biggest platform I have ever been on.”