TNA Star MVP recently spoke with Wrestling 101. Here are the highlights:
Who he enjoyed watching while growing up: I grew up in Miami so I used to go to the Miami Beach Convention Centre with my mum. Gordon Solie was the soundtrack of wrestling for me growing up and I was a huge fan of people like Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair, even though Ric was a heel he was ridiculously cool. Being in the south we didn’t get as much of the old programming but I remember reading the magazines and seeing guys like Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas and as I kid I knew when I grew up I wanted to look like that.
As far as WWF goes everybody was big (Hulk) Hogan fans, but we should have known that I was going to go down the wrong path as a kid because I was a Rowdy Roddy Piper fan. I just thought Piper was awesome, he was a bad guy and everybody hated him but the whole say your prayers and eat your vitamins didn’t work with me, I liked Piper, I thought Piper was cool, he went against the grain.
Debuting with TNA in Glasgow: It was spectacular, it was exasperating to have been away for so long and to come back and receive the reception that I did was humbling. The fans remembered me and they were glad to have me back. The whole tour was awesome, after Glasgow we did Manchester and London and it reminded me of why I love it so much.
The conformation didn’t come until less than two weeks before I came over, I still don’t have a signed contract, our lawyers are working out the last little bit of the deal so I’m here on a handshake. But I expressed to the company when I do make my debut I wanted to do it on the UK tour.
His thoughts about TNA before joining: I’ve said for years even when I was with WWE that I want TNA to do well, I never saw TNA as the enemy – that would be ridiculous, I love professional wrestling. Part of the reason why I chose to go to TNA was because it’s not good for the fans or for the industry when there is just one conglomerate and nowhere else to go.
The most prosperous and entertaining time in our business was during the Monday Night Wars – you had two companies that were fairly evenly matched, both with top tier stars, and they were battling with each other for ratings. That meant everything had to be fresh, everything had to be edgy and everyone really had to rack their brain to come up with exciting storylines, all of the guys had to work really hard and there were 12 million people a week tuning into wrestling.
Now there is less than half that, if you’re in the wrestling industry now in the States there are only two places to go centrally, WWE or TNA. I would like to try and help facilitate, creating a situation where the WWE has to recognize TNA as a potential competitor and if you know like I do, WWE holds all the marbles then for the artists, the talent it’s not good for our business, competition is good for business.
If Vince McMahon watched TNA: Honestly I couldn’t tell you if Vince watched TNA or not but I’m sure there were people in place to keep tabs on what was going on around the industry with the other wrestling companies. Whose job I don’t know, I was never involved in that aspect of the company, but all of the guys in the locker-room we were aware of TNA, we watched. Even though we worked for WWE we’re all wrestling fans so we would pay attention to the product.