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Hope you all enjoy my possibly daily thoughts. Comments? E-mail them to me or IM me, that way I dont get ads.

Friday, February 24, 2006

TNA article in the new FHM.
Copy paste from their web site. Excellent short interviews, really wanted to share it with all of you.

Despite what Vince McMahon’s barking would have you believe, when it comes to pro wrestling, the WWE is not the only game in town. Scores of local independent wrestling associations litter the country, and Spike TV’s TNA wrestling has given a television home to the crème of that crop (Saturdays at 11 p.m. EST).

Click on the links above or on the wrestlers below for interviews with TNA's top talent. Then pick up our March issue for a feature on what life’s like for the members of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, one of the country’s best independent wrestling organizations.

Christopher Daniels

An NWA X Division cham and multiple Tag Team champion, Daniels is still no stranger to working the independents. But he’s come a long way from wrestling in ghetto bowling alleys and county fairs.

You’ve got 30 seconds to explain why TNA kicks the WWE’s ass. Go.
TNA lets guys wrestle the way they wrestle rather than hindering them, and telling them things they can’t do. I have a lot of friends at the WWE and they tell me that there’s an internal struggle between the wrestler and management. It seems like they’re not on the same side. It boggles my mind that they’re not all trying to put out the best product.

Who’s the best wrestler in the business right now?
The first two guys that come to mind are A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe. I know this sounds cliche but I saw them before they got big. The same thing with John Cena. I really like that he had some success and that I got to know him before he became the guy you see on TV now.

What wrestler would you like to see come to TNA?
Chris Jericho, because personally I think he’s one of the top guys in the sport. There are a lot of guys who can wrestle but have no personality and then there are a lot with personality who can’t wrestle. I thought he was the perfect blend.

Your finisher is The Angel’s Wings. Has anyone ever really gotten hurt taking that move?
The only time I’ve ever had problems with it is when guys try to tuck their chin—you’re supposed to land on your stomach. If you chin-tuck, then you land on the top of your head. You can only tell a person the safe way to take a move so many times. If they don’t listen, I don’t have any sympathy for them.

Ever muff your Best Moonsault Ever move?
Once or twice—it’s very rare. My opinion about wrestling moves is that if you can’t do them 10 times out of 10, odds are you shouldn’t do it. But once in a while you get a ring where the ropes aren’t as tight as you want. I’ve hit the second rope and it’s like standing on pasta sometimes. I’ve hurt a couple people with the move by hitting them with my knee. But I’ve never missed it terribly.

What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever had to wrestle?
In a dilapidated bowling alley. It was somewhere in Southern California around Compton. They just threw the ring and chairs up and maybe 80 people showed. But the smallest crowd I ever wrestled for was in my first year of wrestling. We did a show with a promotion called Windy City Wrestling in Wisconsin that drew probably 35 people. The show was at a fair and for some reason they put us on a horse track away from everyone. Usually the benefit of doing a fair is that you get all these walk-up people who see wrestling and say, “Hey, let’s stick around for a few hours.” Well, no one walked up.

What’s been your worst match ever?
It was at another show in Wisconsin and the guy who promoted it was a big fan of mine, so he wanted to wrestle me. His name was Dark Child. He was an older gentleman—I’m not fresh out of wrestling school, but this guy was older than me, and not in very good shape. He had a wacky cowboy hat and a leather duster. It was weird. So I got in the ring, and this guy was a soup sandwich, so sloppy and so bad. Finally I went to pick him up for a slam and he said, “No, my back!” I tried to pick him up and it was like picking up a Buick. He just crumbled to the side. I stood there and looked at him and in the back I could see AJ Styles laughing hysterically. You know, I think the only person who was entertained by that match was probably AJ.

What do you usually get up to late at night after a match on the road?
The only thing open as far as food is concerned is Denny’s and there’s plenty of Denny’s in plenty of states I’ve frequented. That’s not always a positive thing. It’s tough to get good service at 2 a.m. Usually you’re not eating until 3:15. It’s a gamble.

What’s the best prank you’ve ever been involved in?
One night in Chicago I was out with a bunch of the guys, Simon Diamond and Low Ki. We’d been drinking, and somehow we got the idea to send a female escort to the room of the late Ted Petty. I got involved on the phone, and I was giving the room number to summon this person to. I hung up and began celebrating my victory. Then as I was talking to my roommate, he informed me that I had in fact sent the prostitute to my own room.

