Jeremy Borash Talks Possible British Boot Camp Series, Roster Changes, Building Current Stars
TNA color commentator Jeremy Borash recently spoke with Danny Stone and Robert Rams of the Huffington Post UK to talk about the new TNA Xplosion and much more. Below are the highlights:
On the new new timeslot for Xplosion:
Well I have personally been pushing for it for a long time because whilst our current timeslot for TNA ‘Impact’ is good, we’re missing a big audience that doesn’t stay up so late. In the US right now, we have a TV deal with spike. You can only see ‘Impact’ on Thursday nights in the states and it’s a well-protected timeslot whereas in the UK, we’re a little more flexible. I think if we’re seen as good to the UK then the fruits of mine and other peoples labour, our hard work and effort are starting to pay off. I also think we are in a David and Goliath situation in wrestling now and that’s something that resonates with UK Fans. The feedback we get from those fans is that they want us to succeed. They like to get behind an underdog, the one that really wants to take a bite out of the ass of the big guy. The UK is certainly our top international market, it’s important to us and it deserves our attention. I would rather do a show in the UK than anywhere else in the world just because of the fan response. For any performer that goes out there, they want a great response and they get it in the UK.
The possibility of seeing another British Boot Camp series:
Well to me, the times right and the talent’s there. When Spud did the show, I didn’t expect him to win. But you have a guy who was working in a bank in Birmingham only a year and a half ago who is now living his dream, on national TV in America, on the most popular show on Spike TV, living in a bigger house than me, with a TNA contract – he’s changed his life! I speak to lots of wrestlers from different UK independent promotions so I know that there are guys here – males or females – that are just as talented, are completely undiscovered and are working a 9-5 jobs and just dreaming about that opportunity. I’ve met many people who want to suggest new talent for the show and so for me as executive producer, I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of doing another season. Obviously the decision isn’t mine to make but I think just based on the success story of the first season that a second season is inevitable.
On the current roster changes:
If we’ve been accused of anything over the last 12 years it’s probably not building enough of our own stars. If you look at our roster now though it is all (with the exception of a few guys) home-grown stars. We’re focussing on fresh talent. Of course it’s hard to say goodbye to people that you’ve become attached to and that have become a part of your family but the reality is that entertainment has a high turnover. Sure, I miss AJ Styles, I miss a lot of the talent that’s gone but I’m also very excited about guys like Spud or EC3. I think there’s a ton of guys that are fresh and new and exciting. If you haven’t watched ‘Impact’ in a while and you watch it now, you’ll think “wow there’s some pretty innovative new acts coming out”. There are different ways to judge it. You can look at what’s connecting with people through ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ and numbers on social media but the one thing that I always want to remember is that a positive response is great, a negative response is what it is but having a show that nobody’s talking about is the worst.
Any new faces possibly coming to TNA, possibly big names:
There’s a couple of guys out there that I know have been discussed and there have been conversations and contract talks and whatnot. I honestly try and stay out of it now because I prefer to be surprised. I’m still a fan at the end of the day and if I’m excited or if I ‘pop’ for something big that I didn’t expect to see coming, then I know that the fans are going to do so too.
I would think, yeah. However I also think that rather than shelling out big cash for established names, I really want to see our home-grown stars become those big names. I think we’re increasingly in a position to showcase TNA branded stars that you know exclusively from our programming and I think that’s how you build your fan base. Obviously you’ve got to attract an audience with stars that have a history elsewhere but branding your own way is important. When I was a fan of ECW, it hooked me back in as a wrestling fan. They had guys that were born and made in ECW -Raven, Sandman – you could take a dozen of those guys and think “wow, this is different”. I think that is where we’re heading and where we aspire to be.