Former NWA Champion Adam Pearce on the Seven Levels of Hate series with Colt Cabana and the new DVD, his TNA Gut Check experience, the WWE Performance Center and independent wrestling
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On the Seven Levels of Hate DVD chronicling his feud with Colt Cabana: It’s been a labor of love for me on a lot of levels. If people aren’t familiar with this I literally took every piece of the production in my own hands. I gathered the footage, did the majority of the editing and of course I was in the ring to share the experience with Colt Cabana and we were lucky to chronicle this thing from start to finish and around three years of our wrestling careers and a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the seven levels of hate and all of it surrounding the NWA World title is something we were both proud to hold through several points of our lives and it’s been a whirlwind and I’m happy that it is out so people can chronicle the DVD and check out our story.
Starting the feud and thinking if it was going to get that big to the audience: We were lucky that Colt and I knew each other for twenty years and the comrade and the chemistry we have in terms of performing that we knew we were able to perform some cool stuff, I don’t think either one of us thought the series would take the tone that it did towards the end with the changes in the National Wrestling Alliance and that really allowed us to add a real instrumental layer that made it compelling and people gravitated not towards the wrestling necessarily but things behind the scenes that people were speculating about and did not know about and now it’s out in the open and people can learn about it what really happened and get some really cool wrestling.
Favorite match of the seven: All of them were different and I think that’s one of the things what made them appealing for the fans. For me personally, it was the I Quit match in Hopkins, Minnesota for a promotion known as Steel Domain Wrestling. We did a lot of unique stuff and one of the prevailing scenes without giving away too much is that Colt and I really did kick the crap out of each other. The third match did a lot of that and there is a lot of unique things that went well that night and it just meshed well and I look back on it and its one of those matches that everything you wanted to do came off better then you thought it would be. Everything that you didn’t know that you were going to do when you got to the ring went awesome and even the mistakes that you thought you made came out better then you thought they were. It was just one of those good nights.
Pleased or disappointed that last match wasn’t in the United States: I definitely think its six of one, half of a dozen in the other. Traditionally, you love to finish the feud up in front of the fans that are seeing the majority of the matches. If they check out the DVD, some of the matches were supposed to be held in Los Angeles where for the most part the feud was created and technically and politics and all the things that went into adding this sub layer of drama into this series made this an impossibility and we were lucky to take this on the road internationally to Australia and thanks to War Zone Wrestling for bailing us out. It just goes to show you that if you do things right, people aboard want to be involved with it and we were got really lucky and we were grateful for it.
How did this change you as a wrestler? I’m not sure how to answer that. I do what I do in the ring and that hasn’t changed in the 17 years but it changed me as a person. I think that entire process to put this story together, not just the conventional stuff and not just the in-ring stuff but carrying out what we wanted to do but then having to do with the real life stuff outside the ring that fans that do not have a perspective on and did not understand what was going on and will now get a glimpse of it that’s what changed me as a person and just putting the movie together does not have a feel good ending and did not end the way we wanted but there is always a silver lining and when you get away from that bubble and you reflect on it, it’s gratifying that six, seven, eight months later that it was relevant means something.
His TNA’s Gut Check Challenge a failure?: No, not at all. The reason I say that without hesitation is that I knew what was going to happen. I reflect and I get the question a lot and people thing I have bitter feelings or anger towards TNA and the reality is I don’t. They afforded the opportunity for me to be on national television for a couple weeks and that did a lot for my independent schedule and more than that which fans do not know is that there were other reasons why I was there other than perform and I do not want to put my size thirteen in my mouth by saying too much but there were other motives for being there.
Winning against Magno but loses the Gut Check Challenge: There lies the flaw with Gut Check as a concept to begin with. Some people in TNA who are not there anymore and some who are that were instrumental who brought Gut Check to television and overall I do not think it’s a bad idea, it’s just executing the good idea to remain good and I do not know if there was a lack of planning on purpose or otherwise when it comes to Gut Check, but if it was me and I was captaining that boat, I might have steered it in a different direction. You can find a guy that you can identify with and bring in and know that ahead of time and use Gut Check to introduce that person and depending how he does he makes Gut Check for you and makes it viable and I don’t think we saw that with that segment and it almost look like a foregone conclusion that it was a forgettable most nights and it could have been so much more for so many people, myself included.
First ever Gut Check segment: It’s always easy being a Monday Morning Quarterback or looking at things in hindsight but there is a boatload of potential that could have been did not end up being and I’m not sure if there are regrets there and I give people credit for trying and I’m grateful for the opportunity I had and to the fans that that jumped on board and thought it was a foregone conclusion, thank you to every single one of them. Sometimes you can lead to horse to water but they are too dumb to drink it.
What can Ring of Honor do to get there momentum back: First thing is expectation or desires of the network. Sinclair broadcasting owning the property of Ring of Honor has motivations on where there position is on their platforms and hoping what they can get out of it in terms of advertising and sales and what not on the actual program on the air. Are they satisfied with it? Does the live attendance at house shows even matter? I’ve been gone out of Ring of Honor for just about three years and to be honest, I do not have any insight on what the end game result of this is in terms of “Why is this on the air?” and “What are we trying to sell?” and “How are we going to sell it?” I couldn’t tell what their ad people are looking for.
Whether the WWE Performance Center helps or hurts independent wrestling: You know it’s hard to find something that it’s being used to groom the future of WWE; it’s hard to find fault in that. Whether or not it hurts independent wrestling remains to be seen. Are they going to find guys from the independents and take them exclusively from the independents or is it going to be what it appears to be which is combination of upstart and stand out talents from the independents and combine them with great athletes and I’ve been fortunate to work with WWE on a couple of occasions and seen some of the talents that have gone to these camps and let me tell you, there all American wrestlers from Division 1 schools that are getting looked at and there are guys from independent shows from right around the corner that you never heard of being looked at as well. Does it hurt independent wrestling? I do not know. I think when WWE and the numbers on television are doing well; independent wrestling is doing well too. The Performance Center is particularly a baby at this point. We are not sure what it is going to morph into as time goes on, remains to be seen.
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