How did that work itself out?
I just didn’t answer the door. I went to sleep.

AJ Styles
He’s the only man to hold every NWA Wrestling title and has been voted by TNA fans as MVP three years running. In fact, there’s only one word that describes this man’s in-ring ability: phenomenal.

How did you come up with your finisher the Styles Clash?
My little brother was playing on the trampoline with his friend, and they were actually trying to power bomb each other, but they weren’t strong enough to pick each other up. So what happened is they would fall down and they’d be upside down on top of each other, basically in the Styles Clash. So I went over there and my brother was the first one to take the Styles Clash on the trampoline.

Does anyone ever get hurt from taking that move?
Not at first. Everyone seemed to be able to take it very well; it’s an easy move to take. Then the craziest thing started happening: People began tucking their heads, which is totally something you wouldn’t do for any kind of a face bump. For some reason it makes them feel awkward when I have them in this move. And I’ve had a couple people tuck their head, and you can break your neck. In fact, some kids were doing it and one of them did get their neck broken. It is such an easy move to take and people are making it difficult. I’m sick of this; you deserve what you get for doing an idiot thing like that.

What if a guy is too big to pick up?
That’s when I bust out my other finisher, the Spiral Tap. It’s kind of like Jeff Hardy’s Swanton except I’m twisting when I come off of the rope. I feel sorry for the guy lying there because it looks like I’m going to kill him. If you look up and there’s a guy twirling all about and he’s going to land on you with his back, I could imagine how scary that could be. But accidents do happen. I’ve squished people before.

What’s the worst match you’ve been involved in?
There have been some matches where I felt, “Man, I wonder how I’m going to pull this off.” I remember at TNA I was wrestling Sean Waltman, and he had just got to the building before the match. We hadn’t talked at all. That’s fine if it’s at an independent show, and you can just call it all in the ring. But this was Pay Per View, and we have a specific time that we’re allotted. I pretty much said, “Well, don’t blame this one on me.” But it turned out to be really good. I have to give Sean credit. He’s probably one of the better wrestlers in the business. So we were able to pull it off. It was unprofessional of him showing up so late, but he’s such a professional in the ring that he could pull it off.

Do you have any pre-match rituals in the locker room?
Not really. Maybe I’ll hit my knees against my chest to loosen up a bit. It’s actually pretty calm back there. Although one of my friends, the wrestler Low-Ki, is usually kicking the walls to get himself ready. That would scare me if I was wrestling him because I wouldn’t want him to hit me like that. Sometimes he gets someone on his shoulders and does squats with them.

What’s the nastiest injury you’ve gotten wrestling?
A broken foot. What had happened was this guy named Iceberg had flipped me over. I was sitting on my butt in the ring and he really didn’t say anything, so I didn’t really know what was coming—he dropkicked me in the face. Iceberg is 400 pounds, my feet were in front of me and he landed on my foot. It didn’t break my toes. Instead the top of my foot had kind of like a boxer’s break for your hand, where it splinters up. The unfortunate thing was that was Saturday and the next Saturday was the first ever TNA taping. So I didn’t let anybody know. I sucked it up because I didn’t want to lose my opportunity.

How did that turn out?
I went on to win the X-Division title that day. Actually there was a spot with Low-Ki, where we were both on the turnbuckle. He had me in a chokehold, but when I went to hook him with my broken foot, I couldn’t do it. We fell and somehow back-flipped, which could have been bad, but it turned out looking pretty cool.

Ever gotten into it with a fan?
It never helps if I’ve had a bad day already. It’s almost gotten to the point where I’ll tell a guy, “Why don’t you just jump over the barricade?” Because once they jump over they’re in our territory and they’re done. So I’m begging him to step over if it’s been that kind of day. It would be great to knock that guy out. I shouldn’t feel that way, but…

What’s wrong with the WWE?
The fact that they don’t let their cruiser weights be cruiser weights is a big problem. They can’t even do pile drivers over there, and we do a lot more than just that move. I have a friend over there, and they won’t even let him jump off the top rope. I hope I never have to go there because I’d be miserable.

