6/5 TNA Conference Call with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson: TNA President Dixie Carter and SpikeTV and Bellator executives join Jackson to discuss his new contract with TNA and Bellator
-The call opened with Kevin Kay, President of SpikeTV, announcing Jackson's signing, and running down his history of fights he had on SpikeTV, one of which drew six million viewers. He also announced they were doing a four part mini-series on him and his contract, as well as working with Paramount to potentially produce a movie with Jackson.
-Dixie Carter, President of TNA, put over Jackson as an internationally known athlete and TNA being an international brand. She said he had a big personality and was a perfect fit for TNA. She claimed 2013 was a major strategic year for TNA and that Jackson would have a huge impact on the year.
-Dixie announced Jackson would be on Impact tomorrow night, and then turned the call over to Bjorn Rebney, CEO and Chairman of Bellator. He put over Bellator and how it came to exist and finally turned the call over to Rampage.
-Rampage said this was something he had been dreaming about for years. He said he always wanted to be a professional wrestler and that's why he got into sports. He said the idea of making movies and fighting and wrestling was all great and that the team had managed to restore his love for MMA that he had lost at the end of his run in UFC. They opened the call for questions from the favored media.
-Jackson talked about losing his last three fights in UFC and blamed injuries and that he was trying to get out of his contract. He said people have given him grief for coming to Bellator because they don't have competition yet. He asked how they were supposed to get competition if no one goes over. He said he wanted to get his knees healthy and then he was looking forward to fighting for Bellator because they are concerned about his health and not just making money off him.
-Redney said that there were several Bellator fighters who were interested in doing double duty in Bellator and TNA. He said he and Dixie had discussed it, but Jackson is such a talent that this was a no brainer. At that point, they opened the call to the media on the phone then.
-Rampage said he expects to be able to fight in about four months.
-Dixie Carter talked about getting talent from three places, WWE, free-agent's like Jackson, and developing her own which takes years. She said a signing like Jackson gets the best bang for the buck because he's ready to go out of the box.
-Jackson said he will be training at both Wolf's Lair (his MMA compound) and OVW to learn the wrestling trade.
-Dixie said that Rampage would be starting right away getting ready for wrestling and they expect him to be a part of the show "sooner than later."
-Rampage talked about going to the shows in Memphis as a kid where he saw guys like Jerry "The King" Lawler. He said he was looking forward to meeting everyone at Impact and talking with the writing team about when he could get started.
-Rampage joked about teaming with "King Mo" Lawal in TNA after talking about their issues in the past. He said it's possible they could fight in the future.
-Jackson talked about hopefully getting to shoot the MMA movie he has written.
-Dixie said she felt Jackson was a head of the curve in wrestling and therefore wouldn't be starting from beginning necessarily, but wrestling is a different skillset than MMA and it will take a little time. She referenced Kurt Angle's transition from amateur wrestling as something similar to what Jackson will go through.
-Dixie talked about the previous dual-sport athletes that had worked with TNA (Pacman Jones, Bobby Lashley, etc.) and defended it as bringing eyes to the product and that it is all about entertaining and that Lawal and Jackson are guys who can do that.
-Jackson rejected the idea that there is any pressure on him to win because as long as you entertain the fans, what difference does it make if you lose. He took exception with the questioner asking about a specific loss and ending up somewhat dismissing him for not being a fighter.
Shore's Slant: There was a ton of MMA questions that I glossed over, but we will have the full audio up later today for those who want to hear them. Jackson was personable here, but he could also ramble at times in his answers and I found myself drifting in and out of interest at times. That's something he'll need to fix if he wants to cut good wrestling promos.
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