TNA star Frankie Kazarian recently spoke with the Rack. Kazarian discussed the upcoming Lockdown PPV, his thoughts on MVP and the Wolves coming to TNA, his recent trip to Japan with Bad Influence partner Christopher Daniels against Wrestle-1, what it’s like to face off against the Great Muta this upcoming weekend at Lockdown, his thoughts on TNA’s Impact365 and who comes up with the ideas for Throwback Thursdays, if there’s a possibility for a Bad Influence talk show on the horizon, the strangest thing he got from a fan and so much more. Here are the highlights:
On MVP and the Wolves coming in and the recent changes made to TNA: “Well, I’ve been in TNA a long time; I’ve been there since the beginning and I’ve seen a lot of changes. I was there when a whole slew of established former WWE guys came in and I was there when a new surge of X-Division guys came in. You’re always thrilled with new competition; in the case of Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards, the Wolves, Chris Daniels and myself in particular were psyched. Those were guys we’d been talking about, rumbling about, backstage with the powers that be months preceding them debuting and guys that we saw on the rise that we’d like to do some stuff with.
So, from a creative and professional standpoint, we were very psyched and got the change to mix it up with them several times over in England and hopefully for our sake and the fans, it was only the tip of the iceberg. Both guys are amazing athletes; they’re a great tag team and they’re just the guys we’ve been thirsting for, kind of been licking our chops waiting for that tag team to come in that we can do some really cool stuff and have some fantastic matches with and those are the guys.
As far as MVP, he an asset; he’s definitely established himself and a very good professional wrestling character and he’s been brought in, thrown right into the fire and he’s right up there in the major level of the company and all coming to a head this Sunday at Lockdown.”
If there’s anyone he’d would like to see possibly with TNA: “That’s tough; I try and follow the indy scene as much as I can but admittedly I’m sometimes lazy when it comes to that, I really need to get back into that. Guys who I have wrestled before but I fell that would make a tremendous addition to the TNA roster and the Young Bucks, Matt and Nick. We’ve had discussion about them coming in; those guys are dynamic performers and could come back to TNA and make a major impact, no pun intended. But then there’s guys in the indys, guys I knew coming up in the business that are still doing very good and haven’t been on TNA at all or very much, guys like Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov and Ricky Reyes and guys like that. These are guys who I think could do something here and there’s a lot of hungry, talented indy guys in Ring of Honor or PWG and that. But I don’t know if I could really just single anyone out talent because I’m not as familiar as I once was with the whole independent scene.
But obviously there are guys, I’d like to see Amazing Red back and Petey (Williams) and Sonjay (Dutt) and Alex Shelley and those guys and Jay Lethal. Those guys are friends and tremendous athletes. But, we’ll see, I’m sure there will be a lot more new faces coming up.”
The recent overseas trip to Japan: “We did, we did. We when over there to participate in the Wrestle-1/TNA ‘Outbreak’ pay-per-view, which was held at Sumo Hall, Sumo Arena, which is a venue I’ve wrestled in a couple of times in my previous journeys to Japan back in the day. It was an amazing even and I was thrilled to be back in Japan. Wrestling there, you can’t really describe it unless you’ve been there; it’s very, very cool and always an honor. The show was great and all parties involved were very happy with everything: the effort, the matches, and I can’t wait to go back, I hope it’s soon.”
On facing The Great Muta this Sunday at Lockdown: “It’s a thrill; it’s another one of those things like when I was affiliated with Ric Flair. You know, you dream about being a wrestler as a child and you grew up watching these guys and sometimes you have to take a step back when you’re in the ring with them and step out as say ‘Wow, this is cool. This is literally living a dream.’ Muta is no exception to that; he’s a legend. He’s a guy I grew up, and I can’t say watching, but reading about obviously because I didn’t watch Japanese wrestling as a young kid. All I could do is read about him and reading about him, I thought ‘Wow, he looks cool’ and I knew he was a big deal. And getting older and discovering tapes and such, he’s a legend. So, to have the opportunity to wrestle him while he’s still physically into wrestling, which you don’t know how much longer that’s going to be; it’s a thrill, an honor and I’m very, very psyched and to do it with my friends Christopher Daniels and Chris Sabin. It’s going to be good man, it could be the sleeper match, I’m just saying right now. Could be that one that sneaks in there and steals the show, because we have been known to do that. We are wanted in the state of Florida for stealing several shows, so let’s see if we can even make it into the building that day.”
Bad Influence’s involvement with TNA365: “Yeah, well, when they approached the whole roster with this idea, we just kinda looked at each other and thought ‘Wow, this is tailor-made for us’. If you want to put funny, entertaining and/or dumb stuff on television or the website, we are your guys. That’s kind of been our shtick since before TNA 365 was even around; we were 365 before 365 was a thing. In fact, for Chris Daniels one of the things, one of the sayings AJ (Styles) and I had was because the guys is always on; he literally doesn’t have an off switch. We’d say ‘it’s 25/8 with this guy; 366” because the guy never stops.
Yeah, that was just another creative outlet we had to give TNA and to our fans. You know, we had a couple of videos we sent in and were told ‘Hey guys, that’s really fun, but…’ because we’re known to be guys who push the envelope because I like an edgier wrestling product, so does Chris Daniels, and I’m just stuck in that mindset to make it sanitary but I like a little edge and a little roughness , but I understand why they feel that, but it doesn’t stop me from making it. But it’s cool; it just adds another way for us to be silly and annoying and stupid and just continue having, which is what Bad Influence has been about since day one.”
The origins of Throwback Thursdays: “Well, to be honest, the first one started with Chris Daniels, who had found a kiosk, somewhere on the road and I wasn’t on the road for this trip in particular, that sold Zubaz pants. And he called me and told me; for those of you who don’t know, in the 80’s wrestlers wore this comfortable Zubaz pants, which look ridiculous but they were zebra striped and came in every color in the world. And every wrestler, and/or sports figure or person in the 80’s-early 90’s had them. So he said, ‘Would you like a pair’ and I said ‘Absolutely’.
And then I texted him, ‘Do we have the balls to wear there on television?’ And that’s how we kind of came up with this ‘Ok, well let’s do it! Let’s wear the cut-off half shirts; let’s wear the fanny packs! And, since it’s Thursday, let’s call it Throwback Thursday.’ I kind of put that together, and it worked and it got such a huge response it kind of got the wheels turning so the next one we did I think was Braveheart with the kilts and then we did the Legion of Boom and that was CD’s. We got the idea from watching an old Road Warriors tape one day and then we did Siegfried and Roy in Vegas; it’s Vegas, anyone can do Elvis or Wayne Newton, let’s do Siegfried and Roy! There’s two of us, there’s two of them.
It’s just one of those things where we’re always thinking. We’re both always; if it’s not about a move or a match or an angle, it’s something. That’s one of the main reasons we have such good chemistry as a team; it’s because we’re both love the pro wrestling business and we’re always thinking and it’s gotten to a point where people expect things and it’s hard to top one another; trying to pick and choose where to do it, what makes sense in this city and not doing it too often because we get people all the time ‘When do we get to see another one?’ When?’ It’s one of those things where if you get too many of them, it gets redundant and boring, and that’s two things Bad Influence isn’t. But, keep your eyes open, because you never know But it’s cool and it’s just another thing they’ve been generous enough to let us take and ride with and I think every one of them has been a home-run.”