TNA personality Taz spoke with Jim Varsallone of The Miami Herald. Here are some highlights from the interview.
“Lockdown is definitely one of our biggest pay-per-views of the year, and coming to a major city like Miami and the South Florida area — always a hotbed for pro wrestling — our locker room, production crew and creative staff are very excited. It’s a big deal. Wrestling fans are coming from not just Florida but throughout the South and the United States and part of the world. When we do our bigger shows, our bigger pay-per-views, prototypical what I’ve seen the past five years in the company, you get a lot of fans from all over the world coming to these events.”
“There will be some really high intense, high impact matches with many championships on the line, and it’s a steel cage spectacular. Everything’s in a cage, so that in itself, it’s like main event after main event after main event, and I think it’s a pretty cool concept.”
On the growth of TNA over the years:
“Even before I was there, TNA kind of carved its own niche, initially starting off with the six-sided ring where it was total nonstop action and then it kind of morphed into a more traditional type pro wrestling ring. Some would say they were bad changes. Some would say they’re good changes. I’m privy to what happens behind the scenes a lot, and I know that was done for a good reason. That’s just an example. There’s always a good motivation. There’s always a positive step. There are reasons why they went with six sides to four sides. Who knows. Maybe one day it’s back to six sides, the original TNA look.
On the recent mix of more home-grown talent in TNA:
“I also think that bringing in different talent from all over the world including people who leave WWE or people coming from Japan or the UK and different wrestlers — guys and gals — it’s a big deal. That gives it more of an international flavor than other companies. I also believe the homegrown talent, the pioneers of TNA, the original guys, for example Cowboys James Storm, Samoa Joe, Jeremy Borash as an announce talent, Mike Tenay as the voice of TNA, Abyss, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Bad Influence [Christopher Daniels and Kazarian], keeps the foundation strong, where other guys like myself, who came in from WWE, add to the company.
“A guy like Jeff Jarrett, who’s no longer part of TNA, built that foundation for wrestlers. That’s a big deal in our industry. I’m forever grateful to a guy like that for doing something like that.”
“When I look at the pioneers of TNA, guys who’ve been in a TNA a long time, I’m appreciative of them. Like when I was in ECW, an original ECW guy, I believe in that. I believe in building that foundation and then bringing other guys and gals along to keep it rolling and keep it fresh and keep it hot.
“I also feel a big part of the TNA success currently is the building of newer talent. Guys like Samuel Shaw, who’s such a unique talent, he’s a creep; he’s a weirdo; but he’s very dangerous, calculated and cold, or someone like an EC3, Ethan Carter III, who in storyline is the nephew of TNA President Dixie Carter, is this insensitive, entitlement, rich kid, who’s got a butt load of talent and muscle mass and got a mean streak, another character within the company. MVP coming in as the investor, a guy with so much credibility from working in Japan and WWE. The Wolves [Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards], who doesn’t like the tag team of The Wolves? Coming out of Ring of Honor and wrestling all over the world, they bring credibility.
“The building of characters is a big, big thing creative in TNA is really pushing.”
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