Former TNA wrestler Frankie Kazarian, who holds the Ring of Honor tag titles with Christopher Daniels, recently appeared as the guest on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Podcast. During his discussion with PWI Senior Writer Al Castle, Kazarian discussed a number of topics, including his time with TNA.
Kazarian expressed dismay with a number of decisions by company management, specifically recalling a situation in 2009 when TNA President Dixie Carter called a meeting with the entire roster in which she directed the wrestlers to improver their performances and "step up." She then later decided to air the "come to Jesus" meeting on television.
"That was just one of many of those types of meetings we had. I remember them making decisions to show that on TV, to give fans a glimpse into the reality that goes on," Kazarian told Al Castle. "And I remember everybody — just everybody — thinking that was a rotten idea, except the people who produce the television show."
Kazarian said that TNA brass, including Vince Russo, who worked as an advisor behind the scenes, explained that the company's woes were entirely the fault of on-air talent.
"That wasn't the first time we were told that," Kazarian added. "We were told that by her [Dixie]. We were told that by Vince Russo. We were told that the reason our house shows don't draw is because none of us are names — that we're not draws... Well, we're not names because, a lot of times, you're writing really, really terrible stuff. And you're doing really stupid things to guys like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, who have the potential to be huge names, but are a little bit handcuffed. So, yeah, a lot of the blame was always put on the wrestlers."
According to Wrestling News Source, Vince Russo's role in TNA was largely done in secret for some time until Russo himself inadvertently revealed his work via e-mail to a wrestling reporter. Russo and TNA subsequently parted ways.
Kazarian stressed that communication has always been a major issue within TNA, and that their talent pool often needs to rely on internet news to learn about important developments within the company. Kazarian indicated that he still talks to some of the performers who work in TNA, and that the same issues he experienced as a longtime member of the locker room still occur today.
"The reason TNA has such a black eye right now and such a bad stigma to their name is because a lot of times they just haven't been honest with the fans and with the wrestlers," Kazarian said.
TNA has been dogged by a slew of negative press over the course of recent months, including allegations regarding late paychecks, the resignation of longtime announcer Taz, and rumors that Destination America will drop Impact Wrestling from its television lineup in September. Although many fans were upset to hear of Frankie Kazarian's release from the company last year, it seems that he has found a good deal of relief and fulfillment away from all the drama in TNA.
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