Kenny King Talks On His Contract Saga With ROH, Signing With TNA, And More
Former ROH Tag Team Champion and current TNA X Division star Kenny King joined Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday evening. In a nearly 30 minute interview, he finally broke his silence about the entire ROH situation and the fallout that came with it, what was originally supposed to happen with the tag titles before the Sinclair Broadcasting deal, if he felt TNA was in trouble from ROH and their new exposure to media, the injury to partner Rhett Titus and what ROH did during that time, his reaction to the ROH’s iPPV issues with “Border Wars”, his nerves about competing in the Ultimate X tournament and then match itself and much, much more.
About the rumors that they were AnX were to be ROH Tag Champions before the deal with Sinclair Media (instead became Hass and Benjamin): “That’s a true statement; that was the plan… I mean, the bottom line is that we were going on Sinclair Broadcasting, a major presence on broadcast TV. So, I guess the mindset of those who makes these sorts of decisions was like, ‘Oh, we should make them the more recognizable; since it will be to a large audience, we should have more recognizable tag champs.’ Which, from a business point of view, I understood; I thought it wasn’t necessarily the best decision but at that point, everyone was so focused on making us the best that we could be; live everybody, one way or the other was taking a backseat or just filling it in just so that we could make a major push towards being number 2 and that was the beginning of it.
If he thought TNA was in trouble with ROH’s media deal and ROH’s potentially taking over the spotlight: “I thought that for a very long time. I thought that from the beginning, I’m very good friends with Cary Silkin (former owner of ROH) and this was something I was vary happy for him because he could get out of the financial burden of Ring of Honor and he could actually love it again. So, I was very excited for that, I really thought that looking around at the group of guys that we had and couple of pay-per-views that we had; I remember the first TV taping we had, in Baltimore specifically, thinking ‘Wow, we’ve really hit our stride here and I think these other dudes are in trouble.’ But I think that was the consensus, everyone was about that, and that was the first time I’d seed that in a long time in a wrestling locker room, where everybody was about solidarity. And it’s a good feeling, from the top guys to the bottom guys that everyone is like ‘We can do this. Let’s get it, this is our opportunity’. “
His reaction to the “Border Wars” iPPV incident: “There was a select few of us that knew (about the broadcast issues) and I mean, it is what it is. I think, personally, it was very shitty; we are owned by a broadcast company and Sinclair has to own up to this. We are owned by a broadcasting company and the things that should never be a problem are 1) production and 2) broadcasting. We should never have issues with those things with those things and getting it to the fans the way we presented it to the fans should never, ever ever be a problem, if you’re owned by a broadcasting company. And the fact that we had 3 iPPVs that shit the tank, and we have good freakin’ PPV but burned a lot of people; I thought Border Wars was one of the best PPVs that we’d put on, top to bottom, since I’d been there and I’d been there a long time.”
On his contact saga he had with Ring of Honor: “The bottom line is this: it took them a very, very long time, last minute, 11th-hour, for them to even begin talking to me about my new contract. Those people knew how little time, from the time that they actually started talking to me to the time when my contract expired, that it would be a joke. So, in that period of time, they asked me what I wanted to do and I said ‘Listen, I feel like I have some other opportunities, other options that I’d like to see what’s up with. Not saying that I want to go anywhere, but I feel like I’ve earned the right to at least explore any other options I have out there.’ So, that was agreed upon and they said ‘How about we offer you a 60-day-clause, not sure what it’s called, and it was basically a contact extension that gave the option, which was called the free agent option, where I could negotiate or talk to anyone from WWE or TNA and basically, if after the 60-days, nothing happened, then if I wanted to resign with Ring of Honor, then I could or would. Everything was wide open…”
On a scale of 1-10, where were his nerves at before the Ultimate X qualifying match with Lars Only: “78. I can’t remember the last time I was so nervous for a wrestling match in my entire career. I can probably tell you a couple of times that match: one was in New York waiting on the word from (WWE) Tough Enough, you know to tell me that Jackie (Gayda) and Linda were long term professional wrestling prospects…I think the other one was my first match against Brian Danielson in Ring of Honor; it was the first match I had under contract and it was Dragon, in Cleveland. But, not in recent memory; not in recent memory. That was something else; the nerves and just the anticipation and like having my phone literally explode from the moment Dixie tweeted back. So it was crazy, but thanks to Lars Only.”
For more information on Kenny King, you can follow him through Twitter (@KennyKingpinAnX). You can also see Kenny on TNA Impact Wrestling this week teaming with TNA Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries versus X Division Champion Zema Ion and Bobby Roode. TNA Impact Wrestling can be seen every week on Spike TV live at 8 pm ET. Follow TNA Impact wrestling on Twitter (@IMPACTWrestling) or through their home page (www.impactwrestling.com).
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