Oh, you didn’t know? The latest interview for my book about the first 20 years of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling was with the legendary Brian James. As someone who grew up watching Brian as The Roadie with Jeff Jarrett, Road Dogg in The New Age Outlaws and D-Generation X, and B.G. James in TNA, I was thrilled to have the chance to speak with him at length.
Eli Drake’s loud mouth and brash attitude immediately got attention when he debuted in 2015. From his time in The Rising to his run as King of the Mountain Champion to his rivalry with EC3 – people immediately identified him as a future World Champion. Lashley defeated Eddie Edwards to regain the title in a classic 30 Minute Iron Man at Genesis but a Gauntlet for the Gold in August for the vacant championship gave Drake his best chance yet. He overcame 20 men including former champions Eddie Edwards, Lashley and EC3 as well as the debuting Johnny IMPACT to become champion. Drake then immediately entered a rivalry with Johnny including main eventing Bound For Glory, but Drake would hang onto the title for the rest of the year.
Broken. No single word defines 2016 more. EC3 won the World Title Series to become World Champion for the second time but this would set Matt Hardy on a completely different path. After coming up short multiple times and having his crowning moment taken away from him at Bound For Glory, Matt Hardy turned to a different approach to capture the World Championship. Tyrus turned on EC3, helping Hardy capture gold and beginning the birth of “Broken” Matt Hardy. When Drew Galloway used his Feast or Fired case to take the World Championship from Matt, Matt lost it thinking his brother had betrayed him. Jeff Hardy beat Matt Hardy in an I Quit match after a Swanton Bomb from the very top of the IMPACT Zone and Matt was never the same.
From the moment he arrived in TNA in October 2013, EC3 was destined for greatness. Part of that was nepotism of course – he was Dixie Carter’s nephew after all – but the larger part was he could back it up in the ring. EC3 defeated everybody that was put in front of him – with legends like Sting, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray, Rhino, Austin Aries and Eric Young all failing to defeat the cocky upstart. For all of this he had the loyal and steadfast Rockstar Spud by his side. Many of those victories came with an assist from Spud, but after Dixie Carter was powerbombed through a table the relationship between Spud and EC3 began to fracture. This culminated in a memorable Hair vs. Hair encounter in Wembley Arena in London as a bloody and resilient Spud fought with absolutely everything he had to take down his old friend EC3, but ultimately came up short. Spud’s head was shaved bald.
2014 started with two TNA World Heavyweight Champions: AJ Styles and Magnus. Both men had a claim to the title – Styles defeated Bully Ray at Bound For Glory while Magnus won a tournament in his absence. However, there could only be one true TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Styles and Magnus faced off in January to crown a true champion. After interference from all of Magnus and Dixie’s goons, Magnus was crowned the undisputed champion. Sting tried to school his old Main Event Mafia associate and was willing to put his TNA career on the line to get a title shot: in a similar story, with help from a lot of outside interference Magnus retained and cast Sting out of TNA.
I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Bob Carter, Dixie Carter’s father, for my book about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling! Yes, that Bob Carter — the man who saved TNA in 2002 when HealthSouth cut off funding. Knowing that I’ve had the opportunity to interview both Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth and Bob Carter of Panda Energy for my book is incredible. Bob and I talked about his thoughts on Dixie, TNA, his wife and son, Jeff Jarrett, and more. He was as nice as could be, and I’m delighted that he was kind enough to speak with me for this project.
I’ve got a big update on my book project: I had the opportunity to conduct a two-hour interview with the most popular female wrestler in the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, Velvet Sky! Yes, that’s right, I’ve now interviewed both of the original members of The Beautiful People: Angelina Love and Velvet Sky.
The updates for my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling keep rolling in! I’m now at more than 70 interviews, including Petey Williams — the master of the Canadian Destroyer and former member of Team Canada. We spoke at length about his storied career in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, both in the ring and behind the curtain. Maple Leaf Muscle, Scott Steiner, Scott D’Amore, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Jeff Jarrett, Dixie Carter, and much more was covered in our discussion. Want to know what went into Petey producing the epic Hard To Kill main event featuring AEW’s Kenny Omega? You’ll learn about that and a whole lot more because commentary from Petey Williams will be featured in both of my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling.
I’ve now done more than 60 interviews for my books about the history of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, including an interview tonight that I conducted with former Spike TV President Kevin Kay that lasted more than two hours. We talked about many topics, including the following: whether or not Spike TV paid for Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, among others, to join TNA, if Spike TV ever thought about buying TNA, how Viacom really felt about TNA, if Jeff Jarrett was a better leader than Dixie Carter, and a whole lot more. This was one of the most enlightening conversations I’ve had so far, and it’s going to make for exceptionally compelling content for both of my books. Keep it right here for many more updates to come!