When you hear the name AJ Styles you only think of one word and that is “Phenomenal”. For the first time ever AJ Styles takes the RF VIDEO hot seal for this explosive 4 hour shoot interview that covers his entire wrestling career to date with some very revealing details never covered anywhere else until now. AJ Styles talks about his early days in the business working the indy scene in GA and how he developed his in ring skills while working the circuit before eventually ending up in NWA Wildside which was some of his earliest TV exposure. This exposure got him signed to WCW in 2001, but it was a short run, as WCW would quickly go out of business some time soon after. AJ discusses what it was like to work in front of major crowds on TV and than be back on the indy scene once again.
In 2002, AJ Styles was the indy darling and on top of the world as a free agent once again. He was one of the most sought out guys on the indy scene and of course owning ROH at the time, we swept him up and made him a top star of the company. It was not soon after that when Jerry Jarrett started another company in Nashville Tn called TNA where AJ Styles was signed to a contract and made the poster boy for the company. AJ was on fire at this time and during this interview we cover all of his top matches in both companies and AJ discusses all of his matches with Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Low Ki, Bryan Daniels AKA Daniel Bryan and everyone under the sun as there are just too many top names to list. You will hear all about the X Division, headlining the top TNA PPV matches and of course al the politics that went with being the top guy in TNA.
AJ has seen it all in TNA when it comes to bookers, writers, ex WWE talent coming into the company and miking it for a pay check, and a lot of other issues at hand which led to his fall out with the company in 2013 when he opted not to sign a new contract. AJ is very, very outspoken when it comes with his issues with TNA and more specifically Dixie Carter. There is a portion of this interview that gets AJ so fired up as he talks about his fall out with TNA and what led to the problems between both parties. AJ is very outspoken on guys who were in TNA and phoning it from home. The TNA portion of this interview is the most detailed interview ever on the inside workings on TNA and all of his major matches as AJ has worked with everyone that has stepped thru the TNA curtains.
Do you want to hear about all the behind the scenes stories in TNA like what is was like to work with the Jarretts, fall out between Karen Angle and Jeff Jarrett, working with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan, were there issues ever with Bruce Prichard or Vince Russo? For this interview RF VIDEO came up with the most in depth questions of all time as you will see below we did not miss a beat and covered everything that AJ has done in his career including talking about his up coming deal with New Japan that we had the heads up on, PWG, TNA going live to compete with WWE, working the TNA gimmick matches, being with Ric Flair as his mouth piece, Hogan & Biscoff regime, Sting, and of course his return to ROH!!!
If you’re a fan of AJ Styles this shoot interview covers it all and I can assure you that this is his best interview and is his most up to date interview out on the market right now from start to finish. AJ Styles got so much off his chest during the final hour of the shoot, that he felt relieved that he finally got to tell his side of the story on why he did not remain with the company that he helped put on the map. You get as always all the inside news as RF VIDEO gives this interview with AJ 5 stars!!!!!
Were a fan growing up of the business?
What are your earliest memories of it?
In your TNA DVD Best of AJ Styles Volume 2, you discussed growing up in an abusive home and growing up very poor. How do you think those experiences shaped you as an adult?
What led to you training in collegiate wrestling?
Do you think having that background makes you a better pro wrestling worker?
What led to you wanting to break into the business?
What are your earliest memories of training under Rick Michaels?
Did you find picking up the business easy?
What are your memories of working your first match for National Championship Wrestling in Georgia?
Why did you work under a mask as Mr. Olympia?
What was the Georgia independent scene like at the time?
Who were the top local indy talents on the scene?
Early memories of Ron Killings on that indy scene at the time?
When did you meet Air Paris for the first time?
Why do you think you had such a good chemistry in the ring?
When did NWA Wildside start?
First memories of Bill Behrens? Why do you think you and he formed such a strong bond?
When does the feud with Paris get the attention of WCW?
Who offered you your WCW deal?
You came into WCW in early 2001 – the company was in its last days. Did it feel that way to you at the time?
How hard is it to go from working an indy crowd to working international TV tapings?
Who came up with the Air Raid tag team for you and Paris?
What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be in a team?
You worked a few Thunder tapings at the time – describe the backstage atmosphere because the consensus is that WCW was falling apart at the time.
You get to work Nitro in March 2001 as part of the Cruiserweight Tag Team tournament. Memories of working Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo at the time?
Do you find yourself getting close with anyone in the locker room or is there not enough time for that?
When do you find out that WCW is getting bought by WWE? Does anyone in Turner reach out to you?
You return to the independents and do some enhancement jobs on WWE TV at this time – memories of working the WWE TV vs. WCW in terms of organization and backstage atmosphere.
When do you find out that your WCW deal will not be honored?
WWE offers you a developmental deal and wants to send you to HWA in Ohio. You turn the deal down – how close were you to considering going and did you ever worry that turning the deal down would close the door for you in WWE down the line?
How do you get hooked up with the World Wrestling Alll Star tours?
Favorite memories of working those PPVs?
