Eric Young Talks About How TNA Has Changed Over The Years
Main Event Radio interview with Eric Young
Host: Ryan Rider
Full interview available at MainEventRadio.com
Is the company changing its name to Impact Wrestling? “The name of the company is still TNA. It’s Impact Wrestling presented by TNA. Kurt is still TNA World Heavyweight champion, I’m TV Champion, but the TV show is Impact Wrestling.”
What is the status of the TV Title? “I am the longest reigning champion in recent memory (last year or so). I’ve held the TV title longer than any other champion right now. I’ve only had one actual match for it not counting house shows. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve got to do stuff with Scott Baio and go to L.A. I’ve got to meet high level celebrities and hang out with and “wrestle” with them. It’s quite amazing the turnover and how popular the Eric Young gimmick is. There are so many people who love Eric Young and what I’m doing on Television.”
Young on Danny Bonaduce: “A few years ago, he was the fine line between and insanity. He was a cool guy to meet and basically I beat up a senior citizen.”
Young on his beard: “I started it a week before hockey playoffs of this year. I live in Nashville. I’m a diehard Predators fan. The Nashville Predators did really well this year, making it to the second round for the first time, and the stadium was packed. It’s a passionate group and it’s cool to be part of that. There’s a lot of questions from people I work with and people that employ me, asking what’s with the beard. The hockey playoffs ended a while ago but every day is the playoffs when you’re the champion.”
Young on his memories from his early days with TNA: “It’s crazy how fast time goes. I feel like I was signing my first contract on Bobby Roode’s back just a few months ago. We both signed our deals the same day on each other’s backs. We’ve been there ever since. It’s cool to see that he’s getting his just due facing Kurt Angle in the main event of Bound for Glory. It should be fantastic.
“One of the best days of my life was signing my first contract, to be able to do this for my living. Everybody who has been a wrestling fan since the late ’90s or early 2000’s has probably seen me wrestle. They’ve seen me on a poster or seen me at your local legion cutting my teeth doing the independents and learning my craft and then making it in TNA. Something I set to do when I was 17 years old and now I make my living doing it. I will never take it for granted for as long as I live.”
Young on his favorite role: “The thing I do right now is probably my favorite thing. I still get a chance to wrestle and be aggressive.
“Also World Elite. If you’ve followed my career, I got my job here because I’m a good wrestler. I was known as a guy who had good, competitive hard nosed physical matches. I was never funny, I was never the funny guy; I never played a character in my independent days. I was the local champion who they brought guys from TV in to face. Tagging with Kevin Nash was fantastic, we’re still really good friends. I pride myself on being the most versatile wrestler, maybe ever. I’ve played a collage of characters, maybe 6-10 different versions of Eric Young from being afraid of everything to being afraid of nothing to being a leader of World Elite to being a top heel alongside Kurt Angle.
“I’m a victim of circumstances. World Elite could have gone further but they wanted to put me with Kevin. That was a huge step forward for me. We won the world tag titles. Then Sean Waltman and Scott Hall came in. There was going to be an angle where they turned on me and I would have to fight through them to get to Nash and I would beat him to establish me as a higher-up guy but that never happened because of circumstances. Wrestling fans just like a good product, and whatever I have to do to stay relevant I will. People really like what I’m doing right now. It’s probably the most response I’ve ever got from wrestling. It’s really cool.”
What has changed the most over the years? Just the growth. You were doing weekly PPV’s where there was 20,000-25,000 people were watching to being nationally televised on Spike TV seen in over 100 countries and over 2 million viewers. We’re the top rated show on Spike, we’re the top rated wrestling show in Europe, huge ratings in Germany, big ratings in many parts of the United States as well. We do shows every weekend to different size crowds – sometimes they’re big, sometimes not so big. But just the growth, in general, taking small steps but constantly moving forward. They’re made pretty much the right decisions to get us to this point.
Young on a TNA wrestler he’d like to face in the future: “I’ve never done a lot of stuff with Jeff Jarrett. We did a few things on screen but then he got written off and things petered out. Once again my career has been a victim of circumstance. It’s never really been anything I’ve done right or wrong. It’s wrong place, wrong time or right place, right time. Wrestling is constantly changing every single day but you have to roll with the punches to keep it going forward.”
Young on the Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode match at Bound for Glory: “I must say it’s going to be a top level match. Five stars. Kurt’s on Twitter already guaranteeing that. Bobby Roode is getting his just dues. He’s tied for the best person I’ve ever been in the ring with. I’ve been in the ring with Kurt, with RVD, with Kevin Nash, with Jeff Hardy, all those guys. I’m telling you right now Bobby Roode is going to be a big star and the match will not disappoint.”
Young on Sting vs. Hogan after all these years: Pro wrestling is interesting that way. This is something that people have wanted to see. They did it in WCW but it was never done properly. They were closer to their prime back then and now they’re getting late in their careers but just the nostalgia for me. Seeing two pros going back and forth on their in-ring’s and just how they handle themselves. It’s amazing to watch and the nostalgia alone will make it worth it for me. I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was five years old.
Young on whether he holds any animosity towards Jeff Hardy for the Victory Road Incident: “Personally it doesn’t affect me but it does affect the business I love. I get along with Jeff. I’ve travelled with Jeff, I’ve been in the ring with Jeff, I’ve tagged with Jeff. I’ve been out for a couple of nights on the town with Jeff. He’s a good guy, he’s genuinely a good man, but he’s got demons. There are people who have them inside and outside of wrestling. He had problems but I think he’s rectified it. You’re going to see a better Jeff Hardy. He’s got a daughter at home. He stood up and came to a lot of us backstage at the tapings and apologized. He said he was foolish and let us down. I believe him. I believe in second chances and I hope the best for him.”
Young on whether he has received any word on his own role for Bound for Glory: “I have no idea. I usually don’t know until last minute which is better because I don’t over think it. I would imagine I’m there.”
The future for Eric Young: “Just going forward and contributing to the company. Anybody who says their satisfied with where they’re at shouldn’t be in this business or is lying to you. I want to be a guy that the company can rely on. I’ve proven it before, I’ve shown it before; and I’m ready to show it again. Whether it’s being the comedy relief for 35 seconds a week or whether it’s doing a match that’s 30 minutes long that people will be talking about for years. I can do both. I feel like maybe I’ll still have a career when I’m 75. Who knows. I would like to be a guy that the company relies on. I want that responsibility and I want to be challenged creatively that way.”
“Wrestling can change in a blink of an eye. I can go from wrestling Scott Baio at a golf course one month to taking on Bobby Roode at the next Pay-Per-View. And that’s just the way wrestling is. Which is really cool.”