Sting says last week's TNA Impact rating "completely sucked," says he hopes he's not the first TNA Hall of Famer, asked what went wrong with Ric Flair and TNA, working with Bobby Roode at TNA Slammiversary
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On his naysayers and detractors: "There is always going to be naysayers out there. I really wish sometimes we could get the exact number, percentage wise of how many detractors I have. Lots of times the naysayers or the haters, they are a small percentage of people, but they tend to have the loudest voices for some reason. People pay attention to that. Over the years I have tried to ignore it. I can’t say over the years I have botched my career up. I think I am making a wise choice by choosing not to hear it."
How beneficial is it for Bobby Roode to headline a main event with you: "Of all the guys coming up that I have tried to get to that next level, Bobby Roode has answered the call better than anyone I can ever remember. Bobby, whether you love him or hate him brings it every night. He looks the part, he plays the part and he is world champion caliber. For me to be with him in the middle of the ring again one more time, I don’t think it will hurt Bobby."
Sting on why he always stays with TNA: "It’s a brand that I fit in to most. And I still think I fit in even after all these years. It is a lot like WCW was in the early days. We were at Universal, we were at Disney, we were the second rate company, the second class citizen until Monday Night Nitro happened. So here we are going live 13 weeks in a row and this is something that I have wanted to do since I got there. I want this company to grow. I like the people behind the cameras, in front of the cameras. It’s a good group of people. It’s not all about the money for me at this point. I think my actions in the ring, my interviews, everything I have done over the last few years, especially proves it’s not about me anymore."
Sting on the first inductee into the TNA HOF and if he should be the first: "I’m still an active wrestler. I’m still in the ring. If we are going to be picking and choosing people potentially that are still working, there are lots of guys….great name people…AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels. All these guys that came along way before I did. These guys were paving the way before I got into TNA. To me it doesn’t make sense to put me in there. It makes more sense to put one of those guys. Jeff Jarrett is another one. I’m not kayfabing you, I have no idea who it is. I hope its not me."
On how close he came to signing with the WWE: "Four times over the last twenty years I have had conversations with Vince McMahon and it was close. I would say on average it was up there around a 7, maybe an 8. But this last one, we were at about a 9.5. Now years ago the reason why I didn’t sign with the WWE was I didn’t like the way they used some WCW guys. I thought more times than not, they wanted to get talent from WCW more to undermine WCW than actually wanting the talent. Every time I would go back to Turner or whoever it was and they would say 'what will it take to keep you here?' I would tell them 'it’s going to take this'. We always came to terms. I never had something against WWE. I read sometimes people saying 'Sting hates Vince McMahon'. I don’t understand that. I never said I hated Vince McMahon. I’ve had great conversations with him over the years. I hold nothing against him and I have nothing against the WWE."
On him becoming born-again: "I was forgiven a whole lot. I have a testimony out there. I did everything under the sun. My marriage is gone. I’m divorced now. I have never said that publicly. I’m saying it for the first time. I am divorced. It is because of all the choices I made on the road all those years and falling into every temptation that there was. I know I was forgiven and I will be forever grateful for that. I’m not ashamed to say I believe in Jesus Christ and he is my Lord and Savior."
On Ric Flair in TNA and what went wrong: "I don’t know what happened to him. I’m still trying to find out. As a matter of fact I am going to call him so I can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. I’ve heard rumors, but I don’t want to talk about it until I talk to Ric personally. Sounds like there is still a chance that he could come back, but until I talk to him I won’t know for sure."
On what Ric Flair has meant to his career: "Kudos to Ric Flair. He put me on the map. I owe a lot to Ric. I am forever grateful to him. He had the ability to make or break me and many others. He chose to make me. I enjoyed working with him so much over the years. He taught me more in the first 12 months in the ring with him than I did for the first 24 months in the business. He kind of took me under his wing and helped me out. I’ll always be a Ric Flair booster."
On companies trying to bring back old stars and not create new ones: "The TNA guys are not idiots or stupid people. They don’t say ' I don’t care what the wrestling fan thinks, so we are going to do what we want to do. Let’s just keep Hogan and Sting in the picture until they die'. It’s literally people that come together and say 'ok let’s look at the ratings, let’s look at the quarter hours. Let’s see what happens when we put Hulk or Sting at a car dealership and see what people we get draw-wise.
"Let’s listen to the fan reaction at all of these different venues that fans do go to. How do they react to each individual wrestler? What are they saying when they do the research on the Q ratings stuff.' They will do research like this. On top of that, what do you like to see in this character? You’ve got a lot of people doing research asking 'how can we make this better?' They want the ratings to be good. You guys might be looking at it like 'they are afraid to take a risk, they are putting too much of the older stars with the new stars. They should just stick with the new.' From our side of it, we are trying to push the new and sometimes you have to use the old to push the new."
On the fairly low rating for the first live TNA Impact: "It wasn’t fairly low. It completely sucked. From what I heard it was one of the worst ones we have had in a long time. That’s fuel for the fire for you guys. I know it is. It’s one of those times when you have to go 'oh my god!' You can’t win for losing. I believe no one really knew that we were eight o’clock instead of nine o’clock. We were up against the NBA. I’m sorry but it was a double whammy. The very first week on a new time slot, and I just don’t believe anyone really knew.
"I think it’s going to be a while before they catch on. I’m saying this publicly for the first time so if Dixie hears this, it’s ok. I told Bruce Prichard this…that first week I don’t know what it was..me and Bobby had a great reaction, but the live buzz didn’t seem like it was right. I couldn’t put a finger on it. Then as the rest of the night went on I was asking around 'where’s the buzz?' and everyone was in agreement. Then I started to think, we do all of the TV tapings here, we do most of our PPV’s here, so it just felt like another TV taping even though we were live. But last night for some reason had a live buzz to it for the whole show. So I’m hoping this momentum will be picked up.
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