Did you think Andrew McManus had a good plan for the promotion or did it seem like a money pit to you?
The early tours did well, but then WWE came into the same countries – how bad did the tours drop live at that point?
You became the WWAS International Cruiserweght champion, beating Jerry Lynn and Nova. What’s your memories of working with them?
Where’s the belt today?
You work a lot for NWA Wildside at that point as well. What are your memories of feuding with Rick Michaels for the NWA Georgia title? How had you grown as a worker at this point?
You also worked a lot with Ron Killings in Wildside. How has he changed as a worker over the years?
What was the first rumblings you heard of The Jarretts launching a company?
Who’s the person to reach out to you about coming on board?
In wrestling, there’s so many huge pie in the sky stories, so what made you think it was legitimate?
You debut for ROH in June 2002 at Night of Appreciation. What are your first thoughts about the ROH experience?
Memories of the atmosphere in the Murphy Rec Center?
You face Low Ki in your first ROH match, losing. Did you have any issues losing your first night in?
You get to work with Low Ki a lot in the next few years. Thoughts on him as a worker and person. Do you think he’s prevented himself from making big money in the business?
He’s claimed he’s retired. Do you believe that?
At Road to the Title, you face Jerry Lynn in a singles bout for the ROH title. Thoughts on Jerry as a worker?
How important was Jerry to the early days of TNA?
Do you think he gets his just due in the business?
TNA debuts in June 2002 in Huntstville, Alabama. Memories of that first show?
What did you think of the weekly PPV concept? Did you think it could take off?
First thoughts on Jerry and Jeff Jarrett?
First thoughts on Vince Russo?
Did you deal with him at all in WCW?
Is the criticism he receives warranted?
What’s your favorite Russo story?
Who gives you your instructions that first night?
The ring breaks before they go live on PPV. How insane is the backstage scene as all this unfolds?
Thoughts on TNA making Ken Shamrock their first champion?
When did you learn you were going to be the first X-Division champion?
Memories of the double elimination Gauntlet with Ki, Lynn and Psicosis?
Psisosis had the reputation of not being as driven a worker at that point. Do you think that’s fair?
With the second taping, TNA moved into what was known as the Asylum. Thoughts and favorite memories of the venue?
On that taping, you and Jerry Lynn win the NWA Tag straps. Did they ever explain why they had you win two titles so quickly?
They began an angle with Lynn as the bitter veteran and you feuding with him while you were partners. Thoughts on the angle?
Once you signed with TNA, did they have any issues with you continuing to work the independents?
Break down how the TNA office worked in the early days, in terms of who was in charge of what?
How often would the company have meetings with the boys to explain what the goals and plans were?
Does TNA have any problem with you taking their title to ROH and other promotions on the independents?
The 8/14/02 PPV was headlined by you and Lynn vs. Jeff Jarrett and Ron Killings. Thoughts on getting in the ring with Jeff the first time? How do you rate him as a worker? How has he changed over the years?
CM Punk starts popping up in TNA in September 2002 and also ROH. What are your first thoughts on Punk and how he’s progressed as a talent.
TNA almost shuts down about Labor Day and runs a pair of taped PPVs. Are you having flashbacks to the end of WCW at this point?
What was told to the boys during this time?
You continue to feud with Low Ki and Jerry Lynn, culminating in a ladder match in late September with Lynn. Do you think the trio were the ones pulling in the PPV buys at that point? Were you appreciated by the company?
Did you ever have a problem with all the run-ins and reverse finishes that TNA used to pull out? Could you at this point try to get them fixed?
TNA also started doing a lot of surprise appearances with talents at this point. Did you think the surprises were a good idea or would you have preferred TNA spent the time and money on building up the regulars?
You had a chance to work with Shawn Waltman over the X-Division title. Were you able to get any advice working with him?
What was the relationship like between the NWA and TNA?
Is it true at one point, the plan was for TNA to buy out the NWA?
This is when Dixie Carter and Panda come in. What are your first memories of Dixie and of the meeting where she informed everyone Panda were the majority owners?
How hands on is she with the business end of the company at first?
What did the relationship between she and The Jarretts seem like?
There was talk of friction between Jeff and Jerry? Could you see any sign of that at the shows?
Jerry has tried to claim that Jeff picked his friendship with Russo over his father – do you think that’s a fair description?
Amazing Red challenged you for the X-Division title late in 2002. Thoughts on Red as a talent?
Vince Russo formed the SEX group towards the end of the year – thoughts on that faction and the gimmick?
Should Russo have been in front of the camera for TNA?
Back over to ROH, What did you think of Xavier as ROH champion? Why do you think he never took off nationally?
Thoughts on wrestling Bryan Danielson for the first time at All Star Extravaganza?
What do you think of Danielson’s success in WWE as Daniel Bryan?
TNA booked you to wrestle Larry Zbyszko early in 2003. That is obviously a big styles clash, so what was the story there? What did you think of the experience?
You challenged for the NWA title in February 2003 against Jeff Jarrett for the first time. Was there a difference headlining the PPVs in that division vs. the X-Division bouts?
