Former TNA tag wrestlers involved in WWE 13 motion capture, whether they saw James Storm's potential while working with him years ago, and the current state of tag wrestling
Kayfabe Wrestling Radio with Chase Stevens and Cassidy Riley
Host: Alan Wojcik and Spug
Airs on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET
Interview available at WildTalkRadio.com
If Cassidy’s was part of the WWE 13 game and who they possibly are motion captured as: (Riley) "Yeah, yeah I was. I signed a deal to do the UFC game that was coming up; that would be coming out soon. Then three days before I was supposed to go to San Diego to start shooting, I got a phone call that was the THQ San Diego office had closed down and had sold the game to EA Sports, and they were moving production to Vancouver, so that didn’t look like it would be going through now…
"It’s not really anything I’m allowed to talk about until the game actually releases. But, I have seen a lot of it and it’s going to be awesome. They’ve started previewing some of the stuff last night in the 1000th episode of Raw. It really was cool sitting back and watch the commercials and just recognize some of the stuff we had done, so that was a good feeling. In a small way, it’s kind of like I was a small, minute part of that show last night, with the commercials and all. It was a great experience; Chase has done a lot of work out there too, you know that love him and he’s awesome when it comes to mo-cap. It’s just been a really good gig for us the past several years."
(Stevens) "It’s real cool playing the games when they come out, seeing the character you did, gets to walk down to the ring and you can pick out here and there little things, like how you walk and then you can sit around and call you friends and say ‘No, that’s really me. That’s not Triple H there, that’s me.’ Yeah, that’s fun"
(Riley) "And that’s the neat part too. After we’ve all been out there and once you get through the commercials, or whatever that they’re having advertising for, you can pick out, ‘Ok, that was Chase, that was me, that was (Mike) Mondo. Whoever.’ You may not exactly remember the shot but you can just tell subtle movements and little ways people do different stuff in the ring. It’s easy to figure out so that makes it real cool."
On what they’ve seen from TNA Recently post-Russo (Prichard/Lagana Era):
(Stevens) "I do watch, I see it here and there. I travel now on the indys a lot and I am booked Tuesday through Saturday so it’s hard for me to just sit and watch it. But I do Tivo it and try to catch little thing here and there. I don’t see too much of a charge, really, outside of trying to revive the X Division right now. Bring in some of the old X Division guys and local indy guys and pushing the X Division back up to here it used to be; just trying to revive it.
"That’s what caught on with TNA in the first place, when me and Cassidy were there: these young, high-flyers. That’s what that company is about; it wasn’t about the main heavyweight materials guys, they had them but the main talk was about the X Division, the younger, smaller guys getting noticed and getting to pull of some spectacular moves and stunts. I think over the past few years, they’ve really moved away from that, completely, and I think right now the main thing with Russo not being there is; I’m not sure Russo was even the problem, but creative has come to the conclusion to revive the X Division."
(Riley) "I agree 100% with pretty much everything he said. I think that they are making changes in the right direction. In this business, it’s never anything that can happen overnight; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So, it is nice to see them bringing back the X Division and starting to push their younger guys; like he said you’ve got James Storm and Bobby Roode, and now you’ve got Austin Aries as the Champion. Like Chase said, it’s what the company was founded on: building their own new stars and that’s what caught on and made TNA so hot and kept it alive for so long, was the X Division and they pushed the Tag Division at one time; that’s something the WWE isn’t doing at all right now, either one of those.
"So, you want to stand out and offer the wrestling business and the fans a different aspect than what WWE is doing. Because you cannot compete with the WWE; I mean, in all intents and terms, they are a machine, they are the mecca, they have money going out the wazoo, their production is top notch; they’ve been doing this on such a large scale for so long. I don’t care who you are, you can’t compete against a machine. So if you want to stand out, if you want to be different, if you want to make your product known; that’s the three ways to do it: you push your young guys, you revive your X Division and you make your Tag Team Division mean something again."
On whether they see potential in James Storm, dating back to 2002:
(Stevens) "Storm’s always been a phenomenal wrestler and what we consider a worker today. He had everything right where he needed, even when he was young; he just didn’t have the size at the time, didn’t have the name structure. He wasn’t anything well known in the United States at the time, let alone the world, but he just had a monster heart. I think he’s completely come into that with a character; he’s got a character, a well-known character now. His mic work is exactly right where his character’s at and where it needs to be and everything he’s doing athletic wise looks great.
"In 2002, I wouldn’t have dreamed of him being anything but a tag team, but as we all grow and go different ways in our life, I think from just watching the past couple years, I could totally have dreamed him to be World Heavyweight Champion…The thing with Storm is, if I took him back to the late 80’s early 90’s, that guy would have been on top a long time ago and he would have run with the ball because he’s got that business aspect to him where he is an athlete and he is an entertainer; he’s constantly building himself and fulfilling what the business is asking for. So, in 2002, no, I wouldn’t have seen him as anything but a tag team but I’d definitely say he was a great, great tag team (wrestler). In 2012-13, yeah, I could totally see him in a World Title run."
(Riley) "I agree. We three, have all been friends since before TNA started and I don’t know if I would have seen him as a world singles champion in 2002; world tag team champion, of course. Like Chase said, as the business changes and evolves, you either change and evolve with it or you get pushed aside and he has done a fantastic job and Chase hit the nail on the head. He evolved well into a character; he knows exactly who he is and had a chance to be up that and learn from the best in the world and it’s all a matter of time. He was able to stick it out until his time was presented and he did well with it; he took the ball and ran with it and hasn’t looked back. He’s a good guy, he’s a hell of a hand in the ring and I’m proud for him. I’m so happy he’s gotten that chance; it’s always good to see younger guys get a chance to be elevated because that’s what this business needs more than anything in the world. We need new stars like Austin and Rock, and where are those guys going to come from? They’ve got to come from the younger guys, but if they’re not given a chance, it’s not going to happen, it can’t happen."
Chase on Tag Teams in today’s wrestling scene: "Talking about tag teams in general, name a good tag team today. It just actually two guys that got together to make a tag team. You can name the Midnight Express, the Rock n’ Roll (Express), Road Warriors. You can name a lot (of tag teams) in the past, you can’t name nothing today; nobody knows each other, nobody’s close, nobody’s family, nobody’s friends. It’s just two single guys thrown in to be a tag team. We’ve been around; we’ve known each other since we were kids and we’ve been a tag team, off and on, throughout time and everything that we do, our whole style, complements each other.
"I, personally, I’d sit here and put us up against anyone in the world on being best of the best. Who else is going to step up to the plate and take on two guys who have known each other the last 16 years and work off each other? It’s not we were always good and always the best; we went out there and found people to help us time in and time out. We worked shows; we lost money, ended up homeless. We did everything we had to do to make it in wrestling. We had families and we had things we had to do too, but we didn’t make excuses; we went out there, busted out assed and became something in life. It didn’t come to us; we went to it."
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