What’s the best rib going on in the business today?
There’s one thing that’s going on with David Young and Samoa Joe, which had originally started with me, Jerry Lynn and Johnnie Storm. It’s called the Hockey Punch. Basically you just come up and punch the guy in the face—not too much to knock him out, but definitely so he knows it’s there. That’s the way me and Jerry and Johnnie did it. But Joe and David are getting close to knocking each other out. They’re scaring me. Originally, it was Joe who got David. Someone had called Joe in his hotel room to tell him that Dave was going to come punch him while he was asleep. Then David called Christopher Daniels, who rooms with Joe and asked, “Is Joe asleep?” Chris said, “Yeah.” So Joe hid in the bathroom. When the door opened, David Young snuck in—and Joe popped out of the bathroom and hit Dave so hard he did a flip and landed on the bed. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

Samoa Joe
The current X-Division champion has yet to taste defeat in a TNA ring. No one has been able to break his choke sleeper hold, which is why he’s known as 'The Samoan Submission Machine.'

How’d you get into grappling? Were you a massive WWF fan as a kid?
I watched it every once in a while, but I really more or less stumbled into this. I learned to love it after I got into it. I was looking for some place to work out in the afternoon and called a jujitsu studio. The guy had a pro wrestling class and I decided to give it a shot. It started as a fun thing to do on the weekends. Then I ended up wrestling in Japan for a couple years.

So how did you realize wrestling was definitely for you?
My first show in Japan, I walked out at Osaka Castle Hall and there were 20,000 people there. I was like, “Oh wow, this is for real.” And then it was like, “Well, hell, wrestling got me this far, I might as well ride it out a couple more years and see how it works out for me.” It’s gone pretty well.

These days, how much traveling do you do?
I’m based in Huntington Beach, CA, and I fly to New York, Philly, Boston or some place in the Midwest at least once a week. Then every two weeks I’m filming for TNA in Orlando. Right now, I’m averaging five matches a week. Hey, the money’s good, so I can’t complain.

You were in the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla events FHM covered for our March issue. It seems as if you and the other wrestlers spend a hell of a lot of time sitting backstage, just waiting to perform.
Pro wrestling is a big game of hurry up and wait. You fly five hours, drive an hour to the venue, sit at the venue for two hours and then wrestle for 15 minutes. After that you fly all the way back home. That’s kind of like how wrestling is.

Sounds glorious.
Going out and having fun with the crowd is the easy part of the job. The hard part is finding food, sleep and gyms. I get lost about 20 times a month looking for things. I prefer when the company sends a guy to come pick me up and drive me to the motel, because otherwise, I’ll definitely get lost somewhere in upper New Hampshire or New York or something. That’s the bitch of it.

You also frequently wrestle internationally. Care to share any stories from the road?
Oh, I can share 22 million. One night, there was a guy in Japan, by the name of Shinjiro Otani. It was his 10th anniversary in pro wrestling and we were out drinking at his brother’s restaurant in his hometown. One of the younger Japanese wrestlers—which they call green boys—challenged me to a drinking contest to impress his boss. I put him down after about 10 shots of saki. He was like, “No more, no more.” Then here comes the next green boy. So I end up getting into this shot war with all these green boys. Saki tends to sneak up on you, so I’m talking a lot of shit and cursing in Japanese, telling everybody they’re pussies and they can’t really hang with me. Then all of a sudden this partition opens up and there was this old man named Yoshiaki Fujiwara, who’s a renowned drinker and wrestler in Japan. He goes, “You drink with me.” So we’re going back and forth, and he’s not only out-drinking me, but he’s also racing me to see who can get the shot down faster. We get to about 15, by which point I’m hallucinating, seeing stuff at the table. He looks at me and says “You still go?” I said, “Yes, I still go.” He goes, “OK, draw. You’re very brave and very stupid.”

Sounds like a good night.
We headed back to the hotel and were stumbling through Japan. We ended up running into some ladies from Australia and went out to another bar with them. They were propping me up, and I was just staying conscious. There was this little Japanese man who happened to be very influential. He paid for our drinks and ended up buying me a cab and sending me home with two, um, attendants to make sure I’d made it home safe. I could give more of the story from there, but it just gets lewd….


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