You had a chance to work with Sandman and Raven as well during this time period as they did SEX vs. some former ECW talents. Thoughts on those bouts?
Was Raven hard to work with when it came to putting matches together?
At the first ROH Anniversary show, it was you vs. Paul London vs. Low Ki in NYC. Memories of working that bout.
Thoughts on Paul London as a person and as a worker?
In March 2003, you and Red win the ROH Tag Team titles from The Prophecy. Memories of that team?
You had several bouts with The Briscoes. Thoughts on them as workers and how they have changed over the years? Would you want to work with them again in ROH?
Your partner was supposed to be London but he was injured. So, ROH did an angle where London was upset with you for teaming with Red that led to a big singles match at Night of Grudges in Boston. Thoughts on that feud?
Alexis Laree aka Mickie James worked as your valet in ROH a bit – thoughts on her, her career and how she’s changed over the years.
In TNA, you had a short feud with Glen Gilberti. Obviously some of these names we are mentioning don’t really jibe with your in-ring style, so are these experiences hindering you or helping you grow as a worker?
What leads to the AJ Styles and D-Lo Brown tag team? Did you like teaming with Brown? Favorite memories of the team?
TNA later booked you in a best of three series against each others – favorite memories of those matches?
TNA books you to win the NWA title in June 2002 after Vince Russo interferes and you beat Jarrett and Raven. When did you learn you were winning the belt? Do you get to have more say in the locker room now that you are in that position? What did you think of the idea of Russo as your manager?
Sting comes in and you get to face him in a tag bout with yourself and Waltman against Jarrett and Sting. First recollections of meeting Sting and how he was to work with? Was it a big deal that Sting was coming in?
In June 2003, you defend the NWA title in ROH against Chris Sabin. Did TNA have any issue with you bringing the belt there? Were there any agreements ROH had to make with TNA to feature you at that point? What did you think of coming out to Ric Flair’s music that night?
Kazarian comes in to face you for the NWA title in July 2003 on a TNA PPV. What are your thoughts on him and how he’s changed over the years?
Thoughts on some of the TNA personalities from this time period: Abyss, Shane Douglas, Don West, Jim Mitchell, Chris Sabin, Johnny Swinger, Simon Diamond.
Chris Daniels begins appearing in TNA in 2003. Why do you think you and Chris Daniels forged such a close bond? Why is there that chemistry?
What led to you naming your kids after each other?
Do you think Daniels has ever been given his just due in TNA and if not, why not?
What do you think of Bad Influence?
There’s talk their deals are coming up soon with TNA. What advice would you give him about negotiating a new deal?
You get to wrestle Dusty Rhodes in October 2003. Was that a big deal to you given you grew up in Georgia?
Were you upset when they booked Jarrett to win the title back from you?
Did you feel they had done enough with you as champion?
Looking back on your first title reign, was there anything you would change in how you handled the run?
Sting returned to TNA and this time, you teamed with him against Jarrett and Lex Luger. Was it odd working with Luger after the passing of Elizabeth and everything he had been through on a personal level?
You had your first PPV bouts with Abyss at this point. Thoughts on working with him. Thoughts on Abyss/Joe Park/Chris Parks as a person and as a worker? Did you like the Joe Park comedy character? Do you feel TNA takes advantage of him with the bumps?
You teamed with Samoa Joe against the Briscoes in CT- thoughts on that bout?
First memories of Samoa Joe and how he’s changed over the years? How do you rate Joe as a worker?
At Final Battle 2003, ROH ran a joint show with All Japan. On that show, you wrestled Kaz Hayashi. Memories of that day and the show.
As 2003 ended, which promotion did you consider your home company – ROH or TNA?
How had ROH changed since it was formed?
How had TNA changed under Panda Energy?
As 2004 kicked off. you had a chance to work with Homicide in ROH. Thoughts on him in the ring?
You also had a chance to team with Erik Watts in TNA. Some say he was underrated – thoughts?
You win a tournament to become the first ROH Pure champion, beating CM Punk in February 2004. What did you think of the Pure Wrestling Rules and could something like that work today?
You and Abyss become tag team champions while also feuding with each other in TNA. Do you think storylines like this become too complicated for fans to follow?
. Did you at any point want to leave ROH? TNA forced you and Daniels to leave but did you consider staying with ROH. What could have changed to get you to stay? Did you ever consider picking ROH over TNA?
Even after picking TNA over ROH, you weren’t booked on every PPV taping – why was this?
You win the belt back from Jeff Jarrett in April 2004. Was the second time as big as the first?
You drop the belt the following month to Ron Killings in a Deadly Draw match after Jeff Jarrett interfered. Was the plan to alway go to Killings or was the company just booking week to week?
Which is easier as a performer – when you know what’s planned or when it’s something fresh every week?
TNA holds the first King of the Mountain bout in June 2004. Thoughts on that stipulation bout?
Leading to that match, Chris Harris begins to pick up steam as a singles competitor. Thoughts on Harris?
Thoughts on James Storm?
