TNA News: Gunner’s First Post-TNA Interview, Talks TNA Creative, WWE Interest, More
Former TNA Television and Tag Team Champion Gunner, known as “The Modern Day Viking,” recently took part in his first interview with the media since his departure from TNA. He discussed many topics with the hosts of The Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling, including his departure from the company, his time in the NWA prior to enterting TNA, his thoughts on Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff’s time with TNA, Samoa Joe, interest from WWE, and much more.
Gunner’s departure from TNA Impact Wrestling.
“It’s no big deal. I tend to keep a positive attitude and this is my first interview since I parted ways with them (TNA) last Friday and I look forward to whatever the future holds. Whether it be acting or another wrestling company or promotion, wrestling fans have definitely not seen the last of Gunner. I’ve talked to talent relations and Dixie and thanked them for the opportunity because I’ve been with them since ’09 working security and it was just the right time for me to part ways with the company. We left on good terms and I can easily go back and do some more stuff. It is a good standing relationship that we have and I am thankful for the opportunity.”
Gunner on the direction of his character before he left TNA.
“When I did the feud last year with James Storm, it was a feud that kind of catapulted my career and catapulted the Gunner character. Once that ended we went on with me and Sam Shaw for a four or five month deal which I really enjoyed because it was a lot of out of ring interaction so it was really building the characters of Sam and Gunner. It really gave Gunner a new side and I felt that me and Sam had a match in Bethlehem, PA, that was a real hardcore match that I thought was amazing. The crowd was enjoying it and I felt that guys like me and Sam (who is no longer with the company as well) were after that underutilized. Certain other guys came in and I’ve had no problem with anyone in the locker room in Impact but I do feel like especially my character and me as a person being there since ’09 I feel like I was underutilized after that.”
Gunner’s feelings on all of the changes surrounding TNA during the past year.
My mindset was always just trying to worry about the Gunner “brand” and who I was and whatever they were giving me. I wasn’t on TV for more than two or three episodes this year. A lot of reasons are though that TNA gave me the opportunity to go do a couple of movies so that kept me off the screen for a while. When it comes to changes as far as the locker room or the TV “brand” a lot guys all tend to just hope that it is a good direction for the company. Not many people complain, you just go out there and really do your best and what we did and take story lines and make it the best we can. I personally try to keep my nose out of the old political side of professional wrestling because that’s one thing I never cared about anyway. I always worry about my career. I’ve been wrestling since 2001 and I still have many more goals to obtain.”
Gunner on any interest from WWE to join NXT.
“I think right now that is internet hearsay. I personally have a 30 day non-compete clause which is what you usually have when you leave a company or they release you, so I can’t even really talk to anybody. Ultimately my goal as a kid was to have that WrestleMania moment. I haven’t touched base with anybody yet. I hope that in the future some doors open and I can at least get my foot in the door down in NXT. Now you have Samoa Joe down there and a bunch of amazing talent as part of that company and I would love an opportunity to work for those guys.”
Gunner on working with Samoa Joe in TNA.
“We worked a bit of house shows together and had a few TV spots together. It’s one guy that I kind of envy Crimson over because Crimson got to run a feud with Joe back in 2013 and there are a few guys that I wanted to work on a continuous basis and he was one of them. I have the utmost respect for him and he taught me so much as far as psychology and something’s different with my character and helping with different moves. He is a locker room leader you definitely listen to because he has been around.”
Gunner on Jeff Jarrett’s return to TNA and whether or not he was surprised.
“I was. I had heard the rumors about it last night and saw the tweets and I had a few other guys text me. I’m not sure if this is for a cross promotion or this is a one-time thing. Jeff’s heart lies in TNA. He founded and started that company. I worked in an Indie show back in ’07 and Jeff spoke highly about me and helped me get my foot in the door along with Terry Taylor with TNA. So I guess you can say he’s always been a fan of mine. I grew up watching the guy and I respect him. He has always been able to shoot straight with me. I have always had a lot of respect for him. Whatever it is I want to see Impact succeed. I don’t want to see TNA fail, I have friends there that have jobs and it’s just another company that needs to flourish more.”
To check out the rest of the interview, where Gunner goes on to talk about wrestling Sting, his opinion of Dixie Carter, his most memorable feuds in TNA, and more, you can download the podcast from the official website of The Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling.
[Image via YouTube]