TNA wrestler Magnus on his journey from UK Gladiator to pro wrestling, his favorite tag team run, the current direction of TNA
Wrestle Shark interview with Magnus
Host: Simon Cassidy
Interview available at Facebook.com/BigWrestlesharkShow.
You had quite a unique journey to TNA as many will remember you from the new Gladiators: "Yeah, well the thing is that I was a full time wrestler before Gladiators. I think that’s something that not a lot of people are aware of, but for the majority of 2007 I was wrestling at least 5 days a week. Then of course the auditions came along in 2008 and I was lucky enough to get the part, wrestling had to take a back seat because, well Gladiators became my life for like a year. And you know, it was a unique in, but it was a very good chance for me, I mean for a 21 year old to get signed it is, you know, unusual, but I think a lot of it was to do with my networking. I put myself out to meet as many people and make as many connections as possible, whereas a lot of the guys on that show were content to enjoy it, to bask in the spotlight and just expect it to last a good four or five seasons and they expected other stuff to just fall into their lap.
"It’s funny, you know I talk to a lot of those guys now and they act like it just sort of happened, like it just fell into my lap. It didn’t, I just made a lot of the right connections in wrestling through media and one of those guys happened to be James Dent, editor of FSM at the time, and he became the go-between between me and Dixie [Carter, TNA President]. She just started saying 'well who is this guy? I want this guy.' So he called me and said Dixie wants to talk to you, and I was like “absolutely, let’s have that conversation.” Dixie has always been very, very good to me. She made it very clear that she was the one who wanted me in that company and Terry Taylor was very good to me when he was there as head of talent…it’s a very different company now from when I started, but you know I’ve lasted."
You’ve been closely associated with the tag team division, who have you particularly enjoyed working with? "Easily my favorite is the tag stuff with [Samoa] Joe. You know me and Doug [Williams] in 2009 had a lot of fun and we were very heavily featured, and it was the right spot for me at the time because I was very green. But looking back on it, we were just cannon fodder, I mean all we did was bump for Beer Money and 3D. You know what I mean we were just generic, foreign heels. It was good for me at the time because I learned a lot, but it didn’t give me a ton of credibility going forward, so I kind of floundered a lot after that. It was only really when me and Joe came about that I made it clear to everyone that I was credible and it didn’t just have to be a 'body guy' or generic heel. It gave me a chance to be taken seriously as a guy who can beat someone up. As rudimentary as that sounds, that’s very important. If you spend the whole time getting your butt kicked…I think that’s something that is lost now from modern wrestling. I think because it’s accepted as entertainment and everything else, people lose sight of the fact you still need some credibility, you can’t insult peoples intelligence."
The company has certainly been evolving as of late, what do you think of the current direction? "I think visually, it looks better than it’s ever looked. I think from a television perspective and see Impact Wrestling, it’s a really good looking wrestling show. I’d love to move out of the Impact Zone more. I feel like that…the audience watching on television live vicariously through the live audience and the audience in Orlando are just…burned out. You can’t blame the people, they’re just so used to it. I just feel like a lot of our work goes to waste, you don’t get that visceral reaction you need for a lot of stuff. I mean look at the TV’s we did at Wembley, that’s what it should be like every week."
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