Bobby Roode comes into TNA in May 2004 as part of Team Canada. How has he grown as a worker?
TNA puts the X-Division title back on you in a win over Kazarian in June of 2004. Do you see that as a demotion since you’ve been fighting for the NWA title?
In June 2004, TNA debuts at Universal Studios with Impact. The show is on FOX Sports. What was the general consensus within the locker room about the company going on the air with a TV show as opposed to just weekly PPVs?
How important was the Impact Zone to keeping TNA alive over the years? Do you think the fans there were too spoiled?
You headlined the 100th PPV, beating Kazarian, Red, Sabin, Michael Shane and Elix Skipper. Did the show feel like a big accomplishment?
There was a lot of negative press about TNA’s issues financially and creatively. How do you as a worker block all that out and put together the best matches that you can?
In 2004, TNA creates the Ultimate X match. How does that stipulation enhance and hinder you as a wrestler while you are performing? What’s the worst part about working that match? Thoughts on your UX bout against Michael Shane and Kazarian?
One name we didn’t bring up yet was Kid Kash, who worked a lot for TNA over the years. There were stories that his attitude hurt him with the company – do you agree with that?
Jeff Hardy came into TNA for the first time in the summer of 2004. Thoughts on him during the first run?
How had he changed when he returned to TNA?
Why do you think Monty Brown never took off in the business?
Do you think the early days of the company were too focused on Jeff Jarrett?
TNA holds its first three hour PPV, Victory Road in November 2004. You wrestle Petey Williams for the X title. Do you think TNA should have put the younger talents in a main event position or were they smart to headline with Jarrett vs. Hardy with The Outsiders interfering on top?
Did the company change with the advent of the three hour PPVs?
How did you feel about TNA always going back to using older talent as special attractions and main events?
For a short period. Dusty Rhodes was brought in as the TNA booker. How do you compare him to Jeff and Russo in terms of what he brought to TNA?
Chris Candido came into TNA towards the start of 2005. Thoughts on his brief run in the company and his passing.
You, Sabin and Petey William worked an Ultimate X at the Final Resolution 2005 PPV. As you work more of the UX matches, do they become easier in terms of coming up with ideas or harder because you don’t want to repeat yourself?
Memories of your Iron Man match with Chris Daniels at Against All Odds 2005.
You went to PWG in 2005 for their first All Star Extravaganza, facing Joe. Thoughts on PWG at that time. Did you ever think they would grow into such a popular promotion?
Thoughts on the Lockdown PPV concept when you heard it.
You’ve said in interviews that cage match against Abyss is one of your favorite matches – break down why.
TNA books you to win the TNA title at Hard Justice with Tito Ortiz as ref. This is your third time with the belt. Do you ever feel they are truly going with you as the top guy or just switching the belt to switch it.
Samoa Joe debuts at Slammiversary 2005 and starts wrecking everyone. Are you excited to see him in TNA?
You lose the belt a month later in a King of the Mountain match to Raven. Are you let down?
At No Surrender 2005, you wrestle Waltman again, How have you grown as a performer from the first time you wrestled him to now?
TNA finally headlines with you, Joe and Daniels at Unbreakable in September 2005. How does it feel finally having the chance to be legitimate main eventers with guys you respect and work a great style with. That match is often celebrated as the best TNA match of all time. Do you think it was? How does it stand up today in your mind?
Was there any feeling after like you guys had changed things in the company or was it back to the same old stuff?
You go right back into working with Sabin, Daniels and Petey Williams. Are you let down that the focus is back on Jarrett and Raven and the NWA title as opposed to the X title?
At Turning Point, Joe defeats you for the X-Division title. What were your thoughts on Joe ascending to that position?
TNA went back to the Three-Way feud with you, Daniels and Samoa Joe in 2006 at Against All Odds. How had that match changed since the 2005 bout at No Surrender?
Why is it do you think that TNA works to get guys into a main event position (you, Joe, James Storm, etc.) and then fails to find a way to keep guys there. WWE can get Daniel Bryan and CM Punk to the top positions of their cards and retain that momentum even when they bring them down but TNA fails to do so – why do you think that is? Does the blame go on the wrestler or the creative?
Memories of working the Ultimate X match with Daniels and Joe. Is it hard doing that match with a bigger guy like Joe?
You end up part of Sting’s team at the 2006 Lethal Lockdown. You’ve worked a lot of the Lethal Lockdown bouts. What’s the danger level like on the top of the cage vs. working the wires in Ultimate X?
Christian Cage comes in. Are you excited about a WWE guy jumping to TNA?
You and Tomko become his allies and you have a chance to do some more character driven stuff, as opposed to just being AJ Styles the wrestler. Was there anything you learned under Christian during that era? Did he seem excited to be in TNA?
Thoughts on Tomko at that point as he was getting really hot as a character as the straight-forward guy while you and Cage had some of the sillier banter?
Was it hard reconciling your work in the ring as a serious wrestler while doing a lighter character?
You and Daniels end up a team working against America’s Most Wanted. How did that team come about and what was your thoughts on the pairing?
