TNA star Gunner talks the TNA youth movement, trying out in front of Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarret and AJ Styles leaving, and how much control Dixie Carter has over creative
Shining Wizards Podcast with Gunner
Hosts: Tony Z, Eddie, and Matt
Interview available at Shiningwizards.com
On having a tryout in front of Hulk Hogan: I was aware that I was being watched. When I got that dark match, D-Lo said Dixie's watching, & Hulk's watching. Here is your opportunity so don't go out there and screw it up. I've always worked well under pressure and I think being in The Marine Corps helps you in dealing with a lot of pressure. It was my opportunity and I was either going to go out there and shine or I was going to burn. Hulk gave me a lot of compliments, not only for my dark match, but throughout the time he was there. He seemed to enjoy a lot of my character, so that meant a lot.
On TNA being on The Road vs. The Impact Zone: There are pros & cons to both. Being on the road was great because you get to see different towns and different wrestling fans. The Impact Zone has the same people there usually every week or every month, which is not bad, but then again it's really nice to get in front of say like, a southern crowd like we will in Alabama for Genesis. It'll obviously be a hot crowd. But it's good to be back in the Impact Zone. We have a home base and we know the crowd will be pretty lively.
On AJ Styles leaving TNA: Superstars leave promotions all the time. It doesn't mean he (AJ) won't be back. He may have some things going on that he wants to take care of first. All it is, is giving somebody like me the open door to be the new poster child for the company.
On the State of TNA: I honestly believe that all is well. It seems that there's' things going on in WWE that the internet doesn't hit on. It seems that because we are a younger company, I feel like we are the ones that get hit on so much. I don't think personally anything is wrong with the company. We're having more live events in 2014 than we did in 2013. We're doing the UK tour which is a very huge tour for us plus the new TV deal we just signed in the UK and we're still with Spike TV, so I don't think anything's wrong with the company. I honestly don't see Impact going anywhere.
On TNA pushing, but not committing to young stars: I understand what you're talking about and it already happened to me because in 2011 I was in the bound for glory series and I was hot being a singles guy, then I sat home for 8 months, and it wasn't anything I did wrong, it was just a revamping of the character. There could be things going on behind the scenes that I don't know about perhaps like somebody not getting along. It is known and it has been said, and Dixie has had conversations with us, and the new talent relations guy said 2014 is the year for the young guys to step up.
On Jeff Jarrett leaving TNA: That was kind of out of left field with a lot of us. On a personal level, Jeff helped me a lot also. He was always there for me to ask questions about promos or anything and as far as that, he's a guy I consider a friend. And on a professional level, I don't know why he left. Jeff Jarrett is a smart man. He's a smart business man when it comes to wrestling. He's been around it his whole life. I wish him luck and hope I get to work with him again someday because he's always been there for me.
How hands on is Dixie Carter with creative: When it comes to writing storylines, she doesn't have any say so in that. She kind of lets the professionals do that. I don't get to sit in on production meetings so I don't know what goes on with that stuff. She does keep an eye on everybody and she does watch the show live when we do it. She's right in front of the monitor in the back. She has input and it is valuable at times because she's the owner of the company and you definitely want to hear what she has to say.
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