Obviously James Storm has gone on to do really well as a singles talent, but why do you think Chris Harris failed so badly in WWE and pretty much disappeared from the business?
Do you think he could come back in 2014?
Why was the team with Daniels over so quickly?
TNA booked Kevin Nash to get nvolved with the X-Division doing vignettes and trying to do some comedy to give it a different dimension. As a guy who made his name in that division, how did you feel about the company taking it in a different direction?
Can you or did you ever voice your opinion on it?
You and Daniels had the chance to work with LAX as 2006 came to a close. What are your thoughts on that team and on TNA missing the boat on them?
You worked with LAX in an Ultimate X Tag match at No Surrender in 2006. Is a tag match with that style different from a singles bout?
You end up in a Six Sides of Steel match against LAX to close out that feud at Bound for Glory 2006. Memories of that bout?
You are still with Christian in storyline. but you end up working him at Genesis in 2006. How does working with him, as a former WWE talent, compare to someone you work with who’s from the independents or TNA.
Does he bring a different mindset to how the matches are put together? Are other guys who worked WWE the same or is there a feeling that TNA is a step down from their perspective?
What did you think of Tomko as a tag team partner?
Were you surprised when Tomko was let go by TNA?
What are your thoughts on all his personal issues?
Do you hope you get a chance to team with him again?
You start off 2007 with a program against Rhino. Obviously a bigger, more burly guy in comparison to most wrestlers. Memories on the storyline and the eventual Elevation X match?
How do Ultimate X and Lethal Lockdown compare to the Elevation X platform match in terms of danger?
What’s the worst part of Elevation X?
Is there a best part?
How bad is the bump off of the Elevation X in comparison to say Ultimate X?
Would you ever want to do another Elevation X match?
You end up back in the ring with Samoa Joe at Sacrifice 2007. How has Joe grown as a worker over the years?
You are booked into a King of the Mountain match at the 2007 Slammiversary, working Kurt Angle, Christian, Joe, and Chris Harris. Thoughts on the King of the Mountain match, which was pretty much a reverse ladder match.
Andrew “Test” Martin was brought in and almost immediately was let go after a few appearances. The story was that his attitude in the back was terrible as if he was above TNA. What are you memories of his short run and working against him at Hard Justice 2007 in the Doomsday Chamber of Doom match (Abyss, Sting & Test vs. Christian’s Coalition) – in that match you took a Black Hole Slam on broken glass. How did you feel about that when it was pitched?
TNA brings in Adam “Pacman” Jones to be Ron Killings’ tag team partner but due to NFL issues, he really can’t be physically involved. What were you thinking as all this was going on. Did you feel it was an embarrassment to the company?
You and Tomko actually have to work with him in a program leading to BFG so how frustrating or hard was working around his limitations?
The Steiners come in to work you and Tomko at Genesis 2007. Thoughts on Scott’s time with TNA and getting the chance to work with he and Rick.
Any thoughts on TNA suing Scott because he was disparaging them on Twitter?
Booker T debuts on the same show. The story is that he came in and pretty much acted like TNA was an easy paycheck and wasn’t someone who worked hard or gave back to the company. Do you feel that’s a fair assessment? When you, as a TNA original, see someone working like that, how does it make you feel about the company and about them personally?
Turning Point 2007 – the Christian Coalition vs. Samoa Joe & Kevin Nash & Scott Hall. Hall no shows and Joe, on his own, cuts an impassioned promo ripping on people who don’t put their heart and soul into TNA the way he and others do. Kevin Nash gets pissed about this and goes after Joe in the back. As a TNA original, who do you feel was in the right there?
Were you ever upset with TNA for giving older talents the spotlight over homegrown talents?
As 2008 kicks off, you and Tomko face Joe and Nash at Final Resolution. Thoughts on Nash as a worker in the ring. Does his size make it easier for you to tell a story or is it a harder deal because of his limitations?
You have the chance to work with BG James and Bob Armstrong at Against All Odds. You are a Georgia-bred wrestler, so is it cool to have the chance to work with the Bullet?
You and Tomko end up with Kurt Angle. Memories of the storyline that leads to Christian going babyface and you and Tomko with Angle.
First memories of working with Karen Angle (now Jarrett)?
At Lockdown 2008, it was Team Tomko vs. Team Cage. Lowell, MA and one of the best live houses TNA ever draw. Memories of that match and the show.
Samoa Joe wins the TNA title that night from Kurt Angle. Did it really feel like a changing of the guard and perhaps some of the homegrown talents would be spotlighted the same way that former WWE talents were?
You had a chance to work with Eric Young a lot over the years. What’s your favorite incarnation of Young’s character? What do you think is the secret to his success.
Kurt Angle and Karen have issues on camera at the same time the Angle Alliance starts to fall apart. This allows you a lot of character development and a chance to show yourself as more than just a wrestler. Memories of the renewal of the Angle marriage vows that leads you to kissing Karen and having the love triangle with Kurt?
You and Kurt have a program from this point, working at Victory Road. There’s been a lot of good and bad to Angle over the years but inside the ring, what’s the best and worst part of facing him. How hard is it to keep up with his cardio?
Memories of the Last Man Standing match with Angle in Trenton, NJ at Hard Justice?
Almost immediately after you win this awesome match, they do the lights out and on deal and there’s Sting with you and he lays you out with the Scorpion Death Drop. At the time, some felt it took the spotlight off your win and this awesome match. Would you agree with that?
When do you, as a wrestler, have the right to go to the writer/booker and tell them that you shouldn’t do something because it hurts your character in the storylines?
Frank Trigg comes in and is with Kurt Angle. You and Trigg have an “MMA” match on PPV. It doesn’t go well. Memories of Trigg, the match and what the hell went wrong?
Mick Foley comes into the company in September 2008. Initial thoughts on Mick in the company. Is he taking an easy check or does he want to help TNA?Why do you think that didn’t work out well for all involved?
At Bound for Glory IV, you work a three-way with Booker T and Christian Cage. Thoughts of Booker in the ring?
Jeff Jarrett has a falling out with Dixie Carter at this point over his relationship with Karen Jarrett. From that point on, through the end of Jarrett’s relationship with the company in 2012, there is something of a push and pull between the two sides for control politically and creatively inside the company. What’s your insight into the positives and negatives of each personally and how they handled running TNA?
About this point, you did an angle where you were going to announce your retirement but TNA had Sting talk you out of it with the idea that Sting wanted to pass the torch to you. Thoughts on the angle and working with Sting. What does he still bring to the table as a living legend? How has he changed over the years working for TNA?
You wrestled Sting at the 2008 Turning Point PPV and then later at the 2008 Bound for Glory PPV. Discuss from a worker POV in the ring what its like putting a match together with a veteran like Sting compared to guys like Samoa Joe and Chris Daniels who are younger and might be able to do more physically?
TNA creates the Main Event Mafia. This leads to the Front Line group. Thoughts on the feud?
You go into a storyline against Booker T for his “Legends” title and eventually win that. Memories of the feud? Was he willing to give advice to the locker room’s younger members?
You go from there to a match against Nash for the Legends title at Victory Road 2009. Had Nash changed at all during his time in the company? Was his attitude towards the company the same?
Bobby Lashley comes in and fails to make any real impact in the company. Thoughts on his run.
You had a three match series against Matt Morgan for a TNA title shot at this point. Memories of working Morgan? Do you think he’s ever achieved his full potential in the ring?
You win the title in a five way at No Surrender 2009. Memories of that title win. Are multi-man matches hard to put together?
Hernandez was in that bout as part of Feast or Fired as he cashed in his briefcase. Thoughts on Feast or Fired as a concept – the match and the briefcases idea. Do you think its too derivative of the WWE Money in the Bank?
Memories of beating Sting at the 2009 Bound for Glory?
At Turning Point 2009, you reprise the three-way with Joe and Daniels. Is it like putting on an old glove? You have had the most celebrated match in TNA history, so is there a danger to going back to it? How does the match itself change as you each get older and more experienced?
As the year ended, you had the chance to wrestle Desmond Wolfe aka Nigel McGuinness at Turning Point. What are your thoughts on him as a worker and your match with him?
Thoughts on how his career ended. Do you think TNA did right by him? How did the company change blood testing for diseases after he was diagnosed with Hepatitus C?
In the final PPV before Hulk Hogan and friends came in, you defeated Christopher Daniels at the 2009 Final Resolution PPV- did you think that historically, it would be the last show before things really changed for the company?
What were your first impression of the news Hulk Hogan had signed with the company?
Your reaction when you learned Eric Bischoff was coming in with him?
Did you voice to Dixie Carter that this was a mistake?
What were the best and worst parts of working with Hogan and Bischoff?
What did you think of the company running the head to head Monday Night special with Hulk Hogan’s debut?
Initial thoughts on Ric Flair coming in and the gimmick where you would be his protégé? Did you want to be “The New Nature Boy”?
Tyson Tomko returned and quickly left TNA about this time – were you disappointed he didn’t stay with the company?
Did you mind changing your persona to something similar to Flair’s?
What were your expectations of Flair as a talent and person when he came in – were they met?
What happened with Flair on the European tour? What was your reaction to Flair not wanting to get on the tour bus because the company wouldn’t cover his bar tab? Did Flair ever apologize to the locker room?
You turn heel with Flair and face Kurt Angle at the Genesis 2010 PPV. How does working with Kurt change when you are a heel vs. a babyface.
What did you think of the Fortune group as a unit? What were the positives and negatives of the group and why do you think it didn’t have longer staying power?
A lot of wrestlers began to fall out of favor with the company, including Homicide and Jay Lethal, as Bischoff and Hogan take hold in the company. As you start to see these changes, what are you thinking?
How did the actual TV productions change under Bischoff and Hogan?
Were you for or against the new Monday Night War against Raw? When TNA obviously not doing well in the ratings, do you take it personally as a wrestler or do you feel it’s something that is out of your hands?
Were you happy the show was moved back to Thursday?
We’d hear stories of Bischoff not knowing who the talents were and what their storylines were during production meetings. Did those stories float back to talents and what was the reaction to them?
Do you think Bischoff and Hogan had any knowledge of what had worked with TNA or did they just want a clean slate?
Thoughts on changing the six sided ring to a traditional ring?
Thoughts on the talent that came in with Hogan? – Nasty Boys, Bubba the Love Sponge, Val Venis, Ken Anderson, Rob Van Dam, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy
Were you surprised when the Impact Zone rejected Hogan during his early appearances?
You and Flair teamed up on Impact against Hogan and Abyss. Thoughts on working with Hogan in the ring? How much could he really do? Should he have even been in the ring to begin with? Did it hold up to your expectations?
At Destination X, there’s the non-finish where Abyss chokeslams you through the ring but you sort of get trapped in the hole. Thoughts on that mess?
You face Pope D’Angelo Dinero at the 2010 Lockdown PPV. Thoughts on him as a talent. Why do you think things went wrong for him under the Hogan/Bischoff regime?
TNA books you to lose the TNA title the next day on a live Impact to Rob Van Dam. What were your thoughts on the company changing the belt to RVD? Were you for it or against the switch?
How did it make you feel when the company booked RVD to forfeit the title “due to injury” when he was really going on vacation? Should he have dropped it in the ring?
They did an angle after you lost the belt where you became jealous of Ric Flair’s relationship with Kazarian. Thoughts on the angle?
Memories of working Jay Lethal at this point and how he’s grown as a person and performer since you first met him?
Thoughts on Awesome Kong attacking and beating up Bubba the Love Sponge?
Do you think the Knockouts division ever recovered from losing Kong?
Thoughts on TNA trying to insert some reality TV into their TV series with Gutcheck. Do you think the concept ever worked?
Were there any Gutcheck talents you were excited to see signed?
Did you feel it was a mistake do to do the concept when there was a roster of guys already trying to get over?
Dixie Carter had negotiations at one point with Paul Heyman. Were you hoping he would come in?
Tommy Dreamer comes into TNA. Thoughts on him?
TNA decides to dedicate an entire PPV to doing an ECW style reunion show at Hardcore Justice 2010. As a TNA wrestler, were you upset with that?
The night next, they do a heavy angle where Fortune attacks the ECW guys and destroys them, which live was said to have been amazing. When it airs on Impact a few days later, it’s edited and loses some of its drama. As a worker, when you see that, does it upset you?
You worked a few matches with Tommy Dreamer at this point. Thoughts on Dreamer as a worker?
Were there any ECW guys you’d have liked to have seen stay in TNA? Any you’d have want to work with then?
You have a program with Doug Williams for the company’s TV title as 2010 closes out. Thoughts on Williams in the ring?
You suffered a hip injury around this time. Was it frustrating to be out of the ring for an extended period for the first time in your career? As you get older, is it harder to rebound from working in the ring every night?
You work Matt Hardy at Victory Road 2011. It’s well documented he was having issues at that point. How was he in the ring?
Later that night is the Jeff Hardy-Sting incident. As someone who’s worked so hard to put TNA on the map, what are you thinking as you see this go down?
Should Hardy have been fired that night?
What is your faith in the Hogan/Bischoff regime like as the year is closing out? Do you feel the company has any real momentum?
Bully Ray morphs from a tag wrestler to a singles star. Thoughts on his evolution and how he’s changed and improved?
TNA does a throwback PPV at the Destination X show spotlighting the X-Division. Daniels vs. AJ Styles headlines the show. Thoughts on the show, the main event and returning to working in a six sided ring.
How did you feel about the company pulling out of the Impact Zone and going on the road?
Thoughts on the company cutting back on live PPVs?
Do you think doing PPV-branded shows as Impacts hurt the company on PPV?
At the same point, there were talks that the company was 6-8 weeks behind on pay for some talents. Did you ever have to deal with these issues and if so, what were you told?
Two words: Claire Lynch. What did you think of the story? How was it proposed to you? Did you veto any aspect of it given your religious background and the fact they were teasing you and Dixie Carter were cheating on your spouses? Why do you think the actress playing Lynch freaked out and quit? Do you think the storyline was a mistake in hindsight?
What do you think of Kazarian and Daniels as Bad Influence? The Lynch storyline springboarded them into that role and team.
Thoughts on the Sons of Anarchy-inspired Aces & Eights storyline?
You started 2013 kicking off the Lone Wolf character in TNA. It appeared TNA wanted you to be what Sting was in WCW in terms of the mysterious guy who pulled away and then came back as the primary defender of the company – was that the long term plan?
TNA brought in Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson to promote Bellator and put them into the top storyline of the company (Main Event Mafia vs. Aces & Eights). What were your thoughts on each of them and the pair starting a storyline that was yanked by Spike and Bellator before it could be completed. How bad does something like that really make TNA look in your opinion?
You and your brother have dabbled in MMA promotion. How does it differ from promoting pro wrestling in your mind?
If MMA was as prominent today as when you broke in, do you think you’d have gone in that direction?
Thoughts on Vince Russo departing TNA. Do you think he’d still be there if Hogan and Bischoff had not come in?
Russo gets vilified by a lot of people. Do you think it’s fair to him?
When did you personally realize TNA wasn’t going to work on the road?
How would you have handled the Jesse Neal release, which got the company a ton of bad publicity?
How did you feel about the company pulling off the road and going back to Universal Studios?
Thoughts on how Hulk Hogan exited the company – should he have done something to put TNA over on the way out?
Were you happy to hear Bischoff was being sent home? Do you think he brought any positives to the company?
Were there any positives Hogan brought to the company?
Is it true TNA pretty much ignoring negotiating a new deal until the story that your deal was coming up was reported on the Internet?
As someone who had been with the company from day one, how did that make you feel?
Considering they were building to you main eventing the 2013 Bound for Glory PPV, can you from your POV even explain what they were doing?
Do you think it was the company being disorganized or were they purposely being disrespectful to you?
You signed a 2 month extension at that point but did you give any consideration to just leaving the company then?
Once you agreed to the extension, did you feel that signing you was a priority?
You cut a promo on Impact that set the stage for Dixie Carter turning heel where you aired your issues with the company, including the fact that they are always looking for the next big thing and then come back to you. How much of that was scripted for you vs. something you said from the heart – and was there any negative fallout from the company for what you said?
You mentioned talents coming in and using TNA for an easy payday before leaving in that promo. Who was/were the worst culprits of that in your opinion?
When you see talents doing that, as a TNA original talent, how does that make you feel?
As all this was going on, you were in the Bound for Glory series, going to the finals against Magnus – what are your thoughts on him and how he’s improved over the years?
Do you see him as a legitimate top talent for the company? If not, what is he missing that he needs to work on?
You headline Bound for Glory against Bully Ray. How has he changed over the years and did becoming a singles star change the way he carried himself backstage? We’ve heard his ego has grown with his status. Thoughts on the match?
The stories making the rounds were that TNA were trying to cut you pay 50-65%, Do you care to comment on that?
Do you think TNA was forcing you and others (such as those who were released) to suffer financially because their big money deal with Hogan failed? Is that fair to the talents?
What do you say to people who feel that you should have been a company guy by taking a lesser deal, since the company had always paid you well in the past?
Did you feel a responsibility to the other wrestlers who will soon be in a similar situation to you by not taking a lesser deal?
How did your relationship with Dixie Carter change, if at all, during this process?
Is it true her ego has blown up since she’s become a TV character? We’ve heard stories that she won’t speak to anyone backstage and that she’s not as personable as she once was.
What did you think of Carter as an on-screen character?
Do you think she should be on TV or is she just a distraction from building talents who need the TV time more?
Thoughts on John “Big” Gaburick coming into the company?
TNA booked you to “walk out of the company” as champion, similar to what WWE did with CM Punk a few years ago. Did you feel the angle was derivative of the Punk story?
Thoughts on being booked to go to Japan and Mexico to defend the title?
You were booked to return and unify the belt with Magnus, who had just won the title. Had your TNA deal been resolved, were you aware of a different plan for you?
When did you realize things between you and TNA weren’t going to work out? What was that moment like for you?
Is it hard to think of yourself and TNA as separate entities?
How do you feel about Jeff Jarrett leaving TNA?
What’s your theory as to why he’s gone?
Did Jarrett’s exit have any bearing on you deciding to go back to ROH as opposed to signing a new TNA deal?
If he launched his own company, would you want to work for him?
How has Jarrett changed over the years?
How do you think he ended up iced out of his own company?
Do you think Dixie Carter has learned the wrestling business?
Who should be booking TNA in your opinion?
TNA makes you the booker – what can be done to save the company?
What are you looking forward to when it comes to working on the independents?
Ring of Honor has obviously changed a lot over the years, how familiar are you with it?
Do you feel working for ROH in Nashville is a “F U” to TNA?
When was the last time you spoke with someone in TNA management personally?
Do you think you’ll go back there one day?
Do you think its harder today for talents to have pride in being a TNA talent?
What was the last conversation you had with Dixie Carter like?
What was the ultimate AJ Styles career moment for you?
What was your favorite year of TNA?
Has it been fun returning to the independents?
How about Ring of Honor?
What do you think of the talent level on the independents today?
How do they compare to when you were breaking in?
What happened to cause the Roderick Strong neck injury in your ROH TV return?
Have you had any discussions with WWE?
What do you think of the idea of going to WWE as a completely new persona?
If they asked you to go to WWE developmental, would you see that as a step back?
There are rumors you are heading to New Japan. Care to comment?
You have an autobiography coming out in 2014 – what are your hopes for what people will get out of the release?
How have your changed as a person over the course of your career?
What do you think is a misconception people have of you the person from seeing you perform on TV?
What do you hope 2014 will bring for you?
Any final words for your fans?
Any last words for TNA management?